We had communion on Sunday. Communion is the time to remember that Jesus took the cup of God’s wrath for us. He was sinless and yet willingly took God’s wrath and gave us His cup of salvation. What a Savior He is and what a gift He gave us when He sacrificed His life for us. Appropriately we sang “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.”
Last week Pastor Josiah admonished us to declare war on negative choices and lifestyles. Don’t cohabitant with dysfunction. Don’t fiddle with a spear like Saul did. David had been dodging Saul’s spears and then had to make a life-changing decision. From 1 Samuel 19, we learn that Saul had sent his troops out to kill David (whose name means “beloved”). His wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, warned David to escape, and she helped David climb out the window. Sometimes it takes a bigger man to flee. However, it is important to do the “next right thing” even if the next right thing is unconventional or weird. That is what warrior David decided to do in this case. Could David have retaliated and killed Saul? Yes, but David respected “God’s anointed & quote even if Saul was not acting as His anointed. This decision began a ten year run from Saul, his father in law, and the one he tried to soothe when the tormenting spirits fell on Saul.
Michal had good intentions to protect her husband David, but her method included lying and deceit. 1 Samuel 19:13-14 states
“Then she took an idol and put it in his bed, covered it
with blankets, and put a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.
When the troops came to arrest David, she told them he
was sick and couldn’t get out of bed.” (NLT)
Michal used a pagan idol (teraphim) to deceive the soldiers. David was so devoted to the
LORD, but Michal had at her disposal a pagan idol. Also she put that idol in their bed, a place of intimacy. Her lie to Saul her father included the allegation that David threatened to kill her if she did not help. 1 Samuel 19:17b Pastor Josiah said, “How you get to where God has called you matters.” Though Michal’s motivation was to protect and love her husband, the methods and words she used were dishonest and not God honoring. “When you live like the end justifies the means, you twist true beloved identity replacing its purity with something idolatrous in nature and the only way to label that is “sickness.” Justifying your sin cycle is self defeating; rather ask the LORD what the next right thing is to do and do it.
David, the shepherd, warrior, and musician was also a writer. One of the psalms he wrote during his ten year run was Psalm 59. In verse 9, David penned ”You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God are my fortress.” David knew who the LORD was and trusted Him. In Psalm 59:16-17 David continued
“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning
I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have
been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.
O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are
my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.” (NLT)
When you are experiencing difficult times, do you turn to the LORD, Beloved? Do you
remember when He blessed you and answered your prayers? Do you read His Word that tells of His promises like Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What looks bigger after reading that verse-the trouble or your LORD? Is He your fortress? For me, I ask the LORD to help me have a relationship with Him like David’s. May I be able to say in my head and my heart during hard times,”I will sing of your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.”
David then went to see Samuel, God’s prophet, who anointed David to be the next king of
Israel. The Beloved sought Samuel, his spiritual authority, who was in Ramah. Saul in his
tormented mood sent troops to capture David. The LORD’s Spirit was there.
“But when they arrived and saw Samuel leading a group
of prophets who were prophesying, the Spirit of God came
upon Saul’s men, and they also began to prophesy.
When Saul heard what had happened, he sent other troops
but they, too, prophesied! The same thing happened a third
time.” 1 Samuel 19:20-21 (NLT)
Saul had not heard the saying ”Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting a different result.” Saul sent not one set of troops, not two, but three troops to capture David, and they all began prophesying. The LORD’s Spirit is incredible. No human can overcome the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. Later Saul traveled to Ramah to see David and Samuel, and before long he too began to prophesy. “He Who loves you, marking you as
Beloved, is greater!”
As Beloved, we need to walk in a lifestyle of grace and power. 1 John 4:4 states
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already
won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who
lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (NLT)
He is the dominant Spirit. We do not need to fear. Thus, we have the freedom to do something with what He has given us.
It is crucial that you understand that you are His Beloved. You need to see yourself as you truly are. You, as a Christ follower, have the Spirit of the living LORD in you. Recognizing that you are His Beloved means you have a template for how to fight in this spiritual battle. You yield to His overwhelming love and then share that incomparable love with all those around you. How you carry yourself and function can overflow and affect your environment. A key verse for me is “The LORD is my shepherd. I have everything I need.” Psalm 23:1 (NLT) May i live with that fact as the primary focus. I do not need to strive but can abide in Him and let Him live through me. To God be the glory!
“Live rightly; know who you are; and influence the atmosphere so intensely it transforms
even those who plot evil against you.”
Larry & Annette Linthicum