Friday, March 11, 2011

What's a Girl (Or Guy) to Do?

I only have one weapon left to share. Wow, that's seven weapons in...15 or 16 weeks. Well, I was about to make fun of myself, but actually that's not too bad for someone like me who is so easily distracted by pretty much everything else.

Today is not the day for weapon seven. I'm distracted by something else right now. Recent conversations have me thinking about life's decisions. Making choices is part of life, and I have made some good ones, but I have also made some mistakes. We've all made bad decisions, haven't we?

Here is an example from my very unfortunate high school days. Lots of bad decisions here: big hair, heavy make-up, loud blazer. Why was I even wearing a blazer? I was eighteen, for crying out loud. I can laugh about this. But that's because I didn't really hurt myself or anyone else with this fashion disaster. The mistakes I have made that have hurt others and myself are not so easily laughed away. And for some people, I know that past failures can be a major stumbling block to making good decisions in the present.

 I was reminded this morning just how good it is to "inquire of the Lord." That's what the wise guys in the Bible did. Take David, for example. In I Samuel chapter 30, when God's people were raided by the Amalekites, David inquired of the Lord. Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them? And the Lord answered David. Pursue them. You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. And again in II Samuel chapter 5, when the Philistines made ready to attack, David inquired of the Lord. Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me? And the Lord answered David. Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you.

Is it okay to ask God questions? Yes! Will He answer us? Yes, He will! I have been guilty so often of praying that God will bless me in this or that endeavor without first asking Him if I should even be doing it at all! Instead, I want it to be said of me that I was a woman who inquired of the Lord.

But what about when we don't ask the Lord? As I was thinking about my own bad decisions this morning, I realized that I had made each one without asking God about it. So, what can we do when we've tried to do something on our own and made a mess of everything? Even for the person who has changed the course of her entire life due to bad decisions, all is not lost! God has, for reasons I cannot comprehend, made it His business to redeem us. If we will humble ourselves before Him, He will bless us in spite of ourselves.

David forgot to inquire of the Lord, too. I'm sure you remember the story of Bathsheba in II Samuel chapters 11 and 12. At this point, David had a bunch of victories under his belt. Did he become prideful? Did he think he could start making decisions on his own? Or did he already know what God's answer would be and he didn't like to hear it? Whatever his reason, he saw another man's wife and took her to be his own. She became pregnant, and after some failed attempts to cover it up, David had Bathsheba's husband killed. 

I'm sure that if he had inquired of the Lord, the answer would have been do not do this detestable thing! But it was done. David made a mess of things, and he suffered severely when the baby born through that union became sick and died. This very well could have been a deal breaker for David. He might have hardened his heart completely against God, and declared that all was lost. He might have lost all hope that he could ever again be a man after God's own heart.

But he did not! And we can follow his example. David was cut to the heart by his sin. He humbled himself before the Lord. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me...You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise. (from Psalm 51)

Indeed, God did not despise David's contrite heart. He offered forgiveness and brought about good for David in spite of himself. David and Bathsheba's next child was Solomon, who only became the wisest king in all the land and just so happens to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ Himself! 

No mess you have made is too bad for God to clean up. He will not take away consequences for our actions, but He will certainly shower us with His forgiveness, mercy, and love. I think He must surely delight in bringing beautiful things up out of the dirty messes that we make. 

Here is a challenge for you (and for me, too!) : if you are facing a decision right now, do not let your past failures make you unable to move in any direction. Seek forgiveness, and then start fresh by asking Him what you should do.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5


  1. Yes, yes, yes! Looooooooove it! The word of God is simply AMAZING! Thanks for sharing it today. I read 1 Samuel 30 this week too. Coincidence? I think not.


  2. I, for one, have fond memories of the blazer.


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