5/21/08

Like David.

I know, it's redundant. But this is how my story begins; "So I was sitting in staff meeting the other day..."

...Again.

Apparently, the Lord graciously sees fit to confirm to me via these innocuous little planning sessions what He's already shown me in my personal walk. It's humbling, it's amazing, and it also serves as a reminder of just how stubborn I must be. Trust me, folks. They don't call me 'independent' and 'assertive' for no reason. [and that's just being nice about it. I know. It's sad.] This He knows, and against all human odds, He still loves me.

But seriously - don't you love when inspiration strikes someone else and ends up knocking you on the nose, too?

No? Oh. Well, I could be wrong about the nose job, if that's any consolation.

Everyone's favorite Biblical king. Start guessing, ok? He's the one after God's own heart, who composed some of the most beautiful, perfect poetry ever to be written by divinely-inspired human hands, who sinned greatly and repented truly.

Ding ding ding! Yep, that's our boy David, right there.

I think that Dave and I are going to get along quite well when we meet in heaven. He was passionate and sincere about everything he did, even if it was dead wrong. And when he was dead wrong, he was truly and honestly repentant.

Take, for instance, his rash and impetuous decision to take hold of his own destiny in 1 Samuel 27-29. I won't post it all here, since it's a lengthy read, but try it out with your five million translations [you know you love it!] and see what you can learn from David's mistake.

Chapter 27 starts out by revealing David's meltdown. The Message reads it this way:

"David thought to himself, "Sooner or later, Saul's going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to Philistine country. Saul will count me a lost cause and quit hunting me down in every nook and cranny of Israel. I'll be out of his reach for good."

So David left; he and his six hundred men went to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. They moved in and settled down in Gath, with Achish."

Without a doubt, David had a promise from God. He had been anointed by Samuel [and seriously, who's going to argue with God's prophet?] for his future leadership role. But life for David was anything but a great big joyous musical.

See, after the aha moment of his anointing, after Goliath was killed by David's slingshot, after the Israelites started composing odes to David's prowess, and after he'd clocked in for a cushy new position as the king's musician, King Saul found out that his days on the throne were numbered, and that David was God's boy for the task.

Saul was obviously not interested in being kicked out of the palace, so pulled a fast one on our boy D, quickly becoming his most powerful enemy.

David, perceptive fellow, already knew that Jesus had a plan for his life and leadership. But the whole plan didn't seem to be progressing. Instead, he and his family lived in constant fear for his life, skulking from cave to cave, hiding away from his pursuer.

So D made a judgment call. He decided to pick up and leave. Even if he wasn't in the right place, at least he wouldn't be miserable and have to live in caves and worry all the time.

It worked, too! David settled in the land of the Philistines, chillin' with the enemy, raiding camps and killing people [apparently, everyone did this, so David can still be a part of our dichotomous 'Good Guys vs. Bad Guys of the Bible' fantasy team list] and plundering goods. and Saul left him alone. And the Philistines? Oh yeah. They were loving that David was playing for their team.

If you're at all familiar with the way things go down in the Biblical account of David's life, you're probably aware that David did, in fact, become the king of Israel. But not before he learned a hard lesson about choosing his own path.

1 Samuel 29:3 tells us that David's plan to hang out with the Philistines and mope about what coulda shoulda been didn't work like he'd thought. As they prepared to do battle with Saul's troops, David showed up to lend a hand. Then,

"The Philistine officers said, "What business do these Hebrews have being here?" Achish answered the officers, "Don't you recognize David, ex-servant of King Saul of Israel? He's been with me a long time. I've found nothing to be suspicious of, nothing to complain about, from the day he defected from Saul until now."

Angry with Achish, the Philistine officers said, "Send this man back to where he came from."

David didn't belong in Ziklag with the Philistines. He knew it. They knew it. God [obviously] knew it. But he tried - desperately - to make it work. To follow his own plan. And it may have been gravy for awhile, but it obviously didn't end triumphantly.

What did happen is this: once David submitted his will to the plan of the Father, he was back on track to do great things.

As you are all quite aware, David did fulfill his destiny and calling, becoming Israel's favorite king and a direct contributor to the bloodline that Jesus was born into.

So what about you? Are you considering grabbing the reins to your wagon and striking out on your own? I'm not here to judge. It's tempting to just do it - I know this well. But it will only detour you from reaching your destiny, and in the end, the will of God, our purpose and destiny, is the place we all want to be.

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