More Lessons from Kairos

Tonight, Mike Glenn spoke about King David, literally the runt of the litter who became the most famous king in the history of Israel. You know it’s bad when you’re father forgets about you when counting his own sons and has to be reminded about you.

There are several ways to define David as a man and as a king. You could define him by his military successes and his lengthy reign as king. You could also define him as someone who made several tragically bad choices, starting off with gazing a bit too long at Bathsheeba in the buff. If you haven’t read the whole story, I’ll keep it brief and just say that the story involved adultery, bribery, lying, more bribery, more lying, and (to top it all off) murder. Not to mention a cover-up that would would have made national headlines even today.

But the Bible defines David a different way. David is spoken of as a man after God’s own heart. Not as an adulterer, not as a murderer. But a man after God’s own heart.

It took God’s prophet speaking some fairly harsh words to get David’s attention, but all you have to do is read Psalm 51 to see what true brokenness and repentance looks like. David wasn’t just sorry for his sins. He didn’t just feel bad and promise never to do those things again. From that point on, he was a different man.

To be sure, his sin had consequences. He had strife within his kingdom and even within his own family from then on. But he knew where to go when the troubles and storms came. God was his safe refuge in the tempest, a strong fortress, a cleft in the rock for him to hide in.

You may have a dirty secret you don’t want anyone to know about. You may have made horrendously poor choices and have lingering regrets that you live with on a daily basis. That doesn’t have to define you. That doesn’t have to dictate who you are or where you’re going.

Let God’s love define you. Let God’s forgiveness dictate your future. May you hear the voice of your Abba Father calling you the Beloved and may you not only hear it, but believe it and live in it every single day.

 

Dumb Mistakes

I remember vividly when I was a kid waiting for my sister. She took ballet and I would wait outside the building until her practice was over. One time, I had the genius idea and thought, “When she comes out, I’m racing her to the car.”

Lo and behold, she came out and I took off running. I didn’t stop until I sat down in the car. Then I looked up. I thought, “Hey, you’re not my sister. Hey, wait a minute, this isn’t our car.” It was probably one of the most awkward situations I’ve ever been in.

Maybe your mistake wan’t as funny. Maybe it was devastating or tragic. Maybe it ruined a friendship or even a marriage. Maybe you feel like you’re still paying for that mistake made so many years ago.

You’re not alone. Moses messed up royally. He got angry with God’s people and spoke as if he and not God were responsible for giving the Israelites water and helping them out of jams time and time again.

Then there’s David, who committed adultery with Bathsheeba, lied to and tried to deceive her husband, then finally had him killed. I think that qualifies as an epic fail.

The good news is that your story doesn’t have to end with failure. God offers forgiveness and a fresh start if you own up to what you did and are willing to change and go in a different direction.

I love what David wrote in Psalm 51 after he confessed to his own sin and repented of it:

“Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.

Scrub away my guilt,

soak out my sins in your laundry.

I know how bad I’ve been;

my sins are staring me down.

You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen

it all, seen the full extent of my evil.

You have all the facts before you;

whatever you decide about me is fair.

I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,

in the wrong since before I was born.

What you’re after is truth from the inside out.

Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,

scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.

Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,

set these once-broken bones to dancing.

Don’t look too close for blemishes,

give me a clean bill of health.

God, make a fresh start in me,

shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

Don’t throw me out with the trash,

or fail to breathe holiness in me.

Bring me back from gray exile,

put a fresh wind in my sails!

Give me a job teaching rebels your ways

so the lost can find their way home.

Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,

and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.

Unbutton my lips, dear God;

I’ll let loose with your praise.”

All I can add to that is

Amen.