NO TIME FOR TIME OFF Andy Hollifield 10-8-18
2 Samuel 11:1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, but David tarried still at Jerusalem.
You may be thinking when you read the verse above that the title doesn’t seem to go with the verse. Actually it was the best verse I could think of to illustrate the point I want to make. Plainly put; when you are in a battle is no time to take time off. It is easy for any of us to get discouraged when things aren’t going great in our lives. It seems like we no more than get one issue resolved before something else comes up. It is in those times that we need to “double down” to quote a gambling term. The term is in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and along with the gambling definition is one that we should all practice. It means “to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking.” When we are in a battle or personal storm, that is exactly how we need to be in our spiritual life.
David’s trouble started when he began to shirk his duties as king. When he should have went to battle with his army, he decided to stay home. He was in trouble before he ever walked up on that roof simply because his heart was already not set on fulfilling his duty. He may have sent Joab but when it is your responsibility, no one can do your job. I am sure when he walked up on the housetop that evening, he had no intention of ever doing the things he wound up doing. His life spiraled out of control because of one evening of failing to do his duty as king and be where he should have been, in battle with his men.
Sometimes we get ourselves in trouble because we think we have the ability to control our emotions and thoughts. I am sure that David thought that too. He was after all a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). From the moment that David saw Bathsheba, he could not control the thoughts in his mind. He enquired about her and when he was told who she was, he still sent for her. We might not can help the things that come our way but we can help how we react to them. The key is to not put yourself in a compromising position to begin with. If David had been in the battle where kings were supposed to be at that time, he would not have been on the housetop and none of the events that followed would have happened.
When we find ourselves in a storm or battle, we don’t have to excel but we do have to maintain our duty. There are some things we would all do well to remember in those times. The first one is found in Hebrews 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching.” When you are struggling with things in your life is not the time to quit on God but rather the time to draw closer to him for help. David said in Psalms 57:1 when he was fleeing from Saul; “…Be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” We have God as a refuge till our troubles are past. Don’t waste it by running away from him. How many times have you heard someone say; “I’ll be back at church as soon as I work out this problem?” It never happens. Some other things we need to do are found in 1 Thessalonians 5. In verse 16 the bible tells us to “Rejoice evermore.” You don’t have to rejoice because you have trouble but rejoice because you have a refuge. Verse 17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Don’t let up in your prayer life but double down on it. Prayer is communication with God and if you stop talking to him you can’t expect to have help like you would if you stay close to him. Verse 18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” That is hard to swallow when we’re in the middle of the storm isn’t it? If you remember in Job 1, the devil had to get God’s permission before he ever afflicted Job. Nothing has come on you that God hasn’t allowed and it is his will concerning you. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” No matter what comes in your life, God is working it for your benefit so you can accomplish his purpose. It’s for your own good. It may not always seem like it but God hasn’t forgotten you and he has his eyes on you and knows right where you are no matter how dark it may be. Verse 19 says, “Quench not the Spirit.” Let God have his way in your life and in verse 20: take sound doctrine and don’t reject godly counsel. Verse 21 says to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Let God prove himself to you and then just hang on. Verse 22 says “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” If it even looks like it could be evil; stay away from it.
Just like the disciples in Matthew 14; if God tells you to go to the other side: it don’t matter what you may encounter along the way, you will get to the other side. He will see you in the darkness of your storm and come right to you and go with you through the storm or calm it for you. Jonah 2:8 says “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” The lying vanity is the notion that we have to work things out before we can serve God. Yet at the same time we count on God and pray that he will work them out. When you are in a battle or a storm; it’s no time for time off. It only opens the door for more trouble in your life and the sword may never depart out of your house. You may wreck your family or your life if you shy away from your duties in time of trouble rather than doubling down on them and drawing closer to God as your refuge. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!