“Lynn, when you get mad your eyes get big and you spit.” said my spiritual father when I was in my 20’s.True story! I was born and bred in a family of 9 where the loudest one with the most drama won. And I like to win. Just for the record, I don’t intentionally spit on people when I am not winning. But if I am passionate about something good or bad, I talk so fast that I end up spitting on the one closest to me. And my eyes do get big…..
What do you look like when you get stirred up?
Anger: Do your eyes get big and you spit?
Fear: Do maddening, reoccurring thoughts control, preoccupy and consume you?
Pride: Do you jump into a protection mode to keep what you have or want?
In I Chronicles 21, David got stirred up and took steps that eventually led to devastating consequences for himself and those under his care. I wonder what was happening in everyday life for him, as an individual. What circumstances triggered his thought process, feelings and actions? Why did he feel he needed to know how many fighting men he had under him? Was it pride, “I want to see what I have truly built and developed as king?” Or perhaps fear, “Do I have enough men to continue to defeat our enemies?” Was it lack of trust? One source considered the idea that David was substituting statistics for trusting God.
“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said, “Go and take a count……then report back to me how many there are.” I Chronicles 21:1-2
Incited: urge/stir up
Continuing in I Chronicles 21, David received godly counsel not to count his fighting men. But David pushed ahead. He pushed with the authority of the place he found himself as king. How often we use what God has woven into our lives to fulfill our immediate satisfaction instead of His. How sad for our Father this must be. It tarnishes His glory, especially in our hearts and in the hearts of those around us; the very one’s He wants to reveal Himself.
It doesn’t appear from other parts of scripture that David was a prideful man. And it doesn’t seem that anger ruled him. I wonder if dormant insecurities or fear were stirring inside of him and clouded the many stepping stones God had placed to lead him, the youngest of his family, a shepherd boy to become King of Israel. And perhaps fear compelled him to count all of his fighting men. Perhaps he wanted to make sure the kingdom was secure.
I Chronicles 21:1, is not the end all settling place for me; the reminder that Satan is a roaring lion roaming around looking to kill and destroy. That would throw all of the responsibility and blame on Satan and leave me as a victim. It is fact that we have an enemy. The entire chapter of I Chronicles 21 compels me to go beyond the thought of my enemy and pray, “Father, help me be alert because I feel stirred up…..Holly Spirit, please peel away the layers and show me if fear, pride or mistrust is motivating me instead of obedience to you.”
The chapter continues to unfold the deep consequences of David’s choices after he got stirred up. It reveals a very active God, it reveals a very powerful God, it reveals a very compassionate God, and it reveals a very present God. And I know from other scripture that He is God who never changes. So this truth in I Chronicles 21 reminds me that my Heavenly Father is God and He is active, powerful, compassionate and present TODAY. Today when I am being incited or tempted to get stirred up.
The chapter also reveals the heart of David who recognized his sin. He recognized that he offended his God. This leads me to Ps 51 where I learn all over again that when I sin, I sin against my God and only my God The One I want to love, to serve; The One who gave His life to give me mine. The One who created me, bought me with the high price of the cruel cross. The One who is now not only my Father but my Master and my King. I am His servant in the life situations that He has placed my feet; as wife, as mother, as grandmother, as neighbor, as missionary, as leader.
I continually stand amazed at the heart of my Father God. He orchestrates so much in our lives that when the crescendo sounds, there is no doubt that He is the maestro. And then, when we are incited we often make choices to spoil that created beauty. We tarnish the revelation of God in our everyday lives by using what He has orchestrated to justify or propel our anger, fear or pride. Because we got “stirred up.” And the saddest part of such a scenario is not that we end up getting into a mess or deeply hurt those around us. The saddest part is that we have offended our well-meaning Father. And our actions eclipse His glory in our hearts and inadvertently in the hearts of those around us….because we got stirred up. But the bottom line is, we have sinned against Him and only Him. Psalm 51
There are consequences to our choices when we get stirred up. Stay alert my friend and remember The One you are living for. May you harness the energy from getting stirred up to fall at His feet and talk to your Father God about what is going on inside of your heart. He is always waiting with arms open wide and wanting what is best for you, like any good father. Even if your eyes get big and you spit.
THRIVE Leadership Foundation