What it means to have a heart for God's house

Volunteers serve at a food distribution event hosted by Rock Church in Southern California on May 16, 2020. | Rock Church/Christy Radecic

I recently heard a story about a husband and wife who had been going to marriage counseling sessions for quite some time. After weeks of individual and couple therapy sessions, the counselor believed she had figured out the main issue.

She addressed her concern with the husband by stating that he did not seem to be investing in his wife and family as he should. Instead of spending time with his wife, he was out fishing. Rather than going to his children's soccer games, he was off with his guy friends. Instead of using his money to update his home, he bought new tools for his shop.

"It doesn't seem like you are fully bought into your family at the moment," the counselor said candidly. "It doesn't seem like you have a heart for your house."

The important takeaway from this story is that where we invest our time and resources is an obvious indicator of where our hearts truly lie. The way we spend our time, talents, and treasures matters!

My home church – Rock Church San Diego – recently kicked off a new church family conversation about this topic called "Heart for the House." In a cultural moment when the Church seems to be losing its popularity in the eyes of the world, this conversation has almost never been more relevant or critical. Importantly, the principles from this conversation do not simply apply to my home church of Rock San Diego! It is so important that the global body of believers continue developing hearts for God's house.

But what does it mean to have a heart for the house, exactly?

First, when I speak of the "heart," I am referencing the very core of your passion. The heart is where your courage, motivation, and emotions are all tied up. Matthew 6:21 says, "where your treasure is, your heart will be also." This means that your heart will always follow your investments! It also means that you will invest your time, emotions, and wisdom into the spaces in which your heart is wrapped up.

When I refer to the "house," I am talking about a multidimensional concept. The "house" can definitely be a physical building, but the Bible also uses "house" to refer to the people of God (1 Timothy 3:15). The Bible also tells us that we are part of God's spiritual family (Matthew 12:48-50), and fellow Christians are our brothers and sisters!

With these two words defined, we can begin to self-reflect and truly ask ourselves, "Do I have a heart for the house?"

Importantly,a heart for the house is a heart for God.  If you get anything out of this article, I pray it will inspire you to have a heart after God's heart. What is God's heart for your attitude, career, family, and response to hard times?  Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." When we direct our hearts toward God, He implants His desires in our hearts. Though we may not get everything we want, we will get more of Him!

One way that we can know if we have a heart after God is if we want to follow His will. John 14:23 states, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him."

How do you know that you have a heart after God?  You will want to do what God says! You can study the Bible all you want, but if you do not do what God says, you are not living out true faith. True faith is not just about information; it is about action!

Secondly, a heart for the house is a heart for God's people. God's heart is that His people would be blessed, which means that God wants to bless you! It also means He wants to use you to bless His people and the world. God has given you individual gifts – time, talents, and treasures – and He desires for you to show the world His love and compassion by doing something!

King David's story in 2 Samuel 7 is one of my favorite illustrations of what it looks like when God blesses us so that we can be a blessing.

To everyone's surprise, David was anointed king by the prophet Samuel when he was still just a shepherd boy. He did not assume the throne immediately, however. Years later – after fighting wild animals and giants and even running for his life – David became king and built a house for himself out of cedar wood.

One day, David determined in his heart that he must also build a house for God. The ark of the covenant had been resting in a tent, and David wanted to make God a dwelling place (2 Samuel 7:2). When he presented his plans, however, God said no!

Rather than allowing David to build a house for Him, God said that He would build a house for David. "The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom" (2 Samuel 7:11-12) God goes on to tell David that David's house and kingdom would be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16) and that David's son will go on to build a dwelling place for God.

This is how God often responds to us when we have a heart for His house! He blesses us, establishes us, and builds us up so that we can be a blessing to others. When we have a heart after God's heart, we get to partner with God in seeing His kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven.

Though culture is always shifting, God's house is still His chosen means of forming us into the image of Jesus and blessing the world. Just as the marriage counselor mentioned above could tell that the husband was not invested in his house because of his actions, the world can tell if our hearts are not truly for God's house.

I encourage you this week: Ask God to search and know your heart. Ask Him if there are any places in your heart that need to be softened or influenced by God's heart. Then, ask Him what you should do! If you would like to learn more about having a heart for the house, make sure to check out

Miles McPherson is the Senior Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. He is also a motivational speaker and author. McPherson's latest book “The Third Option” speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God.


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