“And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”
(2 Sam 5:19)
2 Samuel 5:17-25 is the Story of David and his second set of victories, illustrating how we are to stay current with God, gaining conquests in our own hearts. Our inheritance in God, our place of growing under His authority, is going to be to the measure in which we gain our own spiritual victories, both internally and also externally.
God has graciously provided us opportunities to grow into that authority that He is going to unveil in and through each of us, individually and corporately on this Day. The key to victory is to never go up to do battle in your own strength, but to remain in the Stronghold – Him Who IS your victory!
“For all is of You, and we have given to You out of Your hand”
1 Chronicles 29:14
Thankfulness is rooted in the realization that everything we have is from Him and is always to remain His. Within the mindset of “me” and “mine”, we lose the freedom of selflessness. The cords of “mine” cling to the soul and bind it to the darkness of earthly reasoning and carnal obsessions. From these dark places envy, jealousy, evil speaking, and divisions arise within the Body of Christ.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have…”
Lust is simply wanting something outside of the will of God. To desire something someone else has is to be unthankful for the portion God has given you. Often envy arises in those who have not been faithful to that portion God has given them. There is a lamenting of unattained gifts, undeveloped talents, and a blindness to the things God has given. The precious commodity given by God has been neglected by the very lust for something someone else has. In our faithfulness to God’s gracious gifts to us, we will inevitably discover His wisdom and beauty in them.
Envy is the opposite of thankfulness. It is an unsanctified passion that fuels the fires of anger, depression, and bitterness. Galatians calls these things the “works of the flesh” and those who dwell in them “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). Men and women who allow the destructive contagion of envy to fester within their hearts will suffer eternal loss.
Thankfulness comes from knowing that we are not worthy of His attention let alone the unmerited gifts of His goodness.
“What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, or a son of man, that Thou dost look after him?”
Thankfulness is a binding agent within the Body of Christ whereas envy tears at the very fabric of His heart within His own. The power of pride and envy was the desire of Satan that resulted in his fall into the pit of utter destruction and banishment from God.
“You said in your heart… ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High!’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit”
God’s instruction of wisdom to all of us is to flee from the very spirit of envy; to rid ourselves from that which will poison, steal, and destroy the work of God within. Only a pure and thankful heart can abide in the Life of Him who gave Himself on our behalf.
“Can two walk together except they are agreed?”
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”
THE SECRET Place OF ABIDING
“And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him“
The Son found the strength to obey through the power of prayer The religious tend to substitute prayer for obedience, but those who pray fervently will find in Christ the power to obey.
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt”
“He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done”
If Jesus needed the power of prayer to face the enormity of the Cross, how much more do we need prayer for His grace to walk obediently! Obedience and prayer must be in parallel; when one is lacking the other will also be lacking.
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work“.
” My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
The expectant soul is one who recognizes their dependence upon God. He has no other expectations than Christ Himself. The greater our vision of Him, the greater will be our need for Him.
To live a life that expresses Him we must know the necessity of His living resources. Our own meager resources will never be sufficient for the demands of the day. Each day He is calling, drawing, and ever desirous that we live in the unconscious wonder of His canopy of love. There is a gracious support of our hearts and minds; He holds sway over our fickleness. The tensions and the demands of our days may distract us from this place of rest, but in returning, we will find our way back to the quiet harbour of His presence. It is in those moments we are instinctively aware of the steadfastness of our Rock.
“…when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I”
Paul and his faithful companions knew much of the pressings and trials in their day. We should “find it not strange” that our days are such. There are many who have endured incredible adversities to the very limit of their strength, but God held them steady.
“…we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life”
2 Corinthians 1:8
There are deep waters before us, testings greater than what we know now. It is today that He grooms us, prepares us, and works to free us from our self-reliance, that we may stand in the coming evil day. Paul’s resiliency was found in the power of the following verse:
“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead…”
2 Corinthians 1:9
Take heart as He works all things for our good. Let us keep our expectation only from Him and be ever faithful, “abounding in the Work of the Lord”.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58
God’s consolation is His assurance to the afflictions of His own. He who called us is also the one who keeps us. His end more than compensates the afflictions and storms of life.
“You afflicted, tossed with storms, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in beautiful colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones” ISAIAH 54:11-12
In affliction, tempest, and sorrow the God of all comfort comes softly like the dew settling upon the grass after the long dark season of night. His silent ways bring whispers of hope within the human heart and His strong arms hold and carry us in the distress of our circumstances. He walks with us through the valleys. He gently embraces the wounded heart and in the secret of His ways, we see the fair colours of His handiwork. We see the precious stones of His making become the foundation of our lives; not only strong and stable but filled with the beauty of His own being. There is no such thing as wasted tears for those that know their God. All sorrows and trials become part of the building of His story in our lives. His comfort becomes the very currency that we can share with others for it has become ours through the experiences of a life with Him.
“…who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”
2 Corinthians 1:4
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to usin His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb 1:1-2)
In times past God spoke through men, but now in these last days, He is speaking by His Son, in and through YOU! The five-fold ministry is to bring YOU into your unique ministry, to develop and add YOUR voice to THE VOICE of many waters that YOU should become HIS VOICE to others.
God has already apportioned to each of us a mighty deposit of His Spirit, but we don’t enter into it by prayer, but by obedience. God has already given you the land, but now says, “My land is not to be talked about, My land is to be walked about!”
Mercy must be coupled with truth to equal righteousness. Truth must be in harmony with mercy to be consistent with the character of God. Mercy tempers self-righteousness and truth delivers us from apathy and carelessness. It is in the blending of these two Divine realities of God that righteousness culminates.
“…keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation”
Moses’ response to such a pure and Holy revelation was this:
“And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped”
Pure worship is the result of seeing God in the wonder of His Glory and Holiness. His Glory is His character; His character is the basis of His Judgment. The deceived corrupt His Likeness by “perverting the grace of our God into moral anarchy and lack of self-restraint”. Others corrupt His truth into a callous caricature of a malicious despot. Truth magnifies mercy and brings the work of Christ into holy living, worthy of His sacrifice. Mercy breaks the proud heart of the natural man. In brokenness, we find obedience unto Him by which we are made free and alive in Him.
“But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple”
There is no contradiction between the Mercy of the Lord and the Fear of the Lord. Only the pure in heart can understand the fusion of these two great and solemn attributes.
A Gospel which declares a mercy void of truth produces apathy, the womb of unholy living and damnable heresies.
“For certain men entered surreptitiously who were of old predicted with reference to this judgment, men destitute of reverential awe towards God, perverting the grace of our God into moral anarchy and lack of self-restraint, and denying the only absolute Master, even our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jude goes on to declare:
“Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this**, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn’t believe”
How we need to be reminded of the verity of God. It is to this end we encourage and admonish one another to “live godly in Christ Jesus”. Let the unmerited ministrations of His mercy break our stubborn hearts and bring us into obedience that the world may see the truth of Him in us.
“Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”
2 Corinthians 7:1
Those who believe in the “promises of God” pursue purity of heart and are ever in the process of seeking holiness in the fear of the Lord.
“The diverse aspects of the divine nature, to separate which is the tendency of the unregenerate mind of man and of all paganism, are united in perfect harmony in the Lord Yahweh… But the perfect revelation of the harmony was reserved for the fulness of time when “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” was made known to us in the flesh as both our Saviour and our Judge”
* Hebrew – To meet together (face to face), to concur, join
** The early Church knew of these powerful truths and the resounding expression of them brought forth a people who were the light of Christ unto the world. Compare the glory of the early church with the ethos of the present.
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Psalm 2:1-3 (Also quoted in the Book of Acts 4:25-27)
The stage of human history is set for the eventual fall of all wickedness and the eternal Glory of Jesus Christ. Though there be stifling times of pure evil and darkness it is Christ alone who will stand revealed and glorified at the end of Days. Even the night which is falling upon us with its contrary winds and evil tidings will only further serve His end and purposes.
“When the drama of history is over, Jesus Christ will stand alone on the stage. All the great figures of history … will realize that they have been but actors in a drama produced by another”
– Helmut Thielicke
“Every Knee Shall Bow and Every Tongue Confess That Jesus Christ IS Lord!”
“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear“