David had been King about forty years. He made some mistakes along the way, but by all accounts He was a good king. But his own son, Absalom, led a rebellion against him. Now David found himself exiled, abandoned by friends, and once again surrounded by about 600 people.
He abdicated the Kingdom he had built disgraced, head covered, feet bare. As he left, he is met by a descendant of Saul cursing him and calling him a murderer.
This had to be the lowest day in David’s life.
I can empathize with David’s predicament this morning. Can you? Maybe your spouse was unfaithful causing you to leave the household you built. Maybe after serving faithfully at a job, you were asked to leave unfairly. Maybe you stepped out in faith, started a new business or ministry but had to close the doors because someone stole from you. Have you ever had to walk away from a dream?
What do you do when it seems as if your dream is in the rear view mirror and getting smaller and smaller as you are forced to drive away. Well here are three things not to do.
1. Don’t Accept Condemnation. Remember your identity as holy, blameless, righteous. David made mistakes as King but Absalom and others were not chosen by God to exact judgment. Remember condemnation reminds you of your past and makes you feel hopeless. The conviction of the Holy Spirit points you to solutions. God has forgiven you for what ever infraction you think brought you to this point. Forgive yourself. (For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17)
2. Don’t Become Someone You are Not. Remember the message God has given you and the calling on your life. You are going to be tempted to change who you or change or change your message to please others, to fit in. But remember, you were uniquely created for this moment at this time. If you change who you are to please those around you, you will eventually lose all sense of self. Stand your ground. Be true to who God has called you to be. (“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10)
3. Don’t Retaliate. Allow God to fight your battle. This is the most difficult of all. We want to tell our side of the story. We want to fight. But when we retaliate, we risk becoming who we were accused of being. We must remember who our true enemy is and take our revenge upon him. God will fight our battle. Our battle is not to hurt the person who has hurt us. The battle is to walk in our calling, to see the dream God has given us come to pass. That is the battle God is fighting on our behalf. (“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Luke 18:7-8 NKJV)
It may seem as if we have had to walk away from a dream we held close to our hearts. But trust me, God is restoring that dream. He is fortifying it in our hearts. It shall come to pass in our lifetimes. David was restored as King. And his legacy lives on today. God is not just restoring the dream, He is giving us a legacy.
“David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill.”
2 Samuel 15:30 NLT