The Satisfied Life.
2 Samuel 17:23
23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”
“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”
5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
Did you catch the parallel in these two passages from our Life Journal reading? Two men and both chose to betray God’s anointed King. They both realized their actions did not garner the reward and fulfillment they anticipated, and decided to take their own lives. It is debatable if their suicides were a perverse form of pittance and remorse, or a cowardly way, to escape the ramifications of betraying their kings. While we will never know their eternal fate, we can glean from these passages that you cannot find satisfaction, in this world, apart from aligning yourself with God’s will.
The more you try to promote your own will in defiance to His, the more you discover how meaningless life is, apart from His purposes.
In both instances, Judas and Ahithopel discovered that trying to establish yourself above God, is a quick and sure fire way to destruction. How is this applicable to our lives? One of Jesus’ primary missions on earth to humanity is to give us life and life abundantly(John 10:10). What a generous King! We are wired for an abundant life. We search for it in all of our day to day decisions and choices. The dichotomy of this pursuit is that you will never find the life that you crave, until you lay your life down in submission to Jesus. The more you try to find satisfaction apart from Jesus, the more you heap destruction upon yourself. The more we believe, we are our own source of provision, the more we tighten the noose around our own neck. The more you forsake yourself to follow God, the more you find the life you were made for.
In both cases, Judas and Ahithophel were willing to follow their kings until it became inconvenient for their personal ambitions. It was then, at the point of their uncertainty of the kings, they followed their personal desires over God’s will for their lives. I’m sure they were thinking it was wise to take this opportunity in the midst of trying times, and in the eyes of the world that would have made sense. What they did not realize was they were actually settling for less than what they were called to. They were trading in their royal calls and commision, for a false self-made security that would eventually lead to their own undoing.
It's the same for our walk with the Lord. It’s easy to submit to Jesus in times of ease and calm. When the storms of life come, we really find out who or what is leading our hearts through life. Think about the last personal crisis you walked through. What did your relationship with Jesus look like during that trial? Were you able to weather the storm while staying obedient and connected to him? Or were you frantically looking for opportunities to save yourself, while forgetting that your salvation comes only from our Friend, Shepherd and King, Jesus? The hard truth is, times of crisis and pressure are truly the best ways to reveal the devotion of our hearts.
Unlike Judas and Ahithophel, I want to learn to grow closer to my Lord in seasons of trials, rather than looking to myself for guidance and protection. Learning to follow Him despite what we feel or desire, in the moment, is truly the only way to live life as He intended us to live, abundantly.