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!

Stand Still, Hold Your Peace

stand-still-blog

 Exodus 14:10 -20 NKJV

13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

          On the path to walking in abundant life, we must remember that the glory of God is the answer. Let’s look at the scripture passage for a minute.
          First of all, the Israelites had been running away from their bondage. This was the first step that God had them take. They had recognized the lies they had been living under while in slavery to the Egyptians.   They needed to start running. However, they got to a certain spot and they recognized that the Red Sea was in front of them and they were trapped. At least, that’s what they thought!
          Then, they freaked out and exclaimed to Moses. “Why did you bring us here? It would’ve been better for us to stay back in Egypt in slavery or die in the wilderness!” (My paraphrase!)   God’s response to them was to stand still and hold their peace. He was going to deliver them, and they need not fight the Egyptians, but just stand still and hold their peace.
          Then, God had Moses stretch out his staff over the sea, and God made a way for the Israelites to go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. The Egyptians actually would follow them, however, God said that he would harden their hearts. God wanted the Egyptians to know that he was the Lord to be honored above Pharaoh.
          If you look at the New Living Translation for verse 18 it says “When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord!”  The glory cloud made a way through the Red Sea for them to follow, and leave the Egyptians behind to be swallowed up by the waters of the Red Sea.
         You may feel like all the bondage you are trying to break free of is chasing you. You keep running. You keep praying, and trying to figure out why you can’t break free of the torment, bondage, or fear.  God wants you to know that He is fighting for you, and you need only right now to stand still. Hold your peace.
         “Stand still” means to stop working and striving for your own deliverance.  When we stand still we are in a place of worship and surrender, in which we know that God is the only one who will be able to overcome this thing for us.  When we worship we come into contact with the glory of God, the very essence of His nature, the light that is him. This glory is powerful over all demons, and silences them!
          So, today stand still, hold your peace, and worship the living God. Watch his glory light up your life and dispel all the darkness so you can break through to freedom and the areas where you have been bound! When we work God rests, but when we rest, God works.