Petitioning our King

In 1 King 1, King David is not doing well. He is getting up in years, and his sickness had gotten him so lean that he couldn’t even keep himself warm. Because he was so sick, he was not able to pay close attention to what was going on in his Kingdom. His 4th son, Adonijah took advantage of this opportunity, and sought to become King. To gain credibility and support, he gathered a few of King David’s high power officials and convinced them he was next in line. Some of these men had fallen out of favor with King David anyway, so in their quest to retain their wealth and status they of course thought it would be a good idea to support this potential future young king. Adonijah, did as many ambitious people do, he started taking advantage of his position in the Kings family to help him in his climb to the top.

Though his father had not given him the title, Adonijah threw parties and started gathering high power officials around him, in essence he was acting like a king although he was not officially given the kingship. He was slowly dethroning King David without any opposition.

Fortunately, one of David’s loyal prophets Nathan saw what Adonijah was doing. He knew Adonijahs intent was not good and brought it to the attention of David’s wife Bathsheba. Bathsheba’s son Solomon was actually the chosen one of God to take over King David’s throne, and not Adonijah. Nathan, King David and God had some history. Nathan was the prophet who God used to rebuke David when he stole Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba), got her pregnant, and then to cover up his act had Uriah killed on the front lines. When Solomon was born to David and Bathsheba, God told Nathan he was Jedidiah (Beloved of the Lord).

I find it interesting, that to the world at the time, it probably looked like Adonijah would be the next king. He was rich, surrounded himself with power, and was taking control of the kingdom. King David, because he was so sick, was no where to be seen, so it would’ve been logical to believe that Adonijah’s ambitions were coming true. But his worldly ambitions were not going to get in the way of God’s sovereign plans.

Both Bathsheba and Nathan petitioned King David. They brought Adonijahs actions to the King’s attention and reminded him of his own words which were that Solomon would be King and reign after him. Honoring their petitions, King David, from his death bed, ordered that Solomon be brought down to Isreal and annointed King.

I find this turn of events interesting for a few reasons. One, it proves that even when someone powerful rises up against us that the Lord can make people and circumstances align for their defeat. Two, even when it seems that our God is nowhere to be seen when a powerful opposition seems to be rising up, that we should remain faithful and petition him with his own promises and he will take a stand against and defeat our opposition. Thirdly, often times we will see our friends and once loyal companions flee to the opposing side, in our loneliness and abandonment, God will send prophets to encourage us to continue to stand strong and believe in our King.

God says: You are MY WITNESS and MY CHOSEN….in the balances.

 

pilates-classes-in-kansas-city
(warning: these words hold truths you may not be ready to hear)
Isaiah 43 vs 10-11says: “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.   Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.  I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.
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     As I listened to the pundits this week and reviewed what was going on with the Kavanaugh hearing it became very apparent the importance of eye witnesses.   As much as the opposition tried to build a case against Kavanaugh there was no basis to their accusations unless the eye witnesses were able to corroborate the evidence.  The four mentioned witnesses were not able to testify that the events happened that the accuser said took place, so the accusations were then dropped and Kavanaugh was then able to keep his credibility and character in place to be voted in as a Supreme Court Justice.  Witnesses were key to the case.  Witnesses were called to verify or to deny what was being said was the truth.  Without witnesses, it is very difficult to prove something or someone is true.
     In Isaiah 43, the Lord declares we are his witnesses.   We are the ones who he has chosen to testify that He is the Lord, and that there is no other.   Earlier in this passage (vs 2) he foretells of what he is going to do.  He is going to allow us (his chosen) to ‘pass through water’, to ‘pass through rivers’, and to ‘pass through fire’, and we will safely pass through these circumstances because he will be with us and in vs 8 & 9 he challenges his opposers by saying “who else can proclaim this?”  “Let them bring their witnesses…so others, upon hearing, can say, “that is true”. Meaning, who else can proclaim to do this, where are their witnesses?  Bring them forward!
     We have been chosen so that we can know and trust him, and witness to who he is and to what he is doing.   It is essential for God to have witnesses.   He needs his chosen to rise up and open up their eyes and ears and to witness to what he has done and to what he is doing.  He has “declared, saved, and proclaimed!” (vs. 12).  We have seen him declare, save and proclaim, yet are we witnessing to his work?   He is our only Creator and our only Savior, yet are we witnessing to His power and existence?   Or are we claiming the credit for ourselves or giving the credit to someone or something else (ie. hard work, talent, luck, investment strategies, education…the list goes on)?   We need to stand up and declare his truths against his accusers.  As his servants and chosen ones it is our responsibility to do this.
     Kavanaugh was unrighteously accused.  There was no witness to stand against him.  They were called, and they testified, but their accounting of the event did not align with what the accuser claimed happened.   In vs 8-9 God calls on his accusers.  He actually calls them to stand and he states the nations will gather together and bring their witnesses.  We are called to stand against his accusers and testify to who he is and what he has done in our lives.  Is our silence, our failure to acknowledge our King, our Provider, our Healer, our Creator actually allowing his accusers to build their case against God?
     Take heed to these words: Read vs 25-26  God is also our ONLY Savior.  Jesus will take account of our behavior.  He will be OUR WITNESS against the accusers.    He will hold us to the truth and we will stand accountable to what we have said and done.  Just like Kavanaugh, our accuser will make a case, and it will be up to Jesus whether or not we will pass through the gates into Heaven.   Many of the accusations will be very, very old and we will say, ‘but that was a long time ago, that was in the past and we are not like that today’, or we may even deny remembering it happened or that we actually said it. Jesus will hear our case and not heed these accusations IF AND ONLY IF we choose him as our Savior (John 14:6) .  But, if we choose him as our Savior, in return, we need to stand up for his cause.   We MUST be his witness here on earth, so he will be our witness up in Heaven.
    This is all true, but I’m not going to leave you with just this, because there are additional truths that we must also hold on to:
     In our witness we must also know his promises for us.  His promises hold our strength, our power and our hope.   His promises give us the power to be his witness.   Knowing this, God has given us some very good and strong promises.   Read vs. 3-7  because they include these promises:  God loves us.   God values us and honors us.  God will be with us.   God will fight for us.   God made us.    Remember, these promises.  Hold on to these promises.   Seek God to uphold these promises.    Then, as his chosen one, GO witness to the world ALL of these truths!

Please God, stop this runaway train!!

Stop

 

Having been blessed to grow up on a small farm in Minnesota, I have many, many childhood memories of uninhibited fun.  Most days you could find me outside playing with friends, doing my chores, or exploring new things to see and do.  Days spent walking the woods, swimming in nearby lakes, flying kites, riding horses, driving go-carts, playing sports, climbing trees, ice skating, snow skiing, really all kinds of adventurous things without any hint of hesitation or fear.   I had an amazing childhood, but the one thing I remember best is having freedom to wander and explore and experience many different things.  Living carefree from day to day and my youth seemed to last forever.

Many of us reflecting on our youth enjoy similar experiences.  But as the years go by that “carefree” attitude somehow disappears.  We get jobs, incur debt, get married, start raising children, and  our lives begin to fill up with burdens and responsibilities.     Most of our time is spent spinning through the many things we have to accomplish in a day leaving not a moment to spare.   Occasionally, we squeeze out a night with our spouse or our friends and but very rarely a moment to ourselves.  Before we know it, our busyness has burned away decades of our life, leaving us only to wonder where the time went.  My life is a perfect example of this.

In my pursuit to become the best wife, mom, daughter and employee, my life began to spin out of control.  I needed to figure out how to stop the clock and learn how to enjoy more “moments” in my life.   Exhausted from keeping all of my responsibilities engaged, it became very clear to me that I had become way too busy.  I barely had 15 minutes for praying or reading my bible, nonetheless an hour for a massage or bubble bath.

Don’t get me wrong, I really loved being productive and achieving new goals.  I had become so efficient at balancing my personal and professional life that my franklin planner was on auto-pilot and I could multi-task like a general defending 4 war fronts.   I wasn’t alone. Most of my friends were living the same way, which encouraged me to press on.  Then after 25 years of “full speed ahead”, I woke up one morning extremely exhausted.  Not an ounce of energy to accomplish the 50 things on my task list for that day.   I couldn’t give up, and I couldn’t go on.   I had only one choice and that was to pray:  “PLEASE GOD, STOP THIS RUNAWAY TRAIN!”

I would love to tell you that Gods answer was powerful and immediate, it wasn’t.   But it wasn’t because he wasn’t trying to effect change, it was more because I wasn’t wanting his answer.    Gods answer was simply “surrender”.   But surrendering  was an impossible answer for a woman who had no idea how to let go.    Does this sound familiar?

It has been 2.5 years since that difficult morning, but God has been slowly transforming my life ever since.  It hasn’t been easy, but it has been amazing.    I understand myself and God in ways I never would have imagined and my life is in a brand new place.   Its really kind of hard to explain, but if you find yourself exhausted, yet driven, but unsure of where your headed, I encourage you to jump off the train.   Instead, start pursuing God and digging into His scripture.   You will find that amazing things will start happening as you begin to let go and start allowing him to lead.

God really is a good, good God and He loves you very, very much.  He designed you and has amazing plans for you.   Maybe its time for you to start asking him to show you what they are.

Galatians 2:20 (amplified)  I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.