August 29, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Kenny Choi, Gracepoint Berkeley

Reflect on the words, “But David remained in Jerusalem.”  What is so inappropriate about this? David remaining in Jerusalem is a strange picture, especially as its springtime and as the text says, a time “when kings go off to war”. His own men were engaging in battle, but David was nowhere near the battlefield but in the confines of his own palace. The king is supposed to be leading his men into battle, and yet he delegates this task to Joab so he can get take a break from battle. I’m really not sure why David ultimately decided to stay in Jerusalem, but this poor decision would prove to be very costly, and the string of sins that he goes on to commit in this chapter and in the chapters to come would haunt him for a long time. Its an inappropriate picture for a king to not be leading the charge in battle, to not be out on the battlefield giving orders and directions to his men, and to not be in the trenches alongside his troops. He is suppose to be the head of the military and yet, with full knowledge that his men are in the thick of battle, I don’t know how King David is able to betray his men by just lounging around at home, taking strolls along his palace and detaching himself from the predicament that his people are in.

What warning does this have for me regarding temptations? The warning that this has for me regarding temptations is that there is really no room for me to take a break from the spiritual battle that God has called me to fight. The moment I stop fighting against my desires and my sinful urges is the moment that I am making myself vulnerable to all manner of temptation and evil desires. I thought about the new curriculum, Thrive, that is being offered and the key verse being 2 Timothy 2:22. The action words in that verse are FLEE the evil desires of youth and PURSUE righteousness, faith, love and peace. The image of someone fleeing from these evil desires is a picture of someone engaged in spiritual warfare. But the picture of someone who just sits still, who refuses to be proactive in denying their sinful cravings, is going to find that staying neutral is the same as not fighting and sooner or later, they are going to be swept away by a menacing wave of temptations and plunge themselves into places of darkness that they probably never would’ve imagined to be in. The warning for me is that I need to constantly be fleeing and pursuing, and never stay in this zone of neutrality, where I’m not doing anything. Its ironic that David thought he would be “safe” in being away from battle and away from all the bloodshed, but it turns out, he places himself in an “unsafe” situation by taking a break from war having all this time to himself alone in his palace. I’m thankful that I’ve been given a lot of opportunities in the recent weeks to not sit still but to engage in the spiritual battle, especially during this period where I have more time now that I’m in-between jobs. God has allowed me to fight temptations by being involved in doing His work, whether it’s praying for all our ministries and especially the incoming students here at Cal, serving at the Interhigh Middle School Camp up at Sierra Lodge, helping out with Camp Gracepoint with the 8th grade boys as helpers, and even grilling 1400 lbs of meat with the Element students for New Student Welcome Night, as exhausted as I may be at the end of the day, I know that I need to keep on fighting like this so that I would flee temptation and pursue after righteousness for His name sake.

 

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