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This Week's Standing Firm Men's Devotional

Saturday, August 1, 2015

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ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HURTING YOUR STAND?
 
Has God told you that your marriage will be resurrected from the dead and fully healed? Have you even seen evidence of God’s work on your spouse’s side of the mountain, or signs that God has sent to encourage you? Do you forget those things and still doubt that standing is right, or question whether or not your spouse will REALLY come home?
 
This is an area where God is still working in my heart. I trust God to be faithful to me in general, but the enemy tries to cause doubt when I imagine specific details about my future. In reading David’s story in the Bible, God has shown me that David’s thoughts and doubts caused him to forget the truth of God’s work and directed his actions away from God’s promise. In 1 Samuel Chapters 15-16, God rejects Saul as King of Israel, and sends Samuel to appoint David as the next King.
 

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him [David] in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.  1 Samuel 16:12b-13
 
David was a young shepherd at the time and there would be a waiting time for him to grow into the role God had in store. Likewise, we often have to wait to see the results of God’s promise in our lives because we are not yet mature enough to be in the role God intends for us. During David’s wait, King Saul tried to kill David out of jealousy. In 1 Samuel 26, David went into Saul’s camp as the king was sleeping and had the opportunity to kill him, but he let Saul live. When King Saul woke and realized his life had been spared he blessed David and stopped pursuing him.
 

[David said] “As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.” Then Saul said to David. “May you be blessed, my son David; you will do great things and surely triumph.” So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.  1 Samuel 26:24-25
 
Here David was, having had God anoint him as the next king in the presence of his family, and having his “enemy” Saul turn away from trying to kill him. Those are pretty clear signs of God’s influence if you ask me. But what did David do? In the VERY next verse this is what we read:
 

But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel and I will slip out of his hand.”  1 Samuel 27:1
 
Instead of trusting God’s promise for his future, and praising God for rewarding his choice to let Saul live by protecting him, David thought to himself, “Eventually, I’m going to die; I better take matters into my own hands.” The direction of his thoughts influenced David’s ability to make the right choice. David fled the land God had promised he would rule, and instead chose to live with people who were an enemy to God’s people. This led to a period of sin in David’s life, even to the point of being asked to fight against the nation he was promised to lead. Do your doubtful thoughts lead you to work against restoring your marriage, maybe encouraging division, fighting, lack of contact, entertaining the idea of “moving on” with another partner instead of your covenant spouse? This is a deception of the enemy to subtly shake our confidence and faith.
 
Growing and maturing is hard and it takes time. That’s why we must continue to pray, asking God to change us just as much as He needs to change our prodigal spouses. The best place to start is with being aware of our own thoughts and feelings, and giving them to God to renew our minds daily.
 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.  Romans 12:2
 
Continually reading God’s Word, praying, and keeping a journal to remember your journey thus far, are all good ways to keep your mind on God’s will and away from your own fears and doubts.
Keeping my mind on God’s will,
 
Christian in Arizona

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