Read His Words Before Ours!
The experience of being turned away, excluded, dismissed, or unwanted.
Merely reading the description brings a swell of emotion, doesn’t it? We’ve all felt the sharp wounds of rejection sometime in our lives. We have experienced it at the hands of our peers, friends, and classmates. Worse, we’ve felt it from those we expect to love us best, our parents, siblings, our children, even our spouse. The closer the relationship, the more extensive the damage tends to be.
And it’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? Because when we are rejected, our deepest need to be approved and accepted is brought into sharper relief. The very thing we desire most is withheld from us, which leaves us feeling even smaller and needier, if possible. We waver between hurt that another could make us feel this way, and anger that we allowed ourselves to be so vulnerable. We’re left with an overwhelming urge to run and hide.
I remember it well. The defensive pull to withdraw from relationships and close ourselves off is powerful.
David, the shepherd boy-turned-king, was well acquainted with rejection. When Samuel came to his father’s home in search of the Lord’s next anointed king, David was literally the last to come to Jesse’s mind. As time went by, God made space for him in King Saul’s court to play his lyre when Saul was troubled, and he became Saul’s armor bearer.
However, when Saul’s army was camped out, hiding from the threats of the Philistine Goliath, David faced rejection again. His oldest brother, Eliab, grew angry at David’s bold words. He mistook the Holy Spirit’s stirring in David for arrogance, and threw his lowly status of shepherd in David’s face. Saul heard about David’s words and summoned him, only to serve yet another helping of rejection by pointing out David’s youth and inexperience.
But David persisted. Goliath fell, and God was glorified.
Those weren’t David’s only experiences with rejection. Repeatedly, he faced rejection from those he loved and led. Saul gave his daughter Michal to David in marriage, following his defeat of Goliath, but later did everything in his power to kill him. David’s men grew tired of running and hiding, and blamed him for the situation. They, too, wanted to kill him. He faced discouragement and isolation. David literally spent time hiding in caves from those who rejected him and wanted to murder him.
But still, he pressed on.
When we think about the rejection we have faced in our lives, it pales by comparison, doesn’t it? Few, if any of us, have experienced such significant rejection.
Yet, when we do face rejection, do we allow God to heal those places and persist in following His call? Or do we turn away from the illuminating light of revelation and attempt to nurse our wounds in the dark?
I know what my answer has been. I’m betting yours has been pretty similar, too.
So, what’s the difference between us and David?
“I’m no hero of the faith!”
We’re all thinking it.
Scripture tells us from the time David was anointed, the Spirit of God rested powerfully on him. Throughout David’s life, he wrestled with sin; he was a man, just like anyone else. But he was a wholly surrendered man. His heart posture was positioned to follow God, wherever He might lead. When confronted with his mistakes and sin, David was grieved. He acknowledged his sins against God, and he turned from his ways. Many times, David could have taken the reins and done what he thought was right. There were several opportunities when he could have simply killed Saul and taken the throne. He knew God had anointed him as the next king of Israel. No one would have blamed him; King Saul was murderous and deranged.
But David didn’t expect his God to serve and follow him. He served and followed his God.
Woo. The conviction cuts deep, doesn’t it? Same.
Because regardless of the pretty words we use to talk about our faith, and regardless of anyone else’s perception of us, our response in the face of rejection reveals our heart posture, doesn’t it? If we do not press in to follow our Father in the face of rejection, we are seeking the approval and acceptance of others over our King.
When we try to fill our need with anything other than God, we aren’t following God at all.
Think about it. Think about the time you give to the Lord. Time in prayer, in relationship with Him. I’m not talking about what you “do” for Him. Do you give your time to the Lord? Do you serve and follow your God? Or do you do what makes you happy, and expect Him to fit in somewhere around the edges?
Do we really know what it means to be wholly surrendered, Love? Perhaps the greater question: do we even think it possible in this day and age?
Love, it is! But it’s not something we can manufacture in our own strength or willpower. It is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. The truth? It’s not something our human nature even wants. God Himself must instill the desire within us.
In the same way God turned David’s heart toward Himself, He can and will do the same for us, Love!
The real question is . . . do we want Him to?
Heavenly Father, You are my King. I confess that I haven’t lived like it, but I want to change. Lord, change my heart, and give me a desire to live fully surrendered to Your will. I can’t do it on my own, but I know You can and will. Show me how to respond to You, every day. I love and praise You, only. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!