Grace For The Journey
In our daily devotional time the other day, Kay and I read these words from God’s precious Word, “And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14).
As we have been reading about David in 1 Samuel and seen God work in David’s life, it has created a great hunger and desire in my life. God chose David for a significant purpose in his generation. He ordained a lasting destiny for this young man who would become a king. His choice of him is mysterious. His protection of him is undeniable. God’s favor upon him helps us to see His generosity to His children.
We are tempted to believe that David somehow deserved this lavish grace that the Lord poured on him. His early years were marked by faith, integrity, patience, endurance, loyalty, and uncommon valor. His enemies wanted to destroy him from the very onset, but God kept protecting and prospering him as he moved from trouble to trouble. It seems that he did everything right, and that deeply moves us to live such a life. I am struck by how long David followed and served the Lord in those early years, when it was clear that the odds were constantly stacked against him for nearly twenty years? Yet, David never gave up, and the Lord conferred the description upon David that we all desire: “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Even though David was severely challenged in his living for God, he pressed on through outward opposition, circumstantial pain, and inward struggles.
As I read through David’s life I wonder, why is it that we are tempted to crumble under lighter loads today? What was it that David had that we might be lacking?
The verse above gives us the answer. The verse above tells us that “God was with David.” What a glorious truth! it was not that David was a better person than we … His high marks are embedded in God’s presence and power. David needed God in his life – this is evident from his sinful impulses that are recorded in God’s Word. David both soared and crashed. He knew both the holy fire of worship and the unholy blaze of carnality. He was an adulterer and murderer (He stole Bathsheba from Uriah, and then he sent Uriah to the heat of battle where he knew he would die). We are left with no other conclusion but that God chose to prosper, advance, and establish David, all the while knowing that He would do these evil works. Clearly, David’s awful sin did not negate God’s destiny for him. In some way, God was with Him even while his heart was given to some treacherous sins.
David’s story motivates me to believe two things about my life with God:
1) I need to admit that I am also one who sins, and can do things that are an affront to God’s holy character;
2) I need to recognize that God’s unconditional covenant of grace through Jesus abounds higher than any level of sin that might rise from my life.
God is a very merciful God to serial stumblers like David and me; this even includes everyone reading this blog today! I am learning just how relentless God is in His pursuit of His children. God will perfect those whom He saves. He will not render to us what we deserve for our sins.
He surprises us with kindness when we full-well deserve wrath.
I have not murdered or committed adultery with my physical body … but I have done both in my heart. Yet, God has forgiven me as I have confessed to such anger and lust.
What manner of love is this?
It is breathtaking in that it far surpasses what my mind and heart could expect or process.
Truthfully, I am overwhelmed at times when I consider that I am so loved by God!
Within my convicted heart I hear the frightened whisper that says to God, “Don’t You know who I am? Don’t You know what I have done? Do you not see my repeated struggles? Why is it that You continue to love the unlovable?” I know the answer theologically but, at times, I simply cannot grasp it in any other context.
The bottom line is that I am God’s beloved because He wanted it that way.
Most of us sense our unworthiness of God’s love. God has taught me that I can trust His grace and love. It seems that God draws the most near to me when I feel the least worthy of His love. God offers me love and forgiveness as I confess my sins, even when I am still mourning over and paralyzed by my failures of my yesterdays.
The great lesson that we can learn from studying how God worked in David’s life is that God does not change in how He loves us and seek to rescue us. It has taken me decades to fully grasp how essential this is to my sense of inward peace. The Bible says “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). God “remained with David.”
God cared for David in both relational and practical ways. God disciplined Him when He failed but, incredibly, He moved closer to Him every second of His life – no matter what his actions were. Someone has said, “God is the chaser of His children.” It is a good thing because some of us tend to wander. Others of us get discouraged, or tired, and walk away in the direction of lesser things. Still others want to flee God without a cause. When we have these tendencies, let’s remember that it is God’s eternal tendency to: Keep chasing us … Keep loving us … and keep calling us His very own. He will remain relentless with us until things are completed here.
The lesson of David’s life is this: It began with God … It remained because of God … It culminated with God. This is the rest God wants for our souls today. God is the God of big-time mercy – let’s yield our minds, hearts, and souls to this beautiful reality today.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey
… Rest And Rejoice In The Wonderful Truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”