Grace For The Journey
In my daily devotional time the other day, I read these word from God’s precious Word, “And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him” (1Samel 18:14). That reminded me of what Paul said of David in Acts 12:23, “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God …” As I have been reading about David in 1 Samuel and seen how God worked 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 boy 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 grace and generosity to all 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. It seems that he did everything right, and that deeply moves us to live such a life. His enemies wanted to destroy him from the very onset, but God kept protecting and prospering him as he moved from trouble to trouble.
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 God’s own heart.” David was challenged in his living for God but 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 verses above give us the answer. The verses above tell us that “God was with David” and David … served … by the will of God.”
What a glorious truth!
It was not that David was a better person … 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 marvelously and crashed miserably. He knew both the holy fire of worship and the unholy flame of carnality. He was an adulterer and murderer (He stole Bathsheba from Uriah, and then he sent Uriah into the heat of battle with the intention of causing his death). David committed murder at a distance, and his plan worked.
We are left with no other conclusion but that
God chose to prosper, advance, and establish David,
All while knowing that He would do these evil works.
Now that is clearly amazingly! Thankfully 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 accept that God’s unconditional love and grace through Jesus Christ abounds higher than any level of sin that might rise from my life.
Here is a glorious truth:
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 and His provision of grace and mercy. 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 physically body … but I have done both in my heart. Yet, God has forgiven me as I have confessed to such anger and lust.
This should lead us to ask,
“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 to learn that God does not change in how He loves us and actively seeks 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) ,and I am one who has been persuaded to believe that God really does love us with this perfect love. 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 reliance and 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.”