Posts Tagged ‘David’

discernment-1

Would it make any difference to you if you could have background knowledge of events before they happened so that you would “know what to do” when the time came? Do you think that just having that understanding might give you more of a sense of confidence in this world because you knew what was going to happen?

I think the easy answer is yes to these questions because understanding is so important when events are happening around us. To possess the knowledge of maybe when to go, or when to stay, or when to speak, or when not to can be the difference between success and failure no matter what our situation.

Many people call what I am describing here discernment. Webster defines discerning as: to perceive by the sight or some other sense or to recognize as distinct or different.

Can you imagine the capability to discern what the intent was in any situation? Can you imagine having the ability to discern what was going on right now, in this age? To actually recognize something you and I see for what it is, and even more importantly, know what you should do about it?

I found an example of this very idea in the Bible that caused me to think about this topic and how this might apply to you and me. It is a very short verse but nonetheless, very powerful in its meaning:

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do-200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; 1 Chronicles 12:32

In the research I have done on the Men of Issachar, I have learned that whole books and sermons have been written and preached over just these few words.

The set up for this verse is that the Philistines have killed Saul and David has been anointed King over Israel. He has been living in Hebron prior to him taking back Jerusalem as his kingdom however during his time in Hebron, warriors came from all over to join his army and as the writer of Chronicles tells us in verse 22, Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. One of these groups joining him were the men of Issachar, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. I think it is important to point out here in scripture, they receive special mention because of out of all the tribes; they discerned what God was doing by bringing David to the throne and as a result, they understood the specific circumstances as God revealed to them through discernment.

These men had received from God the gift of discernment and used it in the way He wanted them to. In this instance, they recognized that this was a crucial time – the 11 tribes of Israel were without a leader, without guidance, and a model to follow. This was a time for special understanding. It was a time for real discernment.

But to me, the most compelling part of this verse is; they knew what Israel should do.

 I come back to one of my original questions from the beginning:

Can you imagine knowing what to do and the right time you should do it?

If you said yes, then join the club because who wouldn’t want that ability?

But the reality is guys is that any of us can have this ability and all we have to do is ask. But understand up front from me that Spiritual discernment is far more than a skill, but rather it is a gift from God. Moreover, God can only give it to you if you do the following:

One who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (I John 4:8)

Guys, God wants you plugged into Him for the answers you need everyday and if you can do that, if you will seek Him constantly, daily, all the time, He will give you the discernment necessary to make the right decisions for you and your family.

I will not lie to you. This process takes effort from you. You have to do the heavy lifting by getting on your knees and talking to Him about your life, your family and all the difficult stuff. Your relationship with God is just like muscle, if you don’t physically exercise, your muscles get atrophied and soft. On the other hand, when you do exercise, your muscles stay strong and can bear a tremendous amount of stuff this world will throw at you.

If you exercise your relationship with God, I can guarantee you a different result when you ask for discernment.

There…you now have the answers to the test.

The question is…what are you going to do about it?

 

Until next time guys-

Happy New Year from IronmanStrength!

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why-cant-life-be-easy-162464

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post simply called Why cant life be easy? Because it kind of fit where I was at that point. Well today, 4 years later, I have reached into the archives because it seems to fit yet again for me. Sometimes none of us can understand the ebb and flow of life’s changes both personally or collectively as a family and how they affect us. Waves roll in and out with some being just annoyances while others knock us off our feet completely. This post is just to serve as a beacon along your journey to NOT give up. Stay the course and stay strong for the people who love you. I hope you enjoy the new and improved version of Why can’t life be easy

 

Have you ever wondered why God allows or even requires the Christian journey to be filled with pain, problems, unhappiness and sometimes misery? Because I have… Why does God put so much emphasis on perseverance, or striving for the prize and winning the race like it says in Philippians?

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Why cant the Christian walk be more like a Sprint instead of a Marathon?

I believe that all the lessons and experiences we learn through life; the “Iron Sharpening Iron” moments like we read in Proverbs 27:17; the falling down and getting back up opportunities, but most importantly and through the adversity, is our ability to keep our eyes focused on Him in spite of whatever is set against us…

Because the reason why the Christian walk is a marathon and NOT a sprint is because God intended life to be truly ALL about the journey.

God watches how WE handle the problems we face in this world…are we the kind of guy who gives up and just walks away? Or do we get back up on our feet and keep forging ahead?

Guys, listen to me here because I truly believe that the ones that can pick themselves up from the problem and still keep their eyes on Him…They are the ones that I firmly believe God has chosen to surround Himself in eternity.

 

Life is hard…there I said it…but don’t just give up and let it overwhelm you! Fight back…

 

One of my favorite warriors of the Bible was David who wrestled with these very same questions. Look at what he says to God in Psalms:

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Psalms 10:1

The reality is that David, one of the greatest men in the Bible, struggled just like us. He wrestled with pain and suffering and he cried out to God continuously…and do you know what?

God did NOT forsake him.

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, Lord, for you have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 9:9-10

Guys, this post is titled, Why can life be easy because many times we cant help but ask that question. I encourage you today, as we move into the holiday season to remember that God hasn’t left you during these times of difficulty but rather He is right there next to you lifting you up. Just hang on and trust because someday here is what we, the ones who have persevered, have to look forward to:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21: 3-5

Guys, enjoy the journey that you are on and keep the faith because ultimately you will overcome.

 

Until next time Guys…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having been a Christian pretty much my entire life, I’ve had the luxury of being saturated with Sunday school stories about all of the famous Bible characters. Without a doubt however, my favorite one would be David because in my opinion, other than Christ himself, there really isn’t anyone in the Bible like him. He was the Bible biggest success and the biggest failure in one lifetime. He accomplished more as a young man than most men accomplish in a ten lifetimes. The reality is, how many of you have ever killed a Lion? That’s what I thought…none of us have, but yet as a teenager David killed both a lion and a bear all while trying to protect his flock of sheep.


But the biggest reason David’s story appeals to me most was how God referred to him…He was a man after his own heart (Acts 13:22). I look at that as David’s heart looked like, or reflected what God’s heart looked like. I like that. I have to ask the question…would God say the same thing about you or me? Probably not…

So then how did David achieve that kind of status with the Creator of the Universe? I have explored this subject somewhat and wanted to share with you what I think separated David from everyone else…

1. David served God from his youth. We don’t know much about David’s early years but we do know what he said when speaking to King Saul on the verge of his epic and very short battle with Goliath. In  1 Samuel 17:34,37  David says  “The Lord that delivered me from the paw of the Lion and the paw of the Bear is the same God who will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine”. There was never any doubt in his mind that he would enter that battle alone…God was with him.


2. David diligently sought God’s Face and counsel in a childlike dependence. Probably more than any other attribute, this childlike dependence upon God made him unique in the list of Bible characters. David sought Gods direction in all that he did…and he was diligent about it. He wasn’t too busy or that he might forget a day or two. Each day and throughout the day, he sought God.   See these verses:  1 Samuel 23: 2,4, 30:8, 2 Sam. 2:1, 5:19, 23


3. He worshiped God with his whole being and he directed Israel to do the same. David led by example and he expected Israel to follow. If you continue to read the Old Testament, one finds that after David died, the lack of worship and focus on God was the failure of the many Kings that came after him. These Kings did not lead by example nor did they have a relationship with God as he did.  (1 Chronicles 15-16)


4. He humbly recognized that God was the real King of Israel and that he was only God’s representative. Having read the Bible through,  I have found myself frustrated more than once as to how God’s people behaved in circumstances even though they were watching miracles after miracles happen right in front of them. On the other hand, David was humble from his youth and maintained that humility until later when he failed miserably. (2 Sam. 5:2).


5. In David’s public conduct, he largely obeyed the Lord and carried out his will. For the most part, David carried out the will of God. As we all know, he messed up later in life but David was still an amazing man.  (Acts 13:22)

There are many other reasons why God loved David as he did but the overwhelming reasons are humility and dependence.

As mentioned above, David sought God’s will for himself and Israel everyday. He never let up and God loved that about him. Finally, as I have blogged about many times, maintaining a humility before our Creator. David feared God and that holy fear kept him from harm and sin throughout most of his life.

I find myself admiring David for his unwavering relationship with God. When I look at the daily mayhem of this world and all of the busy-ness we all work in…having a childlike dependence on a God that never fails…brings me peace. I can’t say I understand the “whys” of God’s ways or why He does what He does, but His consistency and His grace are never failing…So my challenge is to you…be the guy who God refers to as a Man after His own heart…

So everyday when you wake up don’t forget to bring your sling and a small smooth stone…Goliath is out there, and I want you to be prepared…


Until next time guys…

Many years ago I worked for a company that decided they wanted to improve the teamwork amongst their management group. The ownership believed there were some folks in positions that didn’t play well together which makes for a difficult work environment. As a result, the owners decided to send the entire management team to a 2 day bonding experience high in the mountains. Personally, I had a great time because the majority of these challenges were  physical and very self challenging. For example, we got to scale a 100 foot tree and then repel back to the ground. But the exercise that truly impacted me, as well as the rest of us, was the fall back challenge. I remember standing up on a small 4 ft. high stand facing away from the group. The objective was for me to simply fall backward and trust that the group standing behind me, would catch me. As it turned out, I did fall and they did catch me, but for that split second, I wondered if they could handle my weight or what if there needed to be more people to catch me? All of those concerns ran through my mind right before I let go…

Now I know this is a very simple example of what I am trying to illustrate here but I think it will work. What if those questions I mentioned earlier never crossed my mind for this reason…because there was never any question that my teammates would catch me? What if I had NO fear and complete trust they would be there for me? What kind of relationship would I have had with them in order to have that kind of faith in them? That is exactly the kind of faith I marvel at when I look at the example of young David as he prepared to face the giant, Goliath. Fear was never the issue in his mind whereas any other soldier, it was paralyzing. He absolutely knew that when he stepped onto that battlefield he would be victorious…with no doubt whatsoever…total childlike faith in his God. I believe that even if Goliath would have had a Howitzer on that day, David would have beat him.

This is what David told Saul the King below:

The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the Lion and the paw of the Bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

1 Samuel 17:37

So how does one come to that kind of faith in God? What did David do or for that matter, what did God do in order for David to believe in him with such utter childlike dependence? Can you imagine if you approached your own Christian walk like that? No matter what you attempted, your faith in God was so solid with the knowledge that he would catch you if you fell…The kind of faith that is almost as natural as breathing…its just automatic.

Guys, all of us face challenges and adversity everyday both at work AND at home. I would also be safe in saying that some of those challenges are almost beyond what we can bear…I challenge you today to face your life’s challenges as David did without fear and ready to believe in what God has for you. I certainly will not say it will all be glorious and wonderful by any means…but what I can tell you is that faith in Him is truly sustaining. We WILL make it through our trials and challenges because we believe HE will overcome for us…just like he did for David. I assure you that when David got up that morning, he had no idea that he would be fighting the largest human being on earth. Honestly, getting to know David after some study, I would say that he got up that morning,  knelt down, prayed and said, “Let’s  do this!” and headed off to face his day…

So guys, let’s get excited everyday in anticipation of what God has in store for us…and when the going gets tough…keep in mind that what God did for David…he will do for you!!!

Until next time Guys…