A change of routine
One of my favorite stories in the Bible takes place in 2 Samuel 11, David and Bathsheba. Why? Well quite simple. It reminds me of how autonomy can make us believe we can live without God and keep his blessings. It also shows me his grace and how we can recover from a fall no matter how far and no matter the position we hold. The story opens by acknowledging King David was in a season when kings were supposed to be out at war. If we go back 1 Samuel 17 and even back to when David was anointed King, the bible always showed David was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing. When Samuel was looking for Jesse’s additional son, his father knew exactly where he was. In the pasture with the sheep. When the lion and the bear came to devour David’s sheep, he was in the pastures on guard. Hence allowing him to defend the sheep. When he faced Goliath, he was obeying his father and bringing his brother’s supplies.
So needless to say, at a young age David made a habit of being where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing. This always led to God’s hand and a victory. For some reason as king this particular time, he decided to get out of position. There have been times I think I have made it and decide to take a step back and I immediately am reminded by a blunder why I can’t. There were times in my marriage when I failed to pray with my wife or bring our issues before the lord. Consistently communication would break down. I would then do what I knew to do, and then let my guard down and things went back into the cycle that caused me to pray in the first place. Like most things, what we do to receive our blessings from God by seeking him first (Matthew 6:33), we must do to maintain our connection and position to him. I see this pattern so often in many relationships or any career field. We sometimes see success as an opportunity to take a breather and relax. However God still requires us to be good stewards of what he has blessed us with regardless of our level of success.
A change or purpose
Once we step out of the function of the position God gave us, we have now changed our purpose. Our God given purpose keeps us growing, praying, loving and seeking God. Most of all it keeps us busy. Proverbs 16:27 says “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” At the moment when David stepped out of position, the “Man after God’s own heart” became completely idle. The person who wrote the Psalms became verbally idle. This was just what Satan needed to come in. That’s what he did. The bible goes on to say while he was sitting down he notices a woman bathing. While he was idle he noticed temptation. Our purpose distracts us from most temptation that could paralyze us. God gives us positions and assignments to keep us on track. Sometimes we lose sight of the purpose for the position and become more infatuated with the power of the position.
We then use this for our personal gain. That’s what David did. He saw her and sent for her. He was told by his servant she was married. That was his first nudge that should have stopped him but it didn’t. A lot of times when we are out of position, God will give us subtle hints and warnings before we fall but we tend to ignore them when they don’t satisfy our flesh. When I am on my diet and I am surrounded by unhealthy food and have mentally committed to eating bad, I will. I have physically and mentally positioned myself for failure. Despite what he found out about her, he took her and slept with her and she became pregnant. This was the second time he should have stopped and repented but he did not. He took advantage of his position. That made him change his purpose and now he was deep into trouble.
When we step out of our purpose and become our own saviors, we feel the burden of putting out our own fires and not praying to God. When we take on God-like responsibility, we feel a God-like burden without God and we make God like decisions with human wisdom. That’s what David did. He didn’t want to be found out so he planed a conspiracy to have her husband sleep with her so he’d think the child was his. But Uriah, her husband displayed a loyalty to his position and purpose that David lost sight of. He stayed focus on his task and did not sleep with his wife. When David found out his plan failed, rather than fess up, he went deeper into trouble and his cover up. He planned to have him murdered. He used the power God gave him while out of position to create a purpose for himself that God didn’t give him. He had him murdered rather than confess and rid himself of the sin. He now added murder and conspiracy to the adultery and fornication he had already committed. When we get out of position and stay out of position, we get deeper and deeper into sin and get further and further away from repentance.
A trigger for redemption
I cannot express the importance of keeping people around you that will tell you the truth and hold you accountable in love. Who knows how far down this road David would have gone without Samuel's obedience to God. Samuel comes to David and tells him a story about a rich man that was so greedy he took something from a poor man that he already had many of. David was furious and wanted to find this rich man and punish him. Samuel revealed to David that it was him. David, the rich man, took the only yule lamb ( as the bible refers to Uriah’s wife) of Uriah. David’s response showed me the true meaning of being a “Man after God’s own heart”. Chasing after God and seeking him isn’t lack of mistakes, it is the presence of a need for repentance and reconciliation with God and that’s what I saw. God is always awaiting us to own our mistakes and repent but we have to have the heart to want to do so. All the Psalms David wrote and all the victories he had with God, never left his heart. It’s not that he decided to leave God’s presence but got out of position and strayed. Once he found his way back to Gods presence, he fixed his sight on him. It doesn’t matter if we walk away from God consciously or subconsciously, redemption is only a repent away. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”