Today seems to be my day for answering the proverbial $64,000 question: How do I know what God wants me to do?
The blog earlier today was simply a springboard — it had me thinking along those lines at the crack of dawn and it has been posed to me by no fewer than four folks. Having travelled down that road, I know how frustrating it seems to be.
Have you ever seen those 3-D picturegrams that appear to be a random pattern of noise? You can stare at it until you are blue in the face, but you will see nothing but colors and random shapes. If you look at the picture in an out of focus manner, suddenly an amazing 3-dimensional picture leaps out at you. This whole faith-thing is like that; the harder you try the more impossible it seems to attain it. Once you go “out of focus,” it suddenly becomes clear.
Or, another way of looking at it is getting pregnant. How many couples have diligently worked to create a baby to no avail. After they’ve given up, or better yet, decide to adopt, and all the pressure is off, Bingo!, they get pregnant. I guess you might say they are doing what comes naturally — so it is with this faith thingy.
Maybe I should write a book…
Interesting story I came across this morning.
King David has just gotten word that his son Absalom is in full revolt against him. Absalom has declared himself king in the very place that David was declared king, he has been scheming behind his father’s back for four years to win the people’s loyalty. He has succeeded in turning a nation’s affections for their beloved giant-killer David, a feat that is staggering when you realize the esteem that Israel had for the shepherd king.
Fleeing the capitol city of Jerusalem, a meek David is standing to the side to let his bodyguards pass by to lead his retreat into the wilderness. It is here that the interesting part of the story occurs. (2 Samuel 15:19-22)
Ittai. A man whose name means near; timely; or, with the Lord. The captain of the Gittites. A Philistine. A former enemy. Perhaps a former defeated enemy. Not to be confused with another Ittai, one of the Thirty, the elite fighting unit of the Israelite army (2 Samuel 23:29). He holds equal rank with the commander of the army Joab and his brother Abishai (2 Samuel 18:2, 5, 12).
He and his 600 men leave with David. David seems to be amazed. Maybe Ittai doesn’t understand the full implication of what he is doing and the consequences of aligning himself with a king who appears to be defeated and in retreat. David’s life hangs in the balance, as does anyone who pledges allegiance to him. Ittai does not hesitate, he is ready to die defending David.
I vow by the Lord and by your own life that I will go wherever you go, no matter what happens — whether it means life or death. (vs. 21)
Four little verses about a man who has little said about him. But what is said speaks volumes. “Here I stand,” he states with his actions. “It is for this time that God has placed me here.”
A foreigner from Gath shows us what true conviction is. I think all of us need a little of Ittai in us if we’re to be the warriors the Lord of Hosts is calling.
The take home message? God has called you to do something special. Do it, no matter the cost!