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In the Waiting

Reflections on 2 Samuel 24

Is your marriage not what you’d thought it would be? Do you have thoughts in your life of this isn’t fair?  Maybe your career hasn’t taken off like you thought it would or you’re still single and pictured yourself married and a parent by now. Maybe you’ve struggled with your own health or the illness of a child.  Maybe financially you’re still struggling and you are waiting for God to rescue you from it. Waiting for Him to make it better. Bring redemption. Bring the answers. Waiting on the Lord is tough stuff. I think it gets even harder as we become a society more and more set on instant gratification and dinner served in seconds shooting out of vending machines. We are a world of conveniences. Waiting is never convenient.

In today’s passage, we see David has been promised the thrown but he has to wait for Saul’s rule to end for the opportunity. Saul doesn’t like the idea of that and is literally hunting him to put an end to his life. You would think David would be doing the same so the victory promised him could begin. But he doesn’t. He is given the perfect opportunity when Saul unknowingly comes in to the cave where David and his men are and David spares his life. Why? God had told him he will reign. Here is what makes David different. He waited. He wanted his choice to be within the realm of God’s goodness. This is what sets him apart and why God called him a man after his own heart.

David desired to stay in the will of guide for his life. His life tells us he wasn’t perfect at it but he consistently tried. When we are in the waiting we tend to do several things. One, we take matters into our own hands. We get too impatient and we do things on our own. We rely on our own power, our plan, our drive. Secondly, our own desires blur the clarity of the will of God for our lives. It becomes about us. I’ve never been this happy or this feels so right. Finally, we begin to justify our choices when we confuse the coincidences of our lives with the will of God. I remember about 8 years ago I was offered a job I had only dreamed about. It was with a ministry I loved. It was something I had prayed for. It was doing God’s work. I was sure the opportunity would never come again. Yet I felt this tug in my heart. As I looked at the hours and the work it would require and the ages of my children and demands of my family, it became clear I would not be able to do both well. is word told me to put my family first. Not my own desire. Not my own satisfaction or happiness. It was really tough at the time. I felt defeated and like I would never have the impact I’d long for. I felt like God would never be able to use me outside of my home. But my faith told me He would. My faith told me He loved me and would use me. My faith trusted His sovereignty and His timing. It was not easy. Six years later that same organization came to me. This time with a position that worked with my family.  Flexible hours even. The desires of my heart aligned with His will.

In our scripture, David was able to wait on the Lord because of 3 main reasons.  One, he trusts the sovereignty of God. Two, he believes his unrelenting love for him. Third, David abides in the word of God. Those same three things are what I had to keep my focus on 8 years ago. It reminds me of a sermon I heard from The Summit Church in North Carolina,  “ The way to achieve the purposes of God is not by compromising the commands of God.”  Pastor Tim once said that God will not ever bring to your life something that is against His word.

Do you know how easy it would have been for David to justify killing Saul?  The thrown was promised to him. So many of us would have seen him walk through the hole in that cave and thought God had handed Saul to us on a silver platter. We may have even uttered the words, it was a God thing. That wife you know that’s been unhappy in her marriage, God did not bring that handsome, kind, flirting co-worker at just the right time. Satan did.  It’s not fate. It’s temptation. God doesn’t bring things to us that will take us from His purpose, His goodness, His word, His will. God’s will always aligns with His word. Always.

To wait on the Lord we have to recognize his unrelenting love for us. We have to trust His sovereignty. We have to ensure our hopes are in His word. Then we have to lay it at His feet and wait.

 

Posted by Jen Harris with 0 Comments

Faith of the Young

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I envision a crisp day, similar to the 39 that had come before it. A day that was ripe with repetition. A day that impressed on all who lived through it a sense of impending doom. A time when men lived in fear of a giant spewing forth taunts, who imposed his will with brute force and fear. But I can also envision a very young man, who has firmly placed his life in the hands of his God. A young man who was very aware of the blessings he had received. A young man who chose to fight against the seemingly impossible, because of his faith.

The story of David and Goliath is one that is probably familiar with most people in America today, regardless of background. We are drawn to the tale of the underdog  time and time again. It is seemingly weaved into our DNA. But what I think is often missed within the essence of the story is that David’s faith is what wins the day. His trust in God sustains him. There are no attributes, with the exception of his faith, that would see him live through this ordeal. This is not so much an underdog story, as it is a suicide mission. So why are we, as a people, so drawn to it?

I remember as a child hearing the story of David and Goliath on a fairly regular basis. It was always told in such a way that it was easy to mistake David’s faith for bravery. In the land of individualism a man could always succeed if he was at least brave. The idea that the young man’s actions were centered  in his trust in God came much later in life. To be honest, I think that is how we see things most of the time. We admire character and integrity, bravery and wisdom in others or ourselves, often forgetting to attribute these blessings to God.

It has always struck me in this story that David chose not to wear the armor of the king. It didn’t fit. It was not his wear. So he moved forward as God had prepared him. He did not try to be something he was not, but instead trusted that God would protect him as he was.  I believe we often try on different armors to present ourselves to the world. These armors often don’t fit, but when we shed them, give thanks to God for making us as he has, entrust our lives with him, and move forward to bless those around us, we thrive. We seek to live as God has always intended for us to live.

It is at this moment in David’s story that we marvel at his faith. We pray that we would have a faith like his that would allow us to conquer fear and bless others in the name of God. But his story doesn’t end here. In fact it is just the beginning. God continues to bless David throughout his life. David sins but he repents and returns to God. It is in his repentance that we see just how deeply his life is intertwined with God. And we marvel still.

I struggle sometimes teaching my daughter about these topics. Pride makes it very easy to take credit for work ethic rather than explaining the why of blessing. In trying to explain these sometimes extremely complicated ideas to a six-year-old I always fall back on the truth that everything we are blessed with is from God. He has blessed us with these things to in turn be a blessing to others. We entrust God with our life because he has given us life in Jesus. She often reminds me that she knows these things with her words and actions, while it is I who tends to forget.

Posted by Chris Taylor with 0 Comments

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