Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Fall Of King David

This is one of my favourite stories in the Bible but it's actually deeper than that. Let me tell you about David. He was a righteous man, a man after God's own heart. A man who wrote and composed music about God, His goodness, His love, His mercy. This is a man who was so supposedly perfect; and committed to God, but he committed some serious sin (which shows that even He fell short and wasn't perfect). I read this again and it was like my eyes were opened. I've learnt something.

Let's see it from Bathsheba's perspective. She was just minding her own business, washing off on a warm night when a messenger from King David told her that the King had seen her bathing from his rooftop...oh, and he wanted to meet her. But, we don't know how she felt. I can only imagine that she was probably glad to have to be in the presence of the King. Her husband, Uriah, was off fighting for WAR FOR David himself in the army, so maybe she couldn't exactly refuse to go.

Anyway, we don't know what she was thinking, but she and David slept together. At the end result of that night, she got pregnant.

From David's perspective; David, one evening, was chilling in his palace, and he saw a woman bathing. He was overcome by LUST and he instantly wanted her. The Bible says, this woman was so beautiful and obviously, David was so intrigued that he sent someone to find out about her. He was told the woman was 'Bathsheba' and she was 'the wife of Uriah'. So, at this point, he knew she was a married woman. That's the first mistake he made.

He then sent his messengers to go and get her, she came to HIM and he slept with her. She got pregnant and informed David that she was pregnant. You can only imagine how David felt. Well, let me guess. He slept with one of his soldiers' wives. He must have felt ashamed, embarrassed, anxious...I can only imagine.

After this, we see a series of events. This GODLY man continuously tried to hide his sin. He sent word to Joab saying 'send me Uriah', he was obviously under the pretence of seeking information about the course of the war, but his main thing was to bring Uriah back to Jerusalem.

When Uriah came to him, he tried to convince him to to back to his house and relax. I mean, seriously, he tells Uriah to go home and relax, he obviously wanted Uriah and Bathsheba to enjoy their evening together. He wanted to hide deeper into his sin and pretend he hadn't fathered Bathesheba's child. BUT Uriah was so loyal to him, he slept outside the palace and did not go home.At one point, he ensured that Uriah got drunk so that he could go home and sleep with his wife. He woke up after that BUT Uriah continued to be loyal and faithful to David and did not go home.

He must have felt guilty, because I know I would, but there is no evidence of guilt here. David, at this point, hadn't even confessed his sins to God, he hadn't even recognised that he had sinned. He wanted to cover it up more and more. This led to him getting Uriah drunk in the hope that Uriah would go home and sleep with his wife, but nope, this still didn't happen.

In the end, he just decided to have Uriah killed by putting him at the front of the war line where the most dangerous and strongest defenders were. He planned all this so that he could marry Bathsheba himself as quickly as possible. Jeez, this guy is bad. LOL. But, it's honestly hard to imagine a man so close to God, so intimate with Him to fall so short. It's hard to imagine a man who composed such beautiful psalms, such great morals, such LOVE for God, so passionate about Him...yet he fell so deep into it.

Later on, Bathsheba's child dies. Bathsheba mourned for her husband for 7 days; but he later made her his wife. At this point, he probably had I think 5 wives...but later had Solomon after marrying him. Anyway, David showed no remorse, no guilty for his sin and God did not take it lightly.

Man, you can obviously see how this built up. David got someone else's wife pregnant and decides to hide it and cover it up. But GOD knew. And, if you read the rest of it, you will see that what He had done had DISPLEASED the Lord. Not only had he broken God's laws, he had shamelessly abused his royal power, which God trusted him with.

David can be seen as a total failure but God called David 'A Man after His OWN heart' in 1 Samuel 13:14. You can see his anguish in the Psalms, particularly Psalm 6, Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. 

What I learnt (with notes from David Wilkerson's Podcast):

  • It does not matter what your sin is or may be. But no sin will cause God to give up on you. You are still his purchased possession. Even though David despised God by committing adultery, the Lord did not give up on HIM. 
  • God even sent a PROPHET to David - he sent Nathan - to tell David what he had done wrong. He was confronted by a Prophet of God (I think in those days, God sent messengers to warn people). 
  • Also, his fall caused him to write some beautiful words (as seen in Psalms). I can only imagine what David felt at that point, embarrassed? Ashamed? I mean, imagine if you did something like that and a Man of God comes and tells you that God knows what you have done.
  • It took 40 years to get fear out of Moses and to make him listen to the words of God - but Moses because one of God's greatest heroes. David had to run back to the house of God and cried out for forgiveness and peace. 
  • "Jonah retraced his steps and did exactly what he refused to do at first, bringing the City of Ninevah to repentance and deliverance."
  • "So DESPITE their failure, these men became great men of God. They kept moving on. It's always after a failure that a man does his greatest work for God.
The bottom line is...FAITH. And faith rests on this one - "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." - Isaiah 54:17.

Even Paul said in Romans 7:14 - 25:

"My own behaviour baffles me. For I find myself doing what I really LOATHE but not doing what I really want to do...I often find that I have the will to do good but not the power. When I want to do good, only evil is within my reach..."

The message is...stay in God's presence. I'm sure you know what happened to Saul. - Read it in 1 Samuel 13 and onwards...

Hope you enjoyed...x

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Loving God

I woke up early just to listen to this message and I was so touched. I mean, only because I find it so easy to say "I love God", "I give everything to You, Lord," and "I surrender it all to You" without even thinking. I sing the songs of praise in Church, I go to Church, I read the Bible (...not as often as I should, but I try, don't judge me) and I found a sermon by David Wilkerson which REALLY touched me. I was so touched to the point where I felt bad. Because so many of us pray in secret and lift our hands to God and worship Him and sing sentimental songs but we don't really know what it means to TRULY love God.

But as the great David Wilkerson said 'Love is not something we say, it's something we DO." This is supported by scripture (John 3:18) which says "...let us not love in word neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth."

There are so many more scriptures that tell us to love God - for example, "You should love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul." So this is what I have learned...and I'm sharing it because I loved the message that much.

So, let's examine loving God...

David Wilkerson says we sing songs such as 'Jesus, Lover of My Soul'. He says there's nothing wrong with having emotions about God because if you read Psalms, King David would worship God through songs, worship, prayers. But it goes BEYOND sentiment, it goes BEYOND feeling, it goes BEYOND our emotion.

Loving God begins by keeping His commandments. How do we make sure we keep His commandments? Well, here are a few tips:
" the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil." - Proverbs 16:6. "Fear" is not the fear that means be scared. You probably (if you're a girl) fear your father because you RESPECT him. He is the first man you've ever loved because he is the one who sets the scene for the relationships you will have with OTHER men. Fear in this sense means RESPECTING God. So, if you RESPECT God, you will keep away from evil. That's all it means.

"...the fear of the Lord is to HATE EVIL.." - Proverbs 8:13

"...the one who keeps my commandments is the one who loves Me" - John 14:21

So, love, fear and obedience - when it comes to walking with God, they all mean the same thing. You cannot love God without having the FEAR of God in YOU. You cannot love Him without obeying His word. You do not TRULY fear God until you obey Him.

He even says in Proverbs 28:9 that "...anyone who turns a deaf ear to His word are disordering Him and all your prayers are an abomination to Him." Okay, that sounds harsh, but think about it. Pretend you are in a job (I'm sure everyone works) and at the job you have to listen to your manager, so you have to play by the 'book' or the 'rules' set by in that job. If you don't play by those rules or don't even listen to your manager, you are disobeying your manager and when you ask for a raise or a good reference, guess what, that's an abomination to HIM because you didn't play by the rules in the first place. (It's the only way I can understand it).

Or...if you are married (I'm not, but one can imagine), you made vows (which you live by) and your spouse is constantly cheating on you, at SOME point, them saying 'sorry' all the time and asking for forgiveness will wear you out. It's sort of the same, anyone who doesn't listen to God (by reading the Bible), it would be sort of hard to know you. I feel bad because I don't listen to God the gossiping thing...well, I don't START it but if my best friend needs to talk about someone, it just sort of...happens. I'm working onit, I promise. God knows!

Even prayer (YES, PRAYER) can be become sin when you are living in disobedience because your life is sin, your prayer is an abomination to Him.

Psalms 119:35 - " me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight..." - the true test of holiness is reproved by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit, when he comes, helps us remember all the words of the Lord, the commandments, all you have to do is ask Him.

Romans 8:26 - " the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..."

Pastor David says we should ask God and tell Him if we really want to walk in the Spirit because the Spirit of God will never refuse the cry of a hungry heart; " me anything that is showing disobedience in my heart, Lord..."

The only way of doing is is by FAITH and FAITH alone - having faith in His Word. He sent His Spirit, who is there to teach you, to comfort you, to keep you.

Then he went on to say that very few Christians pray because

  • They are waiting for the Holy Spirit to move them to pray (LOL - but you cannot be saved without the Spirit of God. It is a Spirit of prayer, grace and supplication, according to Zechariah 12:10, read it, there is always an urgency to pray but your flesh is the problem. Set a time to pray and set your heart to seek the Lord 
  • Prayerless people - these are people who don't pray at all. But how can you say you love God when you don't spend quality time with Him? How can you say You are His disciple? (These are not my words, they are Pastor Davids so...erm, yeah)
  • People say they do not have the time to pray - but Abraham had over 300 employees, generations under his care, Moses had people, probably over 100,000 to overcome and they all had the time to pray. On Judgement Day, there will be a record of how much time you have wasted. A history of every hour you wasted.
Everyday of your life, keep His word by your side. Those who say they have no time to pray have a waste of time for God. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 11:9 - '...go ahead, follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things, God will bring you into judgement."

So, love is not an emotion or affection for God. It can't just be shown through worship or preaching. It cannot be measured by emotions. Many Christians sit in church and feel great emotion but then walk straight out of Church and live in disobedience. 

The Benefits of Obedience:

1. You will be blessed with having the Spirit living IN YOU - "...whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love them and show myself to them." - John  14:21. This is an actual promise. God will have a special love for you because you abide in Him and obey Him.

2. You will have the anointing to hear and know His voice "...the anointing you have received from Him remains in you, and you do not anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you all about all things...remain in Him." - 1 John 2:27. When the fear of God, remember, fear means respect of God, floods your soul, when you flee from lust, sexual immorality, putting away the sin that keeps you away from Him, you receive the unction of hearing and knowing His voice. You will have spiritual ears to ear. You won't need some prophet to 'give you a word' from God. You will be taught by the Spirit of God that is abiding in you. 

3. You will be blessed with answered prayers and fullness of joy. Wow, I want that! "...if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you..." - John 15:7

So...loving God does not simply come by praise and worship, but by LISTENING TO HIS WORD. This is probably my favourite scripture (James 2) which says we should be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry. We shouldn't just listen to the Word, we should do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But, whoever looks intently into the perfect law and continues in it - not forgetting what they have heard but doing it - they will be blessed in what they do. How amazing is that? I sound like such a dork right now but I'm so excited. So, we shouldn't just read the bible, we should obey what it says. If it says we shouldn't have gossip, because it's wrong, then don't just read about gossiping, then go out there and continue in gossip. Its so much easier said than done, because we all have friends that probably talk badly about other people. *sigh*

Just ask God to put Holy fear in your heart (again, fear is not being scared of God, what sort of God would He be if you had to be too scared to walk before Him), begin to walk fully in obedience.

"I have called you friends for all the things I have heard of my father, I have made known to you." - He anticipated YOU being a man or woman of prayer, that He, in quiet times, would give you the secrets of His heart. That YOU would see things that NOBODY else would see. He would speak life to you. Someone He can share the burden of his heart with. "The secret is with the righteous" - Psalms 118:19 "Open to me the gates of righteousness...". This is the one who goes before Him (via the Word of GOD) and spends time with Him.

God wants YOU to be so in love with Him that YOU can't go a day without spending time with Him. Jesus will not abide in a temple that neglects Him. Your temple is of the Holy Spirit. When you don't seek the words of God, He won't hear you except through prayer.

You can go to all the prayer meetings, attend church weekly but if you have no personal relationship in private, no time for Him in private, then You won't have the knowledge and LOVE that He wants you to have. He wants to take away your fears, your feelings of inadequacy and rejection.

This is  probably a scary post but being obedient doesn't mean you never go wrong or do wrong, but we should at least try right? I mean, we all fall SHORT but that doesn't mean doing it on purpose. Obedience is trying to live your life for Him. Be good to people, love people, love yourself, don't gossip, don't hate people, love them regardless of their sexual orientation (gay or not, because most people discriminate based on whether someone is gay or not, which just doesn't reflect the love of God.)

Check out this video:

"I have loved you with a love that never ends. Although the mountains may be shaken and the hills be removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken."

Happy Saturday!