Find yourself being stubborn?
Our Christian life is like running a marathon and doing the hurdles at the same time. King David’s life illustrates this well because while you can never argue whether or not David loved God, but you can also never argue whether or not David had his issues with hurdles from time to time. And yet, as we look at the life of David we find a man is faithful to God. Regardless of many hurdles come up or how often the hurdles came up for David, he remained faithful.
He wasn’t perfect. But he was faithful to God. In every moment of weakness or sin that he find himself in, we see a man that restored his relationship with God with confession and honesty (both to himself and to God). That type of faithfulness – this loyalty, this constant, this steadfastness – didn’t happen by accident. In fact, he is recorded in the book of Acts as ‘a man after God’s own heart.’
1st Chronicles 21 gives us a window into one of these moments where there were hurdles for King David.
Here’s the series of events that transpires in 1st Chronicles 21:
Verse 1-2 David asks for a census. This is a sign of weakness and a sign of pride, because it shows him shifting his faith from God’s might to his own might.
Verse 3 David is warned that this is not a good idea.
Verse 4 David is stubborn and demands the census anyways.
Verse 5-7 David recognizes his sin.
Verse 8 David confesses.
Verse 11-12 David is given a choice for his punishment from God
Verse 13 David chooses his punishment.
Verse 14-17 Punishment is given
Verse 18 A chance for restoration is given
Verse 19-22 David seeks to make amends and restore his relationship with God
Verse 23 David is offered a shortcut
Verse 24 David refuses the shortcut and his commitment and faithfulness to God is shown.
Some thoughts on faithfulness:
*The goal of the enemy is to interrupt our faithfulness to God.
John 10:10 (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
David’s faithfulness was interrupted as he considered his own might. Our own interruptions can come in a variety of forms: Stress, Guilt, Shame, Temptation, Grief and even Anger.
**Being stubborn is a hurdle to being faithful.
David was stubborn, even when getting good counsel from his godly advisors. Think about this: If you go through the steps of making a wise decision and every indication is you should go left and you decide to go right – that’s a good indication that you’re being stubborn.
***Confession brings you back into relationship.
I John 1:5-7 (NIV)
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
David was good at confession. Mostly because he kept on putting himself in a position when he had to confess things. Read through the Psalms though and you’ll find David constantly confessing his own shortcomings to God and in doing so – he restored relationship with God.
****Faithfulness doesn’t include shortcuts.
Don’t waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention. ~ F.B. Meyer.
There will be times when our faithfulness to God will be challenged with our own stubbornness. Here’s some questions to ask yourself the next time you find yourself being stubborn…
- Is this stubbornness going to cause me to be unfaithful to God?
- Is there something I need to confess?
- Am I trying to take a shortcut instead of trusting God to direct my path?
Count the cost. Stay faithful. Confess. Restore relationship with God and others. Avoid shortcuts.
Until next time…