"Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name" Psalm 63:3-4
OF ALL places, David's wilderness experience became his teacher in learning the worship of God. Devoid of the rich symbols of the tabernacle and all its rituals, David learned to worship God filled with faith. With this, I remember the ER nurse who remarked that a lot of people prayed more and really prayed when in the ICU than when in the church sanctuary! Yes, for many of us, our worship is made meaningful by our prayers when we are outside of the sanctuary.
David's wilderness experience was also David's ‘brokenness’ experience. God turned it into a holy encounter that helped him face the crises of life. Warren Wiersbe wisely said ... "it is our regular worship that prepares us for the crisis experiences of life"
The wilderness experience made David even long for worship with God's people in the tabernacle. In the wilderness of Judea, God taught David to worship. It was the time when Absalom rebelled against him which led to his banishment from the pinnacle of power into a lifestyle of powerlessness in the wilderness, only to discover that it was an appointment to meet the all-powerful One!
Let us learn the lessons that David learned. Let us savor the insights and struggle with the application of the lesson. It is not a quick course ... it is a long and low-profile journey of obedience.
In the wilderness, God restored David's thirst for God. Power allows a subtle addiction that overcomes one’s thirst for God. God, in His sovereignty, allowed a wilderness experience for David to spare him from the total loss of spiritual appetite for God. God showed Himself very personally to David. In the wilderness, we can see at least four lessons which David learned. The wilderness taught David desperation. It was not about lacking wealth or lacking political backing that would lead to a great embarrassment to his throne. Desperation was about his true spiritual condition. The Lord showed him what was really happening inside his heart. David saw the canker that had helplessly invaded his spiritual life, to the point that he no longer desired to worship God. If you can see what is really going on inside of you, you will understand what desperation is all about ... you will see what godless self-sufficiency looks like ... as described by John Eldredge. Almost simultaneously, the wilderness formed within David a solid conviction that resulted to a clear and determined choice to depend upon God!
Dependence on God is not about your or my expectations about what God should do in our circumstances. Rather, it is a strong faith in God that He will do what is wise in His own sight. It includes a deliberate surrender of my own ways on how God should bail me out from this prison. We do not pray to manipulate God, we pray because we are pleading for God's mercy to help s through this wilderness journey.
The wilderness taught David to delight in God. God is without rival in the wilderness. It radically transformed David's delight over the blessings of God to delighting in God alone. Not trapped by blessings, he now seeks the Giver. Delighting in God is a consequence of being dependent on God. Lastly, the wilderness shaped David's devotion to the Righteous God more than just being right! Out of our nearness to the Righteous One, many become light and nice in dealing with others ... most especially when you are proven right, while most people become a hard-to-live-with self-righteous individual. Reflect on this anonymous Quote "Being right is one of the hardest burdens human beings have to bear and few succeed in bearing up under it gracefully".
Thanks for reading I always write from my heart.