Articles david

Published on July 9th, 2009 | by Alex and Brett Harris

The Lord Gave Victory to David




Early this summer I was challenged and encouraged by the book, “David: Man of Prayer, Man of War” written by Walter Chantry. I stumbled back across the following excerpt (one of many) while reading through my journals from that period, and realized how helpful it could be to rebelutionaries. As we all attempt to serve God with our lives it is necessary to remind ourselves who is really helping whom.

All of David’s successful conquests are explained in this way: “The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.” Again we discover that the history of David is not about what David did for God, but about what God did for David!

David would not build a house for God; God would build a house for David. David would not bring military victories to the feet of the Lawgiver, as man’s gift to the Most High. God would preserve David amidst all dangers.

The grace of God for man is too often turned into the idea that it is man who does heroic feats for God. Our humanistic dream is that we may do great things for God. We shall give our genius, our talents, and our strength to him. We will build cathedrals for him. We will round up converts for him. Today the emphasis seems to be, we will put on entertaining extravaganzas for him. Yet the theme of grace is what he does for us!

In conflicts between truth and righteousness on the one side, and falsehood and wickedness on the other, the news is to be found elsewhere than in ourselves. God gave victories to David.

If anything significant occurs in the Kingdom of God, there is a vast incongruity in God’s preserving and using unlikely, inept, unwise, and powerless creatures who are opposed by principalities and powers both earthly and heavenly. The Almighty is not in a tight spot, needing men to come to his rescue. It is we who, in every hour and emergency of life, stand in need of the Lord to uphold and to deliver us.

It is tragic when readers of Scripture barely notice the historical record, “The Lord gave victory to David,” but rather bolster their humanistic theory that “David surely gave the Lord’s cause a boost in his day.”

Father, forgive us for ever thinking we are “giving you a boost” through the work you allow and equip us to do. May we be ever aware of our complete dependence on you. Thank you for including your children in what you are doing. You don’t need us, but you work through us for our good and your glory. Lord, use us as you want.

Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone be the Glory)






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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Ben Brown

    I’ve never heard it said any better… and what a good reminder of our proper place and relation to God. That’s truly informing and convicting. Thanks for serving us all so well with this blog.

  • Betsey K.

    That is a great reminder to all of us who have a tendency to be prideful. I know that especially for me, it is very hard to think of God doing things instead of us. Sometimes I fall into the rut of thinking that God needs my help in doing something or managing someone, and He really doesn’t. He is the Creator of the universe, and MADE me. I should be submitting to and trusting in Him, that HE will accomplish what HE wants to do, not what I want to do. Thank you so much for that post.

  • Marshall J

    I can hear the Armenian/Calvinist controversy in this.

  • Marshall: True. The passage Chantry is commenting on is not Arminian-friendly. But it seems to be honest commentary on 2 Samuel 8:14. “The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.” How else do you take that?

  • This was a very challenging post to me! I just finished studying Romans 7:1-13, and I was contemplating how we dare not think that we can “help” God by living for Him when we cannot even obey His simple command not to covet! Thank you for the reminder! I am definitely going to print off some quotes from this post!

  • Amazing post!

    One question though, David was a man of God and God blessed him greatly, but didn’t David have a man killed so David could sleep with the mans wife?

    How can God continually bless someone over and over again after he did something like that?

    I’ve been told before that sinners are not blessed, but I know how God blessed David, so are sinners blessed or did God just favor David more?

    Unless I’m missing something, but it just seems to me that God seemed to ignore the fact that David committed adultery.

    I’m not saying anything against God of course, I’d never do that, but something just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Alesia: God does not deal with us as our sins deserve. If He did, none of us would be here. At the same time, God did not ignore David’s sin. David continued to face the fallout of his sin for the rest of his life. You can read the story in 2 Samuel, but I’d highly recommend Walter Chantry’s book (excerpted above) for superb commentary. All of us must deal with the temporal consequences of our sin (and the eternal consequences, if we do not repent), but that doesn’t mean God’s blessing is determined by our performance. If it was, there would be no hope for salvation. Does that make sense?

    As the book description says, “We love this man for showing us how to pray from every point of life’s compass. We love him for showing us how, in the midst of spiritual failure, we too can draw near to the Lord again in trust and devotion. Perfectionists will not be comfortable with David. Those who stumble often, but who always turn with melted hearts to God for pardon and help, will find in him a brother for all situations. Such people will love the sacred history of his life and find it totally engrossing.”

  • Kellie L.

    Alesia:
    God was certainly not ignoring David’s sin. That’s the human way of responding to it. I mean, poor David! He only messed up that one time! Let’s make a deal and just kinda forget it this one time.

    No, God doesn’t work that way. He didn’t just brush under the rug the fact that David took a life, God punished him plenty.

    The baby that David would’ve had out of the mess died afterwards. David lost one of his best men in battle, his new wife was consumed with the grief of having lost a child, and he carried all that guilt besides.

    Can you imagine? What would you have done? Oh well, that’s the end of my life. I messed up. It’s over. No! Our God is a God of second chances. If He weren’t, we wouldn’t be following Him. He saved us by taking on our sins, wiping our slate clean, taking it upon Himself.

    What did we do to get to that point? We repented; made an about-face. So did David. Check out Psalm 51, it’s dripping with David’s feelings of misery.

    The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart. That used to bother me too. But David’s secret lies in that he never quit. He never let go of God. He always loved his Master.

    God doesn’t hold things over our head like an annoying sibling. He says in Psalm 103 He will remove our sins as far as the east is from the west! He won’t zap us when we do something wrong, even though that would be fair to Him.

    He loves us, helps us get back up on our feet when we fall, and like soldiers, like David, we press on.

    Abandoned to Him,

    Kellie

  • It’s funny you’d post this because I just came across this quote by Hudson Taylor yesterday:

    “I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.”

    I almost sent it to you, Brett… before wondering if it’d strike you as it did me and deciding not to. :) It’s just too true for me…

    I started out thinking I had great plans and asking for God’s help. Then I realized my plans weren’t so great compared to His and so just asked how I might serve Him — still thinking of all the wonderful things I could do for Him! Now I am convinced I can’t do anything at all truly good on my own so I am constantly just seeking His Face (or knowing I need to) and asking Him to work through me.

    A humbling story with a good ending — fit tidily into one small quote by Hudson Taylor! Thanks for posting this awesome confirmation and encouragement. Keep on!

  • Brett Yes, it makes sense. I guess as a Christian I should have known that, but right now I’m kind of battling with myself over things like that.

    I agree with you, ”
    God does not deal with us as our sins deserve. If He did, none of us would be here.”

    I’ve done so many sins in my life that at times, I doubt that I can even be called a Christian anymore.

    When I was about five, things were explained to me like this…
    “When you sin and don’t ask God’s forgiveness, each time you talk to Him, all He hears is static, like a messed up phone line. But! If you ask for forgiveness, He can hear you properly again.”

    And growing up, I’ve had that at the back of my mind, asking myself, “Is that true? If I don’t ask for forgiveness for my sins, do I really lose the connection to God?”

    So I live with questions like “What if I don’t ask for forgiveness for such-and-such sin, can God still hear my prayers? And when I do ask for forgiveness, if He can’t hear me, how does He know I’m praying?”

    These probably sound like stupid questions, but for over seventeen years, God and the Bible and everything else, seemed to make so much sense to me, then this past month, things have begun to pile on my mind, confusing me like crazy and driving me insane.

    I’ve begun to doubt what I’ve grown up hearing, and question things I once thought were true.

    I’m sorry that this is so off topic.

    I’ll defiantly be adding that book to my very, very long reading list.

    Blessings
    Alesia

    God does not deal with us as our sins deserve. If He did, none of us would be here.

  • Paul Clutterbuck

    Thanks for posting this! I just read something very much along the same lines last week in John Piper’s book, Desiring God. Until I understood this, I always felt kinda resentful that God insisted on making me His beneficiary, rather than letting me do all the good stuff I wanted to do FOR Him. Now I can relax and rest in His grace. God is soooo good to us, even when we least deserve it!

  • Alesia: I wish I had time to respond to everything you just shared, but for now I just want to encourage you not to get discouraged by all the things you have to figure out (and all the books you want to read). Pray that God would give you wisdom and lead you to the right answers. Just take things one step at a time. Read one book (and don’t worry about all the other ones). Then read the next book. You have your whole life and all of eternity to get everything straightened out. :)

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    Truly beautiful, I must say.

    And interesting as well, since I was just speaking about this with my mama (just moments ago, literally).

    We are incapable of helping God just as we are incapable of loving Him apart from His love, apart from His aid, apart from His grace.

    I love this concept so much; it makes me feel like a little baby in the kingdom of God. I would so much rather understand and live by this concept all the days of my life than to know all of the spiritual mysteries hidden from our eyes. I would rather be that helpless, dependent child secure in the love of my Father instead of the most knowledgeable, prestigious warrior closed to this most precious of relationships.

    :-] Thank you, really, for being an instrument of God’s grace in my life today.

  • Thanks Brett.
    That means allot.
    I’ve been working very hard on my spiritual relationship with God right now, so anything I am learning now is helping more then you could possible know!

    Thanks again for posting such encouraging and uplifting things, it’s because of TheRebelution that I’ve gone from God-doubting to God-loving in such a short time!

    God bless you Brett and Alex!!

    Alesia

  • Rebecca

    Thank you! I’m exactly like this, thinking of all the things I need to do for God and not thinking about the fact that I can’t do anything without Him working through me. I needed to hear this.

  • Becca

    Wow! That was a great post! I never thought about it that way. I guess that sometimes as humans we think that we are smarter than God and forget that without Him we could not do anything. This poosts really emphasized that fact for me. Thank you for posting it! Blessings, Becca
    P.S I just finished reading DHT because at my school the whole high school was assigned to read it over the summer!!! It blessed me gretly and I believe that I am going to do hard things during these teenage years! This book has truly blessed me and I am so happy that you guys did God’s will and wrote it :-) God bless, Becca

  • P.S Brett, I’m sorry about all that, I didn’t mean to dump all my problems on you.

    God Bless
    Alesia

  • Thanks so very much – I need to be reminded of this all the time! I have my dreams (as I’m sure we all do!), and it’s so easy to focus on the dream and how we’re going to change the world for God… and then forget that it’s God who’s sustaining even our very breath.

    Thanks :)

  • Phillip K.

    Wow! I think I’d forgotten this truth for a while. I needed to be reminded that God doesn’t need our help, and it’s really up to Him and not me. It really creates a burden to forget this and when I think about it, it’s amazing that I could. I think Satan slowly deceived me so that I subconsciously got things upside down. Thanks for helping me get them rightside up again.

    In Christ,
    Phillip

  • Salina S.

    Great post! This was a great reminder for me. I have a horrible pride issue, and this was so awesome to read.
    But not only does this article push down puffed-up people like me, it is a great encouragement and burden lifter! It takes all of the pressure off of me when I realize that the burden I have for the unsaved in my generation is not mine; it is God’s. He gave it to me, and He can take it away. When I talk to unbelievers, it is not me talking, it is the Holy Spirit giving me the words to say. When I work with other believers, I am using the gifts and talents that God has been pleased to give me. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for wanting to use an infinitely small speck like me!

  • Marshall J

    Alex Jordan Harris: The quote, “The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went” is not particularly Armenian-friendly either (you may well take it that I am not an Armenian). I take the passage to mean that it was not through David’s own strength that he had victory, which is parallel to saying that it was not through David’s own strength that he was saved. Great blog post, of course :).

  • Marshall: Haha… I think there is some miscommunication going on. Alex was also saying that the passage wasn’t very Arminian-friendly. :)

  • Marshall J

    Oh, I thought he was talking about the commentary. He asked me how else I took the passage…. but I guess there’s not much else to say.

  • Again, I can’t believe how timely this post was!

    I’m an aspiring writer and have huge dreams for the future. Meanwhile I am also a full time student, oldest child in a family of ten, and connoisseur of as much literature I can get my hands on. All this makes for a busy schedule and things sometime seem to slip through the cracks. I often fall into the thought process of “I want to great and wonderful, world changing, things for God” and get depressed when I just can’t achieve my goals. I look ahead to the future and feel like ” too little butter stretched over too much bread”, and worry whether I’m going to be able to do the things I feel God is calling me to do. The truth is, God is the one who hands us His victories. We deceive ourselves into thinking we are hard pressed, taxed, and burdened when its not our burden to bear. God has already won the victory! I’m just an insignificant tool in His hands, and His purposes are going to be accomplished whether I faint by the way or not. There is great relief in remembering the truths you have addressed, thank you again Brett and Alex! This post was another answered prayer.

    In Christ,
    Lauren Ashley

  • If there’s one post that needs to be read and re-read by Rebelutionaries everywhere, it’s this one. In all honesty, self-dependance is the biggest danger facing those who wish to “do hard things” for God.

  • Kate Victoria

    Wow…great proof that David was ” a man after God’s own heart’.
    But it is so hard to put this into practice. What are some good ways to do so???

  • Anonymous

    I agree with everything you said. But I think that painting is immodest. My mother thinks so, too, and doesn’t want me looking at this website anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Just because David was a holy guy doesn’t mean he’s not appealing.

  • Anonymous:
    No offence but that’s kind of a weird reason to not look at this website.
    The Rebelution has changed my life, and I honestly don’t think that picture is bad at all!
    You can’t stop coming to The Rebelution because of one little thing…
    This site has so many positive and amazing things to offer!

    God Bless!
    Alesia

  • Alesia:
    “You can’t stop coming to The Rebelution because of one little thing…”

    Have you heard of the dog poop in the brownies analogy? It says that if I put just a little bit of dog poop in your wonderful brownies, would you still eat them? I only put a little bit. The same principle applies here.

    Modesty is for men too.

  • This post and in particular Lauren Ashley’s comment “‘I want to do great and wonderful, world changing, things for God’ and get depressed when I just can’t achieve my goals” reminded me of a Bible study I read this morning. These quotations are from Beth Moore’s study on Esther:

    “Great lives don’t always seem great while we’re living them. They may seem embarrassingly regular. Seeking to be extraordinary isn’t the answer because great lives are never achieved by making greatness the goal” (p. 171).

    “To live for the greatness of God is to live the great life” (p. 173).

    “Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God-things” (p. 173).

    God’s glory will be proclaimed as we do even the small things He asks us to do (Mt. 25:34-40), and when He asks us to do something great, even giving up our lives for Him, He gives grace and He enables us to do it for Him (Mt. 16:24-26, Mt. 11:28-30). God alone deserves the glory, no matter what we’re able to accomplish in man’s eyes.

  • I’m rather inclined to agree with Kyrstin: Modesty isn’t just “a girl thing!” It is for men, too. And I also think the picture is immodest.

  • Josiah

    Anonymous,

    Modedsty wasn’t the same back then as it was now, thats what I think…
    I think men had no shirts on, I mean, you can’t fight a lion with a robe on you, you can’t move fast enough, I don’t know, but remember, it doesn’t matter about what he looks like, it matters about his heart, and we know, from the bible, that he was a really Godly man…

  • Emily

    Anonymous, et all,
    I agree that modesty is not just for women, But modesty for men may mean different things than modesty for women. I do not think the picture is immodest. Like Josiah said, I think it was and still is acceptable for men to be shirtless in certian situations.

    I also feel that if Brett and Alex thought this would be a stumbling block picture for young women they wouldn’t have posted it, so I don’t see a relationship to the dog/brownie analogy, because in that story it is a purposeful trick.

    If the picture is something you struggle with, that’s fine, But think on the fact that there’s the Modesty survey on here. Clearly these guys care about modesty.

    Anyways, what I really wanted to say about this post is that this also relates to conquering our sin. We think God should be proud of us for conquering sins in our life – when really, he doesn’t want to see sin at all and he is the one who truly engineered our victory. He constantly uses our weaknesses, and if we boast in anything other than that, we are taking undue glory.

  • It’s interesting to think about the statue of David (by Michelangelo). He stands like seventeen feet tall! Acording the statue, he wouldn’t need God to help him defeat Goliath! He’d stand towering above Goliath! He could probably just kick Goliath and the fight would be over right then and there! Ha!

    But when you see David as a SHEPHERD BOY, that’s something else. That says that GOD was the one who won the battle, not David in his own strength as a really ripped seventeen foot tall man.

  • Anthony Miller

    Great post! Isn’t it great to have a God who wants to help us? Is’nt it great to be able to call on Him?
    Kade: You are right about the statue! Michealangelo was actually trying to portray the perfect human body with that statue, he only named it David to curry favor from the church or something. If you look at it closely you can see it isn’t even Jewish. (It isn’t circumcised).

  • Muriel

    It seems to me that the artist is just trying to make a good depiction of David, not flaunt his muscles. I don’t think the picture is immodest, besides maybe they dressed like that at the time. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of Christ on the cross with less clothes on; In such an instance the artist is not trying to disrespect Jesus, just show his suffering.

  • Marshall J

    I agree with Josiah…. as for his muscles, you have to be ripped in order to be a soldier. The bible says, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David has killed his ten thousands”

    And guys take off their shirts to go swimming, don’t they?

  • Kate Victoria

    Anon: I don’t think that Alex and Brett were trying to put a stumbling block before us ladies, they just needed a picture! Sorry you were offended, but the picture is fairly Biblicly correct.

  • Everyone: You may have noticed that I “tweaked” the picture — to alleviate any concern. But you should know that “Anonymous” was one of our frequent commenters making a joke. I talked to this person last night. 😛

  • Jon T

    Brett, you are an incredibly skilled tweaker.

  • Ohhh..I feel silly now!
    Sorry about that Anonymous, I thought you were serious.
    How on earth did you “tweak” that so well?!

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Thanks, Brett, for tweaking it. 😛

  • Juliet

    Haha, Anonymous totally got me! I was like, “Are they serious?!” And then I went back to look later, and was like, “…. is that the same picture?”

    Btw, how did you tweak it, Brett?

  • Cody

    (Haha, I guess I’m late because I was so confused when I read the comments about modesty and the painting. My first thought was “What painting?” and then I looked at it again to see David and wind up even more confused because I had no idea how that could be immodest. But then I read about Brett tweaking it and now I get what happened. :p)

    Great post! It made me think (as usual).

    @Alesia: Your posts made me sad. Of course you can be called a Christian! As long as you believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, you are a Christian. Forget about how many times you have sinned. We all sin! And by golly, you’re already proving yourself as a wonderful servant of the Lord in the making by actually trying to have a better spiritual relationship with Him. Chin up Alesia! By the way, I always love reading your comments. :) God bless you!

    ~Cody

  • Cody: Thanks =)
    I guess that was something I need to be reminded of, so thank you for sharing that!
    I’ve been struggling with that for a long time!
    and so many people have been encouraging me and I thank God for that!

    God Bless!
    Alesia

  • Kate Victoria

    pretty impressive “tweaking” there Brett!

  • Lissie Luvs 2 pray

    I was exsplaining the whole David/Modesty thing to my little sister (She’s 8) and then I showed her the picture and what Brett added to it and she said
    “Wow he’s a good pianter!”
    Thought it was funny oveously she didn’t git it :)

  • Lissie Luvs 2 pray

    Oh thats wierd instead of the smilie with sunglasses I put a 8

  • kayli

    so true!!

  • Jon T

    Now I get it! The part of the robe on his right side is a duplicate of the one on his lift, only tilted a little. Guess you guys are experienced photoshoppers!

  • Camille

    So…What’s with Anonymous? Is he/she a frequent joker?

  • Taylor

    Wow, I have never heard of it put that way before. Its an amazing thing to think of everything God has ever done for anyone. I hear how people have tried to do things for God–but its God doing it all through us! Thanks for the convicting reminder.

  • Noella

    Back to the post, ahem! :-)

    David is one of my many favorite characters in the Bible.

    This post encouraged me to let go, and let God! He alone is able, and worthy, and just.

    He alone is the Redeemer of men’s hearts, the Savior of the world, the Creator of the Universe!

    Like that song goes;
    “Who am I, that a King would give His life for?”

    Who am I? Makes my heart tremble at His goodness in even acknowledging me.

    Saved by His infinite grace,

    Noella

  • This reminds me of something I read recently that God used to open my eyes. A. W. Tozer wrote on the self-sufficiency of God in, “The Knowledge of The Holy” and said, “God does not need us to believe in Him, but by His grace He works through anyone who places their faith in Him.”

  • Sarah Anderson

    Wow! That is really true and I never thought of it that way…. Thank you very much for helping us realize that!!

  • I too was struck by this while reading 2 Samuel. I love to see how this great and mighty man, who had all these victories, did not take the glory, but gave it all to the Lord. He knew every victory was from Him. May we all give due praise to Him who has given us life and breath and any ability we have. It is all from Him, all for Him.

    Thank you for posting this, Brett. I have heard Pastor Chantry speak before, and I love how he presents the most simple, well-known Bible stories, in a way you had never thought of before. I should probably read this book. :)

  • Theo

    This is kind of a new thread:
    If David’s ‘goodness’ came from God, what about Judas? Someone had to betray Jesus, right?
    If Judas just got picked by God, is that sin against him? Jesus said the only unforgivable sin was blasphemy (if I remember correctly), so does Judas giving the money back count as asking for forgiveness?

    *Sigh*. I have a lot of questions for heaven.

  • Phillip K.

    Theo: that’s a good question and I’ll try to answer it the best that I can. First off, the way that God’s complete sovereignty and man’s free will both completely exist is a mystery that, as you said, is a question for heaven. Still, your question can sort of be answered. God cannot cause anyone to sin (James 1:13). Judas decided of his free will to betray Jesus. God didn’t in any way make him do it even though He was in complete sovereign control of the situation (that’s the mystery). Therefore the heinous crime did not come from God but rather from the devil and his own sinfulness. It is true that Judas returned the money and then he went and hung himself. This was obviously a sign of great remorse, but the suicide indicates that he did not turn to God’s mercy for forgiveness.

    Hope that helps

    In Christ,
    Phillip

  • Theo;
    I feel the same way when it comes to having allot or questions, so you are not alone!

    God Bless
    Alesia

  • Elizabeth Kelley

    So true! We’re so pathetic. We forget, blinded by our sinful nature, that we’re not the makers of the universe. We try to “give God a boost.” (To quote Brett, “because sin makes us stupid like that.”)
    Thanks for the post! It’s a very good reminder, and one that I’m sure we can’t hear too often!

  • Dara

    Hey!
    This is totally off the subject but, I just got done watching Come What May for the first time and was wondering if Y’all, (Bret and Alex) Would be in any of there up-coming movies? That woul be awesome!
    B.T.W. I’m now thinking of going to Patric Henry for college! It sound like an awesome school!

  • Josiah

    Wow, did you edit it or did you find a different picture?
    Amazing, thats cool…

    I was wondering if you guys will ever do a conference in MN sometime, I don’t know if you have done them in the past or not, but we might consider going if there was one over here next year.

  • Cierra Jodan

    Nice, it’s something alot of people need to understand: HE enpowers us ALL the time.

  • sister serving God

    …Wow! I never thought of it that way. Thanks for posting this. I definitely needed to read that! God is truly AMAZING!

  • Well said. I guess its the problem of everyone in the society. We tend to depend too much on ourselves, but instead we have to give our total dependence on God. Thanks so much for posting this, it helps through the tough times. =)

  • I really have to say that I was inspired by this. It is up to god what will happen to us and we need tp give total dependence on god. Even though we don’t know what will happen, we will know what it is for the good of god and we will never be alone in our struggles.

  • Brandon

    This is kind of off topic, but I was just on AOL.com checking the mail and news, and one of the headlines read “Teen Sails Around the World”. Bet you can’t guess who that is.

  • Dara

    Who was it Brandon?
    I have yahoo, and they weren’t talking about it when I was on?

  • Hayley Drew

    Paul Clutterbuck: You said exactly how I felt. That’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with for over a year.

    None of my plans after I graduated high school worked out and it threw me for a loop. I had lots of stuff I had planned and I was set on doing them all for God. And then He slammed the door shut on every single one of them. I have been in like a state of limbo since then. Living with my parents, no job, and no clue where to go to college and what to pursue once I got there. The last few months I’ve been slowly noticing a new path and new doors opening.

    I wanted to do so much for God, but He had completely different plans. All the things He’s wanting me to do are completely different. He has taught me patience and trust in the process too (and is still teaching me!).

    And mixed in with all that, I have felt like I keep sinning horribly and failing at life miserably. With my heart being in the state of only what to do things for God and feeling like a failure, it’s awful. But this post has given me encouragement. My family and best friend have all been encouraging me in this way and this just gave me a little boost. :)

    So yeah… this post tied in with every facet of my struggles. Thank you so much! All of your posts always hit a nerve, smack me across the face, or touch me in a way never been done before. :)

    God bless!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • Esther

    I’m listening to a sermon right now called “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” by Paris Reidhead. It’s interesting that even while the sermon and your post agree with each other, they contradict eachother.
    You said “We shall give our genius, our talents, and our strength to him…Today the emphasis seems to be, we will put on entertaining extravaganzas for him. Yet the theme of grace is what he does for us!”
    The sermon speaks about how so often, we as humans come to God to get something from Him. We want to escape hell; we want power, ect. Rather, we should come to God not for our own means, but to give Him the glory He deserves.
    I’m not disagreeing with either of you. I just think it gets more complicated when we see that we must give God what he has asked of us while realizing that ultimately, God is giving us everything we need. It goes both ways, I guess.

  • Brandon; It was Zac wasn’t it?!
    That is so awsome!
    Good for him!

    God Bless
    Alesia

  • Phillip K.

    He was also on a couple of national news shows.

  • Hayley Drew:
    I was reading your comment and when you said
    “And mixed in with all that, I have felt like I keep sinning horribly and failing at life miserably. With my heart being in the state of only what to do things for God and feeling like a failure,”
    I felt you just explained what I’ve been trying so hard to explain for months now!
    It’s like every time I try to think of how to best explain it, it just comes out in a jumbled mess!
    I’ve been feeling the same way for about two months and it’s really been hitting me hard!
    I’m glad that you have been getting a boost from family and friends, cause for me nothing seems to be working, even when I pray really hard for God to help me get through this!
    I’ll be praying for you that you will not feel like a failure anymore cause I know how it feels!

    God Bless
    Alesia

  • Lissie Luvs 2 pray

    Brandon,
    I saw that too was so excited for him

  • [b] Hannah Glenn: [/b] Thanks for mentioning that, I’ve been wondering if I could have my blog added to that list aswell, unless it’s only for certian people?

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • this blog is truly a blessing. was reading through the comment of Brett Harris, and he’s right. God doesn’t really need us, but it’s humbling to know that He works in us and through us and He wants us to be used for the glory of His name. One thing I can say, “I can only boast in the cross and grace of God. Gal 6:14, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

    to God be all the glory!

    co-slave and co-soldier in Jesus Christ,
    Ramon

  • Yasutomo

    Hi, Alex and Brett!! Writing this on your web first time:)

    Great quote. We understand in our minds that we need to surrender ourselve, but we so often fail to FULLY surrender. By that, I mean we tend to do things by our own power, knowing God gave it to us. I learned it from my own ecperience, in my youth group I so tried to have influence on the kids. When I realized my failure, I fell down on my knees.

    Warren Wiesbe said the way we should deal with our gifts is “accept it by grace and use it by faith”. We have no reason to gain the gifts we have though God, by His grace, entrusted us with them. So we’ve got to continually depend on Him.

    Do you have any experience like ones I had?

    God bless
    Yasutomo Miyagi

  • Hayley Drew

    Alesia:
    It is nice to get encouragement from those who love you the most. But, at the same time, it didn’t really help me. It was nice on the surface. But I still knew that something wasn’t right on the inside. My heart and mind hadn’t changed yet. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I shouldn’t even be thinking of waiting for what God’s going to do. He’ll fulfill His plans when He knows is the right time and in the His perfect right way. There’s only one thing I’m supposed to do: pursue Him. That’s it. Look to Him, follow Him, be His. With everything I am, pursue Him. When I’m simply pursuing Him, God will use me how He wants, when He wants, and where He wants. I just have to be His.

    And when I say “simply pursuing Him,” it’s not really simple. Like, the fact of it is, but actually doing it is hard. Like, being a Christian – the fact of being one- is easy, but actually living that life is hard. Staying focused on Him is hard (especially when you’re as ADD as me 😉 ), but it’s the most rewarding and content place I have ever been in my walk with Christ.

    I will be praying for you too!
    God bless!

  • Camille

    Nella Camille: I love your name! :)

    I also love this post! Yes I’m eighty comments behind, but I still want to say it! I need to here this message, too. Thanks Brett and Alex! Oh and I showed this post to my Mom and Dad, (they really enjoyed it) and Mom had the question, who normally writes the posts? You don’t always say, so she was just wondering. Thanks again!

    P.S. I might be e-mailing you soon with a couple questions, so brace yourselves!

    Camille

  • It seems like that whenever people let God be in control they’re always victorious

  • Vikki W.

    Esther, you said, “I just think it gets more complicated when we see that we must give God what he has asked of us while realizing that ultimately, God is giving us everything we need.”

    I agree it’s a complex truth, and definitely one I struggle over. But here’s a thought: The only thing He wants us to give Him is our hearts, our selves. (any works or things we do will flow out of His working with that self.) But that very “self” is a worthless shell of a person, a nothing – without Him filling us.

    You also said, “Rather, we should come to God not for our own means, but to give Him the glory He deserves.” Well, I actually think – BOTH (coming to God to have our own deepest desires fullfilled _and_ to give Him the glory He deserves) are GOOD and NECESSARY! (I was very convinced of this by “Desiring God,” which I notice is a much-loved book around this site!)

  • Kay Morris

    ♥ This was a really good post. It was a great reminder. I have always had this messed up dream that I just HAVE to do something for God that will change the ENTIRE world. Something that will make it into history. That was just my desire for fame and glory channeled into a “holy” calling. This post made me think, God doesn’t need me to change the world. He’s CHOOSING me to help change the world through small things I do everyday.
    ♥ It then made me think, oh, well then, I should be trying to consult Him in EVERYTHING I do, not just trying to convince Him that what I’m doing isn’t wrong because I’m doing it for Him. I think I’ve been doing that far too much, trying to convince God and myself that I am “serving” Him by doing what I consider nice things, and ignoring the seemingly hard things He is asking me to do. What I don’t realize, is that it’s harder to do things my way than God’s, because I don’t have God’s support when I am out of His will.
    ♥ Anyway, I know this sounds childish. I just figured I’d share my thoughts as they came to my head.
    ~Kay Morris♫

  • Alex A.

    I never really thought about it that way too much before! That’s a great example of how God gives soo many second chances. Doesnt it say in the Bible to like Peter or something that we are not to forgive only 7 times, but 70 x 70 times?

    I had a devotional that was talking about how when Jesus wiped away our sins, He wiped our slate clean, and let us start over. Kind of like an Etch-a-Sketch… He just fliped our lives over and we were clean! But our lives are not like that. when we say something we don’t mean, we cant just flip over our lives so it never happened… we can only find a way to deal with it. actually, WE cant deal with it, we have to ask God to help us get through it. we cant do anything without God. We are not like Egyptians that depend on themselves, but ask of their gods when they need help, or when they are afraid they would all get punished because of one person. we no longer have to give sacrifices to God, at least not physical sacrifice, because He already forgave our sins.

    I have been reading the book “Do Hard Things”. It is a great book, and it seems never ending to me. when I read some, there is always more to read. It seems as if God wants me to do something encouraged in that book. Im on the part talking about how we need to give our 100%, even if its “good enough.” I feel as if I could do more, but Im not sure how. I’v always been the top of my class, always been the “smart, but nerdy one”, and Im homeschooling this year. I feel as if i could do something other than trying to do everything in the world… I just started feeling different when i started reading Do Hard Things. I just don’t know what. i think i used to feel as if, like the book said, if i start doing something, no one expects it to last. I just need to find out what it is i can do… with God’s help of course=) I just felt like i needed to share some of that with people i know have either been asked before, or have experienced it before.

  • JD

    Nice, especially since God sees all our our good works as nothing but “Filthy rags” so that if anything TRULY glorifying and great to God is gonna come out of us it MUST be through God’s will, with God’s help, and with God’s blessings and rewards! It’s like what one of my favorite verses says in psalm 40:8- I delight to do THY will, O my God: yea, THY law is within my heart! so everything we do, if we want it to impact in a way that will bring others to God, must be through God’s will! And that’s where praying comes in…

  • EricaAnn

    Haley Drew: I love that comment….I am at a place in my life where everything seems too regular,or too boring, or insignifigant , and I want to do great things for God , but I haven’t taken the time to simply sit down and study the Bible or pray ,or even just meditate on the sermons I hear and books I read. How is God supposed to work through me and reflect through me if I won’t even spend time with Him? that would be like trying to paint a picture of someone I’ve never seen! Anyway… yet another convicting post.Why is it that being independent so appeals to us? wouldn’t it be easier to be dependent on Christ completely? easier on everything except our pride,that is……

  • JD

    Oh and Kay Morris, that comment was great! I’ve been feeling EXACTLY the same way! That since I’m not great or famous that I haven’t really done my best for him, but it’s really all in just doing God’s will in the ordinary everyday things that makes it all count. Thanks Kay and this was a great post guys! God bless!

  • Andrew

    That truly is an example of awesome tweaking…

    We can’t do anything worth doing without God’s guidance and assistance…

  • How can you guys think David was a good man? When a man was sent out to war, he was with the man’s wife. He tried to have people killed to cover it up. This seems like possibly the worst behavior of any Christian in the Bible.

  • Hey Billy: Then an even bigger chance for God to show his love and forgive him. Yeah, David sinned…really bad. No one said he was perfect, just that we have a perfect God. Good question, though, that’s a big issue among a lot of people.

    Camille E.

  • Thank you, though, I wasn’t speaking about David being perfect, Lord knows I’m not, I’m just saying he wasn’t a very good example to follow.

  • Yeah, I’m not perfect either! 😉 God’s the perfect example. Though we can never live up to his on our own. By the way, I don’t know how to get Josiah in touch with you, so maybe you should try contacting him some other way besides my blog. Thanks.

    Camille E.

  • There was no link in his name. Sucks because I really enjoyed the debate, wish they hadn’t closed the commenting.

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