Thursday, May 27, 2010

Before you take that next step

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went out to meet them. Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; 10 so David inquired of God: "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"
The LORD answered him, "Go, I will hand them over to you."
So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, "As waters break out, God has broken out against my enemies by my hand." So that place was called Baal Perazim. The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, and David gave orders to burn them in the fire.

Once more the Philistines raided the valley; so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, "Do not go straight up, but circle around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army." So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

So David's fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him.
1 Chronicles 14:8-17 (NIV)

The Lord laid this message in my heart about one week ago and I thought I should share. Thinking about it now, what better day to share this than on the day set aside by Nigerians to celebrate children.

Often times, in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget that we do not belong to ourselves but to the Lord and take decisions without recourse to higher authority. What slave takes decisions without first consulting with the master? Are we not slaves of Christ?

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went out to meet them.(1 Chronicles 14:8)

Before I proceed, it is clear from this passage that the anointing of God attracts opposition from the enemy’s camp! The minute the philistines heard that David had become king, the Bible records that they went up in full force against him! This is however not where I am going this morning (just thought I should mention!)

Now, David hears that this fearsome tribe had come out to war. The Bible records that he matched out to meet them. Now, this was a tribe that David had defeated before (Remember Goliath of Gath?) I believe strongly that David was not afraid of this tribe! He had defeated them once (as a boy) and was now better equipped to defeat them yet again. The account in Chronicles continues:

Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; 10 so David inquired of God: "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"
The LORD answered him, "Go, I will hand them over to you."
1 Chronicles 14:9

David marched out against the Philistines. Paused. And inquired of God as to whether he should go to war or not.

My issue is this. Why would David. The warrior who had defeated the Philistines even as a boy without weapons still wait to inquire of God whether he should fight? Wouldn’t you have thought that would be a “no-brainer”? I sure would!
Anyway, God let David go to war and yes, he defeated the Philistines again!

Once more the Philistines raided the valley; 1 Chronicles 14:13

Now let me state clearly. The life of a Christian is a life of warfare! Satan does not give up! You must be constantly on the alert! You will keep fighting battles as long as you have the anointing but the good thing is that the success of your battles are already guaranteed -…in all these things we are more than conquerors….

Who would have thought that the Philistines will return to fight David again? Dumb you think? No! Persistent is more like it! Often times, we Christians have stuff to learn from the enemy’s camp (write up for another day).

so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, "Do not go straight up, but circle around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. 1 Chronicles 14:14

And yes. David inquired again. Whether he should go ahead and fight these people who he had conquered more than twice in the past. These same people. And wait for this? In the same place! I would have thought that since the circumstances were similar, stuff could be done the same way it was done before. But David knew otherwise. He inquired yet again.

God gave him a different strategy for the same people in the same place.

What do you think would have happened if David went out against the Philistines the same way he did in the last battle? The tribe of Israel could have been wiped off the face of the map! Would it have been illogical for him to have thought that he could defeat the same people in the same place that he had defeated them before? No! It would have made perfect (human) sense for him to have gone ahead without all the fuss of inquiring from God!

David certainly had an understanding that a lot of us do not.

Who then is the man that fears the Lord?
He will instruct him in the path chosen for Him (Psalm 25:12)


David understood that there is a distinct path chosen for all believers in Christ.
Many times we take decisions based on logic, our economy, our environment, our parents, our friends, everything aside from GOD. God is speaking. He wants you to bring all your decisions before His throne. He wants to lead you in the path that you should go.

This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.


And this is not just about serious decisions like marital choices but everything! He wants you to bring everything to Him.

I will share a true life story.

Sarafina was a brilliant prize winner in her country’s university somewhere in Africa. After graduating she worked for a short while and decided that she will go to the UK for her masters. It was the only other logical thing to do. She began the process. Applied to schools. Applied for scholarships. And had started receiving admission letters when she decided to take it to God in prayer. That night God spoke to her saying “Don’t step out of Africa. Your destiny is to be birthed in Africa. Remain there until I say so.”

While Sarafina was still battling with the prophesy she had received, the head of her local assembly called her (like a few days later) and confirmed the message. The pastor said I was praying and God said to tell you that if you had plans to travel, you should shelve them for now. He wants to do something in your life…”


Sarafina had a choice. She could have gone ahead to travel. But in her words “ why would I want to go anywhere that God’s presence is not?” She forfeited her admission. Is still in Africa and still has not seen the reason God has asked her to wait but is secured in her convictions.

Sarafina is wise!

How many times do we go ahead and take decisions without consulting our father?

How many times have we accepted the offer of employment without inquiring of the one who knows the end from the beginning?

How many times have we begun relationships with members of the opposite sex without asking to know the mind of God?

How many times have we gone for occasions and programmes without seeking His permission?

How many times have we done things as insignificant as dyeing our hair without consulting with God? Or have you forgotten that all the hairs on your haired are number? Do you think He doesn’t care?

Even when things seem so logical, God may not be in them.

Now it came to pass, when David was dwelling in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under tent curtains.”
2 Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”
3 But it happened that night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4 “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in
1 Chronicles 17:1-4

In this scripture, David proposed to build a house for God. Who would have thought God would not allow? Did it not make perfect sense that David wanted to build for God? Yet God did not allow!

We must come to a place where we have childlike and total reliance on the Father. Resolve in your heart to seek God’s directions before you take that next step. David the renowned murderer, adulterer and schemer is today celebrated as a man after God’s heart. Why is this? Total reliance on the directives of God.

One thing I have desired of the LORD,That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.(Psalm 27:4)

Total reliance is not just about feeling a peace when you pray about marrying the brother (or sister) you love. Remember, there are many voices. Very many. There is your voice. Satan’s voice. The voice of the world! There is also God’s voice. If you are not sure, seek the face of the set man (or woman) over your local assembly.
Remember, there is a way that seems right unto a man. The end leads to destruction.

Say a prayer with me.

Dear Lord,

We give you praise because you are God all by yourself! We worship you! You are great! You are awesome! You are mighty!

We are glad we have you. We are glad you are on our side.

Today we make a commitment to you that we will not take another decision without consulting you. We understand that you are the beginning. We also understand that you are the end. Because you are both of these and all things in between, we know that you know our end from our beginning. We therefore pray dear Lord that you lead us in the paths that we should go.

We pray that all our lives may be in line with your will for us in the name of Jesus! We decree that because we have the mind of Christ we will not take any wrong decisions.

We pray that ultimately we will reign with you in heaven forever.

Amen.

Happy children's day....Let us all remain children in issues of trust and direction....

4 Comments:

Blogger Jaycee said...

I know this is not the main point, but I'm so glad you mentioned it.

"Before I proceed, it is clear from this passage that the anointing of God attracts opposition from the enemy’s camp! The minute the philistines heard that David had become king, the Bible records that they went up in full force against him!"

May 27, 2010 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Tehilah said...

lol. annointing sure does attract opposition. Thanks for stopping by. God bless u!

May 28, 2010 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger Pea said...

This is so true. Just because everything is the same today as it was yesterday, the fact that God said "move" yesterday does not mean He will say "move" today. Jesus said "In this manner therefore pray... Give us this day our daily bread." God's desire is that we depend on Him day by day, step by step, moment by moment. It is not that He cannot provide annual bread or centennial bread in one day. He can. But we depend on Him day by day.

June 24, 2010 at 4:59 AM  
Blogger Tehilah said...

how so true pea! how so true!

June 28, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

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