Reconcile – quench the anger

Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king… 2 Samuel 17:1-2

Ahithophel was a royal counselor originally for David, a man of God. David would not had him as his counselor if his advices were not godly. Ahithophel was probably the close friend David mentioned in Psalm 55:12-14,

It is not an enemy who taunts me—
I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
I could have hidden from them.
Instead, it is you—my equal,
my companion and close friend.
What good fellowship we once enjoyed
as we walked together to the house of God.

A close friend wouldn’t turn as a foe in one day. David had him as his close friend and assumed the friendship to be mutual.

David was no righteous person, he was very wrong in the case of Bathsheba the wife of Uriah. God did forgave David as he sincerely repented, but Ahithophel didn’t – as David didn’t took time to restore that hurt relationship; Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba the wife of Uriah.

Despite in forgiving David God still judged him –

“This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” 2 Samuel 12:11

Interestingly Ahithophel (the unrestored relationship) arranged for the execution of God’s judgement –

Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and asked him, “What should I do next?”
Ahithophel told him, “Go and sleep with your father’s concubines, for he has left them here to look after the palace. Then all Israel will know that you have insulted your father beyond hope of reconciliation,… 2 Samuel 16:20-21

God by His grace didn’t allowed Ahithophel advice to succeed beyond what He wanted to happen.

We all make terrible mistakes, on realizing of our mistakes there is a definite order for the reconciliation – rule set by our sweet Lord Jesus Christ:

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24

The Unusual Choices

“Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.” 2 Samuel 16:11-12

In a day it appears king David had lost it all. David was up against a worst possible treason – by his own son. Now Shimei a ‘no body’ was cursing David the God’s anointed king and was creating a big scene.

David’s loyals wanted to simply wipe off Shimei, but David resigned to act upon his authority and simply allowed those assignments of evil day to happen – knowing the Lord will be fair to him!

There is no great charactered person in truth. All of us are imperfect, has flaw and prone to make mistakes at anytime. But what makes others to say someone is of great character is the right-way the individual choose to respond in a given moment, especially in a evil day/season.

Considering the conflicts/hurting David was going thru’ at that time, to let Shimei pass by brought David hope to please His God and receive blessing.

“…perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged…”

God loves us and devil hates us. Devil plans the evil days and assign tasks to attack us. God provides us enough grace and meekness to face the day. When we let God fight the battle, we see ourselves making those unusual choices to bring glory to God.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:4-5

Surprise? – Turn the table!

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied.

“I Am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said “I Am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! John 18:4-6

Lord’s plan for each one of our lives declared in Jeremiah 29:11 clearly states that “They are.. not for disaster“. Also, there is nothing called defeat when we live in God’s will for our lives.

Devil’s plan to steal/kill/destroy may come at us by surprise always. Whether we are prepared for it or not, we must be resolved always in our hearts that God will see thru’ it and will bring us out victoriously – no matter how bleak/dark the situation may look like.

Nothing can equal the boldness of our Lord Jesus Christ. His boldness is not out of His power and authority – but being always in the will of His Father!

The willful laydown of His life begun when these Temple guards and Roman soldiers fell down at His bold response – “I AM HE”!

Our mighty God wants to defeat the devil in the very way we react to “those surprises” from the devil. This can only happen when we,

  1. clearly know and walk in His will
  2. know that He is faithful

There is a supernatural boldness thru’ out the day when we declare “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” and remain careful to live out His will, so we can be resolved no matter what happens that day that Thy will be done in our lives!

The hot wire

I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. John 17:4-5

God is Spirit, he that worship God should worship Him in spirit and in truth – taught by Christ Jesus in John 4.

Although God see our hearts, feel the aches of our hurting, sense our fear/anxiety – there is only one way a human can express his/her requests to God, that’s thru’ prayer.

Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man when He walked in this earth sincerely prayed for you & me in John 17. He always prayed about everything to the Father God even when He walked in His perfect will, and born & filled in His Spirit.

Jesus never assumed that all going to be okay, but acted on the responsibility of praying – as it is the only way to make the requests known to God the Father.

What are things in our life that we don’t bring into that communion/prayer-life with God, but simply assume/hope that all will be okay.

Let’s keep this wire live all the time.

Are you in love?

(Jesus said) “If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15

Lord Jesus Christ being full of truth, grace and just, never leave us to an assumption of our personal relationship with Him. Rather, He made it plain and clear – “if you love Me – obey!”

Relationship with Christ Jesus is nothing close to other relationship we have towards fellow human beings.

The relationship with fellow human beings goes up and down depending on various factors like you feel happy or sad or frustrated or afraid, you’re able to help them, you have a like hobby or faith or purpose…

But relationship with the Lord Jesus is in our mere obedience to Him. Period.

We can feel all excited and fall in love with Christ Jesus marveling at His thoughts, teachings and miracles He did and continuing to do – but if we don’t obey His commands, we simply assumed we are in love with Him – but actually we are not.

We can never say Jesus Christ has the Lordship over our life when we disobey what He commanded. This is a very simply truth, but need a big visible reminder on a daily basis.

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49

 

Want to be wise?

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. Proverb 15:31

If you give a choice to anyone if they want an encouragement or a criticism (oh yeah a constructive one!) they are likely to choose the first.

Encouragement/applause is very healthy and needed for all of us, but it never stretches us to grow, rather if not careful will put a severe restriction for our further growth.

A constructive criticism on other hand can only come from someone (your mentor) who had been there, done it and had personally committed to make you better than themselves!

Such mentor often times won’t waste time celebrating you on your accomplishments rather use it to criticize on the areas you could’ve done better.

Such criticisms are blessing, this make us to prepare not just to perform well for the audience but make us to think thru’ how our mentor would view us and how he thinks. In such preparation, without our awareness we’re preparing in a level above!

A constructive criticism would never be constructive unless a mutual love and respect is established in that relationship. This is not easy, so as becoming wise!

Clean those feet

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 13:3-5

Our calling, ministry, gifts, abilities, influence and role amounts to nothing before the position God has for us.

The very reason we are unable to serve others willingly is being insecure of who we are in Christ Jesus.

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6

If our position in Christ is not realized, we would be foolish to rely on our titles, calling and gifts, and become proud and lofty unwilling to humble ourselves before people who are not “worthy enough” in our own eyes.

These are the moments we fail to serve Lord Jesus Christ –

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ Matthew 25:41-43

Jesus demonstrated the washing of disciples feet not to teach humility but challenged to find our place/position in Him – which alone will make us to wake up, wrap that towel around and start serving others.

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist…

Let’s follow our Lord Jesus.

The Anointing Retained

“Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” David asked.

Then David said to one of his men, “Kill him!” So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him. “You have condemned yourself,” David said, “for you yourself confessed that you killed the Lord’s anointed one.” 2 Samuel 1:14-16

David feared God and had a superior understanding of the rank, roles and authority of God, Samuel, Saul and himself towards the people of Israel. This was the sharp contrast between him and king Saul.

David had such a great reverence towards God that he respected God’s anointing on the individuals like king Saul even when he knew Saul is full of hatred towards him and was determined to kill him.

The very reason David never fought for his rights or position during Saul’s threat was his trust in God and the anointing He had placed on his life.

David full well knew that the Lord had determined to kill king Saul, but never took advantage of any opportunity to do it himself rather left it as God’s role. He was clean to a point that it was not even in his mind – that he became so angry to hear from the Amalekite that he killed Saul even though Saul himself had pleaded him to do so!

David’s character (man of God’s own heart) excelled for this one determination – never judge the Lord’s anointed, even when there are thousand reasons to judge.

None of us have the right to be judgmental on anyone, no matter who they’re or what they did. This determination is a true respect for the Lord’s anointing upon our own lives.

The anointing will be tested in the way the authority is exercised. The only way to retain the authority is to know and not violate our rank, role and responsibilities.

They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” John 8:7

The Vision Strengthened

Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.

David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:1-2, 6

These men around David were passionate about David’s leadership and knew that their Lord God was with him, and he was going to be their king. But this one single incident had changed their view towards David!

God given vision has all the power in itself to come to the fruition in the time He has set for it.

The leaders in the vision though have to walk in certain seasons which may not be even close to the vision they knew or understood. As they are highly required to walk by His Spirit, the things His Spirit would make them do in those seasons, they can’t explain to themselves – leave alone, all others asking them the questions of what they’re doing and why they’re doing.

Their decisions, actions of course affects others around them, but they have no power but to keep doing what God requires them to do until He says something different about it. These “in-between” times may create lot of impatience for others who’re dependent on them, not only that such times are very sensitive than any other time – the devil will look for these opportunities, to come and steal/kill/destroy (John 10:10) – so all people can blame and stone the leader of the vision!

For such a time, the leadership needs a very special strength which comes only from God. (“But David found strength in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6).

In other words, there will be always people around the leaders who have the vision from God – but people are of no help in times of Amalekites/devil’s attack, the leader has to find strength only in the Lord his God, and then go after the Amalekites/devil with that and restore which was lost!

The restoration is the direct result of God’s strength. The incident didn’t just strengthened David, but had strengthened the vision God had for the nation of Israel.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Mobilizing in midst of distress

So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men. 1 Samuel 22:1-2

David wasn’t planning to become a captain of a new troop, he was simply distressed and running for his life.

Just when he thought he was left all alone and isolated, people started to flock around him!

Interesting enough his own family/brothers surrounded closer than ever, men who were distressed in various ways came from all over to the cave of Adullam, to David – for one thing – seeking new purpose, to become useful and to help David’s God given vision/plan.

The cave of Adullam brought all these men closer, united for a common purpose and got them mobilized.

David’s are not meant to run away and hide, David’s are meant to be found by men who want purpose and lead out of their distress and discontentment. God’s purpose and vision will mobilize them out of the cave of Adullam, prepared, united and ready to possess what God has prepared.