Growing up, I was pretty confused about spirituality. My very limited understanding led me to believe that spirituality was boring and I decided that I would consider my relationship with God when got old and was done having all the fun I wanted to have in my youth. I have a feeling I am not alone. Fortunately, I met some great friends who enlightened me and broadened my understanding of spirituality. I got inspired by young men in the Bible, like David, who valued their relationship with God and made a huge difference on the people around them. David’s relationship with God and how he handled defeats, adversity and great success is truly inspirational and exemplary. My goal is to inspire you to imitate the convictions that David developed that made his relationship with God powerful and exciting.
Spirituality is Taking Responsibility
20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”
1 Samuel 22:20-23 (NIV)
Taking responsibility is key to becoming a spiritual person. Although David didn’t commit the crime or kill anyone, he was willing to take responsibility for what he could have done differently. He was mature enough to take the blame, and because he took responsibility, he became more loving. He promised to take care of Abiathar.
Do you embrace responsibility or are you quick to blame people or circumstances? How do you think having an attitude of blaming could be crippling your ability to love God and people around you?
Spirituality is Emotional Resilience
3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
1 Samuel 30:3-6 (NIV)
I can’t imagine the emotional duress David was under. He lost his family and had no idea if they were safe, alive or imprisoned. At the same time, his men were considering taking his life because they were so bitter. He could have fled for his life. He could have gotten angry at them. He could have accused them for not appreciating all that he had done. Instead, he didn’t give in and he went to God with all his emotions and God strengthened him.
How emotionally resilient are you? How would you have responded if you were in David’s shoes? What do you do in moments of emotional turmoil?
Spirituality is Responsiveness
The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
2 Samuel 12:1-7 (NIV)
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”
2 Samuel 12:13 (NIV)
Spirituality is not about how sinful we are (or aren’t), it’s about how responsive we are to the Bible after we have sinned. We learn from David’s life that God is incredibly merciful, especially when we take responsibility and respond to his Word. Is there anything you know that God wants you to do that you are unwilling to do? How would responding to his word change your life and your relationships?
After Saul had ruled forty years, God removed him from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: ‘I’ve searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.’
Acts 13:22 (MSG)
Here are three questions we should answer to help us become more spiritual:
1. What are some things in my life that I don’t like taking responsibility for ?
2. In what situations am I most tempted to quit emotionally? What practical decisions could I make to turn to God for more emotional strength?
3. How do I respond when I see a truth in the Bible that I don’t like?