Friday, June 3, 2011

Encourage Yourself

"And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6, KJV

Ever made a decision that caused people to turn against you? In this particular story David made a decision to send his men into battle, but when they returned they found that the enemy had burned their city, stolen their goods and kidnapped their families, including David’s. Not what you’d call a good day. Instead of comforting one another they looked for a scapegoat and turned against their leader David. Have you noticed that when your decisions are good ones, people are quick to share the credit with you? But if the decision’s not so good, they are even quicker to point a finger at you? I’ve heard it said, that at times it can be pretty lonely at the top.

We’re a fickle bunch aren’t we? I wonder if sometimes we’re just way too quick to throw our leaders under the bus when we don’t agree with a decision they've made or, like David, when they've make a bad decision. Here in this story, these men who were affected in such a positive way by David’s leadership quickly turned on David because he hadn’t prepared for this one contingency. This band of brothers snapped and were now prepared to stone the very one who they had learned so much from. So, what was David’s response? “He encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

We can learn a lot from David’s response. First of all, he didn’t have a pity party. You see, leaders don’t have the liberty for pity parties. As much as we’d like to, there’s no time…we have to lead, and keep leading even when we make mistakes. David had clearly made a poor decision here and although his men wanted to beat him up for it, he couldn’t beat himself up. He did what we all need to do if we find ourselves in similar situations – encourage ourselves in the Lord our God!

So, to be encouraged in the Lord we need to do two things.

First, we need to repent and ask God to forgive us. Ok, you blew it, you didn’t do your homework and you made a bad decision without thinking through all the facts. Join the club. We’ve all sinned and fallen short. But now what? We need to turn to the One who went to the cross for us! The One who understands us, and the One who will never leave us nor forsake us when we make good decisions or bad ones. 1 John says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, KJV) In other words, when people want to stone us, God has our backs and is willing to forgive. So we’ve got to be like our old friend Clebe McClary, who always says, "FIDO” – which stands for “fix it and drive on!” In other words, go to God and ask Him to forgive you. Get things “fixed” with Him and then drive on.

The second thing we need to do is be proactive and ask God for direction. That’s exactly what David did in 1 Samuel 30:8 (KJV) when he asked the Lord, “…shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” God’s answer to both of these questions was yes. He told David to pursue the bad guys, overtake them and that everything would be restored.

So, have you made a mistake? Are there people in your life who want to stone you? Then it’s time to encourage yourself in the Lord your God, repent, get God’s direction on what to do next and then fix it and drive on. Remember your best days are ahead!

With love-


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