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Series:  THE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BEING HUMAN

Sunday am 25 September 2016 – Justus Swart

1 Sam. 23:1-15; Ps. 32:9; 1 Sam. 24:1-15

As Christians, our being human starts with the recognition that we are creatures because we have a Creator. Our being human is identified first and foremost by the fact that we were made with a purpose; we are not an accident, we are part of a plan – God’s plan for this world. We find our beginning in God.

To be human is to be flawed. None of us have found the key to a problem-free life. Even in this fractured life we are called to bring glory to God. Christianity teaches us that God is not looking for perfect people, but for those who know the limitation of their humanness, and are willing to rely fully on His grace.

Tip 12 – Confirmation is ‘key’ when standing on the Word of God (1 Sam. 23:1-5). David was still on the run from an enraged Saul who felt David was a threat to his authority. He wanted to kill him. While on the run from Saul, David had about 600 men out of which came his mighty men. David could have easily developed a ‘saviour’ complex because he was used to winning all his battles and being used of God. Everyone loved him. One great thing about David is that he always stayed close to the heart of God. He knew his victory was based only on the will of God. David goes to God and asks of Him; is it God leading him into battle? In an attitude of humility he asks God for assurance. God confirmed that He would give the Philistines over to him. This is directed to those of us who have heard God speaking to us but our circumstances do not reflect what God has said. We tend to take our cue from our circumstances and not from the Word of God. When those around us doubt and our circumstances do not reflect what God is saying, we wonder if we really heard God. We retreat when we should actually ask God to give us confirmation. Take heart, the Lord your God is with you and will not forsake you. Part of standing on the Word is going back to God for confirmation.

Tip 13 – Faith requires action (1 Sam. 23:7-14). Saul felt God had given David into his hands and goes off to capture him. Standing on God’s word is an abstract thought at times. What does it mean? It is not a literal standing and doing nothing; it is not a passive experience. David needed to take some kind of action. He goes to God directly and in humility he asks God his questions. David knew who was directing his every step. He knew who was lighting his pathway. Where are you getting your direction from? I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you (Ps. 32:8). This is David’s experience, it was not simply a nice poem to him; it was a matter of life or death. God is the one who gives us instruction and direction. Faith alone does not save us. David had a visceral and real understanding of what it meant to stand on God’s word. When things became intense, David knew that if he was standing still he would have been killed. He packed his bags and left as quickly as he could. God did not give David into Saul’s hands. This is faith in motion. We think of faith as a means to stand back and let God work things out for us. Faith is a guiding tool, a guiding principle. When we have faith in God He shows us one step to the next. Faith therefore cannot be a passive thing. Faith is a practical belief that God is who He says He is. It leads to activity and opens the door to God’s guidance.

Tip 14 – God’s timing is everything (patient endurance) (1 Sam. 24:1-15). Saul was seemingly delivered into David’s hands. Saul was in a vulnerable place, alone, unarmed and totally unaware that David was there. David could have taken a dagger and ended it, but David’s conscience does not allow him to kill Saul. Here, God’s timing is everything. When we are standing on God’s word, we have to realize that it is about Him and His timing. David only had an army of 600 at this point while Saul had 3000 of the best. Tactically speaking, David was in the best position. David could have struck; the opportunity was there before him. Instead of killing Saul, he cuts only a corner of his robe. David was not scared or incapable of doing it, he knew it was not God’s plan and it is not how you deal with God’s anointed. Saul took information from the people around him, and it was not the right thing. David was not seduced by the voices around him. The only way out of the predicament was to follow the instructions given by God. He knew that to attack Saul in the dark would have been a violation of God’s principles. Timing is everything! There will always be easy and seductive routes to where you want to go. God is saying, “I am on the straight and narrow path.” When we are facing issues we are tempted to leave the guidance of God on the shelf and go for the quick-fix. We all hate the idea of patience and endurance. Go through what you have to, because it is all part of God’s plan for you. Do it and do it right! God knows the end from the beginning; He is the Alpha and Omega and there is a reason why He wants us to wait.

There is always a method behind what God is doing. We cannot pre-empt by taking a short-cut because that would be a violation of God’s principles. His timing is for our benefit. Things may take weeks, months or even years. People around us may affirm the wrong action but the question is: are we going to be like Saul, listening to the people around us? Or are we going to be like David who goes straight to God for confirmation? If that brings disappointment to those around us, will we still do God’s will? God has set things in motion before you were born. It is not off course. It is not going the wrong way; it will come when it needs to come. Patient endurance is one of the most rewarding principles in the Bible. God knows what He is doing and His timing is for your benefit. We are guilty of faithlessness and doubt but in those times we need to ask God to remove the doubt and give us the confirmation we need. We are not in this for immediate gratification. We are after God’s righteous and amazing plan for our lives. To be human is to be totally dependent on god’s timing.

Refuel yourself; come back to God, get the answer you are looking for. Do not take your cue from your circumstances. Put your faith and trust in what He has spoken to you. God wants to remove your doubt. He wants you to know He is there for you.