Monthly Archives: August 2010

26. Never give up

The previous time we discussed the life of David, we saw that we can hear from God ourselves. We needn't rush from prophet to star signs to personality types to understand where God is leading us. No, we can hear from Him ourselves. We shouldn't stoop as low as Saul and consult mediums, we should rather trust in Him inexplicitly and in His mighty power as well as His perfect timing for our lives.

But Saul did consult a medium and called up Samuel from the dead. Samuel told him that he will die in the battle against the Philistines and that Israel will lose the battle. He was paralyzed with fear, as he knew that God would not be with them in the battle.

On the other hand David was with the Philistines, ready to attack Israel. What David's real plan was, the Bible doesn't say, but it does say that the Philistine princes didn't trust David and they didn't want him and his men to go with them to battle. The king of the Philistines trusted David and tried to convince them that David should go with them, but it didn't work. David and his men had to return home.

But when they did, they found Ziklag, where their home was, raided by the Amalekites. They took everyone that was left behind, men, women and children, as well as all their belongings and burnt the town to the ground. David and his men came upon this scene and were devastated. They cried, so much so that the Bible says - '…they wept, until they had no more power to weep.' Then a shocking thing happened, David's own men turned on him:

"Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters." 1 Samuel 30:6

The men were so devastated that they started to think irrationally. They wanted to portray their frustrations unto David. And what did David do?

"But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6

Isn't it just amazing? His own men were turning on him; he has lost all earthly support. He was hunted by the King of his own country, his family has been abducted, all his belongings were gone and now his own men were turning on him. And instead of cursing God, instead of asking why, instead of blaming God, he turned TO Him to be strengthened. I love it. He could have easily said: "You know what Lord; I have only been faithful in all that I do, everything. And where has this brought me? I am living as an exile, in a foreign land, with nothing to my name and no family to support me and now even my own men is turning against me. What does it help to follow You?" But no, he didn't. This was the biggest test of David's life. This was a make or break moment. He was at the lowest level he had ever been. And yet he was wise enough to turn to the Lord for strength. And as you will see as his life story is told, is that this low point in his life, is quickly succeeded by exaltation to the King of Judah. So at this low point, he was so close to his breakthrough. Can you imagine if he had given up there and then? How sad that would have been! But he didn't and therefore we can read about him as the greatest Israeli King that ever lived.

The same might happen to us. We might be so close to our breakthrough, even though things in the natural are not flowing as we might have expected, our breakthrough might be around the next corner. We shouldn't give up. We should never turn our back on God and forsake the route that He has laid before us. We never know what could be next for us. God is so patient and kind, so full of love. He wants the best for us. Do not stop digging just before you find your treasure. Do not give up. Find your strength in God as David did. Find Him in all that you do. He will give you the strength to continue. Never ever give up. In fact rejoice in a low point on your road with God, He will then take you higher! Just like He did with Job. Afterward Job had double than what he had before the trial. Walk with that confidence in mind.

Father thank you that we can find our strength in You. Thank you that You never give up on us. Help us to continue on Your path even though it seems as if we are on the wrong track or that everything is falling apart around us. Give us the assurance that this road is from You. If not, then help us to find our route back to You and where we need to be. Amen

105. Do not worry

We all want to know when this coronavirus will end and when our lives will return back to normal again. We want to plan ahead and we want to run our lives again like we used to. But God taught me a very valuable lesson during this time. And that is to truly live day by day. Now for me, who loves to plan ahead and to rearrange my life, this is a very difficult thing to do. But that is what God came to teach me and I would like to share it with you.

He reminded me of the following:

-        He gave the Israelites daily manna. DAILY, not weekly or even monthly, but daily. Why? He wanted them to trust in Him. To trust fully in Him for their next day's supply. He even caused the manna to be filled with maggots if they left some over for the next day, for in case He didn't provide. The only time He gave them two day's supply was on Friday, so that they have enough for the Sabbath, when they rested in Him. The same is true of us. God will supply manna daily for us; we shouldn't worry, but rather trust Him that there will be manna again tomorrow. It is only when we rest in Him and spend time with Him that He will rain even more on us. There is no limit to His supply, but He wants us to go out every day and look for Him and His provision. He never limited the amount that the Israelites could take per day, they could take as much as they wanted. And we can too, His treasuries are open to us. He wants us close to Him. Also consider this, He could have made us that we only needed to eat once every year, or even not at all. But He made us to eat daily, as a principle, of how we should eat daily from His Word and feed our spirit on a daily basis by spending time in His presence.

-        Jesus told us not to worry. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring about its own things." Matthew 6:34. Now if someone had a reason to worry, it was Jesus. He knew and told His disciples that He was going to be crucified in Jerusalem. He knew that He was going to die a horrific death. And yet we never read that He stressed about it months, weeks or even days before it happened. It was only the night of the arrest that He sweat blood and asked God to take the cup from Him if He was willing. But otherwise, you never see Him anxious or stressed in advance. He was always filled with God's Shalom peace. And we can learn from Him. We will never even go through something as horrific as He went through. So if He didn't worry about the cross, why should we worry about lesser things? He promised that He would look after us, much more than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field.

-        I read the following quote from Will Smith and God immediately told me to put it in here as well: "You don't set out to build a wall. You don't say, "I am going to build the biggest, greatest wall that's ever been built." You don't start there. You say, "I'm going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid." You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall." God doesn't want us focusing on the wall we are building; He wants us to do what we can do in the moment, all the way trusting on Him. And slowly but surely we will make progress and find ourselves walking on the path that God ordained for us. What more can we want? Because if we look at the wall and all we still need to do, we will become frazzled and stressed. God only wants us to focus on that day and do what He leads us to do. The rest will take care of itself.

God's mercies are new every morning. His grace is like fresh manna to be picked up and used for our day. He is the great I AM, living in the present. And that is where we should also be. The future is in His hands. We simply need to walk on His path laid out before us for that day, eating His manna of grace and mercy, not worrying about tomorrow. I know this is easier said than done, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. So I am certainly going to try. As I said for my personality type it is very difficult, but I can see the rewards of living this way, so I am certainly going to give it my best shot. Hope you are going to do that too? Walking hand in hand with Him in the present is true life. Come and walk in the liberty that it brings.

Father, thank you that You are always looking out for us. Thank you that You are already in our future and that You know best for Your children. Help us in our journey of walking in the present moment and not worrying about the future. We look up to You and only You. Amen.

 

104. Praise Him always

I prayed and asked God what this week's message should be. And I felt the prompting in my spirit to look at today's devotion in my daily devotion book - God Whispers. So I would like to share it with you:

"When You send Your Spirit, new life is born to replenish all the living of the earth. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!" Psalm 104:30, 33

I send My Spirit to revive, to encourage, to strengthen and to refill the living of the earth with new life. I move with splendour and with mighty power. I am all consuming and all powerful. All praise is due to Me. I love it when My children come filled with love to adore and worship Me. I love to have them close and to feel their presence near. My heart then overflows with love and joy and the abundance of life then permeates into the delicate cells of their beings. Come into My presence with a thankful heart and experience this. Allow My presence to overflow into every aspect of your life. Stand amazed at the tranquillity it brings. Stop and listen to the birds singing and appreciate the flowers blooming. They sing and bloom to show you a piece of My heart. Birds singing reflect My heart of joy. They sing despite all circumstances, it is continuous and it will last until all creation disappears. Flowers blooming reflect the constant new life that I have within Me, they reflect a part of My beauty and radiate My fragrance to all. Learn from the birds and the flowers. Bubble over with My joy and sing My praises always. Reflect My newness of life to a dead world, radiate My beauty in you and spread the fragrance of My love. Be in full bloom, with Me as your roots, supplying all the nutrition you need. I came to give you more than enough to succeed.

Isn't this a wonderful word for us all now during this COVID-19 time? God wants us to praise Him no matter what. Therein lies so much power and grace for a time such as this. He wants us to rise above it all as we saw last week. He wants us to be an example to the world during this dark time. He wants us to continue radiating and spreading His loving fragrance to this world. And how do we do that? By growing in the Spirit and receiving all the nutrition we need from Him and Him alone.

Spend time in His presence, breathe in His heavenly air, see yourself in the throneroom of God glorifying Him, picture yourself talking to Him and enjoying His magnificent presence. Allow Him to open up your eyes to the spiritual. Ask His guidance on a daily basis and be open to be led by Him. This is your time to shine. Reflect Him. He gave us all more than enough to succeed. All glory on High!

I would like to end off with a song from Matt Maher - Alive and breathing:

Joy still comes in the morning

Hope still walks with the hurting

If you're still alive and breathing

Praise the Lord

Don't stop dancing and dreaming

There's still Good News worth repeating

So lift your head and keep singing

Praise the Lord

Isn't this just a beautiful song? Especially during this time, don't stop dreaming, there is always Good News worth repeating. If you are alive and breathing, praise the Lord!! Hallelujah!

Father thank you so much for providing us with everything. We love You, we glorify You, You are all we will ever need. In You is life and peace everlasting. We praise Your mighty Name. Amen

 

103. Grow above it all

We have verberum plants in our garden. They are evergreen and they can be hedged or left to grow as tall as trees. We planted rows of them against our walls at home. On two sides we left them as trees and on the one side we hedged them. Now, four weeks ago myself and the boys hedged them so that it looked neat and tidy once again. But last week I noticed that one stem of the verberum grew much taller than the rest. That stem with its leaves truly stands out from the rest. Now this morning when the sun came up I saw it again. It was so beautiful. This one stem was basking in the sunlight whilst the rest was still in darkness. And the Lord spoke to my heart and said that we must be like that one stem.

He wants us as Christians to rise up above it all. He wants us to grow in Him and to bask in the sunlight of His Son. He wants us to be an example to others and to lift them higher and to show them the joy of following God in spite of the crises we all find ourselves in. You see the rest of the plant is still in darkness, like the world, murmuring, complaining and stressing about the future. But God doesn't want us to murmur, complain and stress alongside with them. He wants us to rise above it all, and be an example to the world.

Also the wall where the verberums are hedged is the outer wall of our property and there is an electric fence. Now right behind this stem that grew so much more than the rest, there is a yellow danger sign indicating the electric fence. And God instantly told me, in our lives there will be signs everywhere indicating that there is danger. The danger of the Corona virus, the danger of a recession, the danger of accidents, losing your job, your health, you name it. The world screams danger all around. But God wants us to be like this stem. This stem doesn't look at the sign, it is not bothered by the sign, it simply looks up to the sun and grows. The leaves of the stem look as if the stem is lifting them up, praising and glorifying God. And God wants us to be the same. We shouldn't be frazzled by all the danger signs, all the doom and gloom stories, we should simply look up to Him and grow in the sun shining down on us, providing for us. We should be filled with praise and worship, no matter what. Therein lays our power to grow even more.

This process of growing reminded me of a song by Jason Gray. The song is 'Order, disorder, reorder' and this song is about God showing us through 'disorder' in the world, that the 'order' we thought we had in our lives needs to be 'reordered' to align us to become more and more like Him. He wants us to grow, to develop and become the people He created us to be. Allow me to quote from the song:

I thought
The storm would never come to an end
I begged You again and again
To send a miracle
But the storm was
The way You broke my heart open wide
To get to what was hidden inside
And call it beautiful

Order, disorder, reorder
Over and over and over

So here I am, I'm all in
Though it feels like falling
If that's what it takes for You to break through
Give me the faith when I'm afraid to say
Here I go, I'm ready
I know You won't forget me
You'll give me the grace to find a way through
Order, disorder, reorder
Over and over and over

I don't really wanna change
If I'm telling You the truth
But like it or not, Your love won't stop
Till it makes me new
So give me all that You got
From the bottom to top
Till I look like You

Order, disorder, reorder
Over and over

None of us wants to change; it is a painful process and not one that we would willingly choose. But He wants us all in. He wants us growing until the diamond inside of us is sparkling. He wants us to sparkle and shine and lure others closer to Him. It is not an easy path to become the diamond He intended for us, but it is worth it! We will be changed forever, renewed, filled with His joy and love, excited about our future, living with a knowing within us that we are fulfilling our purpose in life, shining as the God given diamond that we are.

Rise up above the rest, bask in the sunlight and be an example to the world, luring them closer.

Father we want to grow higher and higher. We want to exalt You on High. Thank you that we can know that You supply the grace that we need to grow. Thank you for developing the diamond within us all. We truly love You. Amen

102. Trust in God

After reading a daily devotion by Joseph Prince God placed the prodigal son on my heart. Imagine the prodigal son lived today and you see him there in the pigsty, filthy, full of mud, hungry and totally depleted. You feel so sorry for him. You, as a well-meaning Christian go over and help him. You give him food to eat; you negotiate with the owner of the pigsty to give him a wage and to look better after him. You feel so good about yourself that you helped him. You uplifted his situation somewhat. Even though he is still in the pigsty, he is at least fed.

Now do you really think you helped him? The thing is you didn't really. You simply gave him a reason to stay in the pigsty, you made it a little bit more comfortable, just enough to keep him there. It is still a terrible place to be in, but now he is not at that point that he will go back home to his father's house. He will get comfortable in the pigsty and simply stay there, far away from God's best for him. If you had left him, he would have come to the end of himself and gone back to his father's house, back to where he truly belongs. His father wants to give him a ring on his finger, a robe, shoes to wear, a position in his house. And if he went there, he would be much better off than staying in the pigsty.

God then spoke to me and said that that is what He is doing in the world today during this coronavirus time. He is not intervening, but allowing us to stay a bit longer in the pigsty so that we can come to the end of ourselves. He wants us to come to a point where we realize that we cannot fix this, we cannot go on, and that we then turn to Him. He wants us to come to our Father's house, He wants to clothe us and give us a position in His Kingdom. He wants us to grow and become the person that He destined us to be. He wants us to be finished with the things of this world and to grow into the true spiritual beings that we are. For:

"Cursed is the man who trusts in man." Jeremiah 17:5

We cannot continue to trust that the government, our boss, our superiors will help us and look after us. They won't. Only God will.

So do not get tired of praying, do not think that God has forgotten us and that He will not help us. He is waiting for the right moment. He so loves the world and wants the best for us. He didn't send the virus, He didn't cause it, remember the prodigal son left home all on his own. But God is now waiting for us to come to the end of ourselves in the pigsty. If He intervenes too soon, He will do us an injustice. He doesn't want to leave us in the pigsty any longer. He wants to clothe us in white and wants us alongside Him, looking forward to a better future.

Now, even though I am saying that we need to wait a while before God intervenes, He will help us during this situation on an individual basis.

"Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7, 8

In other words, if we trust in God, we will still bear fruit and still have green leaves even though we are in the drought with the rest of the world. He will look after us when we draw on the fresh water of His Word and His Spirit. We needn't fear or be worried; He is with us in a mighty awesome way.

The point is, God wants us to be finished with the pigsty. He wants us to be finished with the mud. He doesn't want us to wallow in it any longer. He wants us free, to be the created beings we were destined to be. He has good plans for us, a future and a hope and all of it is in His Father's house. Jesus died to open up the way for us. We simply need to enter in. Therefore get up out of the mud and run to Him. He will welcome you with open arms. Trust fully in Him and be like a tree by the river, full of green leaves and fruit! The time is now. The sooner the better. This world has nothing to offer us. Our riches and glory is in Him!!

Thank you Jesus for opening up the way for us so that we needn't wallow in the mud any longer. Thank you that we can go to our Father's house and be filled with His love and life! We trust in You alone. You are our God and King. We surrender and give over. Amen

 

101. God's work in us during the coronavirus time

God gave me '100 days' in my spirit. And when I counted 100 days from 26 March when the lockdown started in South Africa I came to the 4th of July, which is Independence Day in the US. Now it doesn't matter where in the world you are, we all know that 4th of July is symbolic of independence. And that was so profound for me. God is molding us in this time, He wants us to conform to be more and more like Him during this time. He wants us to be who we are in the Spirit, because that person will live on forever and have a specific purpose in the life to come. But He wants us to grow into that person now already, because then we can have a profound impact on this world! He wants us to use this 100 days to become more and more the person that He wants us to be, a person of light, love, charity, hope, courage, joy, mercy, grace and compassion. He wants us to use this time wisely, so that at the end of the 100 days, we would have grown significantly in Him, independent from this world, and more intertwined in the spiritual world.

He gave me the following text verses for this time:

"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like deer and the tongue of the dumb sing." Isaiah 35:5, 6

This verse was meant to be taken literally by the Jews, because all of this will be signs that the Messiah has come. Jesus indeed gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, He raised the lame to walk again and He opened the mouths of the dumb. He was wonderful and healed all who came to Him.

And today God gives these verses to us to be used on a spiritual level.

God wants to open the eyes of the people spiritually. He wants people to see who they are in the spirit. He wants them all to grow in their spirit man, because He knows once they do, they will be unstoppable in the natural. They will have a profound impact on this world. He also want them to look at the world differently, to see the world as He sees it, to look beyond the negative, but into the spiritual and what He is doing at the moment in the world.

God wants people's spiritual ears to be opened. People are normally so busy, rushed and under a lot of pressure, that they don't hear His still voice calling out to them. He wants people to be still and to know that He is God. He wants to talk to them, to direct their lives and to give them guidance on the pathway ahead. They simply need to stop running and hear what He wants to say to them.

He wants those that have been 'lame' in the spirit to rise up and do what He has called them to do. He wants those who were reluctant to give or to do the right thing, to stand up and be counted. He wants them to be His hands and feet. He wants them reaching out to others and to give them hope.

Then God also wants our mouths. He wants our mouths to glorify Him, to exalt Him on high. He doesn't want our mouths to spread negativity. Rather He wants us to encourage others with our mouths and to shout praises to His Name, as He knows that praise and worship is a very power tool in the hands of a believer.

I encourage you to allow the Lord to work in your life, to open your spiritual eyes, to hear what He wants to tell you, to then do what He wants you to do and to praise Him all the way, exalting Him and encouraging others in the process.

Then this following word will come true in your life, it is a promise from Above:

"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad. And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing." Isaiah 35:1, 2

In other words, those areas in your life that was a wilderness and wasteland or your future that might look like one, will no longer be. The desert will start to blossom like a rose and in your rejoicing and praising of God, you will have in abundance. All glory on High!!

God is always with us, He never left us nor forsook us, He is here. Allow Him to do His perfect work in you. He wants to. He wants to lead you by the still waters; He wants to anoint your head with oil until it overflows. Allow Him to. He has a future and a hope for you. Hold on to that. Grow with Him and give Him free reign to change in your life what He wants to change. It will not be a pleasant process and it might hurt, but oh boy, the benefits that will come will be glorious and you will be so glad. A diamond is only formed out of hard ship. Your time to shine will come, it is near, keep on keeping on. He is with you!

Father thank you so much for this wonderful word. Have your way in my life; mold me to become who You created me to be. I want to, I give over. Help me to see spiritually, help me to hear clearly, help me to do what You want me to do and help me to speak only Your truth and Word! I glorify You and praise Your Name. Amen

25. Be content right where you are

Last week we saw that we shouldn't fight against the plans of God. It doesn't help as it only frustrates us and make our lives miserable. We should rather take hands with God and walk this pathway with Him leading the way. Then whatever comes our way, we can be assured that He is with us every step of the way.

Now whilst David was still living in Philistine, the Philistines gathered together to go to war against Israel. They gathered together and encamped at Shunem. Saul was terrified when he saw the army of the Philistines. He desperately wanted confirmation from the Lord that all will be fine:

"And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets." 1 Samuel 28:6

So when Saul couldn't hear the voice of the Lord he became even more desperate and sought the guidance of a spiritual medium. They told him of a woman at Endor. He immediately went there. What made this quite ironic is that Saul had banished all mediums and spiritists out of the country, and here in his moment of need, he turned to one.

Now he came in disguise to the woman and didn't reveal his identity. He asked her to call up Samuel for him. And the moment she did, she knew he was Saul. After putting her at ease, he spoke to Samuel. Samuel confirmed his worst fear. His end has come. The whole of Israel, the King and his sons would be delivered into the hands of the Philistines the very next day. Saul's end has come. Samuel told him that he would be with him the very next day.

Saul was paralyzed with fear and fell down on the ground and refused to eat. After some persuasion, they convinced him to get up and to eat and to 'face the music'. It was a very dark day for Saul indeed.

I have also witnessed, experienced and seen Christians getting desperate when they feel that they don't hear from God. I know of Christians going from 'prophet to prophet', to hear what God is saying about their future. I know of Christians who read the star signs every day to determine what is going to happen in their near future. I know of Christians believing in the star sign they were born under and building their whole lives around the 'personality type' that they are according to their star sign. It is absolute nonsense and God is not pleased. He wants us to hear directly from Him. That is why Jesus came. He came so that He could release us from the power of sin and impart unto us righteousness so that His Holy Spirit can come and live inside of us. And because He is living on the inside of us, we can personally hear His voice. We can know what He wants us to do.

But one thing that I have learned through the years is that God doesn't necessarily show us exactly where He is leading us. He isn't going to reveal His exact plan and detail all at once. Step by step He will guide us on the way. Unfortunately we as humans don't like that. We want to know months and years ahead and therefore we resort to going to our modern day 'mediums and spiritists'. But look at what happened to Saul. God doesn't honor that. He wants us close to Him, walking this pathway with Him. He wants to guide us step by step. We should learn to take His hand and to walk this pathway and not run ahead of His perfect timing as we are used to in this rushed world, especially now during this COVID-19 epidemic. We want to know when all this will end, we want to know when we can go on with our lives. We want to desperately see into the future, but we can't. Fortunately we know the ONE who does. All we need to do is to trust in Him one day at a time and not fear. He is in control of our lives. We must just surrender to Him and allow Him to do His perfect work in us.

God knows best, we can trust Him and His timing. There is no need to run to all sorts of other people or signs. God will provide all we need to know for the present moment. And that should be enough for us. He knows it will not be good for us to know the future. We simply need to take one step at a time, hand in hand with Him. He will lead us unto the right paths. All glory to Him on high!

Dearest Father, I am so sorry that I get so impatient at times, wanting to know my future and to where You are leading me. I want Your Spirit to consume me to such an extent that Your patience will overwhelm me, that I can be content waiting for Your gentle leading hand to guide me. Thank you Jesus for making it possible to hear Your voice loud and clear. Amen

 

24. Do not fight God's plan

Last week we saw how Abigail saved all the men in their household from certain death, because she was prepared to humble herself and to give what she had to David and his men. She was a peacemaker in a dire situation. She allowed God to use her in a mighty way. In the end her actions was rewarded. She saved their household and became the wife of David.

David was however still in hiding. He was in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul heard about this. Apparently he totally forgot about the previous time that David saved his life. He was back in full force, with three thousand men to kill David and his men. David sent spies and they confirmed that Saul was encamped close to them. David went himself and saw Saul and his commander Abner, lying asleep within the camp. He and Abishai crept closer. Saul's spear was stuck in the ground by his head and everyone was sleeping. Abishai immediately said that they should kill him. But once again David prevented him:

"Do not destroy him: for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless? As the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him." 1 Samuel 26:9, 10

David was honorable once again. He trusted God without any doubt. He didn't hurt Saul, but he took his spear and the jug of water by Saul's head. God helped them during this process as the Bible tells us that God had made them all fall into a deep sleep. When David was far enough away he called out to the people sleeping. Saul immediately recognized the voice of David and repented once again when he realized that David could have killed him again and yet he saved the life of King Saul. Saul again realized that the mighty hand of God was upon David.

Saul stopped chasing David for that moment, but David knew that it wouldn't last long before he chased him again. And he was right. So David fled to the land of the Philistines as he knew that Saul won't come to look for him there.

Saul didn't learn his lesson. He has experienced time and time again that God was with David, he even spoke about it how he saw that God was with David. And yet he didn't give up pursuing David, trying to kill him. Saul was in fact fighting against the will of God and of course he never succeeded. And in the process he made his own life miserable. He could have been home in luxury as king and here he was running after David from the one wilderness to the next. It was not the most comfortable of places, evn if you were king. And yet he did it to himself.

We might also be fighting against the will of God in our lives. And in the process we might be in the wilderness where things are not as comfortable. It is solely our choice to be there. We could have been 'most comfortable at home', but because we chose to fight against God's plan for our lives we are struggling. It made me think of Jonah again. He also fought against the will of God. He didn't want to go to Nineveh, so he travelled in exactly the opposite direction. And we all know how that turned out for him.

Rather learn from Saul. Learn that it doesn't help to fight against what God want for you. I believe a lot of suffering in the world is because people are rebelling against what they know God wants them to do. They ignore Him instead and rather follow the fleeting pleasures of sin. And before they know it heartache and pain have knocked at the door.

Do not be like that. Do what you find before you to the best of your ability and then as the cross roads come, place it before God and allow Him to lead you. He will, He wants to, you are His special child. Do not fight Him, but rather walk with Him. It is a very special road.

Father thank you that we can know that Your plan for our lives are the best. We don't always understand and we don't always know why it would be the best for us, but You see the bigger picture. You see way into our future and will provide for us. We love You. Amen

23. Be a peacemaker for God

Last week we saw how Nabal immediately jumped to conclusions about David without having all the facts. He judged David, without even listening to his own shepherds testifying of David. He judged him and refused to give even a crumb to him. We learned that we should be different and rather gather all facts and allow God to be the Judge. He and He alone knows best. And to share with others from all the prosperity that we have.

Now Nabal's reaction made David very angry. He immediately called four hundred of his forces together and advanced towards Nabal and his household. He was ready to kill all the males in Nabal's household. One of the young men of Nabal's household ran to Nabal's wife, Abigail and told her what had happened. She immediately reacted and prepared two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep, one hundred clusters of raisins, two hundred cakes of figs and roasted grain and sent it to David. She also went after the supplies to personally meet with David. She apologized profusely for her husband's bad behavior. She had the correct facts about David and praised him as the future ruler of the land. David relented from going on and killing all the men in Nabal's household:

"For indeed, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you have hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!" So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, "Go in peace to your house. See I have heeded your voice and respected your person." 1 Samuel 25:34, 35

David relented because one woman was brave enough to humble herself and to give freely of what she had. And what is wonderful to me yet again, is that David glorified God as the One keeping him from hurting them. He looked past Abigail and saw God working through her.

God wants to work through us too. Jesus is our Mediator; He is the One mediating on our behalf in the Throne room. And we are part of His body, therefore to mediate between men is part of our heritage. We are to shine God's light and bring peace to potentially explosive situations. God's Spirit will flow mightily through us and give us the wisdom on how to act in certain situations. We simply need to be willing to be used. You might literally save lives by your actions.

But having said that, there are moments where the tempers have flared too much, and in the heat of the moment it might not be the wisest thing to intervene. That is why I am saying that you must go where, how and when the Spirit leads you.

Abigail definitely moved with the Spirit. She did what she could to alleviate the situation and left the judgment of her husband to God. The very next day the Bible tells us:

"….Nabal's heart died within him, and he became like a stone. Then it happened, after about ten days that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died." 1 Samuel 25:37,38

God will intervene on our behalf. We must just do what He places on our hearts and then leave the rest to Him. He knows best and knows what timing will work.

Plus God looked after His daughter that acted so wisely. The moment David heard that Nabal had died, he sent for Abigail and made her his wife. And today He will look after us too, we needn't fear.

Father, please give us the wisdom to know when to intervene in a situation and when to leave it. Help us and lead us onto Your pathway for our lives. We want to be obedient in all things. And thank you very much that You are looking after us, and that You will be the Judge on our behalf. We rest in You. Amen

 

 

22. Do not judge

Last time we saw how courageous David truly was. When his men urged him to get even with Saul and to kill him, he refused. He knew better than to touch the anointed of God. He made the wise choice to rather leave it in the hands of our Almighty God!

David however still lived in exile. Even though he refused to kill Saul, Saul was still not on friendly terms with David. So David went to live in the wilderness of Paran. Now there also lived a man close by named Nabal. He was wealthy and during that time that David lived close to him, he and his men protected the flocks of Nabal. David never stole anything from him; in fact he was like a wall of protection around Nabal's flock.

As it happened one day David sent 10 of his men to Nabal to ask if he would give them anything for the Jewish feast at hand. David told the men to be kind and to bless the house of Nabal and to just ask for whatever he found in his heart to give. But Nabal wasn't very kind in return:

"Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?" 1 Samuel 25:10, 11

Nabal jumped to conclusions without having all the facts. He immediately assumed the worst of David without even knowing all the circumstances. He didn't even ask his shepherds if it was true that David helped them. He didn't care, he had his own opinion. And then he also was stingy and didn't want to give with a willing heart. He didn't want to share his prosperity with anyone.

Isn't it sad? Next week we will see that it didn't work out too well for Nabal in the end. God dealt with the hardness of his heart.

But are we not the same sometimes? We often jump to conclusions and form a picture in our minds concerning someone without knowing all the facts. We often judge based on one side of the story that we heard. We often times label someone just like Nabal did here. We often do not make the effort to actually hear the full story. Especially if the wrong doing involves people close to us, we must truly make an effort to hear the full story and not just jump to conclusions.

A story always has two sides that we need to hear. Always. And even then, who are we to judge? We are just the clay in the very capable hands of the Potter. Who are we to cast a sentence? Why not leave it rather to the Judge of the Universe? He alone is the One who knows the whole story, the One who knows the past, no one else truly knows. And if our judicial system is necessary in certain instances, then it is fine, but leave the judgment out of your heart. The only one you are truly hurting is yourself.

And then when God prods you to give to that party, then give, give with a willing heart. Whether it is forgiveness that you need to give or whether it is a blanket or food. Whatever the Lord places on your heart. He loves a cheerful giver and will bless you in abundance for it!

Father, please help us to stay neutral and to see certain circumstances from Your perspective. We need Your perspective on things. You and You alone are the true Judge. We are so sorry that we assume that role so many times. Lead us unto Your pathway and prompt us to give where we should. We will always follow You. Amen