Saturday, 07 July 2012
There is a moment in the old testament when King David's son Absalom lead a rebellion to take over his father's kingdom, David fled the city with his family and those who chose to follow him and he did something we often don't do in the mist of trials, he worshiped God, he did not question and even less compare, he worshiped.
It would be easy for David to compare himself to Absalom, at this moment one is the anointed king of Israel, while the other is leading a rebellion to replace him. At this point in time by the looks of it David is the better man. I did not say the ‘good man’, he is only better, because both are sinners as you and I are. We can always try to be better. The truth that one [David] has many, many…many mistakes under his belt does not change the reality that in this moment the one who is obeying God is suffering. While the other who is in disobedience is getting what he wants, the kingdom!
Very often we see other people getting what they want, and it’s hard for us not to compare, specially when they have what our hearts desire. The girl, the car, that job, the looks, the guitar, the beatles stg. pepper mono version uk release on vinyl! We see them walk in areas that we struggle to make one single step. We compare and in doing so we might even question God’s love for us, “He loves them more?” and in that we compare God’s love for another. We tend measure God’s love by blessings.
Blessing in the world’s standards equals material gain, what you have reveals who you are. You are first the wealthy person that is also a Christian or the not so wealthy person who is also a believer. How often we forget that we entered with nothing and leave the same. I don’t want to have a conversation with your car or house, I want to know what the Lord is speaking to your heart. The echoes of God’s love in another’s heart is a priceless blessing. That is what we should be comparing and sharing, His blessings.
When you compare the David of years ago that was being hunted by King Saul, never at any moment did a tear fall from David’s heart. His heart was clear, God had anointed David as the next king of Israel and even if he did not fully understand why the current king wanted him dead, his heart was ever closer to the Lord. He was suffering for doing the right thing, and for years Saul hunted him.
Now look at today’s David, an older man being hunted by his son, and tears fall from his heart as he walks up the mount of olives. His past mistakes weight heavy on his mind, and he understands why all this is happening, God told him that from his house trouble would rise and the consequences of his sins would last more than a moment.
What inspires me in seeing the comparison of young and old David on the run is this fact… his heart is in submission to the Lord, to His will. That is the part of David that I love, not his mistakes but his willingness to submit to the Lord’s will. Be it in a cave while on the run from Saul or on Mount of Olives fleeing from Absalom. David’s heart is in submission.
If we were to list our previous sins and compare, I know my list would be longer than David’s. So it is not that we find ourselves where we are at only because of past sins, yes our sins have consequences and so does Grace. When we look at all events as them being in God’s hands, we should also see them from God’s hands [Mathew Henry]. The question is not where we stand during whatever trial we currently face, the question is what position does our heart take?
In the mist of this trial David worships the Lord, it is very hard to do that if our hearts are not first in submission to Him. While worship from a distance might still be ‘worship’, but it is just that…worship from a distance. The size or length of our trial should not equal the distance we worship the Lord from, the trial should be compared to the magnitude of God, as our worship should reflect our love, devotion and submission to the immeasurable size of God’s Grace, will and love.
To “compare” is a habit in me that needs to be broken and redefined. How my relationship with God would grow if I like David spent less time comparing and more time in worship.
Do you often fall in to the comparison trap? Why do we often compare ourselves to other people? How can we focus ourselves away from comparing ourselves with others and start looking toward God?