1 Samuel 24:5-6 Striking Back

Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 24:5-6

King Saul was set out to kill David, even though he did not do anything wrong. David and his men had hid themselves deep in a cave. Saul had came into the cave not knowing that David was in there. His men wanted him to kill Saul immediately.  Instead of killing King Saul, David crept up and cut a piece of his robe off. After Saul left, David felt guilty and repented of what he had done, and rebuked his men for wanting to harm Saul.

It is very common that when a person is harmed, the person wants to harm the one who did the damage. In workplaces it can be seen time and again when a boss does harm to a person, that the person fights back with a vengeance. At times it becomes a physical fight, while other times it is talking bad about the boss and trying to harm him in other ways.

David had realized that even though Saul was trying to do him harm, he was God’s anointed person. He was put in position over David and David had to honor that.

There may be times in your life when a person who is over you does something wrong to you. The first reaction usually is to fight back in whatever method possible to cause damage to that person.

Every person who is in authority had been put there by God. That is regardless of who they are, where they are, and whether they serve God or not.

As a believer you must honor and love those in authority, regardless of how they treat you. Do not allow yourself to react like the world and strike back in vengeance. When you do that you will have a guilty conscience.

Have you been guilty of “cutting off someone’s ‘robe'”?

Seek to make it right and ask God to help you love and honor others, even your enemies. Do not become guilty of being like the world.

I pray today that God will show you how to love those against you; that you will always do the correct thing to others; and that you will allow God to take care of your enemies.

1 Samuel 23:1-2 Seeking God’s Guidance

When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 1 Samuel 23:1-2

David had been on the run from King Saul, who was out to kill him. He had a group of men who went with him to help him fight any battles he was in. At some point he was told that the Philistines had fought against Keilah. David then asked God if he should go and fight the Philistines and God told him he was to do that.

David had been a warrior for many years already, winning many battles. People were talking about how he had killed tens of thousands in battles. He was a great war hero. Yet, before ever stepping into a battle, he asked God if he should go to battle. He kept seeking God’s guidance in what to do.

There are people who are very successful at doing certain things. They just go out and do something and always seem to succeed in their own abilities. Very seldom to never do they ever ask God what they should do or not do.

You, yourself, probably have certain things that you are very good at doing, just like David was very good at being a warrior and killing the enemy. Doing that one thing may have become so common and easy for you that you no longer seek God’s guidance in what to do or not to do. You just go out and do it.

As a believer, however, you must rely on God’s direction and guidance. With David, there were times when God told him not to fight, while at other times he was to fight. You also must seek God in what you do each and every time.

Although you may be very capable of doing something, there may be times when God does not want you to do it. Allow God to direct your actions each and every day. Do not just automatically take things into your own hands. Trust God to guide you in what is best for your life each day.

I pray today that God will reveal to you what He wants you to do; that you will seek the guidance of God daily; that you will only do what God wants you to do; and that God will use you in mighty ways.

1 Samuel 17:45 Fighting The Enemy

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45

The Philistines had made an offer to the Israelites to have one man from each side fight together, whoever won the fight, that side would be the conquerors. Goliath was the chosen warrior for the Philistines. No one was willing to fight him, because he was a giant and a seasoned warrior.

David’s brothers were at the battle also. David was sent to bring them some food. When he saw the giant, he was willing to fight him. Goliath threatened him with many threats, but David just said he was coming against him in the name of God. With just a simple sling and one stone, David killed Goliath and the Israelites won the battle.

In today’s society most people do not have to physically go to war against another person. Only those who are in the military have to deal with that type of situation. However, there are many other battles against an enemy that every believing person must face on a daily basis.

You, along with every believer, have at least one enemy…the devil. He is seeking to get you to sin and fall away from God. He comes at you directly or through others, in your thoughts, and in your physical life. Temptations are thrown your way every day. It is a great battle to fight off these temptations of the enemy.

This battle is for your soul. It is up to you as to who will win the battle.

You must not try to fight the battle in your own strength using the weapons of this world. You must fight it in the power of God. It is God who the enemy is defying, not you. Allow God to win the battle in your life.

Do not give the enemy a chance at taking you down. Take the initiative and run forward first and take him out. Kill the temptations to sin and win the battle.

I pray today that God will give you courage to fight the enemy; that you will fight in God’s power and way; that you will allow God to destroy all temptation to sin; and that God will win the battle for your soul.

 

1 Samuel 16:7 Inside Vs Outside Appearances

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

After God had rejected Saul as king He sent Samuel to the home of Jesse to anoint who would become the new king. Jesse began to bring his sons before Samuel, starting with the oldest ones. When he brought Eliab before him, Samuel thought that he must be the new king because he was tall and looked great. God tells him that He does not look at the outward appearances, but at the heart.

It is very easy for a person to look at someone’s appearances and judge who they are. The outward appearances are all that a person has the ability to see. No one can really see into the heart of a person. Along with not seeing in, a person can put up a really false front, making himself look really good, when in reality be very horrible.

Samuel had said earlier that God would rather have obedience than to have a sacrifice. Obedience comes from the inside, from the heart. Outward appearances are a sacrifice. They take time to prepare and work to look just a certain way.

Your heart is what matters the most to God. It will determine what is most important in your life. What you focus your heart on is what you will follow the most. It will be what gives you the drive to go all the way through the tough times.

It is inside the heart that God needed in who would be the next king, not the outward appearance.

It is inside your heart that God needs today to get His work done correctly.

Do not look just at the outward appearance in your life or in the lives of others. Ask God to reveal your heart and the hearts of others to you, so that you can see yourself and others as God sees you and the others.

I pray today that you will have a heart to love and serve God; that you will focus your life on having a heart after God’s own heart; that you will not focus only on outward appearances but on the inside change of heart; and that God will be pleased with your heart.

Loving Your Spouse When You Are Single

My 22 year old, single daughter, Brittany wrote this article recently. I felt it would touch someone’s heart and life. She gave me permission to post it here.

There are times when I have been discouraged about being single. Third wheeling, no date to bring to a wedding, all your friends being married, all the questions about WHEN you’ll find the right one, I have been there – am still there. (single, that is)

The Lord has spoken to me some words, and figured I would share it and maybe some of my single friends will feel encouraged. Not everyone will get married, but I am speaking to those with the desire to be married. I haven’t mastered all of these, and I am still clay at the Potter’s wheel.

How I love my spouse (when I am still single):
1. I love my spouse my remembering it’s not just about the ring on the finger. I wear a purity ring that will be replaced by a wedding ring one day. But, it’s about my WHOLE LIFE, not just the span of my life when I am married. How am I bringing good things NOW? Tomorrow morning? Next month?

Proverbs 31:12, “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”

2. I love my spouse by crucifying the flesh so that Christ reigns. This goes into so many areas, but one I will mention is abstaining from sex, and pornography. My body is the Lord’s, and treating it as sacred is important. This honors God and my spouse. (If you are seeking help with this area, look up Fight the New Drug)

Psalm 101:3, “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.”

Romans 13:14, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

3. I love my spouse by not letting bitterness and impatience take hold. It’s easy to see all your friends as happy couples and be bitter towards God. But, taking a step back and remembering that He has GOOD plans, at the PERFECT timing sets your mind in the right place.
Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

4. I love my spouse by being thankful in every circumstance. Did you know that when you get married life problems don’t go away? Loved ones die, people get sick, you can lose your job, tragedies HAPPEN. But, when your soul is founded on something SOLID, Jesus Christ, nothing shakes you. You have joy in places where only “darkness was supposed to reign”. Also, there are a MILLION things to be grateful for, just ask God to open your eyes to see the gifts He gives.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

5. I love my spouse by learning life skills. It’s fun to think of some knight in shining armor slaying the dragon. But, cooking, cleaning, changing a tire, etc are important skills that will benefit your spouse.
Luke 16:10,”One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.”

6. I love my spouse by waiting on God’s permission. Choosing your own timing, person, and situation may seem beneficial. But, I know from experience that it’s BETTER to wait on God to bless a relationship. Having to say no to dates seems completely backwards in my season. Yet, waiting for God’s timing is so much more worth it than all the comments and sideways glances I get.

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

7. I love my spouse by praying for them. I pray for his safety, the development of his character, the relationship he has with The Father, that he would be wise about life, that he would say no to temptation, etc. Pray for your spouse the way you would want to be prayed for.
Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

This season isn’t easy, but the next season won’t be either. The Lord refines us like gold in every life marker. I pray that you would use your single years wisely, because it’s for a short season (big picture wise).

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

1 Samuel 15:23 Rejection Is Rebellion

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:23

King Saul had chosen to not completely destroy the enemy after being told to do so. He had rejected God’s word to him. Samuel told him that it is better to obey God than to offer sacrifices. What King Saul did was seen as rebellion and arrogance, both of which are sinful like idolatry. Since Saul had rejected God’s word to him, God had rejected him.

Very few people would consider themselves as a rebellious person. To most people, the rebellious person is the one who goes against all rules and norms and fights everyone.

It is most common to look at teenagers as the rebellious person. Later it is the people who fights the system, or dresses extremely wild ways, or dies their hair strange colors, or covers their bodies in tattoos.

Many believers in Jesus, however, can be seen as rebellious. Yes they claim to believe in Jesus and go to church and read the Bible all the time, but they reject doing what God has told them to do.

Going to church and reading the Bible are only surface or outward things in your life. It really comes down to the heart and your actions. Once you hear a sermon at church or read a passage in the Bible, you must then put into action what you have heard or read.

God speaks through the minister or His Word–the Bible to you. He gives instructions in how to live life and what to do or not to do.

Are you being rebellious and not doing what God has told you to do? It is the same as going to false gods for guidance and help.

Are you being arrogant in thinking that you do not have to do what God has told you to do? It is the same as worshipping an idol. That idol is you.

Do not be rebellious against God’s word today. Take His word to heart and obey all of His commands. When you accept and obey God’s Word, He accepts you. God will never let  you down or harm you. He is only looking out for your best. Do you trust Him?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands to you; that you will not reject His commands; that you will not be rebellious against God; and that you will obey God in every area of your life.

1 Samuel 15:10-11 God’s Regret

Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. 1 Samuel 15:10-11

When the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness, the Amalekites did not treat them correctly, so God had said He would destroy them. The time had come to have the Amalekites destroyed. Through Samuel, God told Saul to attack and completely destroy the Amalekites and everything that they had. Saul did attack, but kept the king alive and the best of the sheep and cattle. At that point God regretted making Saul king because he did not completely obey all of His commands.

God lays out the plans for every person. He knows what is best for that person to be able to live life to the fullest. He also knows what is best for that person to do to accomplish His will and desire in this world.

The hard part for most people is obeying God in everything He says to do. God’s commands do not always make sense in the here and now, in man’s finite vision. It did not make sense for Saul to kill all the animals, but that is what God required. He sees the big picture.

In your life, most likely, God has given you some instructions in what to do or not to do. You need to follow the instructions exactly, just as you need to follow instructions exactly to put an object together. If you do not follow the instructions you will fail and things will not work out correctly.

When you do not follow God’s instructions, He will have regrets about you. He may regret allowing you in a given position or an entitlement.

You do not want God to regret what He has done with and for you. You need to obey all of His commands exactly. If you love God, you will obey Him.

Are you obeying His commands to you exactly as given?

Or are you doing your own thing, causing God some regrets?

I pray today that you will know the commands God has given you; that you will obey God in everything; that your obedience will show your love for God; that you will not cause God to regret anything; and that God will use you to do great things in this world.