The Christian two-step: one step forward, two steps back. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.
1 Samuel 26 & 27:
One step forward, two steps back
In yesterday’s reading, Saul was repentant and had given up trying to kill David. But now in chapter 26 he’s at it again. David, on the other hand, in spite of God’s continuing faithfulness, starts to believe the worse. Instead of being encouraged, he decides that sooner or later Saul will probably kill him. So he resorts to his own foolish solution, going into enemy territory where he knows Saul won’t go. But as the story unfolds we’ll see that this only leads to more problems.
One step forward, two steps back: Have you ever felt like that’s the story of your life? I know I have. We may know intellectually that God’s way is the right way, but when it goes against our feelings, feelings often win out. We could call it the Christian two-step!
We know Matthew 5.23-24 says we aren’t to hypocritically worship God, while we ignore unresolved issues with family and our brothers and sisters-in-Christ. But instead of seeking reconciliation, we avoid people, move to a different church, gossip, or pretend things are fine.
We’re know we’re playing with fire when we flirt with that co-worker or scan the internet for that old “friend,” but we’re so tired of feeling unappreciated and it seems so harmless, and besides, we think, “I can handle it!”
We’re heard our share of teaching about confronting a sinning brother or sister, but it’s just too hard! And besides, “Who am I to judge?”
We hear a good sermon on discipleship or prayer or growing in the Word and we decide, “I’m going to read my Bible more,” or “I’m going to spend more time praying,” or “I’m going to finish that Bible study I started.” Then the alarm goes off and another 30 minutes of sleep wins out.
One-step forward, two steps back.
Dancing to a new beat
Like David, when the struggles keep coming or when we think we’ve failed God again, we’re tempted to give up and think things will never change or we’re never going to get it.
But it doesn’t matter how many times we’ve fallen or how difficult the circumstances, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3.22-23). So what is it you need to do? Is there a relationship you need to reconcile? I habit you need to put off? A discipline you need to put on in its place? Why not ask God for the grace you need and step forward … one step at a time!
Through God alone
Verse 12, “Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” We need to be reminded over and over, just like David, that true victory comes only from the Lord. As we take those steps of faith, one by one, He brings change and victory.
Even the wicked
Verse 4, “The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.” One day everyone will bow their knee and bring glory to God, even the wicked on the day of judgment as the justice of God is demonstrated. Continue reading