"Learning to Live In Dependance"
It can be hard to trust God when you are facing a really difficult situation. I know I have a tendency to grasp for control and wrestle with God’s purposes in the middle of the unknown. It can be easy for me to make my life about what I want, rather than entrusting my life to God’s sovereign control. (Perhaps you can relate?)
I love the example King David sets before us on this very issue in 2nd Samuel. In chapter 15 we learn about David’s response when his son Absalom tried to take the kingdom away from him. David had fled and he sent the Ark of the Covenant - a symbol of God's presence and favor - back to Jerusalem with the following command, "Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, 'I am not pleased with you,' then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him." (2 Samuel 15:25-26).
David knew that Absalom's attempt to take the kingdom from him was prophesied as God's judgment for his sin with Bathsheba. In fact, David was so aware of this that when Shimei (a prominent Benjamite who apparently blamed David for the current unrest in the kingdom) was cursing him while David was fleeing from Absalom, David said to his followers who wanted to act in his defense, "...leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me His covenant blessing instead of His curse today." (2 Samuel 16:11b-12). Even though it was David’s own sin that got him into trouble, he trusted that God is good and just. “Let him do to me whatever seems good to him.”
David faced the consequences of his sin with an attitude of humility, and yet with faith that God could still be trusted even in His discipline. He knew that there was nothing good in trying to take over and force his circumstances to conform to his will - so he entrusted himself and his kingship to the sovereignty of God. And this is the way we were designed to live - in surrender and dependence on God. It can feel contrary to my nature to live in this dependence, but it is contrary to the way God created me to live outside of it.
When I am fulfilling my God-given purpose - to please Him, worship, and live in humble dependence on His wisdom, He gives so many beautiful blessings. I exchange my control for freedom that will not be weakened by difficult circumstances. I find rest in the acknowledgement that whatever my future holds, the future itself is held by God’s tender and careful hands. Surrender always feels scary to me, but on the other side of it I am always amazed by how it is a gift. I surrender, and receive so much more Goodness in return – from a God who loves me and is Love.
David penned the psalm below, and it is one that is ascribed to the life of Jesus in the New Testament. I love these words. Contentment for whatever I will face in this life is found in God alone. If Jesus could trust God's goodness in His death for my sin, then I will remember the price He paid for me and the example He set before me in these words:
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
ARH Staff Writer