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Own The Mess, Then Be Blessed

2 Samuel 12:20-25

20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

22 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether [b]the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he[c] called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, 25 and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So [d]he called his name [e]Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

There is a weird, but beautiful dynamic that comes with being a true follower of Christ. To be filled with heavenly wisdom you must be made foolish in the eyes of the world. To be made strong in Christ, you must embrace vulnerability and meekness. To be exalted and celebrated before God, you must make yourself humble and become lowly in the world. To be truly free you must die to self. Being a true follower of Christ is becoming more and more detached from the natural systems of the world, so that you can be more attached to life giving principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s truly learning to embrace a lifestyle of being led by God, over culture and self.  It's not easy, but the longer we stay committed to Jesus, through all the ups and downs of life, the more we cheerfully wish we would have figured these things out quicker in life. We also come to discover that some of Holy Spirit’s best taught life lessons only come through lived experience. We are often too stubborn to listen, so Holy Spirit graciously lets us live and learn. Part of the arrangement of walking in the grace of God, compelled by His mercy and love, we would learn to take ownership of our own choices. Good or bad choices, so that His grace would then have the opportunity to redeem and restore whatever needs redeeming and restoring.

In the same way, we come to salvation and Jesus saves us through repentance, which is an acknowledgement that we are turning from ourselves and the brokenness we once embraced. We cannot expect Jesus to intervene, with His redemptive grace, in our life's messes that we are not willing to own up to as our responsibility. 

In a culture that is hyper focused on self gratification, ownership of self can often feel hard, and extremely uncomfortable. It’s much easier to look outward for a reason for the dissatisfaction and disappointments that come with living in this fallen world. It’s much more palatable to have an external enemy to blame, rather than looking for the problems within us that we need to bear responsibility for. Though the truth remains the same, if we want God’s blessings and redeeming grace to flow freely through our lives then we have to be willing to take ownership of the ways we have participated in our disenchanted situations. The enemy knows this, he is happy for you to keep blaming him and others, he may or may not be working through, if it only keeps you distracted, a little longer, from taking responsibility for yourself. 

It takes great humility to admit where we are wrong, but humility is the only remedy for the self destructing toxin of pride. Humility is also a transfer point, where we step out of our own power and ability and instead step into God’s power and ability.

It’s the posture of humility and honesty that God waits for us to take, before He intervenes with His blessings in any messy life situation we find ourselves in. Make no mistake, His grace can bring restoration into any mess in this life, if we will first humble ourselves and take responsibility where responsibility is due. This may not alleviate us of any consequences we still may need to walk through, but will most certainly give us the ability to see God's strength work through our weakness. As his strength works through our honesty and humility, Jesus begins to produce results from our brokenness that protects us from the power of sin that we deserve. He doesn't always protect us or save us from the consequences of our life choices. Even so, in this midst of walking through consequences, if we submit to His leadership and resist the temptation to run from Him or blame Him or others for the pain of the situation we find ourselves in, His grace will produce something glorious from the ashes of our life! 

Taking responsibility looks like being honest, humble and open to God’s restorative grace.

Here are three statements we can make in our lives when we find ourselves in messy life situations to keep us moving into Jesus’s redeeming grace… 

“I am responsible for my actions that have brought me into the mess I am in.” 

“I accept and will humbly walk through whatever consequences I must endure as a result of my choices.”

“I will move forward through this, knowing God remains good and He will redeem even this, because my faith is in Him alone”.

This is exactly what's playing out in the Scripture highlighted above. Let's recap the full story so we have a better understanding of what's happening.   King David has made a crucial mistake. Instead of going out to war to fight as kings do in the warm season, he has elected to stay home in the comfort of his castle. In his comfort he has found himself in an adulterous relationship with the wife of one of his most honorable soldiers. This adulterous relationship results with a pregnancy. David is a king and a very powerful man, so in his own power and authority, he tries to hide his sin, by having the soldier come home on leave so he can get him drunk and send him home to his wife to be intimate. He is hoping it would seem that he got his own wife pregnant instead of David. 

Of course, this plan does not work because unlike David, the soldier refuses to go enjoy the comforts of home while there is a battle raging on without him. This leaves David with only one other choice. He arranges the soldier to be murdered on the battlefield. This plan works and although David is happy to move on with life believing he has avoided taking ownership of his bad behavior, he is in for a rude awakening. After David marries the dead soldier's wife their child is born and a prophet brings David a troubling message from God. 

The prophet explains that David's hidden sin of adultery and murder has brought a curse of death upon David’s newborn son. Of course, David is deeply disturbed by this and goes into a season of fasting and crying out to God to save the child’s life. Hoping he will not have to endure the consequences of his choices. Of course, if you read the story, the child does die. All of David’s attendants expect David to completely lose it emotionally. Of course, he does not.  David does and says what is outlined in the Scripture above. It’s at this point David comes to grips with reality and is beginning to take responsibility for his own actions. It’s truly an act of humility and surrender for David. It’s in this moment of clarity, where David is taking ownership of the fact that he has never been in control of his impulses, that the Lord has begun to redeem the mess and bless this disaster of a marriage. As a result they had another son, named Solomon. The redemption son. As we know Solomon grows up, becomes king after David dies of old age and leads Israel into one of the greatest times of peace and prosperity the nation has ever experienced. So the mess that begins as a generational curse in David's family, is transformed into a generational blessing for a whole nation. This doesn't happen if David never owns up to his behavior. There may be issues in your life, my life, all of our lives that we are avoiding because we are not ready to take responsibility for the mess we have made. Truthfully, the only thing we are avoiding is the grace of God that cleanses us and restores us into His glory. I would venture to say that all of us have messes that we are trying to avoid responsibility for. I feel like in this season like never before, the Lord is saying take responsibility for those messes and bring them to me so my grace can then bring you into my blessing like you have never experienced before.


Pastor John

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