And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting What We Want

And he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped. 2 Samuel 12:20

I’ve been reading 2 Samuel in my quiet times, and the thing that keeps hitting me is how submissive David is to God. And how human he is. It comforts me to know that God calls him a man after his own heart even though he messes up from time to time.

Take the time with Bathsheba and Uriah. As I was reading that story, I wondered if David was ever really convicted about his sin before Nathan came and talked to him. Do you suppose he was so used to getting what he wanted that he didn’t even recognize it was wrong to take another man’s wife and then have him killed to cover up his sin?

And do you suppose we have the same problem? Are we so used to getting what we want that we don’t even realize it’s wrong to make “getting whatever we want” a goal? I see that with eating. Most of the dieting articles in magazines focus on indulgence.

Take this headline: Eat whatever you want and lose weight! I don’t know about you, but if I ate whatever I wanted, I’d gain a hundred pounds. Surely there must be a glitch somewhere in that program.

Some articles take a different approach. They admit we can’t eat whatever we want, but instead they encourage us to indulge ourselves in other ways. Take a bubble bath. Go shopping. Watch a good movie.

There’s nothing wrong with doing those things, but we need to be careful of our focus. Does God really want us to live a life of indulgence? Look where indulgence got David.

And look where it gets us. In the physical realm it’s a weight gain, but that’s not all. Think of the emotional consequences of focusing our lives on getting what we want. Discontentment, boredom, resentment, depression, unhappiness—you name it. We’ll never get enough of what we want to be happy until we reach the point where what we want is God. That’s when joy kicks in.

David always comes back to that point. Look at verse 20 of 2 Samuel 12: And he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped.

David didn’t worship after he got what he wanted with Bathsheba. He didn’t worship after he got what he wanted with Uriah. No, he worshiped after he got what he didn’t want. He worshiped as soon as he heard the news that his baby died—the baby he had been pleading with God to spare for the previous six days.

Isn’t that mind boggling? David was so submitted to God by that point that he didn’t even hesitate. God didn’t give him what he wanted, but he worshiped Him anyway.

That’s the point I want to reach. Where everything I do is about God. Where I worship Him even when I don’t get what I want. First reaction.

I’ll know I’ve made progress when I no longer feel like I deserve to be indulged.

Two hours later (I guess I haven't made progress yet.)

Yes, I know, I'm commenting on my own blog. Pathetic, isn't it? I just have to tell you what God did this morning.

I was sitting down to write and I didn't feel like writing, so I said, "I know, I'll check my e-mails." The only problem was that I wasn't supposed to check my e-mails because I have a boundary of three times a day, and I'd already done my morning check. The only reason I wanted to check them again was to - you got it - indulge myself.

So I said to myself (after checking my e-mails and then truth journaling about it), "Okay, I'm supposed to go to God for help, not my e-mails." So I went back to the Bible, continuing to read on in 2 Samuel, not really thinking there would be anything that would apply to my situation in 2 Samuel.

And that's when it hit me. In chapter 19, David submits again - this time to Joab, and I realized, I need to submit to God - even if it's just for an hour of writing. That instead of checking my e-mails (which is what I felt like doing), I should be worshiping Him.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I found that to be true this morning.

1 comment:

eliz said...

I now notice this so often in the media also, since my eyes were opened with your bible study. Popular talk show hosts who do not have a heart for God like David. Talk show hosts who promote filling our lives with earthly things to fulfill us,and help us with problems like hoarding, drinking, eating and for men sexual sins.

(I don't watch much day time TV, but I have to care for one of my group home women during the night and sometimes we flick around the TV channels, they replay daytime shows like Oprah)

Last year I watched Biggest Loser with anticipation.
This year I want to yell to the TV, STOP what you are doing, you're way off course- the answer is God!! Not killing ourselves with what the world thinks we should do! The answer is God!!
(I can't even watch this stuff anymore)