Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2 Samuel 5

4 comments:

Prairie Chick said...

I felt a niggling of something as I read this, a hope springing from how God gave David strength and victory to conquer the unconquerable and live triumphantly. I especially was ministered to and challenged by what my devotional notes said, though and think they are worth sharing.

"Through the high and low points of our lives, God graciously provides for our needs. As we experience this, our lives can be filled with joyful expressions of praise to him.

A heart filled with God's heart is free both to glorify and to enjoy God. There is no grimness in David's relationship with God. He could weep out his loneliness and fear to the Lord, but he could also dance with unrestrained fervor. When we love God with all our heart we can openly express our emotions to him, and then to others. He wants us to be real with him. When we are in the valley of despair or the mountain peaks of sublime joy, we can express it.

David's abandoned freedom to express his praise is contrasted with his wife Michal's reserve and contempt... Michal was like her father Saul. Her emotional energy was not guided by firm beliefs about God's sovereignty and grace. There was little in her mind about God's loveingkindness, and therefore little capacity of emotional delight in him...

There are Michals in all our lives. People whose minds are starved for liberating truth about God and whose emotions are stunted by malnutrition of lively belief. The conviction of God's grace results in the expression of joy...

The tragedy of religion is that it produces more Michals than Davids...

From: Lord of the impossible by Lloyd John Ogilvie.

I was stunned to read this this morning after what I shared yesterday. It describes so precisely what I am struggling with.

I'm a bit of a David. I wear my spiritual emotions on my sleeve. When I'm feeling passion, I express it. When I need encouragement, I cry out for it. And this is one of the main things that makes me feel so "awkward" and hungry in a community of stoic, straight laced mennonites who like to keep their emotions packaged up nicely in their bedside tables to be removed and unwrapped only for those in their most intimate circle, if then.

Fellowship was made to be corporate, and true fellowship can't take place without an element of vulnerability and honesty and "to heck with the mask, this is how I really feel and this is what I'm hungry for" and a mutual challenging, encouraging, connecting between souls.

And having this with a few intimate friends while feeling a complete disconnect between myself and church leadership and the body at large doesn't cut it for me. Then I start to ask myself "why even go to church?" The only answer I have is "because we are supposed to." "to socially connect with the body at large". "To be a good example to our kids." Those are pathetic answers and they make me feel pathetic. There is so much more God has designed for us. He wants to meet us with power, He wants us to be centred on Christ, He wants to charge us through the preaching and uplift us as we surrender ourselves in worship to Him. He wants us to be bound together in the bonds of prayer and to experience the intimate love that is birthed out of confession and forgiveness.

We have experienced this in fellowship, and once you have, it's not something that allows you to live contentedly with less. So I struggle within myself, a square peg in a round hole. Afraid to even share my thoughts because they are not uplifting, or encouraging, but stem from the discouragement within me. And yet, it's not out of disrespect or negativity, it's out of hunger and thirst for more of God and more of the victory that He wants to pour out in all of our lives, on our church and on our corporate and individual ministry.

Prairie Chick said...

ah... now that was an early morning rant if I ever did see one. Forgive me. Sometimes the dam just backs up so full there's nowhere to spill but over. And then there's a big muddy aftermath... sorry.

mom2six said...

A muddy aftermath? How pleased God must be with a heart that longs for honesty - to be real before Him. God created us in His image - He gave us our emotions. And while we should not be ruled by them, we should pay attention to what they are telling us. To grieve or rejoice, those are gifts from God. I have walked in the valley of discouragement, too often in my life, and it led to darkness. Yuck, that's not too encouraging. Then I read Isaiah 45:3, "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." And then came James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops..." Darkness and trials develop in me what just doesn't seem to come in the light. Which is not bothersome to God, because the darkness is as light to Him. He sees what is going on even when I miss it. There in the midst of my darkness - He calls me by name and I know He is the Lord God. In the midst of the darkness He give me treasures, mostly the richness of His presence. I'm learning to count is ALL joy! Hence the name of my blog. Hope this encourages you. You are such an encouragement and I have enjoyed peeking in and listening to your heart. It is a creation of beauty!

Berry Girl said...

I love your rants.

I still want to talk about this all over coffee...

I loved this part:
"when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you..." v24

I love this image of the Army of the Lord going out invisibly before David, but that he could hear it in the tops of the trees. Like a hundred or so angels marching on ahead of him. Wonderful.