David

Enemies

You can’t live a life of any type of significance without making enemies, or haters, if I may use that word. Now using these terms, I am not talking about people that legitimately just don’t like you or people that just don’t care for you as a person, because not everyone meshes well with everybody, you learned that in pre-school. We each are drawn to different types of people, and the people you hang with may not be my cup of tea. These people are not your enemies. Rather, enemies are those who seem to be on an assignment to destroy your life or disrupt your road to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life, and the scary part is that they don’t always show their true colors right away, and some we don’t recognize before it’s too late, because their maneuvers are very subtle. Of course, the Enemy and all of Hell’s demons become your enemies once you surrender your life over to Christ, but I don’t want to talk about them specifically.

So where is all this coming from? Well I have been reading Max Lucado’s book, “Facing Your Giants,” which goes through the life of David, and he pointed out that during the time David was on the run from Saul, there was an incident when he cut off a part of Saul’s garment without him knowing it, and later felt bad about it. The lesson learned is that even though our enemies are our enemies, they still belong to God, no matter what position they are in, whether they are friends, co-workers, parents, ministers, siblings, or even those people you really can’t fathom how or when they became your enemy. For David, Saul’s pursuit was driven by jealousy and envy, which in my opinion is the common determining factor, meaning that people out of their own misery and insecurities do what they can to bring you down with them or try to get over you.

Nevertheless, recognizing who our enemies may be, it’s easy to begin to talk bad about them, build a false sense of pride, and if you let it, you begin to hate them. The problem here is that hating someone the Bible classifies as murder, God vividly says He hates pride, and slander is always condemned in scripture, so obviously, should we get to these points, we need to reevaluate our heart and motives, because if the Lord truly is trying to elevate us and use us in ways that only He can, we must get rid of all these things. If for no other reason, James reminds us not to tear them down, even though these persons are our enemies and may have truly done or said some terrible things, because they, like us, were made in the image of God.

Furthermore, because of that understanding, as Lucado explained, they are still a part of God’s plan especially in your life, which could be to develop patience, mercy, forgiveness, faith, and or love, yet in the same way, He has a plan for them too, for the simple fact that they are alive. This means that even though they are behaving like anything but a child of God, they are not out of reach to be redeemed by God. So with that being said, in dealing with our enemies we should be bearing fruit, honoring God, especially love since we are commanded to love our enemies. Likewise, it got me thinking some more as it relates to how we pray.

If you haven’t discovered this on your own, there are some scary prayers in the Bible, especially by David, that petition the Lord’s judgement and wrath on our enemies. So as a disclaimer, there is a time to pray those types of prayers, but I doubt your life is as insane as David’s so I can’t imagine you having to pray those prayers on a regular basis, just use wisdom with pure motives. On the other hand, because we acknowledge the fact the even our enemies are made in the image of God who still has the ability to change their hearts, our prayers should be more compassionate, because they may be in a spiritual war that they aren’t even aware they are in or deeply struggling in ways we aren’t privy to knowing. Your prayers can truly save their lives, which would make yours less difficult, allowing the possibility of a friend. To put it another way, if how you pray about and over your enemies they pray for you, would your prayers change? This is important to consider because you have been or still may be an enemy to someone.

Bottom line, your response to your enemies can change lives, just let the Spirit of God lead you in dealing with them in whatever your situation may be. It’s definitely something worth mastering, because being you for a purpose will always draw attention and create a response, both positive and negative.

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Empty Sacrifice

I am finally beginning to understand the greatness if David. As I am sure you have heard him described as one of the most prominent Biblical heroes, but it’s not until you look over his life and his response to situations and his words that explain his epic nature. Yes, he was an ordinary man, but God’s extraordinary work was very evident in his life, in spite of his detrimental faults, which spilled over into his son whose life for the most part was honorable and I can see why he was such a ladies man. Getting back to the point, in the last post I referenced the story of David counting the people of Israel and to right his wrong he built an altar, the process of which is my attention this go around.

Long story short David needed a place and supplies to build an altar and make a sacrifice, but the person whom the angel of the Lord led him to purchase from was reluctant to take his money because of a reverent intimidation of David and his entourage. (Read the story for specifics, 1 Chr 21:18f.) Nevertheless, during this exchange, David made this statement:

“I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

Well I just thought that was the most profound thing ever! So friggin’ deep! But in all seriousness, what it says is much of the heart of being you for a purpose. For starters, you can’t give God your best if what you give Him belongs to someone else, meaning you just took it without aligning it to fit into what God has for you. At times, yes we need help in getting to where God has called us, but not at the expense of others and not in a way that refuses a symbol of gratitude or honor for those who have helped us along the way. I think the heart of David here tells us that as much as we can, what we give should be equally reciprocated in some way or another, if not now then in the future. But, if the motive is strictly refusing what God has already blessed us with and put it aside to take advantage of someone else’s blessing, the fault and wrongdoing is ours and we have utterly missed the mark and in no way are being who God would have us to be.

Likewise, any success book talks about sacrifice and investment and to me David had the same mentality, in that nothing in life worth having is for free, whether in time, energy, money, or anything of the sort. In his particular situation he wanted to make up for the wrong he had done and save the lives of his people as a result, and so I believe that his desire was to give all he could to get the ultimate response. So by not paying, it’s as if to say there was no true investment or he didn’t really give up or sacrifice anything to get back in fellowship with the Lord.

To me that just says so much, and as I’ve done before, I may be completely over-thinking, over-analyzing, or just going way to deep, but I guess the point of these blogs is to share what I took away and what I’ve learned of various things, such as my devotions. I say all that to say, don’t give God anything cheap, lacking any intrinsic or even extrinsic value, or half-hearted, otherwise you psych yourself our because true fellowship and worship will cost something and will require sacrifice, of which the gospels speak about. Don’t try to get over on God or get over on people, because God knows our hearts and motives and because He gave and continuously gives us His best – even if we don’t recognize it at the time – He then deserves our absolute best, not someone else’s because what you give of someone else becomes your worst. But, when the Lord leads you to persons to assist you to further the purpose He has for you, show humility and give them your best, because they sacrificed for you, so don’t make it empty or worth nothing.

Beautiful Mercy for Ugly Sin

This love letter is amazing. As I read it and study more, the more I learn the heart of God and how much He truly loves me in spite of. Anyhow, there are four people that come to mind when I think of those that Satan very specifically targeted, not just a demon: Peter, Job, Judas, and David. Of course there may be others, but they are all I got. The first three I mentioned you are probably familiar with, but still going through Chronicles, I read about Satan’s encounter with David, and the story I knew but Satan’s role was unfamiliar.

Briefly, Satan was attempting to bring down Israel and used David to do so, by swaying him to pride and mistrust. You can read 1 Chronicles 21 for all the details. By counting the people David’s pride caused him to think that his success as the king thus far was by him alone, and what he had attained and accomplished was his doing. On the other hand, in doing so it was another slap in God’s face because it was as if David didn’t really believe the promise God made to multiply. He didn’t trust that God was doing what He said He would do. What I find the most intriguing are the events thereafter.

After David realized what had happened and God dealt with him, he was driven to build an altar and make a sacrifice to compel the Lord to stop the plague. However, in doing so, due to his guilt and shame, he nearly backed out because he was afraid, but the mercy of God is incredible. For the same place where David humbled himself after being so full of himself that God had to correct him, the place that represented one of his most costly mistakes and or sins, God still used it to build His temple.

So often in our own lives we mess up big and God has to deal with us, but when He does it’s in such a way that only He can get glory. God takes our mistakes and creates miracles. He uses our faults and failures as building blocks to an amazing testimony of His faithfulness, mercy and power. And truth be told, like David, it can be scary coming to God knowing just how flat out wrong we were, but His compassions are new every morning and His love endures forever. Coming to Him with a repented and humbled heart, the Lord is always willing to receive us with open arms. God will take the very thing hurt us and use it as a platform to help us and to see His promises come to fruition. David prepared the way for his son, Solomon, to build the temple of the Lord in the same place he built an altar.

In the end of his preparations for the next generation who would build the temple, David encouraged them. (See 1 Chronicles 22:17-19). He reminded them that the Lord was with them and everything was taken care of, so all they needed to do was focus on the task. He told them to devote and seek the Lord and begin to build the sanctuary so that things could be set in place.

The same speaks for us. We must continually seek the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33) and surrender all of who we are to Him, heart, mind, body and soul (Matt. 22:37). As we do so, we begin to build our temples, our bodies, the place where the Holy Spirit resides (1 Cor. 3:16) and we allow those precious fruit and sacred things of God to fill our hearts and minds that will give witness to the name of Christ, like joy, peace, forgiveness, love, and hope. These things will give room for the work of God to go forth in our lives and through our lives that the Name of the Lord may be known by whoever interacts with us as we use our gifts, talents, passions, and abilities to usher in His presence and leave His sweet aroma wherever we go. We have to prepare the way and give God the ugly things, the broken things, the sin that hinders the process, so that His beautiful mercy and love can cover it and be our foundation to build on. In doing so we have mastered the art of being ourselves for a purpose.

Generation

Beth Moore is someone else I have been listening to recently. One of her messages, consequently. was about purpose and why it is so crucial that we don’t give up. I have mentioned it before in prior posts, but I want to reiterate it again. Simply put, your God-given purpose was chosen for this generation AND generations to come.

As any other person, there are things that you don’t understand or know why it happened, but we serve a God of the future and your story will be one to impact generations to come. God knows what He is doing and has an amazing plan for you and men. There is a reason He chose to put you in the family He did, gave you the personality, the talents and skills, the money or lack thereof; there is a reason He chose for you to grow up in the environment in the country or city, and a reason for the time which you were born. As Mordecai explained to Esther, you are here for such a time as this to impact this generation.

You are here immediately for this generation, as was said about David (Act 13:36). David served his generation. There are people that only you can reach, only you can connect with, only you can relate to, and as you do so, your service will touch generation to come. So be encouraged and know that God is working through generation. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the cross because your purpose I can guarantee is so much greater than your life; with God working through, what you do for this generation will last even after you pass, because the purposes of His heart continues throughout the generations (Psalm 33:11).

Make your story tell of God’s greatness and faithfulness so that future generations can praise His name (Psalm 102:18). Even more on a family basis living a Christ-centered life of purpose, your descendants will be blessed (Psalm 112:2). All in all, God’s calling on your life is so much bigger than you, thus, it’s imperative we live with conviction and purpose, because our children, grandchildren, and great-grands depends on it as well as their generations.

If we can come in accordance and seek God’s face and start fulfilling the great commission in whatever manifestation He led us as individuals, that’s how we receive the favor and blessings of God (Psalm 24:6). So live a life of purpose, believing God is sovereign and has a plan, even when it makes no type of sense the things you have to go through, know He wants to do in you something great, because this generation depends on it. Don’t lost faith. Keep praying. Keep seeking. Keep pressing. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

Crazy Stuff

Recently, the women’s Bible study at my church is focused on “The Bibdavidle” television series, and may I say, I did watch it back in the spring and it was really good. Anyway, today’s lesson was focused on the story of David and Goliath and we watched that particular clip from the series. Now, David and Goliath is one of the most familiar and prominent stories in and out of the church, so it’s not as if I had never heard it before or heard it used in whatever form of analogy, quite the opposite. Still the great thing about Scripture, is that the more you read, the more God reveals to you, and tonight was no different.

As I was watching the clip where David volunteered to fight Goliath and just about everyone, the Israelites included, thought he was out of his mind, but that’s when I begin to think. Whenever God calls us to go up against our Goliath as he begins to orchestrate the purpose He has for us, we should do it with a smile and with great expectation, because the moment God uses something so small to accomplish a task so big, He must be ready to do a miracle.

On the flip side, you may not be the David in a situation, but you do begin to see God just doing crazy stuff that makes no type of sense, things that seem so small and insignificant to carry out the greatest of tasks in the midst of other more logical possibilities, anticipate that God is about to do something more than amazing. When you see him bless 5 stones, as a believer in Yahweh. we should smile understanding that God is about to move in an marvelous, miraculous. and incredible way.

As the people laughed and questioned what David was doing, remember that God enjoys proving Himself, so stay faithful and trust God even if all you have is 5 loaves and 2 fish, and watch Him multiply to feed 15,000, or if all you have is 5 stones, watch God use one to kill your giant and ultimately defeat whatever army is against you.

When you walk in purpose, God will lead you to do some crazy stuff and or will allow you to see Him doing some off the wall things. Don’t fret. God likes to show off. So let Him.