Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm Back and I'm Stuck.

Yes, I am back after an 11 month hiatus. MUCH has changes in my life since my last post. Probably the biggest change is that I am living in Mobile again. (Instead of boring you with exciting details, I will assume that since you are reading this blog, you know how and why I am back.)

Now, I know what you're thinking right about now. You're thinking, "Self, I know why and how she is back in Mobile (and I'm glad she's back on the blog), but what on earth is Ashleigh stuck on?" (Now you're amazed that I can read your mind, huh? Maybe I'll post a blog on mind-reading soon.)

I'm stuck on 1 Chronicles 14:2.
Read it for yourself:

"And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel,
and that his kingdom was for the sake of his people Israel."

Stuck yet? It's okay. I wasn't stuck on first, second, or third read either. I was stuck after being reminded of this verse by Priscilla Shirer in "Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David." It was almost 3 weeks ago I got stuck on this verse for several reasons, I'll spare you and not share them all. (If you want the whole explanation, well, call me.)

"And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel..."

Wow! David KNEW that the LORD, who happens to be the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, is who established him as king. If you know something, you're aware of it. David was aware that the reason he was chosen as king (1 Samuel 16) was because God placed him there. I think we would all agree as well that it was only by God's sovereignty that David was called to this position; afterall, he was just keeping the sheep when anointed as king. I use the word place lightly because Scripture tells us David knew he was established in that position by the LORD. Now, I'm not your ideal seminary student who takes Biblical languages, but I do know (after a little investigation and help from Priscilla's resources), establish in its root meaning means to bring something into being with the consequence that its existence is a certainty. The same root word of establish is also used in Psalm 119:90 when the psalmist references the earth's establishment. When God established the heavens and the earth, I'd say I agree that its existence is a certainty. I mean, we're on earth aren't we? Keep this in mind...we'll bring it full-circle in a minute.

"...and that his kingdom was for the sake of his people Israel."

David not only knew how he was established as king over Israel, but he knew why he was placed as king over Israel. (Now, this is a can of worms! We can discuss so much about God's plan for David and his lineage, but let's just focus on one little thought. I don't care to write a thesis on his life or kingship tonight.) He was established as king and that kingdom--Scripture tells us--was for the sake of [God's] people Israel. For the sake of his people. For the sake of his people. This is where I get excited! For the sake of his people... David was established king for the sake of his people. Yeah, I know, you get it...the sake of his people. Stick with me.

Moses...God used him to lead His people out of Egyptian slavery. (start reading in Exodus 3)
Esther was positioned as Queen of Persia for such a time as this to save the Jews, her people, from being annihilated. (Read the book of Esther)
Saul (who becomes Paul) had quite the divine appointment on the road to Damascus, causing this persecutor of Christians, to accept his calling to be the chosen instrument to carry [God's] name before the Gentiles..." (Acts 9:15) Paul even references his call to minister to the Gentiles in his letter to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 3. (Wanna read more about Paul? Start in Acts and read almost half of the books in the New Testament!)

I could continue on listing Biblical characters and who God positioned them to minister to for the purpose of spreading the name of the Lord, but I won't. My point is, God established David for the purpose of the people of Israel. God established these 3 people referenced above for the purpose of a specific people. We'd be blind (and we are according to our actions) not to realize that God positions us where He does for a purpose. Each of these people had something in common: they were positioned around a sphere of influence. God positioned them in just the right place to influence/help/lead/whatever a specific group. We each have a calling. God has placed us each where we are, even for just a short time, for a purpose. Would you agree with me that one reason you are placed where you are is because God has a purpose for you to make his name known in your own sphere of influence? I'd say, yes. It doesn't matter if you work in corporate America, if you teach 4th grade, if you answer the phones at 911, or if you are a stay at home mom, God has established you in that position for such a time as this for the purpose of making His name known. What are we waiting for? Why aren't we realizing that what we think is an "insignificant" job or "stressful workplace" is actually our mission field?

This may sound overwhelming, but let's not forget that we're not alone. 1 Samuel 16:13 tells us that as soon as David was anointed the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him. As believers, we have the promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14). We also are part of the body, and if the body behaves as it should, that means we have people living life around us and with us praying for us.

I have been challenged to remember that whether I am at work, teaching my 8th grade girls in Sunday School, or hanging out with my friends, I am here to spread the Gospel to the people God has placed me around, or, you got it, my sphere of influence.

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