Friday, May 24, 2013

The Two Most Important Things We'll Ever Do

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Friday, May 24, 2013:  II Samuel 4:1-6:23

6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David).  II Samuel 5:6-7 (NKJV)

So they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.  II Samuel 6:17 (NKJV)

The first official act of any president or leader is many times an indicator of the character of the leadership and the path they will pursue.  For example, President Barak Obama's first act was The Freedom of Choice Act dealing with abortion rights.  President George W. Bush's first act was opposite to this.  He enacted restrictions on abortion funding.  President Reagan's first act was the lifting of domestic oil price controls enacted under President Carter.  President Carter pardoned Viet Nam draft dodgers.  It is no surprise that the first act of President Gerald Ford was to pardon his predecessor President Nixon.

It is significant to look at the first action of David after he was anointed and crowned as king over all Israel.  It tells you much about the man.  Both of his first two actions deal with Jerusalem.

For seven years, David had been king over the one tribe of Judah.  His capital had been Hebron.  After a painfully long civil war, David was finally raised up as leader over the re-united people of God.  In two actions, David moved his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem.

Pulling Down Strongholds

The Jebusites were a pagan people entrenched right in the middle of God's territory.  David's first action was to attack the stronghold of the Jebusites.  He could not stand to allow this pagan fortress to remain in defiance of God's rulership.

We are called to do the same thing.  II Corinthians 10:4-5 states this:  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  There are those places in our lives that resist the Lordship of Jesus.  They are usually thought patterns that are tied to practices.

Ed Silvoso defines a stronghold as "a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes us to accept something that is contrary to the Word of God."  Strongholds are incredibly tenacious and defy the Lordship of Jesus.  They hold us in some sort of bondage that convinces us that we will never be free.

Perhaps David's greatest strength was his intolerance of anything that defied the sovereign rule of God.  He set his sights on driving the Jebusites out!  We can do the same.  Declare war on anything that defies God's rule in your life -- whether it be financial, marital, emotional, or a habit pattern.

David's conquest of Jerusalem took his entire reign to a new level.  In fact, he put his mark on this victory by calling the center of this stronghold "the City of David."  No longer was it Satan's territory.  It now belonged to him.

Bring Back the Ark

Once Jerusalem was captured, David re-built the Tabernacle there.  He sought to BRING BACK THE PRESENCE OF GOD.  It is never enough to just get rid of the enemy.  We must bring in the Lord!

Once again, it is so informative to learn how to bring in the presence of the Lord.  In Old Testament times, the Ark of the Covenant was symbolic of the manifest presence of God in the midst of His people.  For generations, the Ark had been passed around among God's people -- lost at times, then found.  The Ark had no secure place.

David brought back the presence of God to Israel.  Even though mistakes were made at first, they did not stop.  It was a great day when David danced before the Ark as it ascended to its place in Jerusalem.

So here are the two first acts of David:  he pulled down satanic strongholds and he brought in a new level of God's presence.  That's good advice for any of us.

Look around.  Are you satisfied with the level of freedom in your home, in your finances, in your personal life, your work place -- your life?  May we be like David, and never settle for bondage that does not belong.

Are you satisfied with the level of the presence and blessing of God on what you do? We all need to learn how to bring God INTO our world - our situation - our relationships.

David's greatness was his ability to do these two things.  They were his first acts and they were his fingerprint.  May we be kingdom people like David!

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