Thursday, July 18, 2013
In 2 Samuel 11, we have the story of what happened in David's life when all was well. He was about 50 years old. He had experienced a closeness with God that few people have known. He had everything a man could possibly want; a kingdom of adoring servants, wives, children, riches, you name it, he had it.
One evening when his army was fighting his battles, David was at home, alone. He stepped out onto his "rooftop" (we would call it a terrace today) and walked around, surveying his kingdom. His palace was the tallest structure in Judah, and he could virtually look down onto all the rooftops of the surrounding homes. You know the rest of the story; adultery and murder. David wasn't defeated in his fight with Goliath. He came out the victor in his battle with Saul, and in those never-ending threats of treason, and countless other attacks by Satan. But when all was well, when there were no battles to fight in the valley, that is when temptation came at him with a vengeance.
The Bible warns us in 1 Corinth. 10:12; "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." That's because our enemy Satan, never takes a day off, he never takes a break, he never leaves us alone for very long. In the New Testament, Christians are called soldiers. Our armor is found in Ephesians 6:12-17. We are to have it with us at all times to protect us from the fiery darts of our enemy. So how do we stay ready to fight the battle in the valley, and enjoy the peace of the mountaintop?
1. Like the soldiers in the New Testament, stay dressed for battle. My helmet is my salvation. It protects my mind, my thoughts, the things I hear, see, and say. My breastplate is the righteousness of my God. My belt is the Holy Spirit of Truth.(John 16:13) My shoes are my desire to be a peacemaker. My sword is my Bible. Every spiritual battle is fought with the Word of God. And my shield is my faith. When we go through difficult times, remember Who sustained us. And when we sense all is well, remember Who led us there.
2. On the mountaintop, we feel victorious and invincible. That is when we are most vulnerable. When I have a sense that all is well, that is when I need to take up the battle of another believer and wear my armor for her. I need to pray for her as I have prayed for myself, intercede for her, be an extra set of eyes, hands, feet so she doesn't slip as she is climbing up, out of the valley.
3. Determine to be obedient. Don't ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, be aware of His conviction of even the slightest area of disobedience. When all is well, I especially need to be more vigilant in reading my Bible, praying, being faithful to every church service, staying in close contact with other believers. This is my spirutal support and defense in the valley and on the mountaintop. This is my protection.
I hope all is well with you today. And if it is "Give Thanks". (1 Thess. 5:18) But remember, the top of the mountain is a beautiful place to be and it sure is a nice place to visit, but it's in the valley where all the living takes place. Mature, strong, successful Christians spend a lot more time in the valley than they do on the mountain. And the next time we go to Natural Bridge, we'll ride the tram up
AND down. Now if I could just figure out a way to keep David out of Kentucky Mustang...........