Whose Desire, Whose Control
1 Samuel 26:1-13
Verses 9-10 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.
Today we reach the last portion of the Fruit of the Spirit – self-control. This is one of the hardest to see in our own lives. We may know from the full story of David that self-control wasn’t something he was known for throughout his life. In fact one of the most famous stories of David’s life is his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. But the story in front of us today tells another side of David.
David was in a unique position. He had been anointed as God’s chosen king as a young man, possibly even while he was still a child. The biggest issue was that there was already a king and he wasn’t ready to leave the throne and planned on passing it onto his son at death. Then comes the time that the king deals with depression and our young man, David, becomes the king’s personal musician to sooth his tormented soul. Then our shepherd boy defeats the Philistine giant, Goliath and wins the opportunity to marry the king’s daughter. David was making a name for himself and King Saul becomes jealous and decides to kill him.
This king was not to be ignored and David flees for his life. Today’s reading was the second time that David had the perfect opportunity to kill the king, end the running for his life and take the throne for himself. The first time the opportunity arose David cut the corner off of the king’s garment. Then David felt bad for doing that to God’s anointed (Saul was anointed prior to David). That brings us to our story today. David had shown self-control the first time he had the opportunity to hurt the king and God allowed another time for him to show Abishai (and us) that it wasn’t what we are allowed to do but sometimes what we refrain from doing that show where our allegiance lies.
David understood that often we don’t use self-control because our focus is on self-desire (see David’s choice about Bathsheba) rather than on God’s desire. You see, David points out that for him to take King Saul’s life would be out of God’s will as it is God’s job to decide when a person dies. When we allow the Spirit to be our guide we will see things through God’s eyes and when we desire to do what He wants, we can’t help but use His control to do what He wants. And that is worshiping Him wholeheartedly!
Making It Personal
Do you have areas that you struggle with in the area of self-control? Could the reason be that you are more focused on your desires in that area than God’s desires? How can you surrender that area to Him?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you have something that you really like – maybe a candy or toy – and you have to fight yourself not to take it when you want it, even if mom or dad said no? It is hard to have self-control, isn’t it?
Father, thank You for helping us see that we will continually fight our self for control when we look to our own interests. Please help us desire Your will so we follow Your desires not our own. In Jesus’ name, amen.