Where do I begin with what to say? I've played this conversation in my head so many times. I'm certainly not claiming to know everything, but what I do will save your life.
I know, I know that God is able [and will]. I know, I know that He still reigns. I know, I know that love has found [and will find] a way.
This lyric is hitting me hard this week, anyone else find Christian music to be an incredibly powerful voice of the Lord? Wow. This blog is not a plug for MercyMe. But, I do have to share more powerful lyrics throughout, because they are all blending together in to one big message for me.
Studying our giants can bring up some difficult truths to face. Remember,
There is a season for everything. There is a reason for all things here on earth. Every second of every moment seems to have its worth. Rest assured life's not in vain, for all things work here for His fame. It won't be long until we all go home with all things revealed, and on that day we'll finally know oh, as we are fully known.
This week, in "Facing Your Giants" (FYG) we talked about "Dry Seasons" and "Grief Givers". Reading this, assembling the prayer wall, and hearing other stories this week about heartache and misfortune made the devil seem so prominent, so powerful. But then I was able to realize and feel that God is bigger. Bigger than the air we breathe, bigger than our giants and SO much bigger than the enemy. But, the only way to overcome the enemy is through Christ's love.
Time has come to raise our hearts as one and glorify the God of everything. We live our lives for the renown of Christ, oh we are children of the sovereign king.
My heart will fly when I finally see you face to face, and my tears will fly away, away.
The enemy stands between us and God, He has since the book of Genesis, and the only way back to God is through Christ. And so, we are to live our lives trying to be imitators of Christ and overcome the enemy. We have so many questions for God, all beginning with "why?" Why this happened I cannot explain. Why write the script with such heartache and pain? Could there not have been an easier way? Watching life through this glass so faded, I cannot see the bigger picture taking place. Oh, to understand one day... When I finally make it home. Then I'll gaze upon the throne of the King frozen in my steps. And all the questions that I swore I would ask, words just won't come yet. So amazed at what I've seen, so much more than this old mind can hold.
Max Lucado says in Chapter 5, "But sometimes we have no vote. Calamity hits and the roof tips." The devil starts to isolate us by removing every source of stability from our lives. We become disconnected. Disconnection turns to deceit. For David, the enemy is Saul. Max (I figure, we're journeying together, we're going to be on a first name basis with Max) says, "Has your Saul cut you off from the position you had and the people you love?" Where is your refuge? Where do you go to be renewed?
Are we turning to our job, to find that it is not secure? That no matter how hard we work today, it might not matter tomorrow? Are we turning to our spouse or significant other only to find that they are not rock solid?
Max says "Make God your refuge. Let Him, not [your] Saul [giant] encircle you. Let Him be the ceiling that breaks the sunshine, the walls that stop the win, the foundation on which you stand." Max also talks about a man in his church who had just buried his wife and had a daughter becoming more ill by the day and he said "You'll never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have".
Let me just say, I am incredibly inspired by those that have had their Saul remove every earthly stability from their lives and still they find their rest on Christ the solid rock. I am taking this lesson now, and am thankful for the Lord putting their example in my life.
When we find refuge in the Lord, He WILL restore us. Find your refuge in Him, and your comfort in His people. David did, and in the "midst of [his] desert [he wrote his] sweetest psalms."
Our Saul's can be the people in our lives that Max refers to as "Grief-Givers". Once David has been restored and Saul hears of his location, Saul once again begins his hunt for David, with the ultimate goal to kill him. So many times David and his army are in a position to slay Saul, and yet David continues, with a "God saturated mind", to remember that Saul is the Lord's appointed King. David hears the Lord, and allows Saul to live, even though he knows that Saul will continue to hunt him down and try to kill him.
How are we reacting to the Saul's in our life. Are we focused on our Saul? Will we slay our Saul if given the opportunity? Are we able to forgive our Saul? Max says "We forgive the one-time offenders, mind you. We dismiss the parking-place takers, date-breakers, and even the purse snatchers. We can move past the misdemeanors, but the felonies? The repeat offenders? The Sauls who take our youth, retirement or health? Failure to do so could be fatal. 'Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple' - Job 5:2 Enemy destroyers need two graves."
Max says that David "refused to see his grief-giver as anything less than a child of God. David didn't applaud Saul's behavior; he just acknowledged Saul's proprietor - God." God is saying to us the offender and the offended, "What he [you] did was unthinkable, unacceptable, inexcuseable, but I'm not finished yet." Our enemies, God is not finished with them yet. Did we think that He was? This was such an eye opener for me. I certainly know that He is not finished with me yet, but have I stopped to think that about my enemies, my Saul's? "You honor God when you see them, not as His failures, but as His projects."
I think it is important to take a moment here to point out, as Max and so many others have, that forgiveness is not acceptance. God hates sin, loves the sinner, and calls us to do the same. Forgive the sinner, but keep your distance if you need to. As Max puts it, forgive the child molester, but keep him out of the school. "To forgive is to move on, not to think about the offense anymore. You don't excuse him, endorse her, or embrace them. You just route thoughts about them through heaven. You see your enemy as God's child and revenge as God's job." And what appears as incomplete is still completely Yours and one day we'll see as we've been seen and we'll soar.
Max closes this chapter the same way I will end this post "We, like Saul, have been given grace. We, like David, can freely give it."