Summary: Desire will take a man a whole lot of places.


TEXT: l Chronicles 21:18-27

1 Chronicles 21:18 28 -- “Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” “And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.”

“And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.” “And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.” “Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.” “And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.” “And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.” “So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.” “And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.” “And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.” “At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.”


-Every minute counts. Therefore, every minute must be spent consciously and without waste.

-Time is the coin of life, don’t let a fool spend it for you.


-The story of one of David’s mistake starts in the opening verse of l Chronicles 21. “Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”

-David was in the latter years of his life. He began to take inventory of the things that God had blessed him with. In the process of that inventory, David wanted to assess his strength.

-One must always understand that humanly speaking, we will never have enough strength.

-So David sent his men to number the armies of Israel. God had told him not to do this thing.

Psalm 33:16 18 -- “There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.” “An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.” “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;”

-David found himself guilty of the most common sin of all, pride. In tempting David to trust in his own resources, Satan successfully tripped up the leader of the flock.

-Because David disobeyed God, there was some punishment to be meted out to him. So God gives him three choices:

Three years of famine.

Three months to be destroyed by the enemy.

Three days in the hands of God.

-Seventy thousand men were destroyed because of David’s numbering of Israel.

-In l Chronicles 21:16, we read that David saw an angel of the Lord, stretched out over Jerusalem, with a sword of judgment.

-In Jerusalem, a place:

Where God had planned a Bethlehem.

Where God had planned a Calvary.

Where God had planned a Pentecost. . . . . . . David had sinned.

-Every life has to contain those three elements of the Spirit:

A spiritual Birth (A Bethelehem).

A spiritual death (A Calvary).

A spiritual resurrection (A Pentecost).

-Because of the sin that David had committed, he desired to build an altar. At this particular place, a man by the name of Ornan, tried to give him a plot of land with a ready made altar.

-ll Chronicles 3:1 gives the geographical location of this particular place as that of Mount Moriah. Moriah was always a place marked by sacrifice, it was always a place where a price was paid.

This is the place that Abraham took Isaac to.

This is the place that David purchased an altar for himself.

This is the place that Solomon built a Temple.

-The spiritual principle here is one that is lasting. If you will build an altar of sacrifice, over the course of time that altar will become a Temple. Sacrifice will always refine worship. Sacrifice will always bring out the best abilities of God.

Philippians 3:7 8 -- “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”

-David’s answer to Ornan was that he could not afford to take an altar that came to him free. There had to be something inside of him that was willing to pay the price. There must come a time in all of our lives, that we mature enough to understand that we must pay the price of greatness.


-Your desire has the greatest purchasing power of anything that you possess.

“Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an

object on a level with yourself.” -- J. Hawes

-Dreams are not opiates to make men fall into the lethargy of imagination, but they are the steam to push their visions toward accomplishment. There are some men who have dreams that are lived out to their extent in the imagination. There are other men who are willing to put feet and legs on their dreams and accomplish great things. It takes blood and brawn to see the fulfillment of a dream.


Pressed a widow through the crowd to touch the hem of the garment of God (Matt. 9:20)

Forced Zacchaeus up a tree (Luke 19:2-10)

Drove a palsied man through the roof (Mark 2:4)

Made Bartimaeus cry louder (Mark 10:46)

Compelled the Syrophonecian woman to continue pleading (Matt. 15:27)

Made Rahab risk her life to go with the Israelites (Joshua 2:8-22)

-It was that Divine Discontent with the world as it was that God stepped in and began creating.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox -- “The splendid discontent of God with chaos made the world; and from the discontent of men the world’s greatest progress springs forth.”

A. The Alaskan Steelhead

The Alaskan Steelhead (also Chinook) is a salmon that averages a size of about 20 lbs. This particular species of fish will be born in the cold rivers of Alaska and began a trek down the river until it feeds into the Pacific Ocean. This small fingerling is generally about 2-3 inches by the time it reaches the ocean where it will remain until it migrates back north to the spawning beds that it came from. The trip that these salmon make is often between 1000-2000 miles. The migratory instinct of the members of the salmon family is remarkably specific, each generation returning to spawn in exactly the same breeding places as the generation before it. Once the salmon has reached the nesting area, it will leave as many as 20,000 eggs in October or November. It will then drift back downstream and die. Having fought the chilling waters, the bears who move in for sake of food, and resisting disease the entire way, a zoologist refers to this as instinct. Perhaps another word to use would be desire.

-There is an overwhelming desire in the salmon to continue the trend of its species. More concerned than just having a tree that is full of leaves yet no fruit. Spiritual desires should mark and put our lifestyles in a place beyond the reaches of the world.

-Every man is supplied with wood. He may do what he wants with that wood.

Some men choose to build houses with their wood although the foundation is neglected and when the storms of life come, the house of wood fails them.

Some craftsmen, as Bezaleel and Aholiab, choose to take their wood and overlay it with gold and make artifices of worship for a nation to find their God.

Isaiah tells us that others choose to take their wood and hack out smaller gods to worship and then spend the rest of their wood on their own comfort.

The book of Esther gives the sad account of Haman, a man whose ambition went in the wrong direction. He took his wood and built the gallows that he would die on.

Yet, there are others who take but a meager supply of wood and form a cross.


-One must always remember these things:

There will always be somebody to try to tempt you to take the easy way out.

The devil will always try to persuade you to evade the real and deep issues of the heart.

-David offered his sacrifice and it was answered by fire.

-There is never a knock at Heaven’s Gate but that it sounds in Hell, and devils come out to silence it. The ungodly world cries out for the man to be quiet. The ungodly cannot bear to hear the cries of the needy.

-Therefore the world sets itself to silence the voices of the distressed. They will do it with so many different devices. For some, they use flattery. For others, cursings. For some, persecutions, while for others promotion. Anything to silence the voice of the man who desires to pay the price.

-Spiritual victories only come in this world to those who are determined. Before David’s altar could be used it had to be purchased.

-What happens to men who are willing to pay the price?

A. Bartimaeus

Like Bartimaeus, they have their sight restored. Bartimaeus decided that he would not let his circumstances (blindness) nor his surroundings (the crowd) dictate his worship. Sometimes you must praise God for something that He has not accomplished yet.

B. Elijah

Hebrews 11:6 -- “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

-In 1 Kings 18:43, the servant clearly states to Elijah, “There is nothing” and so Elijah told him “. . . . Go again seven times.”

-Elijah was now praying for something that God had already promised to him. The answer was immediate for the fire, now he was laboring in prayer for the water.

-Imagine after that first prayer. . . . What do you see? “Nothing.” After the second prayer. . . . What do you see? “Nothing.” After the third prayer. . . . . . NOTHING. . . . . . .

-Then the earnestness settled in on Elijah. God often keeps back on us the answers to our prayers so that we may be led to a point of intensity, which will bless our spirits for ever and forever change us.

How often have we sent our desires running to find the answer and it return with an empty answer?

How often have we prayed and saw no change in the condition the one we were praying for?

How often have we prayed for spiritual direction and not found it?

How often have we prayed for victory in our lives and not found it?

How many times have we prayed and saw nothing?

-Sometimes you must pray and praise God for something that he has not did yet:

For salvation.

For healing.

For hope.

For joy.

For strength.

For victory.

For authority.

For revival.

-Doing things like that works on the devil. It stirs up Hell. Get a song and sing while your waiting. Start praising while you are waiting. Let the desires of your heart began to dictate what God wants to do.

-Finally on that seventh prayer. “There ariseth alittle cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.”

-Great blessings come from small beginnings.

The little boy’s lunch.

The small stone that dropped the giant.

The small vessel that poured oil into many pots.

The small town of Bethelehem brought a Savior.

-For weeks and months before, the sun had been gathering up from the lake and river, from the sea and the ocean, the drops of mist, drawing them as clouds full of water. Now the gale was bearing down on them with a tremendous force. . . . .because of the plan of God.

-The man who lives in two worlds, that one is confined by a physical body and the other one that soars out by the work of the Spirit is the man who has the advantage. He can hear the sound of the abundance of rain.

Philip Harrelson