More Beth Moore stuff....
In the margin jot down a few things we tend to do before we pray about a crisis.
- Look for a job.
- Talk to other people.
How he handled his emotions is noteworthy. I believe that one of the ways he maintained sound emotional, mental, and spiritual health was crying "aloud."
... David poured out his complaint to God. He told God his troubles. If we pour out our complaint to everyone else, we're going to be labeled a complainer. But if we pour out our complaint to God, we'll find help. Tell Him your trouble. Tell Him what's hurting you. You can even tell Him what's bugging you! I am convinced this is one of the major contributors to David's Godlike heart: He viewed his heart as a pitcher, and he poured everything in it on his God, whether it was joy or sadness, bitterness or fear. David not only poured out his heart as a personal practice, he urged others to do the same.Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah
This is an area where I need very much to improve. I don't often really pour out my troubles to God. I pour them out to other people and hope God is listening on the side.
David rehearsed his trust in God. In Psalm 142:3, he said, "When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way" David was so exhausted that he feared he would become negligent in his alertness to the snares his enemies set for him. His prayer to God also became a reminder to himself: "God knows my way" Prayer is for our sake as much as it is for God's pleasure. (workbook, p. 53)
I hadn't thought of this as a rehearsal... I always thought that David had some kind of characteristic that I don't that allowed him to maintain his confidence during those times. I am beginning to understand that faith is not a feeling but an action, even though I have spoken these words all my life.
David longed for God's presence. Our feelings are worth sharing with God whether or not they accurately describe the truth. In verse 4, David said, "Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me." (Guards often stood to the right of their appointees, ready to take an arrow in their defense.) David was reminding God he had no guard. He surmised from his aloneness that no one was concerned for him. His next words were, "I have no refuge; no one cares for my life." We often equate safety with people, not places. Take a good look at the words of the psalmist again. Although he had found a cave in which to hide, he felt he had no refuge because no one was there who cared personally for him.
Have you ever felt like David? When was the last time you felt like no one was there to be a refuge in your need? (workbook, p. 53)
This is relevant for me, especially in my fears about growing older without a family and my reactions to the doings of my friends when I am alone.
Certainly many people cared for David, but because they were not in his presence, he felt forsaken. His feelings were not an accurate assessment of the truth, but they were worthy to share with God. Feelings can be a little like our laundry. Sometimes we can't sort them until we dump them on the table. God honored David's telling Him exactly how he felt. (workbook, p. 53)
This is also true of my situation; yet to be honest most of the time I don't complain to God about my feelings but lash out at my friends because of their distance.
David's responses to his peril: he prayed, cried out loud, complained to God, rehearsed trust in God, longed for God's presence, confessed his desperate need.
God had to bring David down to a lowly position before He could raise him up to stand on solid ground. (workbook, p. 55)
This statement resonates with some "gut feelings" I have about my current circumstances of poverty and disability.
"Have you ever known anyone who made him or herself feel bigger or better by putting others down?" I feel like this happens emotionally a lot in the blindness community; but I have a difficulty equating this to physical battle, accusing these so-called good people of being evil. But they do evil with their tongues! "What did you believe those actions said about the person?" They make the person someone I don't trust, someone I don't want to have anything to do with.
Putting others down to build ourselves up is perhaps the ultimate sign of gross insecurity Thankfully, most people with such insecurity don't have the kind of power Saul had to physically destroy people. However, if we allow our insecurities to govern our lives, we become destroyers just as certainly as did this insane king. (workbook, p. 57)
Emotional destruction is powerful; let no one deny this! We have the power to lift up and tear down, to spur another person on to good works or to entrap him/her in feelings of despair. Certainly each person is responsible to seek his/her own healing; but this fact does not absolve us of our own responsibility! A good example is the dilemma facing drivers on the street. Each one is responsible for looking out for oncoming traffic that may be out of control, and certainly there are situations when another driver loses control of a vehicle and cannot be held responsible for the consequences; but each driver is also responsible to look to the safety of others on the road who may be affected by his/her actions while driving.
Do you see what David did in the face of unimaginable horror? When he received the news of the slaughter of innocent people, David responded in four ways to the tragedy
- He placed blame where it should have been: on Saul, on evil.
- He reminded himself that God will repay evil (v. 5).
- He placed his hope solely in God (v. 9).
- He reminded himself that God is good (v. 9)!
When was the last time you were stunned by the depravity of humanity?
How did you sort through your feelings about the situation? (workbook, p. 57)
I recently read an article that made me angry. The author said things about a particular blind person in a way that cast blind people in general in a very negative light. I went straight for justice, trying to set things right by whatever means I could. I didn't even think of praying about the article, even though I pray about many other things.
David did not ask God a second time because he doubted God, but because he needed to be certain. In the same way you or I might ask God to reconfirm His direction, not because we doubt God's Word, but because we question our understanding. To doubt God in the face of clear direction is the sin of disobedience, but to double-check our understanding and interpretation of God's will is prudent.
Have you ever moved too quickly in a direction you believed God was sending you and later realized you were hasty and might have misunderstood? (workbook, p. 60)
Yes. I transferred out of AU too quickly instead of trusting. God used things in my life anyway and used me anyway; but I lacked appropriate spiritual guidance for the level of questioning I was experiencing and I was led into areas of temptation that I might not otherwise have experienced. All things work together for good ... but I can see very plainly that my life would be very different had I stayed at AU. I am now dealing with the challenge of letting go of feelings of grief and failure because of this. I know that this, too, will work together for good.
"When was the last time you "double-checked" God's direction in your life?" When I was thinking about moving back home from Florida. I thought about it for 18 months but was uncertain about when and how to proceed until God sent a storm--actually a group of storms--to awaken me.
"Have you been betrayed more than once?" I often feel betrayed, like the promise of employment is a dangling carrot--and it is, indeed, hard to avoid becoming bitter.
Counting our blessings when we are betrayed, wrongly accused, and hunted by ruthless men is a different kind of worship than counting our blessings in the safety of Sunday worship. David responded to his helpless estate by giving a freewill offering to God in proportion to His blessings. He left us a wonderful example. (workbook, p. 62)
Although David assured Saul he would not harm him, he did not absolve him of wrongdoing.
It is possible to hold someone accountable without hurting him. It's very difficult. I often yell at a person because I want vengeance. I don't know how to hold a person accountable without taking revenge.
Four evidences that David was greatly influenced by the Holy Spirit (modified from pp. 64-65):
- David's conscience was immediately stricken.
- David met conviction with a change in behavior.
- David exercised great restraint. He could have argued that his actions were in self-defense.
- David respected God more than he desired revenge.
The entire discussion on pp. 64-66 is very convicting for me. "In the home, church, or workplace has God ever called you to remain in a situation though you had lost respect for someone under whose authority God had placed you?" Sometimes the situation is not just about authority. There are other situations where a person's actions anger me and I want revenge but I am required to remain in the situation and treat the person with gentleness. It's very hard; but I am glad that I know how it feels to have done it.
Remember, the momentary opportunity for revenge might not only be a temptation from the evil one, but a test from God. Be ready in advance. No doubt the time will come when you will face a window of opportunity to get back at a person who has wronged you. The only way to get through a window God doesn't open is to break it yourself. This is one window sure to leave you injured. Don't do it. Let the Holy Spirit perform His restraining work. Someday you'll be glad you did