Grace In the Midst of Foolishness!

1 Samuel 25 recounts the story of Nabal, Abigail, and David.   This story happened after Samuel died, and before David was crowned King.   I couldn’t help but practically weep over the grace that Abigail walked in as I read this story today, and how it propelled her to protect the destiny of the King David of Israel, and the entire nation of Israel’s destiny.   Hold on to your seats for this one!

Nabal was a rich businessman with three thousand sheep and a thousand goats.  Super rich.  He is also immediately described as being harsh and evil.   While he was shearing his sheep in Carmel, David was in the wilderness and heard about Nabal shearing his sheep.   He told his men to go up to Nabal and give him a peaceful greeting and tell him that his men have been near by him and haven’t messed with him, stolen anything, or insulted him in anyway.  David told them to tell him basically that they were in good spirits and kind of wanted to party and feast with him, and did he want to do it.  I mean, after all, he was a very wealthy man. At this point, David probably thought that Nabal knew who David was!?  (David was the best friend of King’s Saul’s son Jonathan, and worked for King Saul.)  Maybe that’s why David thought he would give it a shot.

It was actually an honor that he was requesting to feast with Nabal.   However, when David’s men came to Nabal with the request, Nabal sneered at him and basically assumed that David’s men were just off doing their own thing apart from their master David. It seems like he accuses them of goofing off on their own.   Then, he goes on to imply that David means nothing to him, and he wasn’t going to be generous to a stranger.

David was very angry, so he took up his sword and about four hundred of his men, and went towards Nabal’s place, ready to probably just attack Nabal’s house and/or take some stuff that they needed.

And then comes Abigail, Nabal’s wife.   She quickly has her servants get a bunch of food and wine and carry it out to them on donkeys. She didn’t even tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.   David was armed and pretty pissed when she met him on the path in the hidden part of the mountain.

Can you imagine being Abigail?  Meeting a pretty angry warrior of a man with four hundred men ready to attack your household, and running out to meet him before he makes it to you.   Talk about a fearless woman of grace wisdom! She was certainly protecting her entire household from bloodshed, (no doubt there were entire families that were servants in her household), and covering her foolish husband’s butt.

She kneels before David and says that he shouldn’t blame Nabal, but her!    She tells David not to pay attention to her foolish husband’s unkind and haughty words.   She tells him that the gift that she is giving is him is because he is fighting the battles of the Lord.  She knew this!  She obviously was very aware of what calling and anointing was upon David. She even blessed him with an amazing statement.

28”Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and evil will not be found in you all your days. 29“Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundleof the living with the LORD your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30“And when the LORD does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler overIsrael, 31this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord,both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the LORD deals well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

Abigail knew he was going to be ruler over Israel.  How did she know?  Maybe this was just an insight from the Lord.  Maybe she was prophetic?!  She also gave David a bit of a correction by saying that David was not going to avenge himself, and therefore the Lord’s protection would be upon him.

David wasn’t really in the right frame of mind either.  There is no mention of David being told by God that he should go and attack Nabal.  So, essentially Abigail was also protecting David’s calling and anointing, even before he was crowned King.  I mean, Abigail pronounces this great blessing upon him.  It’s like she see in the spirit what is to come.  She moves so swiftly without a moment’s hesitation.   God used her to protect the destiny of the King of Israel, thus protecting the destiny of the people of Israel.

Who knows what would have happened if she had just been sitting at her house, being super annoyed by her husband’s foolishness and evil ways and became bitter and consumed by greed.  Many a wealthy woman has allowed wealth to corrupt her spiritual senses.  Not Abigail.  She was in the middle of a probably very bad marriage, with a man who was only out for himself and not serving the Lord.  Who knows if Nabal had always been like this. He could have once been a devout man of God who allowed the wealth to corrupt him.    She was not corrupted!  She didn’t allow the wealth to corrupt her.   She doesn’t appear to be in any bitterness, though she does state that Nabal is evil.  Another option for her would have been to just run when she heard the news about David and his men coming for her house with the sword.   Then, her evil husband would have died, and she would have been rid of him that way!  But nope!  Sh protected everyone!

I want to walk in this kind of grace.  Grace in the midst of other people’s stupidity and foolishness.  Covering others, when they don’t deserve it.  Protecting the destiny of others, even when my own reputation is possibly at risk.   Honoring others that I am in relationship with, even when they are selfish and mean.

The Holy Spirit must instruct us on how to honor others and operate in grace, when it’s so very difficult.  This powerful story is so relevant to me as a woman who wants to be used by God in whatever way He desires.  You never know when God is wanting to use you in the midst of other people’s foolishness. Get bitter, or get better!

More to come  on the rest of Abigail’s story. It turns out better than she could have possibly imagined!

If You Want the Cat, Don’t Call the Dog

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NASB)

I am at home overcoming a cold today. Notice, I did not say “I have a cold” because I do not wish to possess it. It is not mine. It does not lay claim on me. I speak from a position of victory, not defeat. If I want the cat, I will not call the dog! Metaphorically speaking, this means, speak what you want, instead of clinging to what you don’t want to keep.

“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.”     1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)

This doesn’t mean that I have to lie! I might say, “I am overcoming some pretty intense cold symptoms, but I know that the healing power of Jesus Christ is working in my body.”

There are some phrases that I have removed from my vocabulary.

“I don’t know what I am going to do.”
“I don’t know how I am going to do it.”

This is what the Word says as to how we should look at circumstances in which we FEEL like our brain doesn’t know what to do.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”   John 16:14 (NASB)

“You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.” Exodus 4:15 (NASB)

So, our spirit knows what to do. The Spirit of Truth who resides on the inside, knows what do.

This is my new language:

“I know The Holy Spirit will show me how to do this, even though I feel overwhelmed.”

Is it easy to change your language?! Nope. If you’ve been saying things like this your whole life, it takes time!

Stop staying, “I think I’m catching a cold.”
Do you want to?! Don’t call the dog, if you want the cat!

Stop saying, “I have asthma.” Or “I have diabetes.” Or “I have allergies.” Or “I have migraines.” Or “I don’t sleep well.” Or “my allergies are really bad today” or “my acne is so very bad” or “my —-itis is awful.”

Change it to: “I’ve been battling asthma pretty badly, but I know I’m healed by the stripes of Jesus.” “I’ve been battling allergies pretty badly, but I know I’m healed.” “I’ve been battling migraines, but I know the healing power of God is working in me.” “The acne on my face is getting so much better in Jesus’ Name.” “I believe I am receiving the full manifestation of my healing from…….., and the same power that raise Jesus Christ from the dead IS quickening my mortal body!”

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Romans 8:11  (NKJV)

Will this make a difference?! Yes, yes, yes! All the difference in the world! I’ve lived this! I am believing God for healing from certain physical ailments, and I am seeing a major difference in my body!

I don’t care if the doctor has given you the worst report ever, watch what comes out of your mouth. Speak from a position of victory, and not defeat!

Fitting-In Is Too Much Work

 

11728765_401549966710411_3462252408734687350_o

 

I have been listening and watching the story of Grease, the Musical, because I am acting in the show this summer.    I’ve been doing much thinking about the story in this very lively song and dance show.   The basic storyline is all about, Sandra Dee, the girl who doesn’t really fit-in with the popular crowd.   She tries to just be herself, but in the end she realizes that she won’t be accepted by the popular crowd, nor by the guy she feels she really likes, unless she changes herself to be like them.   Sandy decides that she has to dress provocatively, smoke cigarettes, and be willing to “go all the way”  in order to get what she wants – the cute popular guy, and secondly – popularity with a capital P!

I feel great sadness for every person who has stooped to the level of becoming what they ARE NOT to attract the attention of people that they really never wanted to be like in the first place.   Why did Sandy originally not want to fit in with the popular girls and guys?  The popular girls and guys had completely opposite morals from her.   Not only did they drink, smoke, use foul language, and sleep around, they were insecure, insensitive, highly vain, and competitive with each other in really bad way.  (Cast members, please if you are reading this, don’t take offense to my character analysis.)

Somewhere in all of this, Sandy believed the lie that her value was in how accepted she was by the popular crowd.   At one point in my life, I felt a lot like Sandra Dee.  I’ve felt like, “It would sure be nice to completely fit-in, and not always stick out like a sore thumb because I am so different.  It would be nice to actually get the popular, stud-muffin boyfriend, and tons of attention by everyone by the way I dress.”  Seriously, just being honest.

For so long, it seemed like I had to really try hard not to do “this” and not do “that” as a Christian, in order to stand-out.  Sometimes I wasn’t even so sure if I was doing the right things for the right reasons.  I was just kind of following The Book, the best I could.  I was just trying my hardest to follow what I had been taught.   It was hard for awhile, then it just got easier.

Why and how did it get easier for me to stand-out from the popular crowd?  I made the choice to spend my time with the unpopular crowd, the crowd of people who were like me, who wanted to glorify God with their lifestyle and behavior choices.   I made the choice to sit and spend extra time with God and study his amazing Book of Life when others were just “hanging-out”. I believed that the price that I would have to pay to fit-in with the popular crowd was not worth losing my intimacy with God.

Over the years the intimacy that I have built with my Heavenly Father and Lover of My Soul is far better than getting all the attention from popular people.  Words can not describe how much better it really is to know you who you are and Whose you are.

Being rejected by certain people is not really a big deal when your identity has been fully developed through a relationship with God and His Word.  My own personal belief system of right and wrong comes from the Word of God, and it has become embedded in my soul.  My lifestyle and attitude has been shaped by what I have listened to and read the most.

When presented with many of the same worldly temptations on a day-to-day and weekend-to-weekend basis, it’s not really so hard to say no.  There are certain things I just don’t do.  There are certain places, I just don’t go.  I know I am the daughter of The King of Kings, and there are certain things that His kids just don’t do!   No questions asked.   (Sometime soon, I will share some of those things that sons and daughters of the King just should not be doing.)

At this time in your life, whether old or young, you may still find that it is work to stand-out, but my encouragement to you is – it will get easier the more you behold your Heavenly Father and His Word, and put yourself in right relationships with quality people who want the same thing.   We become more like the one whom we behold.

 9But you are A CHOSEN RACEA royal PRIESTHOODA HOLY NATIONA PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.     11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.   (1 Peter 2:9-12 NASB)