GOD CAN SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
God Can Save You from Yourself
I recall a time in high school when I slipped into a spiritual funk. Oh, I was going to church regularly. I was involved in many church activities, but I had begun to get involved with the wrong kind of activities with my friends. Don’t get me wrong. My friends were pretty good guys and still are friends today, but together we began to do things that were just not the things Christian people do. We talked in vulgar ways, passed unkind notes in class, acted disrespectfully toward teachers, and generally did not act like Christian kids should act. I look back on those days with embarrassment. I should have been a good influence on the others, but instead, I helped make the situation worse. A couple of those friends, while generally good guys, didn’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior. I realized later that I had failed them by, not only failing to tell them about Jesus, but also by faltering in my example. I was spiraling in the wrong direction. I still don’t know why God didn’t give up on me.
However, God sent, in the form of a new educational opportunity, an interruption to my trajectory. I was removed from that place and sent to a private Christian school over 200 miles away. There, I walked into a very positive Christian atmosphere; not a perfect one, but a place where high expectations were placed on me. With God’s help, my life flipped around, and I found a brand-new lease on life that put me on a refreshing course to honor God. If I had not found that interruption, I do not know where I would be today. I am, in no way, the same guy I was before. God has that knack for giving us opportunities to turn back to him. I’m thankful that God made that change available to me.
Many Christians are not aware of the funk, young David experienced while escaping King Saul. When David, in his spiritual peek, had, for a second time, delivered the King by choosing not to kill him, appeared to be on his way up, he hit a snag. In fear and frustration from being constantly hounded by King Saul and his special forces, David made a huge mistake. 1 Samuel 27 and following tells us how that he decided the best way to escape the constant pressure of Saul was to join forces with the arch enemies of Saul and Israel. He went to live in Philistia. Not only did he move to the enemy’s camp, but he also offered his sword and those of his 600-man army to serve with the Philistine Army. While David was able to fake it for a while by pretending to conduct raids into Israel, when he was really attacking the Amalekites, the time came when David would have to put up or shut up. In the 29th chapter of 1 Samuel, the Philistine King Achish had determined to make a full-scale invasion into Israel. Having offered David a lifetime position as his personal bodyguard, he wanted him and his men to take part in the attack. David was now going to be forced by his honor to fight against his own people. What a mess this had become.
Fortunately for David, God used an unusual group of people to save David from a move that would have ruined his opportunity to ascend the throne. Four Philistine generals, possibly out of envy, told the King they did not trust this Israelite warrior to fight against his own people on their side. Because of their strong argument, the King sent David and his men back to Ziklag, the city where they had been living with their families in Philistia to sit out the invasion. There is no doubt this was an intervention from the Lord. Not only did it keep them from being labeled “traitors” by their people, but it also helped them to go and rescue their families who had already been kidnapped by the Amalekites.
When God has plans for your life, he offers rescue from yourself, if you look for it. It is up to you and me to recognize these opportunities and take them. God sees our mistakes. He strives to save us, but we must take them when they come.
God wants to save you from yourself.
Will you let him?
This Sunday we will continue our series of messages from the series When God Build’s a King How a lowly shepherd became a great King with a sermon titled God to the Rescue based on 1 Samuel 30. I hope you will join us and seek how God came to the rescue of his servants once again.