There has never been a time in my life where I needed the guidance of God more than in these weird days. How about you? Have you been totally relaxed and completely chilled out in the last two years? Well – congrats! And please drop your recipe for that in the comments. For my other precious readers who at one day or the other have felt stressed out, puzzled or plain overwhelmed – me, too! And it should come as no surprise that the bible is the one and only book that has the true guidance system inherently built in. Let’s have a look.
To stone or not to stone?!
As I listened to the Christmas sermon at Bethel the other day, I remembered Sunday school lessons from when I was a small kid. Oh – this story of David and his mighty men of valor. I always loved the sound of that “mighty men of valor”. Well, these guys for most of their days loyally followed their leader, David. Until that one day. They came home to find their wives and children kidnapped. And it brought such utter despair that they even pondered stoning their boss.
After all, the bible says that David and his men began to weep out loud and wept until they couldn’t weep anymore (read the whole story in 1 Samuel 30). I can somewhat relate. I’ve had days where I wept until I couldn’t weep anymore. Had these days ten years ago and had these days ten weeks ago. We’re mere humans, aren’t we?
The reason I chose this story (besides being reminded of it by Bill Johnson, haha) is because there is this one sentence in it that I absolutely love. It’s not even a whole verse, only the “b” of verse 6 so to speak. Read and then pause and think:
“But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”1 Samuel 30, 6b
Even when his buddies were about to turn upon him, David didn’t panic. Instead, he strengthened himself in the Lord. In other versions it says he encouraged himself in the Lord. That is the secret, dear reader. In the face of opposition, turmoil, panic or despair – where do you go? Who do you turn to? Who do you talk to? I’m preaching to myself here first and uttermost.
I’ve said it in other blog entries (read more here) but I’ll keep repeating it. Anything other than turning to God through a simple prayer or by picking up the bible and reading until a verse comes to life – anything else is and always will be less helpful, less efficient, less edifying.
To state it positively: When crises hits, run to God.
When fear closes in on you, shout the name of Jesus.
When doubts invade your thoughts, do what David did.
Go and consult with the wisest being there ever has been, is and will be: God AKA the one who made you so beautifully perfect and loves you no matter what.
Let’s look at what the smart former shepherd boy did:
“David asked the LORD for advice. He said, ‘Should I chase after the men who attacked Ziklag? If I do, will I catch up with them?’ ‘Chase after them,’ the LORD answered. ‘You will certainly catch up with them. You will succeed in saving those who were captured.”1 Samuel 30, 8
That’s the secret right there. David inquired of the Lord. He went straight to the One who held his yesterday, his today and his tomorrow in His hands. The One who made him and called him even his friend.
Here comes joy!
How do you feel when you read verse 8 quoted above? Take a moment to really get this. David and his men come home to find their wives and children taken away. They’re enraged to say the least.
David focuses on what he knows is his only solution: He meets God, worships Him, humbles himself under His Mighty Hand. David rekindles his strength by looking at his God.
Only then does he catch his breath and is able to focus forward by asking God for advice. The answer was a 50:50 chance. God could also have said “Nope, David. Not today. I’ll have you grab your trumpets instead of fighting just like good old Jericho times.”
But He didn’t. Instead, God gave the marching orders to chase after these bastards and get their loved ones back.
This excites me! Even though it’s past my bedtime as I’m writing this, I’m fired up and can feel the energy David and his mighty men must have felt. God Himself gave His Word that they would succeed. I mean, come on, what else do you need in life?
The thing is, you won’t find God speaking in instagram or telegram or any other worldly man-made outlet. I’m going to have to burst that balloon right there, for you and for me. God has clearly stated where you will find Him. In the still small voice. In the quiet. In the hidden prayer closet.
Let me translate to 2022: Flight mode it is. That tiny airplane icon on that phone of yours. Yep. That’s why I cherish my walks in the woods around here. Zero reception for an hour. Love it!
So for this year ahead of us, let’s start making more use of this amazing feature of our gadget(s).
Switch the world out there off and switch that connection to the Holy Spirit ON. He’s waiting to be everything that Jesus promised Him to be: Your helper. Your counselor. Your comforter. Your strengthener. Your intercessor. Just to name a few.
And the best thing is: With the Holy Spirit you can tap into the exact same wisdom that David tapped into.
Here’s what Jesus said:
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”John 16, 13
I promise you with 100 % certainty, God will answer your prayer if you earnestly desire an answer from Him. It may not be the answer you expect but that’s when obedience kicks in. Which may be the topic of my next blog post.
Be blessed richly today! Find your strength and your encouragement in the Lord. It’s the best!