Some people are waiting to hear from God.
Some people feel like they’ve heard clearly from God, but are waiting on His timing.
Some people are right where God wants them to be, doing what God has called them to do, but they’re waiting on the blessing.
We do a lot of waiting.
And waiting is hard. (I’ve written about this before here: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part)
Like we read in 2 Samuel 2 this week, David was waiting. He had been anointed king over Israel nearly 20 years ago (1 Samuel 16:12-13). And now that Saul is dead, it seems obvious that he should take the vacant position as king. But he is patient. He asks God where he should go. God answers. And David goes. There he is re-anointed king.
Great story..but wait..that’s not all..
As this is happening, the commander of Saul’s army, Abner, anoints Ishbosheth king. Ishbosheth is a son of Saul. And now HE has been given the leadership role over all of Israel. So the people must choose. And most of them choose to follow Ishbosheth while just the tribe of Judah follow David. David waits patiently another two years before he takes complete reign over Israel. But right now what we have is the makings of a civil war.
The two sides clash.
2 Samuel 2: 12-29 describes the drama.
And finally a cease fire is given when the leader of Saul’s army makes a plea for the fighting to end, and the leader of David’s army agrees.
It seems subtle, and maybe even the right thing to do at the time..but when David’s men give up the fight and succumb to the pressure of ending the raging battle, what they are actually doing is allowing the enemy to remain. They had the chance to end the war. But they were tired. And these guys were really like family. They truly wanted to get along. But sometimes compromise is not the right play.
It is a metaphor for our spiritual battle against the flesh. The kingdom of Saul represents our flesh/self and the kingdom of David represents the spirit/Jesus. When we try to make peace between King Jesus and King Self within us, the result is a long, bitter war. It is so much better to simply surrender and submit to the reign of Jesus. Redpath, from EnduringWord.com, explains it well,
In the lives of many Christian people today there is raging, literally, a civil war. The flesh – the kingdom of Saul, struggles with the spirit – the kingdom of David, and the conflict is bitter. We do everything we possibly can to hold up the tottering kingdom of self, so that it might exist just a bit longer. If only we could preserve some rights; if only we could have at least part of our own way; if only we could keep this or that at any cost! We feel we must bolster up this kingdom of self, that we cannot let ourselves be crucified with Christ.
So, there is The Waiting and The War.
- While we wait to hear from God..we must be mindful of the war raging and the enemy’s tactics of distraction..
- While we wait on His timing..we must remember that the war is real and the enemy wants to discourage us..don’t give up..don’t give in..
- While we wait on the blessing..let’s not forget that there is an enemy trying to get us to compromise and settle..it seems like a good idea..it looks appealing..but the battle must be won..