2 Samual 3:1
In the time of transition the house of Saul and the house of David were in existence side by side. In-fact they not only existed together there were clear times when David would actually serve the house of Saul even though he knew he was the anointed king and that the anointing had left Saul. David ministers to the house of Saul, there were even times he would go on battle campaigns for Saul, but there was always the awareness that if he could Saul would kill him. There was the wisdom to know when to stay and when to go. When to bless and when to run. The picture of this time of transition is so relevant to where we are now. We see the established church setting co-existing alongside the ekklesia people of God. What can we learn from David? After all if he was a man after God’s own heart there must be something about his character that we can glean from. He was not perfect, far from it. He did not always make the right decisions. He even had dreams that were not in line with the mind of God, for example the building of the temple, to which God clearly says ‘I do not want that’. (We will look at that another time). God makes it plain that He does not want a building to live in, but people. But David was human. A human living in the mezzanine floor, that in-between place. As we are too. We will make mistakes and not get it right all of the time, but what we can do is cultivate a heart in the midst of the mess and confusion. A heart full of character that shines in the construction site. God has always been more concerned about who we are rather than what we do, that is even clear in the New Testament epistles. How did we get to the place of doing so much stuff to try to please Him? Do we think it all impresses Him? Meetings, preaching, conferences, crowds, modern technology, evangelistic programmes, worship teams, leadership structures, prayer meetings, house groups, cell groups, coffee shops etc. Does any of that impress God as much as a simple heart of thanksgiving? Forgive us Lord for what we have made it.
God never wanted Israel to have a king. He wanted His people to be different, to live their lives without hierarchy and control. To walk their lives out before God alone. But the people wanted to be like the other Nations. They saw the power it could bring, the progress, the battles they could win, the land they could get hold of, the prestige. Even with God’s sternest warning they proceeded to want a king. A sort of God replacement. A vicar. Without going into huge detail this is what they got with Saul. Amazingly God helped them choose this man. I often find God will still bless our mess. He cannot help blessing us, it is in His nature and character. Just because He blesses and helps us it does not mean He stands in full agreement with us. It is just more of the heart character of God than having God’s seal of approval.
He was man’s choice, they saw he was more handsome and taller than anyone.
He lead by control and manipulation and fear. Power. People served him out of fear.
He was impatient and foolish. Would not wait for Samuel.
He wanted to please men.
He made rash statements and threats.
He thought he knew better than God, then used God’s name to back up what he had done.
He raises himself up with a monument.
He was full of excuses and not repentance.
He was threatened by others. Full of jealousy and resentment.
He was obsessed with keeping others down.
He was more focused on what others were doing than on what God was doing.
A heart like David
Then there was David. Heart. A man of heart. Were our hearts not burning within us as we walked along that road. ‘A good heart these days is hard to find’. (Maria McKee). Here are some characteristics to cultivate within our hearts and lives in this transition season. Have there been transition times before? I believe so. Hvae things got to here before? I believe so. But man’s heart is also like David’s in a negative way, we always want to build a temple around the new. The new then becomes the old in new clothes. Wiil things be different this time? Only God knows, but cultivating this heart is so key.
He was God’s choice, not man’s obvious choice. We are all included in this as God desires to raise up a kingdom of priests. The foolish to confound the wise. The priesthood of all believers is something that we are so good at preaching/teaching but crap at living out. We need to restore the heart of God on all being the chosen. We are a royal priesthood.
He was a man after God’s own heart.
He was a servant. He served before he ruled. In-fact the more he ruled the further he got away from serving. It was the times he threw aside the robes that we see the real heart. He was a secret servant before he was a public servant. He served his family in the shepherds field. He served the king, Saul. We are called to serve in secret. We need to be open to still serve the old house. It may have speared us against the wall but our songs can minister, our prophecies can calm, our weapons can gain victories for them. We are not here to just build our kingdom, but His. Bless those who hate you. Show them a different way.
He was a worshipper before he was a king. Not on a stage but in the open field before God alone. We get a glimpse of this man when he finally throws aside his robes and gives everything in undignified worship. He is a psalmist not a king.
He is not intimidated by Goliaths.
He walks in his own flesh and not somebody else’s armour. There is so much copying going on in church life. The Hillsongs model, the Methodist model, the seeker-sensitive model, the organic church model, the prophetic model, the Celtic church model. Books, tapes, CD’s, the Internet, so much information we do not need inspiration. Worked for them it will work for me. So wrong, we are so foolish, we are like sheep going astray. God always says, ‘what have you got in your hand?’ A little oil, a few fish, some flour, a sling, a harp, my own skin. Just live with what you are in Him.
He cultivated relationships. In one word Jonathan. A son of the old system. He walked with him, talked with him, shared with him, loved him, served him. Never made him feel as if he should leave his own house but lived out his life before him. Showed him another way. Encouraged him to serve his father in the best way he could.
He was part of a gathering of willing volunteers. The Adullum crowd. The despised, the rejected, the hurt, those with debts. They were drawn to where David was. He never tried to gather his own crowd, they just found themselves together, paths crossed. We are living in days of Adullum gatherings.
He kept a good heart towards Saul. He had opportunities to slay Saul. To kill the one that wanted to kill him. He spared his life making his own life more uncomfortable. Even cutting the corner off of Saul’s robe broke his heart. What is our attitude towards the people of the old house? Such a tough one especially when we have been so damaged, and we see it continuing to damage others. Are we grieving at it’s death? The day we start to think that what we are doing is so superior and gloat over the demise of the church system and those in it, is the day we become just like it. Pride is a killer and it comes so subtly. Keep on loving. We don’t want to be mountain movers but lose the love do we? We know what happens then.
He does not pursue position but pursues God. The kingdom comes to him, he does not look for the kingdom.
He spends his life investing in and promoting people. The despised of the cave become the Mighty Men. Now that is true ministry gift in operation. Equipping, equipping, equipping.
The Mezzanine Floor
I’m on the mezzanine floor, never been here before no no
It’s a lonely place, but a house full of grace…
I’m at this bolted door but I’m coming through without permission
If I go they say I’m wrong, if I stay they’ll be no song…