"So now say this to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture from following the sheep, to be prince over My people Israel. And I was with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies before you; and I will make you a great name, like that of the great men of the earth.'"
II Samuel 7: 8-9, Amplified Bible
"When We Get Our Priorities Straight"
"Do not let the good things in life rob you of the best things."
How would I assess the priorities in my life?
If God sent Nathan to me with a message that heaven's blessings were on my life like He did to David, how would I respond?
"All heaven is waiting to help those who will discover the will of God and do it."
J. Robert Ashcroft
"The center of God's will is our only safety."
Betsie Ten Boom
The portion of scripture contained in II Samuel 7: 8-29 is a guidebook on what happens in our lives when we get our priorities straight, placing the will of God in a permanent place in our lives. And let me tell you - a life within the will of God is an exciting life to behold.
When David came to the conclusion that God's dwelling was to be permanent, not only in a solid physical structure but also permanently in his heart, God told Nathan the prophet, David's advisor and confidant, that he had a personal message he wanted to give David.
"Tell David," God instructed Nathan, "That it was I who chose him when he was only a shepherd. I was the one who elevated him to prince over my people. I was with him in the field and I'll be with him on the throne. I will take care of the enemies who come against him and I will make of him a great nation."
This is quite a litany of phenomenal promises. When David made God the focus of his life, God promised to provide David with the guidance and leadership skills necessary to successfully carry out all his duties.
But we have to remember, this promise didn't find its fulfillment when David was wandering around doing his own thing. Instead, this promise came into effect when David's focus turned from the temporary to the permanent. This change transpired when David's obedience to God's will became the pivotal point in his life. Author Louis de Blois calls this action the release of self-will. Here's how he describes in theory what we see in a practical way taking place in David's life: "Self-will should be so completely poured out of the vessel of the soul into the ocean of the will of God, that whatever God may will, that at once the soul should will; and that whatever God may allow, that the soul should at once willingly embrace, whether it may be in itself sweet or bitter." I chose to use this particular quote because it is easy to get the idea in our heads that if we follow God's will, all our problems will rapidly dissolve. We might think this is true, for God told David He would be the "One" who would take care of David's enemies. So if I follow God and make Him my all-in-all, does this mean I'll have a life of smooth sailing? You may not like my answer for it is, "No!"
God at the core of my life and as my first priority doesn't mean I'm going to live a life of leisure and wealth. What it truly means is that I will follow where God leads and do what He asks. As the British missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, so correctly noted: "When God wants to do His great works He trains somebody to be quiet enough, then He uses that person." In the words of Jesus, "Seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added." Matthew 6: 33.
"These things" doesn't mean the "meaningless temporal" but instead the permanent presence of my Father in heaven - and who could ask for anything more!
"Nothing can give God greater honor than our love. Love alone makes the creature created by God capable of union with God."
Bernard of Clairvaux
"God of surprises,
when I think you are not present in my life,
you reveal yourself in the love of friends and family
and nurture me in your never-ending affection.
God of surprises,
when we think you are not present in our community,
you labour to make us of one heart
and cause us to share gladly and generously.
God of surprises,
when people think you are not present in our world,
you bring hope out of despair
and create growth out of difficulty.
God of surprises,
You are ever with us.
When the days go by and our vision fades,
keep surprising us.
When our hope dims and our patience wears thin,
keep coming to us.
Teach us to keep our lamps lit
and to be prepared,
that we may see your loving presence among us."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.