Monthly Archives: October 2011

108. Easter 2021

Last year Easter was really unique due to the hard lockdown we were under here in South Africa. We had to stay home and we were not allowed to go to church or to visit family and friends. Now this year the uniqueness still continues as we are still under a lockdown, even though we are under level 1. We can visit family and friends and sort of go to church if you are fortunate to be within the capacity limit of the church, but we still do not have the freedom that we had before this virus came our way. Now I for one didn't think last year Easter time that we would still be sitting with this pandemic at next Easter. I honestly thought that if we are under a hard lockdown for 5 weeks, we can somehow keep the wave down and be free from the virus in no time. And yet, here we are, a year later and we still do not know when the end of the lockdown and the detrimental effects on our lives will be. But fortunately we know the One who does.

God knows the future, He knows what He is planning for us, and He is a good Father looking out for His children. If we just read the Bible we see time and again how God came to the rescue of His people, how He saved the day when they turned towards Him. There are numerous examples. He saved the Israelites every single time that they turned to Him, when they sought refuge from Him. Every single time. It was only when they followed their own heads and did what seemed right in their own eyes that things turned south. It was when they turned their backs on God that they were surrounded by enemies, losing all the battles. But with Him by their side, no enemy was too great and no multitude too overwhelming. God fought for them. In one swoop He took care of their enemies when the Israelites sought refuge under His wings.

The same is true of us today and even more so, because Jesus died and took our sins upon Himself. He paved the way for us so that we can enter into the presence of the Almighty God all on our own, without any sacrifices. He did it all for us, to provide a way for us out of the situations we might find ourselves in.

One thing that I learned during this pandemic time is that God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He does allow things, but the way has been paved for us to come to Him and find our refuge there. He uses every opportunity this world presents, to help us grow spiritually, so that we can be the glorious people He intended us to be. His mission is to have sons and daughters on earth representing Him. For when we represent Him as the spiritual beings that we are, we would be happy and we would be spreading His Kingdom at the same time.

The growth process might be painful, it might be uncomfortable, it might be something you wish you can skip, but it is all worth it in the end. Getting rid of the sinful flesh that we are born with is not a pleasant experience. The flesh doesn't want to be inconvenienced and worse yet, doesn't want to be cut out. It will kick and scream and throw a tantrum, but that is exactly what God wants. He wants us free from it, so that we can be who He really created us to be. Therein lies true joy and peace everlasting. Therein lies true fulfillment. Walking on earth as the true son or daughter of God that you were created to be is the most rewarding and fulfilling life. Nothing can come close to it. And if COVID-19 caused us to take a better look at our lives and if it caused our sinful flesh to be uncomfortable and slowly die, then I can see the bigger picture. Then I can see how God is working in all of this.

He wants the work that His Son did for us on the cross to continue even further. Because when we are examples of what Jesus did for us to a world desperately seeking for good news and freedom from bondage, then God is so pleased. And if a pandemic forces our sinful flesh to lash out and then slowly die, then it is worth it.

Now is the time to shine. Now is the time to show the world that despite a pandemic suffocating us, we can still be joyful. Now is the time to give people hope, hope that there is so much more than this life and what the world can offer us. Now is the time to spread the Easter message of love, hope and joy. God is with us, He is a good good Father, who offered His only Son, so that we all can have life and life in abundance. Hallelujah!

Father thank you that we can celebrate Your Son's death, His salvation that He made available to all of us. We thank you for life and life in abundance that we can find through Your Son. Please help us to spread Your Good News to all and to be the example that You want us to be. We love You and exalt You on high. Amen

44. Appreciate those closest to you

Last week we saw how Shimei, a descendant of Saul, came in the 'Name of the Lord' and slandered David. He threw him with stones and cursed him using lies of the devil. The Lord never spoke through Shimei. David didn't do anything, but left it in the Lord's hands. We learned that we shouldn't listen to negative prophetic word coming from one person towards us. God's prophetic word will always be confirmed by more than one witness and it will be uplifting towards you as we saw last week. We should only take what is confirmed and then leave the false prophet in God's hands to deal with.

In the meantime Absalom is in Jerusalem strengthening his case to become king himself. His advisor told him to immediately go after David and kill him. He said that all the people will then turn to Absalom. This advice pleased Absalom and the elders of Israel. This was the best plan, but God frustrated their plans by sending David's friend, Hushai, to pretend that he was on Absalom's side. Hushai said they should rather wait and gather the whole army of Israel and go to war. As David was a fierce warrior, therefore it will be better to have more men gathered. This advice bought David time and God ordained that Absalom rather follow this advice, which was actually beneficial to David.

So the next day Absalom gathered the forces of Israel and went to war against David and his men in the woods of Ephraim. It was a bitter slaughter. The men of Israel fell before David's men, plus the Bible tells us that the woods devoured more people that day than the sword did.

David asked his leaders to be gentle with Absalom. Even though Absalom tried to kill him, he still loved his son. So it happened that as Absalom was riding on a mule, his hair got stuck in a great tree. The mule kept on riding and Absalom was left hanging. Joab, David's commander heard of it and killed Absalom, against the wishes of David. Then Joab blew the trumpet and the people returned from pursuing Israel. When Israel heard that Absalom was dead, they fled.

Joab sent news to David that the battle was over and that Absalom was killed. David was so sad that Absalom was dead and cried for him bitterly. David's whole army was saddened when they saw this. The victory of the day turned into mourning. Then Joab came and confronted David:

"Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well. Now therefore, arise, go out and speak comfort to your servants. For I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now." 2 Samuel 19:5-7

David listened and went out. He spoke to his men and sent messages to all of Israel. And they all agreed to reinstate him as king again.

I think the reason that David was so sad about Absalom is that he knew it was actually his own fault. He didn't act and punish Amnon for raping Absalom's sister. This resulted in Absalom taking revenge himself. And then Absalom fled and David took five years before he allowed Absalom back into his sight. He should have forgiven him much quicker, as this time allowed hatred and revenge to brew in Absalom's mind. All and all David should have punished Amnon and then nothing of this would have happened. David knew this and that is why he was so sad. He loved Absalom and his own inability to discipline Amnon and to forgive caused Absalom and Amnon to be killed in the end. But David had to snap out of it and move on. He had to forgive himself too and appreciate those that he had in his life. He had to go out and tell them that.

We also need to forgive ourselves for things that had happened in the past. We need to let go. We hurt ourselves and those around us in the process. We need to snap out of it, forgive ourselves and move on. We have to. We also need to appreciate those that we have in our lives. Unfortunately we lash out against those closest to us when we are stressed and tired. We tend to speak kindly to others and be tired of kind words when we get home. That is not right. We need to treat those closest to us with the utmost respect and treat them the best. They are our support and those that carry us through dark times. Love them and appreciate them anew in your life. Tell them that. They need to hear it.

Father, thank you for those that You have placed in our lives. Thank you that they are so close to us. We appreciate them and love them. We also forgive ourselves for things that we have done in the past. We let go and we give it into Your capable hands. Amen

43. Beware of false prophets

Last week we saw how David had to flee from his own son, Absalom, who wanted to overthrow him as king over Israel. David had to flee Jerusalem, he and many of his friends and allies. David was barefoot, walking with his head covered. It was indeed a low point in his life. But despite all this, he still honored God, he still gave himself into His capable hands to do with him as He deems fit. It is truly wonderful to see and a lesson for all of us to learn.

Poor David was on the run from his son, Absalom. And in the process he was slandered too. Shimei came while David was fleeing Jerusalem. He was family from the house of Saul. He cursed David and threw stones at David and his men. He said the following, whilst cursing and throwing stones:

"The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom, your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!" 2 Samuel 16:8

Shimei really slandered poor David, and at a time where he was truly down and out. And to make matters worse, he used the Name of the Lord. He spoke as if God gave him this revelation to give to David. Now because we know David's life, we know that what he is saying is not true. First of all God gave Saul's kingdom to David, David didn't forcefully take it. Secondly, David didn't kill Saul and his family, the Philistines and criminals did. And thirdly, God never chose Absalom to be king, he exalted himself.

David's men wanted to kill Shimei for doing this, but David didn't allow them. He once again left it in the hands of the Lord to deal with Shimei.

"It may be that the Lord will look upon my affliction and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day." 2 Samuel 16:12

And indeed the Lord did. At the end of the day, David told Solomon to act according to his wisdom to deal with Shimei when he was king. So Solomon called Shimei and told him to live in Jerusalem, but if he ever left the walls of the city, he would be killed. Sure enough three years later, he left the sanctuary of Jerusalem in search of two of his slaves that ran away. Solomon heard of it and had Shimei executed. God vindicated David for all Shimei did to him.

Today we may also encounter people coming to us in the Name of the Lord. They may share things with us that they say is from the Lord. But be careful, they could be a Shimei, especially if it is negative words coming out of their mouths towards you. God will always confirm His Word to you, always. He will speak with you personally, and He will send people to you, and He will speak through His Word. It will most certainly come from various places. His words towards you will be confirmed, it always is. So if you hear the same message from various people, then you should maybe listen, but if one person comes in the Name of the Lord, it might be a Shimei.

Secondly prophecy in the New Testament is always there to build you up and not to break you down:

"But he who prophecies speaks edification and comfort to men. He who speaks in tongues edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church." 1 Corinthians 14:3,4

Prophecy is there to build one up, to bring comfort to you and not to break you down. I have given prophetic word to many many people over the past couple of years and it has always, without exception been uplifting. God sees us as who we are in His Son, He sees who we can become in the natural. He sees our potential and wants to build us up to reach our fullest potential and be the best that we can be. God will never break you down and give negative prophetic word to you, never. In the Old Testament He had to warn Israel of upcoming judgment because they didn't follow Him. But today, due to Jesus' death, judgment is not coming our way anymore. God wants to build His church and lift us higher. Yes, if you are doing things that are contrary to His will, like adultery for example, the church might come to reprimand you for your wrong doing, but that is not prophetic word, that is straightforward discipline. Prophetic word is always uplifting, inspiring us to be better and to be lifted higher.

Father, thank you for speaking to us through various sources. It is so wonderful to know that You speak to us today, loud and clear. You are so amazing, so special and we love You dearly. Help us to hear only Your voice and not the voice of false prophets dragging us down. Amen

42. Keep on honoring God

Last week we saw how David took basically five years to welcome his son, Absalom back. After three years of living in Geshur, Absalom could come back to Jerusalem, and only after two years did David allow Absalom to see him. So for five years in total David kept his son at bay and this led to much heartache and pain during those five years. This pain however continued afterward as well when Absalom rebelled against David. The lesson for us is that we mustn't harbor unforgiveness for too long. We should follow Jesus' example and forgive as soon as we can. It is really to our own benefit.

Due to all these unfortunate events Absalom decided to exalt himself as king over Israel. He went to sit at the gate of Jerusalem and he spoke to all who came to see the king. If they had a lawsuit, he will ask them to tell him about it. Then he would say that the king didn't have time to listen, but if he was king he would listen to them and bring justice for them. He then hugged them and kissed them. In this way he stole the hearts of the people. This went on for four years and Absalom gained a bigfollowing of the men of Israel. Then he lied to his father. He said he made an oath to God, that if he can return to Jerusalem after being in Geshur for three years, he will make a payment to God at Hebron. So David gave his blessing to Absalom to go. But once there Absalom started his revolt against his father David.

"Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, 'Absalom reigns in Hebron!'" 2 Samuel 15:10

Absalom wanted to overthrow his father from the throne. But messengers came to David warning him. So David fled, he and many of his friends and followers.

"And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness." 2 Samuel 15:23

The Bible tells us that David was barefoot and he covered his head and all the people wept with him. It was indeed a very sad day for David. But what is amazing to me is that David didn't question God, or argue with Him, or ask why. He turned back to God and allowed His will to be done.

"If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both the ark and His dwelling place. But if He says thus: 'I have no delight in you,' here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him." 2 Samuel 15:25, 26

Even in David's low point he submitted himself to God. He didn't ask questions, he didn't rebel, but he simply submitted himself to the will of God. And God was pleased as we will see later on.

We must always keep holding on to God, even though we might find ourselves in a low point in our lives. We should hold on to Him Who is always good, always looking out for our best interests. We should never turn our backs on Him and stop honoring Him when things turn against us. We should always keep on following Him, one step at a time. David humbled himself before God and God honored that. Humble yourself before the Lord too and glorify Him in everything you do. Even at a low point in your life, your testimony can lift other people and inspire them. David inspired all those around him and therefore they followed him. And in the end they were all restored back to their positions and honored as we will see later on. God will restore you too, just keep holding on to Him, never letting go. He will always look after you.

Father thank you that You look after us at all times. Things might look bleak all around us when we are in a low point in our lives, but thank you that You are in control and that we can trust You to restore us back to our positions and even higher. We praise You! Amen

41. Forgive others and move on

Last week we saw how Absalom killed his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister, Tamar. Absalom harbored hatred and revenge for two years in his heart and when the time came he unleashed his hatred and had Amnon killed. Then Absalom had to flee to Geshur and had to live there for three years. This whole debacle caused a lot of heartache and pain, for Absalom himself, for David and all his sons and household. Hatred and revenge never pays. We learned that we have to let go of it and rather fill ourselves with God's love. That doesn't make what they did to us right, but it does free us to walk in God's grace and love. He will handle them.

So Absalom fled to Geshur as we saw last week. He stayed there for three years. In the meantime David really missed him. Joab, David's commander noticed it, and through a plan devised by him, he persuaded David to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem. So Joab sent for Absalom and brought him back. But David still didn't want to see him:

"And the king said, "Let him return to his house, but do not let him see my face." So Absalom returned to his house, but did not see the king's face."2 Samuel 14:24

This sad state of affairs went on for two years. Absalom became despondent, he couldn't understand why he could come back, but his father didn't want to see him. He summoned Joab and Joab in turn spoke to David. David relented and welcomed Absalom:

"… Absalom came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed him." 2 Samuel 14:33

David took two years to see his son Absalom and to be reconciled with him. The Bible doesn't tell us the reason specifically, but if we read between the lines, David battled to forgive Absalom for what he had done. This period of two years made Absalom bitter as we will see later on. This spurred him on to come in rebellion against David. This period of waiting came with a cost to David and even more heartache and pain.

As we read this account of what had happened we cannot help but see ourselves in it. We also harbor long periods of resentment or unforgiveness towards someone. We cannot get ourselves so far as to contact them and sort it out. It is so important that we do that. Those periods where we do not forgive and do not want to reconcile, can cost us in the end. It can magnify the heartache and pain. That is not what God wants for us. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him even whilst hanging on the cross. He certainly didn't waste a second in forgiving them. And we need to do the same. The only one we are really hurting is ourselves and God wants us free from all heartache and pain. Jesus came to set us free, we shouldn't inflict more pain on ourselves. Then we are just like wayward sheep, not listening to the Shepherd, running towards the cliffs. And when we fall off and get hurt, we blame Him and ask Him why He allowed this to happen to us. And all the while we were running away from His loving arms. Stop doing that today. Follow His voice calling you, follow Him every step of the way, forgiving all that have hurt you in the process. Do not waste another moment.

Father, thank you that all our sins have been forgiven at the cross. Thank you that Jesus has set the example for us. David didn't have His example to follow, but we do. Thank you for that and please help us to follow You in all that we do and to forgive all those who have wronged us. We can only do it with Your help. Thank you that we can know that You are always there for us. Amen

40. Do not harbor hatred and revenge

Last week we saw how David's son, Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar. She begged him to marry her now, as it was a disgrace not to be a virgin anymore, but his love for her turned into hatred and he chased her away. David was angry, but made a terrible mistake in not disciplining his son for doing this. This opened the door for revenge and a lot of innocent people were hurt in the process, even David himself as we will see later on.

Absalom, Tamar's real brother and David's other son, hated Amnon for doing this to his sister. He allowed the hatred to fester until the time was ripe. Two years later Absalom had a party at his house. He invited King David and all his brothers. King David declined, but he sent all his sons, including Amnon. When they arrived, Absalom ordered his servants to kill Amnon when he was merry with wine, which they did. All the sons had such a fright that they immediately climbed on their mules and fled. In the meantime the news reached David, but it was wrong, the messenger told David that all of his sons were killed. David tore his clothes and fell on the floor. But just a while later the correct news came that it was only Amnon who was killed. Then David's sons arrived and everyone wept bitterly. And David mourned for his son.

Absalom in the meantime fled and went to the king of Geshur and was there for three years. David missed his son terribly and longed to see him.

All of this heartache could have been avoided had David disciplined Amnon in the first place. David suffered the loss of two of his sons in the process, Amnon being killed and Absalom being exiled. Plus it caused emotional stress to his whole household and all his sons and servants.

It was primarily David's fault as he didn't discipline Amnon, but it was also not right of Absalom to take revenge into his own hands. He should rather have gone to talk to his father and maybe sort something out; instead he harbored hatred in his heart and added murder to it. And in the end it cost him as well. He had to flee from his home and stay in a foreign land for three years. Later on we will see that it cost him his life too. That was not God's plan for him. God wanted to much more for him, and yet he chose to cherish hatred and revenge.

Do you maybe have revenge on the mind? Do you have someone that has done you a lot of harm that you want to get even with? Is there something that happened that hurt you so much that you cannot help but hate the person? There are so many examples in the Bible as well as in our modern day life that show us that hatred and revenge doesn't pay. It doesn't help us at all. It keeps us prisoner in our own cage and because we harbor those feelings, God cannot come close to us and bless us. We in effect shut the door in His face. We need to let go. We need to forgive and then we will see that the prisoner we are releasing is ourselves. Jesus came to forgive us all, of every single sin that we have ever committed, and because He lives within us, He wants to forgive others through us as well.

Yes, Absalom had every right to be angry; he had every right to want to get even. But he should have given that over to God. Saul also did terrible things to David, and yet David never sought revenge. He left it in God's capable hands and God judged Saul for what he did. Absalom should have done the same. We can learn from him and see where his hatred got him. Now we should make sure we don't follow the same destructive path as he did. God wants us filled with His love. His love is the most powerful force in the Universe and if we want to have it manifest in our lives, we should allow His love to consume us. And this can only happen if we let all hatred and thoughts of revenge go. Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance and this is found in His love. Harbor His love and see all the good things manifesting in your life!

Father, so many people have done us wrong. But then we remember how many did Jesus wrong too and He forgave them all. Help us to do the same. We don't want to be prisoners of our own hatred anymore. We want to be filled with Your love and more and more of You. Amen

39. Discipline your child

Last week we learned that God makes all things work together for our good. Good things and bad things. He will use all things to enrich us in the end that good will come out of it. We might not understand it now, but continue to trust God and love Him; in the end you will see it. God blessed David with a very special son, Solomon and He helped David to conquer Ammon and to be enriched in the process. All because David continued to love God and to honor and worship Him.

Now David had many wives and as a consequence of that he had many children too. And there was not much love between all these children. God never wanted anyone to have more than one wife. God made Adam and Eve, one on one. He didn't intend that any man have more than one wife, as He knew the trouble that it could bring. Plus marriage is a picture of Jesus and His bride. So if God wanted more than one for mankind, what does that say of Jesus? That we must share His love with others? No, God ordained, one man and one woman. And He especially told the kings that, because He knew that they will do whatever they pleased due to their ranking:

"Neither shall the king multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away: nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself." Deuteronomy 17:17

But David didn't heed God's Word and here all his trouble began. The first crises began because Amnon fell in love with his half-sister, Tamar. Amnon followed the advice of his evil friend and pretended to be sick. He asked David to send his sister to him to care for him, which David did. She came and he raped her. She tried to talk him out of it, to rather let him marry her, but he wouldn't listen. Afterwards she still asked that he marry her, for it was shameful not to be a virgin anymore, but his love for her had turned into hatred and he sent her away. He had done a despicable thing. The Bible tells us David was very angry at what happened but it is clear that David didn't do anything about it. He didn't discipline Amnon for his actions. And this was a big mistake. The Word tells us that we must discipline our children:

"He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." Proverbs 13:24

David didn't discipline Amnon for this despicable act. And this resulted in a lot of heartache and pain. For Absalom, Tamar's real brother, hated Amnon for doing this to his sister and decided to take revenge. We will have a look at it next week. The point is David could have spared so many lives if he had just disciplined Amnon. The events following this rape are truly sad, and so many innocent people were hurt in the process.

We must learn from this and discipline our children when they have done wrong. They need to learn the right ways of God. And you as their parent are the best person to do it. You need to show them the way of life, so that when they grow up, they will not depart from it. Otherwise if you leave your child and not discipline him/her, they will grow up hurting many innocent lives in the process. It is your job to teach them and to lead them unto the way everlasting. Start when they are small, then they won't deviate when they are bigger. Do not make the same mistake as David. You will be so glad that you disciplined them.

Father, thank you so much for the children in our lives. Thank you that You have blessed us with them. Help us to teach them right from wrong and to lead them unto Your pathway for them. Amen

38. Continue to love God

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband. The moment he was confronted with it by Nathan, the prophet, he repented and tried to convince God to take the consequences away. But when that didn't happen, David still went to worship God within His house. David always turned back to God. He immediately confessed when he did something wrong and returned to God. We can certainly learn from him and always turn back to God even though we do not get what we want. We should also be open to uplifting word from people, and we should turn our backs on sin and continue to follow God just like David did.

So as we've seen last week, the child born out of wedlock died. But David turned to God and still worshipped Him. Then he went to his wife, Bathsheba and comforted her:

"Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son and he called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him." 2 Samuel 12:24

Isn't it beautiful? God blessed them with Solomon. And as we all know, Solomon became the next king of Israel, the wisest man that ever lived. And it is beautiful to see that God loved him.

God gave them beauty for ashes. Because David repented and turned back to God, God blessed him with a very special son. I don't think this would have happened if David remained angry with God and turned his back on Him.

Not only that, but God brought victory for Israel over Ammon as well. Joab, who has been besieging Rabbah all this time, called for David to come and finish off the job.

"So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. Then he took their king's crown from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David's head. Also he brought out the spoil of the city in great abundance." 2 Samuel 12:29, 30

God was with David, because David's heart was for God. And God blessed him with even more riches and honor.

Even if we make mistakes, God will be with us and restore us. This reminds me of Romans 8:28:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

God will make ALL things (good things and bad things) work together for our good. But notice one very important part of this sentence - 'to those who love God'. David certainly continued to love God and that is why it worked out for his good. We should continue to love Him as well and not be angry with Him. We should look up to Him and praise Him in all circumstances, knowing that all things will work out for good, even if we don't see it that way now.  Next time something happens, remember this and hold onto it. God will make it work out for your good, even if others plan evil against you or circumstances don't work out as you had planned. Just remain close to Him! Even your enemies' evil plans will enrich you in the end, God will make sure of it.

Then I would like to end off with something interesting as a side note. Solomon was born and named Solomon by his father. But in 2 Samuel 12:25, we see that God called him Jedidiah, Beloved of the Lord. I love it. God also changed Abram's name to Abraham, Sarai's name to Sarah, Saul's name to Paul etc. This just made me wonder if God has a spiritual name for us as well? It could be. Why don't you ask Him? I am sure He will reveal it to you.

Father thank you that You make all things work together for the good of those who love You. We trust You in all circumstances that what happened will somehow work to the good even though we cannot see it right now. Thank you for kindness and goodness. We love You. Amen

37. Continue to worship God

Last time we witnessed the very first misstep of David. His life has been one massive example to us all. Unfortunately at the pinnacle of his life, when God had given him everything that he could ever desire, he committed adultery and murder. This displeased God greatly, as David was a man after His own heart. David thought he had gotten away with his actions, but God knew and David couldn't escape the consequences.

God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David.

"Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword." 2 Samuel 12:7-9

God was very angry and through Nathan the prophet God spoke that adversity will arise within David's own house and the child born out of wedlock will die.

Nathan confronted David in his own home. And once again it was amazing to me to see how David reacted. He could have denied it, he could have pretended that it wasn't true, he could have kicked Nathan out, but instead he humbled himself again before the Lord and repented. He confessed that he had sinned and that he was sorry about it.

The child got very sick. David fasted and pleaded with God to save the child's life. He lay on the ground and pleaded. The elders tried to lift him off from the ground and wanted him to eat, but he would not. On the seventh day David heard that the child had died. His reaction again was commendable to me:

"So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped." 2 Samuel 12:20

Wow, even though he didn't get what he had pleaded from God, he still went to God and worshipped Him. That is truly admirable. He could have been angry with God, he could have decided to stop following God, but no, he decided to go and praise God and worship Him.

When David was confronted with his sin, he repented and then he tried to convince God to take the consequences away. But when God wouldn't, he still praised Him. We can certainly learn from his reactions.

We should also be open to other people pointing out our sin to us. We might be blind to it and even try to justify it, but when it is pointed out; we should listen to it and repent of it. Now today God doesn't punish us for our sins anymore, as Jesus bore our punishment, but the consequences of our sins might remain. If we committed adultery and is divorced because of it, we must bear all the consequences that comes from a divorced life. If we lost a dear friend due to our gossip, it is a consequence of our sin. If we are punished at work due to unethical behavior, it is a consequence of our sin. And so I can go on. We need to understand that it is not God punishing us, but it is simply what happens if we allow sin to run rampant. And we should accept those consequences and continue to praise God and honor Him. We shouldn't turn our backs on Him. It is not His fault. Though God doesn't condone our behavior, He forgives us and will help us through it. Trust Him, hold on to Him and never let go. David did just that and we will see next week how God blessed him.

Father, we are sorry for the sins that we commit. We are so grateful that You have forgiven all our sins at the cross; we praise Your mighty Name. Please help us to bear the consequences of our sins. Please help us that the load is not too heavy for us. We praise You now and forevermore! Amen

107. New Year 2021

When I was contemplating what to write in this blog for 2021 God reminded me of the message that I wrote concerning 2020 in January 2020. I would just like to share with you a part of it:

"A dear friend of mine commented the other day that the year 2020 reminded her of having 20/20 vision. I therefore Googled 20/20 vision and the following definition was given:

"20/20 is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision you can see clearly at 20 feet."

So in essence if you have 20/20 vision you have good eye sight. And this made me think. Isn't that the essence of the message for us all for the year 2020? That we should all sharpen our spiritual eyesight so that we can see clearly what God wants us to do.

God has a special plan for us all; we just need our spiritual eyesight to clearly see the way, not only for this life, but for our place in the Kingdom of God. It is when we try to walk and plan our lives with our physical eyes that we stumble and fall. It is when we see everything in the natural that we get despondent and off the course that God has planned for us. We need to open our spiritual eyes to see the world as He sees it. In fact we need to see beyond this world, into the eternal Kingdom of our God and Savior."

Now isn't that interesting? 2020 certainly was the year where you had to look at the world through spiritual eyes, for if you looked at it through natural eyes you would have been totally despondent. God certainly knew that we needed His vision for the year, that we needed to look at everything through His eyes. I must be honest; looking at 2020 through God's glasses was the only way that I could stay positive and focused. Without Him, I think I would have crumbled.

2020 taught me so many things and I certainly want to take that into 2021. I would like to share shortly just a few of the insights that God gave me in 2020 and I believe that it will give you hope for 2021:

  1. We need to get off the treadmill of this life. We keep on running and running in a race that takes us nowhere. We need to stop participating in this race, get off the treadmill and walk on the road that God has ordained for us. To be part of the treadmill race is silly. We are just so used to it and think that this is the way that life should be, but we have a choice. We don't have to participate in the competition in life. We are free, free to be who God created us to be.
  2. We need to appreciate the ordinary things in life. A flower blooming, birds singing, new leaves growing, the laughter of a child etc. We should stop every now and again and take a moment to appreciate the beauty all around. Do not wait for a vacation or a special event to do that. There is beauty in every single day. Look up and see it all around you. It is there and it brings joy.
  3. See the happy moments in everyday life. Spending time with your children is a happy moment, playing a game with your loved ones is a happy moment, watching a movie together is a happy moment. Internalize those happy moments in your life, see it for what it is, and be in the moment.
  4. Be grateful for what you have. Truly be grateful. We all have so much when we truly think about it. Concentrate on that.
  5. Everything is beautiful in its time. Enjoy the season of your life that you are in now.
  6. Shrug therapy. Shrug off everything that you can do nothing about. Rather cast your cares upon God and leave it there. Trust Him with it and stop trying to fix everything yourself.
  7. Value the people in your life. Truly value them. Appreciate them for who they are and see them as God sees them.
  8. There is always something to laugh about. Laugh more and see the lighter side of life.
  9. Do not be easily offended.
  10. The sun rises and sets with God, forgive everyone else for being human.

I have so much more to say, but I will probably share more with you in 2021. But may we all take some of these 10 points into 2021. May it be a year of fresh beginnings, new mindsets and changes in how we see the world. There will always be devastation and heartache in this world until Jesus returns, but what matters is how we look at it. The choice is ours. Just love God, rejoice, do good unto others and enjoy the fruit of your labor. Life is actually as simple as that. Do not overcomplicate things, it is not worth it. Sometimes get out of your head and into your heart. THAT is where His Spirit dwells and that is where He will lead you. If we can all just do that, 2021 will be a wonderful year!! Full of new promises, new revelations and new pathways. God is with us, Immanuel! What more can we want?

Father, we look forward to 2021 because You are already there! You are already preparing the way for us. We trust You with our future. We want to look at everything through Your eyes. Please help us, help us to renew our minds and to really experience life through glasses of joy. Help us to see the beauty in everyday life. We love You. Amen