Today on Summit Life with JD Greer. Our desires are not a good guide to the will of God.
All right? Circumstances are not a good guide to the will of God because both those things can be so deceptive. The Word of God is the only reliable guide to the will of God. Welcome back to Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vitovich, and we're so glad that you're back with us this week. Today, we're excited to be kicking off a new teaching series called Search for a King. It's a study on the life of King David, and we're discovering that even today, we all live in one of two kingdoms. So who or what is the king of your life? Are you submitted to God's rule?
Or are you looking to something else for fulfillment and direction? We've got some questions to chew on today as we jump into God's word together. If you miss any of this new teaching series, you can always catch up at jdgreer.com. But for now, grab your Bible, take some notes, and let's join Pastor JD. Take your Bible and open it to 1 Samuel 24. Stories in the Bible, like the one we find with King David that we're studying, are there really for two reasons. The first is they're there to point us to Jesus. It's not to tell you how awesome they are and that you should go be like them. Yes, David did a lot of incredibly impressive things, but David did a lot of stupid things too.
And there's a lot of things that we're not supposed to emulate. The point of David's life is not to point you to himself. The point of David's life is to point you to another king that was coming, a king that would be everything that we were looking for and searching for in a king.
Jesus is the truer, and he is the better king. Because there's a story behind David's story. You see, the Old Testament, New Testament, are not just a collection of stories of cool individuals.
There's actually one story tying them all together. And that is that all of us, like Israel, are searching for a king. You know, I know sometimes people hear that at our church and they're like, you know, well, not me, really, because I'm not really religious. I'm kind of here with a friend and I don't want a king. In fact, I'm not really that political. And if I was going to choose a political party, I wouldn't choose any of them that suggested having a king. And so I'm not really searching for a king. A king is whatever you look to in your life that would guarantee you stability and happiness.
It doesn't have to be another person. It might be something like romance. It could be something that you're searching for, like career stability. It might be success. It might be something that you turn to like some kind of, just something you enjoy.
Something that adds stability and adds happiness to your life. That is what a king is, an ideology that you give your life to. All of us are looking for a king. And David's life is to show us that the only king that can ever save and satisfy is God. That's the first thing that David's life is supposed to do, is to point you to Jesus. The second thing that David's life does, is it gives us an example, both positive and negative, about how we're supposed to walk with God. And we're looking at those things. You know, some very positive examples and some very negative examples.
1 Corinthians 10, Paul said that all the stories in the Old Testament are given to us to give us an example of what it looks like to walk with God. Well, today we're going to see David deal with an issue that almost all of us have dealt with at some point. In fact, many of you are dealing with it right now. That is when you're in a situation where things are not going like you thought they would go, and things are not going like you thought they should go. Things just do not seem to be happening in your life the way that you expect it.
Have you ever been there? Your career is not really, it hadn't taken the turns that you thought it was going to take. You always thought you'd have accomplished more by this point in your life.
You've been overlooked for some promotion. There's something not happening that you thought should be happening. Maybe you thought that at this point in your life you'd be married. Maybe you thought that at this point in your life you'd have children. Maybe you thought you would be retiring at this point in your life, and everything would be great, and you were going to have a ton to retire on. Things just have not turned out like you thought they were. You're like, hey, God, you remember me? Seminary students, sometimes it's like they feel like the ministry that I thought God had called me to, it hasn't developed like it I thought it would. I always thought my ministry would be bigger at this point.
I always thought something would be different. You're like, hey, God, remember me? You're right here, God, right here. You know, look, you see me? Am I lost?
Is something wrong? You know, it's kind of like this. You're driving down the road with your GPS, and you get off on the wrong path, and the little British lady comes on. You know, and she's like, recalculating.
Or that's my British accent. You know, recalculating. And she tells you to get back on the right path. You know, you ever think, how awesome would it be to have something like that in real life?
Somebody to evaluate where I am, and then just tell me, you know, how to recalculate. In fact, I told my wife the other day, you know, I was like, see, when I make a decision that that lady disagrees with, she just, you know, just recalculates and then adjusts all of her plans to my decision. Why can't you be like that, you know?
No, I didn't really say that. But the point is, life, like nothing just never works out like that. I mean, it'd be great if in the midst of a situation you could look on the little map and know exactly where you are, exactly where you're headed, and know how all the paths that you're on would get you to that place. So that's the question we're looking at. What do you do when the path you're on takes you a direction you didn't think it would go?
What do you do when the path that you're on takes you a direction that you didn't think it would go? Has anybody been there? All of our campuses, if you've ever been there, if you're there right now, raise your hand. Say, I know what this is like.
Okay, good, thank you. You're excited about being in that place. All right, what do you do? What do you do when you're in that place? I want to talk about a huge temptation that many of us fall into when we get into situations like that, and one that can completely derail what God is doing in our life so many of us shall fall into this temptation. And that is to take matters into our own hands, to get ahead of God, to compromise a little, to do something that we know we probably shouldn't do because it's the only way that we seem to be able to get to the place where we think God wants us to go. There's a tension, okay?
Look at this. There's a tension between where we are and where we think we need to be, maybe even where we think God wants us to be. All right, and so there's a tension between those two.
What should you be doing in that tension? That's a huge question in my life that you're going to see up here in David's here. First, Samuel 24 through chapter 26, you got three stories in David's life that all basically tell you the same thing. They all make exactly the same point. We're not going to have time to look at all of them.
I think we're going to have time to look at about one and a half of them. Okay, so we'll see how far we get, but all three of them are basically making the same point. First, Samuel 24, here's what's happening. Let me kind of catch you up on what's going on in David's life. At this point in first, Samuel 24, things are not going well in David's life. Again, David's life has been kind of a hill valley experience.
David gets anointed to be king. That's a hill. You know, after that, he gets sent back to the sheep pasture where he's forgotten about again.
That's a valley. Then he has this big moment where he comes out of the pasture onto the battlefield. He fights Goliath and becomes a national hero. He marries the king's daughter and gets a job on Capitol Hill, right?
That's a hill. Well, King Saul is an egomaniac, and he gets insanely jealous of all the attention that David is receiving. So he throws a spear at David to try to pin him to the wall.
He gives his wife to somebody else, uses the state-controlled media to trash his reputation, and then tries to have him assassinated. That would be a valley, right? At this point, you're back in the valley with David. First, Samuel 24, Saul. Here's that David and his merry men are in this wilderness called In Gedi.
In Gedi. And so, verse 2, Saul took 3,000 chosen men out of all Israel and went to see David and his men in front of the wild goat's rocks. David's just got a handful of guys with him, and Saul comes at him with 3,000 people. And Saul came to the sheepfolds, by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. And David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. Talk about an awkward moment, right? Now, be honest, how many of y'all knew that was in the Bible?
You're like, seriously? There's a story about Saul going in to, you know, do this, and David's hiding in the cave. They're hiding in the cave, and Saul goes into that very cave to pop a squat. And David's standing there watching this whole thing, with the little silhouette, with the, you're looking out the door of it. Verse 4, and the men of David said to him, David, here is the day of which the Lord said to you, behold, I will give your enemy into your hand.
You shall do good to him, whatever you want to do. I mean, this is an extremely vulnerable position for a guy. Like, David, could you believe this? Saul's over there crouched down on the rock, reading a newspaper, right?
This is like a mafia hit. And they're like, seriously, David, this is the fulfillment of God's promise to you. Seriously, David, this stuff does not just happen, you know? How could anybody not believe there's a God? Jehovah Jireh, right?
Look what he did for you right there. Clearly, this is God's will. So it says that David arose, right?
At this point, by the way, the way the Hebrews written it, it's showing you that there's a thought process going on. David arose, which means there's a decision that he's made. Decision to go kill Saul. So he gets his knife.
This is a mafia hit. You know, he's sneaking over and somewhere as he's approaching Saul in his spirit, David has this thought, and I'm supplying the words of his thought here, but this is what he thought. He's like, wait a minute, this is murder. Even if God has put Saul here in front of me, I can't kill him because that's still murder. Listen, this is a very important lesson from David's life, one that I think you can resonate with. That is, it is very easy, very easy to confuse our desires with the will of God. You're listening to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.
Greer. We've just begun a new study on King David called Search for a King. Our prayer is that through the life of David, we would all learn to see Jesus as the ultimate king that we've all been searching for. And as we head into the holiday season, we want to celebrate that God's presence isn't hard to come by. It's an ever-present offer in Jesus. Our newest resource available starting today is titled He Is Here, and it includes 25 Advent devotionals for the month of December.
Take the time during this Christmas season to remember the real reason we celebrate. It's God with us. We'll send this study as our thanks for your gift to the ministry right now, so give us a call at 866-335-5220 or check it out at jdgreer.com. Now let's get back to our teaching on Summit Life. Here's Pastor J.D.
Greer. It is very easy because of our desires to interpret our circumstances wrongly as being something in the will of God when it is not. People say things to me all the time in this regard. They're like, Pastor, I know this decision is God's will, and so I ask them, well, how do they know that? And basically, the answer always comes down to something like, you know, well, it just makes me happy doing it. It feels so right.
It has to be from God. That's why it's okay to leave my husband, you know, because it's just my marriage is, you know, I just don't like it, and I've been getting to know this new guy at work, and he goes to church too, and it just really seems like, man, it's just so right. It just, it can be coincidental. It's fate right here from certain single people, and they tell me they started dating somebody that's not exactly spiritually where that person needs to be, and they're like, but I like them so much, and they make me so happy. This has to be God's will, and they just happen to be at the same place that I hang out on Friday night, and this is God's will. I hear this in how people think about making decisions to spend money. I really wanted that car, and I got a proof for a loan, and now I can't tithe, yes, because I'm in debt up to my eyeballs, but at the time, oh, it felt so right.
Everything just fell into place. Listen, here's the point. Our desires are not a good guide to the will of God, all right? Circumstances are not a good guide to the will of God, because both those things can be so deceptive. The word of God is the only reliable guide to the will of God. Your passions and your circumstances can really lead you astray. They really can and make you justify things that are just not right.
We need to know the word of God, and we need to let it rule our passions and interpret our circumstances. So David relents. Somewhere in the midst of this approach, he has a change of heart, and when Saul, he gets up close to Saul, and when Saul leans over to grab some toilet paper or something, David stealthily cuts off a corner of Saul's robe. And afterward, David's heart struck him because he'd cut off a corner of Saul's robe. Now, David's men just can't believe this. I mean, hey, they can't believe he didn't kill Saul, but to feel guilty about touching his robe? And they're like, David, I mean, seriously, what's wrong with you, David?
We didn't even vote for this guy. He's trying to kill you. A, you should kill him. B, you definitely don't have to honor him by not touching his clothing. Verse 6, but he said to his men, the Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my Lord, the Lord's anointed to put out my hand against him. Seeing he is the Lord's anointed, even if Saul is wrong, he's saying, David is saying, this is God's appointed king, and these are God's appointed circumstances, and it's not for me to take matters into my own hands. It doesn't justify what Saul is doing.
That doesn't mean that what he's doing is right. By the way, it doesn't even mean that David can't protest what Saul is doing. David does protest. You're going to see in a minute David make an extremely eloquent appeal to Saul to cut it out. And he does so from a distance, so Saul can't kill him. And then David goes on the run again. It's not like David's doing nothing, but David knows that even in this situation where it doesn't seem to him where he's in the right place, he's like, I cannot violate the commands of God to accomplish the purposes of God in my life.
That's what you kind of need to staple into your mind through this this weekend. I cannot ever violate the commands of God to obtain the purposes of God in my life. This is where we always get tempted to rationalize. Killing Saul would have solved so many of David's problems. I mean, hadn't God promised David the throne anyway? And wasn't Saul guilty of death for the things that he had done? Now, aren't you ever in a place where you're like, you're stealing a little bit of money from my company. After all they've done to me is not that bad.
My marriage is so bad that I deserve this little pleasure. David says, no, the way to achieve the purposes of God is never by compromising the commands of God. Verse seven. So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. So Saul finishes up, goes out of the cave down over a hill or two and David comes out of the cave. And David comes out and he calls after Saul and he says, verse eight, my Lord the King. And Saul looks behind him. David bows with his face to the earth and pays homage.
And all the guys in his army are back there fanning themselves, getting a breath after being in the cave. Verse nine. David says to Saul, why are you listening to the words of men who say, behold, David seeks your harm?
And then he waves a little corner of his robe that he cut off. He's like, 10, verse 10, behold, this day your eyes are seen. How the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you. But I spared you. I said, I will not put out my hand against my Lord, for he is the Lord's anointed. Verse 11, see my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For the fact, by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and didn't kill you, you should know that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I'm not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. Verse 12, may the Lord judge between me and you.
May the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall never touch you. Verse 13 is the proverb of the ancients. Proverb of the ancients says, out of the wicked comes wickedness. By the way, the opposite of that proverb would be the ends justify the means. David says, doing wickedness makes you wicked no matter how you justify, how justified you feel in doing it. Out of the wicked comes wickedness. I can't take up wickedness in the cause of God. Here's this plea.
Here's this plea. Verse 14, after whom is the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue?
It's a dead dog. I'm not doing you any harm. After a flee.
May the Lord therefore be judged and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause, and deliver me from your hands. Remember our question that I said we were going to look at and deal with? What do you do when the path you're on takes you a direction that you did not think it would go? You got two choices. Number one, take matters into your own hands. Or number two, trust God and wait. Let me show you what that means. Taking God, or excuse me, taking matters into your own hands looks like one of four things.
Here they are. Number one, revenge. When I say taking matters into your own hands, I mean one of these four things. Number one, revenge. Like in this story, taking vengeance on those who have wronged us, you settle the score. Your husband treats you wrongly, so you leave him, or you cheat on him. Your boss has been a jerk to you, so you ruin his reputation, or find small ways to pilfer from your job. Number two, stolen pleasure is a way that we take matters into our own hands.
Life hasn't turned out until you find escape and some stolen pleasure, and you just feel justified in doing so. You remember Joseph in the Bible? Joseph's the guy who's probably wronged more than anybody else, except for Jesus Christ in all of the scriptures. Here's a guy who's been sold by his family into slavery. After he's sold into slavery, he ends up working at this guy's house, who ends up doing really well and prospering and right as things are going well. Potiphar's wife, a lady named Potiphar, you know, really, really likes Joseph.
Made that up, it's not really Potiphar. It makes up these accusations that he's trying to sleep with her, when in fact she's the one trying to sleep with him. And Joseph's like, no, I can't do this.
I mean, I'll be wrong. And so she makes up lies about him and has him thrown into prison. The temptation in front of Joseph there is everything's gone wrong in your life. And so you could just, I mean, make up for it by, I mean, obviously God is not going to give you any pleasure in life. God's going to take away everything. Look at what he's doing to your life.
You should take this into your own hands, because if you don't make your life good, nobody's going to make your life good. Stolen pleasure. Maybe it's alcohol. Maybe it's a drug. I'm depressed. So I'll find refuge in a bottle.
Here's your third thing. Compromise, compromise. You got revenge, you got stolen pleasure, you got compromise. This is the girl who says, I'm tired of being single. And I know God wants me to be happy. So I get together with this guy who's clearly not the kind of guy I should marry, but you know, it's going to be okay.
It's better than being single. Listen, people, good people at our church do this and they justify it. Marry people who say, well, my marriage is so unfulfilling that I deserve to get out of this and they know I knew it. Because I know that God wants me to be happy. God does want you to be happy.
That's the strange thing in all this. You've got the purposes of God. And then you've got you here in that middle of that tension. You're like, what I got to do is to get to the purposes of God.
I got to break the commands of God. God does want you to be happy, but he wants you to be happy doing his will, not find happiness in something outside of him. The analogy that I've used with you before is it's kind of like my wife wants me to be, you know, romantically, sexually. She wants me to be romantically and sexually happy. But that does not mean that she arranges sexual liaisons for me outside of our marriage. Even if I said, that's what I got to have to make me happy.
That would just be horrible and adulterous. What she does is she fulfills those things for me in herself. What God does is he wants you to be happy in himself doing his will. See, so compromise is getting to the purposes of God by breaking the commands of God. Here is number four, getting ahead of God.
Number four, getting ahead of God. You force a career change. You manipulate circumstances. You engage in self-promotion to make something happen.
You ever do this? There have been times in my life when I just wasn't happy with where I was. So I'm always catching myself when I'm around people of influence, kind of, you know, beefing up my resume a little bit, talking about how awesome I am, you know, trying to angle for the opportunity that I want because I'm just not happy with where I am. And I feel like maybe you can give it to me.
So I'm going to beef up myself and get involved in a lot of self-promotion so I can have the opportunities I think I need. Taking matters into your own hands would look like one of those four things, I believe. You see those right there with David, or you see some of them. Your other choice is to trust God and wait. Trust, listen, and by waiting, I don't mean doing nothing. David's doing everything he can within the will of God to change the situation. He's running, you know, he confronts Saul, he lays out a case.
He just refuses to cross that line into compromise and sin. Waiting, you're waiting on God. You know, people, that's one of those words that we use in Christianity, like, I don't know what that means, but I'm going to use it because it sounds spiritual.
Let me, something happened to me a while back that just I thought was a great illustration of what it means to wait on God. Somebody gave me a gift card to the only five-star restaurant in North Carolina, which is in downtown Durham, and it's called Magnolia Grill. I was very grateful for it, exceedingly grateful. The food was awesome, but what was really impressive about this restaurant is I, I don't think I'm exaggerating with this. There was one waiter, and I'm pretty sure he was only assigned to our table. Because all I know is that by the time I would even make a motion to look for something on the table, if it wasn't there, bam, he was standing there thinking, you need some Splenda? You know, I would think, like, I need some more butter.
I just think it, bam, he's right there. He's like, you need some more butter? Like that, I mean, that's, that's totally different than my other favorite restaurant, the Waffle House, where you got one person working, doing all the jobs, right? I mean, they're taking your order, they're calling it out, then they go over there and they cook it, then they clean the bathrooms, all over the space in like five minutes, right? You're like, can I get some ketchup?
I gotta ask 19 times, right? See, waiting on God means waiting on him the way that that waiter at that really expensive restaurant waits on me. Meaning that the moment that he sees, the moment that he perceives, that there is something that's an intention in my mind, he's ready to do it. What it means to wait on God is that you are so tuned to what he is wanting to do, and so patient that you are going to act when he tells you until the full extent of when he tells you, but you're not going to get ahead of him. It's only by waiting on God and by pursuing God's purposes and God's ways with God's timing that you experience God's blessing. His ways are not our ways, and his timing is almost never our timing.
We need his strength and patience to wait. With the first message in our new teaching series called Search for a King, you're listening to Summit Life with JD Greer. And if you want to go deeper in this study on your own, you can listen again, download the transcript, or share it with a friend by visiting jdgreer.com. We pray you'll learn through this new teaching series that there is ultimately only one perfect King, and that's Jesus.
Men will fail, but God never will. And we'd love to send you a resource to remind you of just that as we head into the Christmas season. It's a book called He Is Here, 25 Devotions for Admit. For your gift of $35 or more today, we'll send you a copy of this new resource as our way of saying thanks for your generous support. You can also request the book when you make your first donation as a monthly gospel partner.
Gospel partners commit to regular giving, and in a sense, they're the real backbone of this ministry. If you've been growing through this program, being fed spiritually while diving deeper into the gospel with us, why not join the team today? Give us a call at 866-335-5220. And remember to ask for the book titled He Is Here. That number again is 866-335-5220.
Or you can give and request the book online at jatigreer.com. I'm Molly Vitovich. Tomorrow, we're continuing on the topic of patience, looking at what happens when we try to take shortcuts rather than waiting on God's timing. It's a relevant message for all of us because nobody likes waiting. See you again Tuesday here on Summit Life with JD Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer Ministries.
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