Posted in 2Samuel, Psalms, Song of Songs

Honest to God

“My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Song of Songs 2:14

God wants to hear your voice. Not an echo of somebody else, not a voice that has been lost in religious tradition, He wants to hear the real you. David said in Psalm 51:6, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being.” God values honesty above all else. He wants to see your face, not a religious mask that you may think He wants to see. With God honesty is where the action is. When sin is real to us, then confession is real, forgiveness is real, His Presence is real, and the hope He alone gives is real. If something is wrong ask the Holy Spirit to show you what is going on in your heart.

When we are less than honest as Christians, we may still appear religious, but our hearts go lukewarm. I think the reason why “the hiding places,” are mentioned is that we can easily play Christian when we are around others, but it’s not as easy when we’re alone. Psalm 51 records David’s prayer of repentance after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. No doubt David had played the part of “man of God” all the way through and no one would have known if God hadn’t spoken to Nathan the prophet about what David had done. When Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” (2Samuel 12:7), David’s heart was pierced and he once again became honest in his innermost being.

When we are being real with God He delights in our fellowship, our worship, our work and even in our fun. It may be painful up front, but honesty always brings us closer to God. You don’t have to put your best foot forward because He knows what the other one looks like anyway. And guess what? He still loves and likes you.

Posted in 2Samuel, Revelation

A Place at the Table

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus isn’t inviting us to a one-time experience, but to an ongoing relationship. Amazingly, we’re not the only ones who eat when we come to His table. Jesus also eats with us.  The longing of His heart for fellowship with us is satisfied when we open our hearts and take our place at the feast He has prepared.

In 2Samuel 9 we have the story of Mephibosheth. He was king Saul’s grandson and Jonathan’s son. David sought him out because he wanted to show kindness to one of Jonathan’s descendants in order to honor the covenant of friendship he had made with him.

When Mephibosheth was brought before David, he was afraid for his life because it was customary for a new king to wipe out all the descendants of the king he replaced. (2Samuel 19:28) But mercy, not judgment, was in David’s heart. He gave Mephibosheth all the property Saul had previously owned, making him a wealthy man, but he wanted to do something more than just give him property. David wanted to have an ongoing relationship with him so he gave him a place at his dinner table as if he was one of his own sons. (2Samuel 9:11)

Redemption doesn’t just give us immediate access to the wealth of heaven, it gives us a place at the King’s table. However, just because there was always a place set for Mephibosheth doesn’t mean he always came to meals, just like God doesn’t force us to take the place He’s made for us to have fellowship with Jesus.

The church in Laodicea had said in its heart, “I need nothing.” They were living as Christians apart from intimacy with Christ and had become spiritually “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) Jesus was pursuing their fellowship and was ready to restore spiritual riches, eye salve and garments of white to remove their shame, but they had to respond to His knocking.

He was inviting them to a meal, but not just one meal; the invitation was to start taking their place at the table for all the meals. Physically we need to eat regularly and this is a picture of our ongoing need of daily fellowship with our Savior.

Jesus is still knocking today, have you taken your place at His table?

Posted in 2Samuel, Acts, Psalms

What’s Your Dream?

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

David’s dream was that he would know the intimacy of God’s presence which is why he was called the man after God’s own heart.  His dream was to know God Himself. What’s yours?

David also had an assignment, in fact, it was a big one. He was appointed by God to be king in Israel which meant that he was responsible to lead and shepherd them, which he did with integrity and diligence (Psalm 78:72), but his assignment was never his dream.

This became evident when he sinned against God and was in danger of losing everything. In his prayer recorded in Psalm 51, he pleaded with God about his dream but never even mentioned his assignment: “Do not cast me from Your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me…” (Psalm 51:11) When Absalom was seeking to overthrow the kingdom, David fled, but made Zadok keep the ark in Jerusalem: “If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, He will bring me back…”, but if not, “I am ready; let Him do whatever seems good to Him.” (2Samuel 15:26) David’s identity wasn’t in being king but in being God’s child. He didn’t have to fight to be or do something, He just wanted to be where God wanted him.

Acts tells us that David completed his assignment while on earth (Acts 13:36) and you should aim to fulfill yours as well, but I hope you don’t make it your dream. Making your assignment your dream will burn you out and all those who are around you because burn out is always the end result of putting the second commandment (Love your neighbor) before the first (Love God). But if we seek God Himself as our dream, like David did, we will find an abundance of grace to complete His assignment and all the glory will belong to Him.

Posted in 2Samuel, John

The Michal Spirit

‘How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!’ … “I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.’ Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.” 2Samuel 6:20; 22-23

It was a great moment for the kingdom of God. David had conferred with all the leaders and there was great unity in the decision to bring the ark of God back and to make a place for it in Jerusalem. There was celebrating, rejoicing, dancing, and great wonder in the people of God because something significant was happening in their day and they were privileged to be part of it.

Unfortunately one of the main members of the team, David’s own wife, Michal, couldn’t participate. Instead of being part of the celebration, she was sitting on the sidelines despising David and everything that was going on. Before we rush to judgment on Michal, I think we need to get in her shoes.

She was a king’s daughter. She knew how to do things the right way and she probably wasn’t even consulted. What she was seeing was not the way her Dad, the king, had done it, so her own experience and tradition were actually in the way of her accepting what God was doing.

I’ve been under the Michal spirit before and it is miserable. Here are a few signs that you may be under its influence:

  1. You don’t enjoy God anymore. 
  2. You find you can’t enjoy people because you’re so critical.
  3. You can’t enjoy church because of what’s wrong with the preaching, or the worship, or something else.
  4. You are spiritually barren. There’s no such thing as being dead and right in Christianity. However right you may think you are, when you’re dead, you’re not right. (John 5:39-40)

The good news is that if we will agree with God about our sins, He will forgive us, and can remove the barrenness the Michal spirit causes.