Last Sunday I heard a sermon in North Carolina and wanted to share one of the main themes of the talk with everyone.
The preacher began with comparing and contrasting David and Saul, stating that both knew God, spoke for God, even loved God…but that David knew the Love of God whereas Saul did not.
1 Samuel 18:6-11
When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.
Saul had gotten so used to being “The Man,” or the guy that everyone talked about, that instead of praising God for David, a mighty warrior that would continue to make God’s kingdom great, Saul became jealous of David and tried to kill him on several occasions.
The pastor continued with the story of when Jesus was baptized saying that God said ‘This is my son IN whom I am well pleased” not BY whom. God said all of that before Christ performed his first miracle. So God was saying “I love Jesus because He is mine and I am His…NOT merely because Jesus will do stuff for me.”
Satan shows up and tempts Christ. Rather than going through all the temptations I’m going to sum them up for you here in my own flawed way:
Satan: Yeah I heard that voice of God claiming you asHisson, Jesus. So if you are who God claims you to be…then show off a bit and show the world. Flaunt some of that power, and then bow down to me and I’ll let you flaunt it some more
Jesus: Yeah um no. See I know God, I know He loves me more than you could possibly imagine. Therefore, I don’t have to prove myself to you. I know who I am, I know I AM and I know how much I am loved…so yeah nice try. Now be gone because you may have tricked Adam with this stuff…but you can’t beat me.
David faced Goliath with the love of God. No fear, no worry, only victory and truth. Jesus faced Satan with the love of God. No fear, no worry, only victory and truth.
David made mistakes just like the rest of us, but the point I’m tying to make here is that if you wonder why you can’t find happiness, why you are always disappointed, why the grass is always greener on the other side, and why you are trying to fill a hole in your life with things that don’t fit….well it’s because you don’t believethat God loves you as much as He says He does. You don’t believe that others love you and therefore need constant reassurance of that.
I just want to say, that if you don’t start resting in the fact that God loves you, you WILL end up with a hardened heart like Saul. You will hurt people, you will never trust anyone, and you will become jealous of the good that others have…not realizing that you are jealous of their relationship with God. You’ll be jealous of their understanding of the love of God and their contentment in that.
It’s a never-ending cycle for approval, to “put your stamp on the world,” so to speak. I am guilty of this as well. As much as I continue to say I want to be a man of Honor, and I challenge people who challenge my character to prove them right or wrong in their judgment of me. While it’s not bad to be a man of God by any means…it’s bad to think I have to prove myself to this world and impress them withmy”awesomeness.” Yeah um, if I know God loves me, if I am obedient to all He asks me to do…then it goes without saying that others will KNOW I am a man of God…I won’t have to prove ANYTHING. HE will PROVE Himself.
So if this is you, I only have one thing to say: Stop running.
Why would I say that? Easy…because the only way to prove yourself in this world, is to join in the approval game, the “look what I did” game, the “pay attention to me” game. All of that…is running from God and focusing on self. Even though motives are “good” the heart is off.
So remember this, hold on to this, KNOW this, BELIEVE this, and treasure this:
You are designed for, and LOVED by an infinite being that created everything! How awesome. If you remind yourself of that every day…it’s hard not to smile when people ask you to prove your worth…because here’s the catch….Christ proved it on the CROSS.
[Know His Love. Believe His Love. Live Out His Love.]