Staying Faithful in a Faithless World
Staying faithful in a faithless world means we don’t let ourselves grow comfortable with the status quo. Sometimes we get distracted because we aren’t doing what we are supposed to be doing. Or we get forgetful and take for granted what God has done for us. Sometimes we don’t stay in the place of victory because we start to ascribe to ourselves the glory for the victory. Don’t be lulled into the comfort zone and forget what matters most. Faithfulness positions us in a place to be recipients of grace.
Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Chronicles 16-20
What a time of celebration! The ark of God was being brought back to God’s people.
1 Chronicles 16:1-3, 7
“They brought the ark of God and placed it inside the tent David had pitched for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings in God’s presence. 2 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. 3 Then he distributed to each and every Israelite, both men and women, a loaf of bread, a date cake, and a raisin cake. 7 On that day David decreed for the first time that thanks be given to the Lord by Asaph and his relatives.”
Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Be Thankful
What follows is a beautiful Psalm of Thanksgiving that was offered by Asaph and his relatives.
Then David wanted to build a house for God and God said that David was not the one to do that, but through Nathan God told David about his son who would build his house. Then God said that He would build a house for David.
And David offers a prayer of Thanksgiving, which includes our Scripture verses of the day in 1 Chronicles 17:16-27
16 “Then King David went in, sat in the Lord’s presence, and said, Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far? 17 This was a little thing to you, God, for you have spoken about your servant’s house in the distant future. You regard me as a man of distinction, Lord God. 18 What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? You know your servant. 19 Lord, you have done this whole great thing, making known all these great promises for the sake of your servant and according to your will. 20 Lord, there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, as all we have heard confirms. 21 And who is like your people Israel? God, you came to one nation on earth to redeem a people for yourself, to make a name for yourself through great and awesome works by driving out nations before your people you redeemed from Egypt. 22 You made your people Israel your own people forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.”
Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Be Aware of God’s Blessings
23 “Now, Lord, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and his house be confirmed forever, and do as you have promised. 24 Let your name be confirmed and magnified forever in the saying, “The Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, is God over Israel.” May the house of your servant David be established before you. 25 Since you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build him a house, your servant has found courage to pray in your presence. 26 Lord, you indeed are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 27 So now, you have been pleased to bless your servant’s house that it may continue before you forever. For you, Lord, have blessed it, and it is blessed forever.”
David was thankful. He sung about it, prayed about it. Military campaigns followed and it says in 1 Chronicles 18:6 and also again in 18:13 that “The LORD made David victorious wherever he went.”
David defeated the ammonites and the Philistines. Then David got distracted. He got comfortable. You see even people who love God and are incredible servants of God can stumble . . . if they lose focus.
Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Stay Out of the Comfort Zone
I think of Daniel who chose to not eat the king’s food. He did not want special treatment because it can lull us into the comfort zone and we forget what matters most. We can think we deserve certain treatment.
1 Chronicles 20:1-2
“In the spring when kings march out to war, Joab led the army and destroyed the Ammonites’ land. He came to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and demolished it. 2 Then David took the crown from the head of their king, and it was placed on David’s head. He found that the crown weighed seventy-five pounds of gold, and there was a precious stone in it. In addition, David took away a large quantity of plunder from the city.”
Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Stay Busy
2 Samuel 11:1-2
“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.”
Friends, what is it that the enemy knows is your temptation? He’s got your number and he has mine. But we don’t have to fall.
Reading these stories of David frankly scares me . . . in a good way. None of us are above temptation, but when we choose to be accountable and to not let ourselves become complacent or comfortable, but to be disciplined and seeking God and His word, we are in a good place.
We can learn from David. He was blessed and God made him victorious because he was humble and grateful, and glorified God. He got it. And he understood that he did not deserve the blessings of God.
Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—Stay Humble
But then power and blessings can become a stumbling block as pride wells up and we take credit for what God has done.
Looking at David’s thanksgiving song and prayer reveals a humble heart that gives all the glory to God. We need to be on the watch for when our hearts start to drift to think that we “deserve” blessing, or when we give ourselves credit or want praise, or when we grow complacent and don’t do the job we are supposed to do.
Life is challenging and tiring and we can want to take a break every now and then from our normal responsibilities . . . but we should never take a break from God.
Staying Faithful in a Faithless World—At all Times
Even on vacations, spend time with God. But the flesh is resistant. Do it anyway.
Story . . . my oldest son recently telling me of God’s blessing in his life and how even his enemies God protected him from. I told him it was beautiful to recognize that but to stay humble and realize it is all God’s undeserved kindness and to stay in the sweet zone by being obedient and giving God all the glory. He agreed.
Friends, prestige, position, those things are temporary. What really matters is staying near to God and being used for His glory . . . this lasts forever.
Scripture of the Day: 1 Chronicles 17:20-22
“O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.”
- We will have times of blessing and times of hardship. Both times are a test. Will we stay faithful in both times?
- Faithfulness positions us in a place to be recipients of grace.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #240: 1 Chronicles 16-20
Scripture of the Day: 1 Chronicles 17:20-22
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