Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to be effective for God

2 Samuel 23:1 Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, The man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel,

Last words.  David, the greatest king of Israel in the Old Testament, writes what are his final written words in the Bible.  Throughout his life David made it a point to be a mighty man of God - which we explored yesterday.  Today as we consider David's final words in 2 Samuel 23, we aim to understand another aspect of his life as a man of God - namely how he was an effective man of God.  

How can we aim to be effective people of God in the 21st century?  Let me sketch out some thoughts for you from 2 Samuel 23 that demonstrate how David did it by the Lord's strength:

1. Identification with God. 2 Samuel 23:1

David identifies himself with three titles: "The man who was raised on high; the anointed of God and the sweet Psalmist of Israel".  Each of these titles respectively conveyed his strength, his approval by God and his affection from God.  He never identified himself apart from God's strength, approval and affection.

2. Influence others for God. 2 Samuel 23:2-3

2 Samuel 23:2-3 notes -   “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. 3“The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God".  How was it that David operated as King?  He did it in the fear of the Lord.  He influenced others to the degree He was influenced by God.   God was His Rock.

3. Illuminating Walk with God. 2 Samuel 23:4

As David walked with God, his chief concern was to walk under an open heaven with God.  1 John 1:6-8 speaks about "walking in the light as He is in the light".  For the Christian, we walk as Jesus Himself walked. (1 John 2:6)  The Apostle John also writes in 1 John 4:17b "As Jesus Christ is, so are we in this world".  

At Jesus' baptism, the heavens parted and he began his public ministry under "an open heaven" fellowship with the Heavenly Father.  On the Mount of transfiguration in Matthew 17, the glory cloud of God came down where Jesus was on top of the mountain and declared to the three disciples with Him: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."  Then When Jesus ascended into heaven, He did so under an open heaven. 

Like Jesus, and like David, we too should make it our priority to walk under an open heaven, with fellowship with God as our chief priority.  This is how we are effective as people of God.  Then finally.....

4. Intention of Finishing well with God. 2 Samuel 23:5
David wrote: "Truly is not my house so with God?" This diagnostic question speaks to our spiritual condition - our Christian life - our "house".  How is your heart?  How is the estate of your spiritual house?  David has the intention of finishing well for God as indicated by the word "all" here in verse 5:

"Ordered all things, and secured"; "For all my salvation"; "and all my desire". 

David subsumed every nook and cranny of his life under the Sovereign Covenant that God had made with him almost 33 years prior in 2 Samuel 7:13-16.  From the get-go David desired to finish well for God.  Would we be a people who are effective for Jesus' sake.  May we...
1. Identify with God
2. Influence others for God
3. Have an illuminating walk with God
4. Intend to finish well for God. 

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