When God’s In Charge, You Can Take Charge
Life can overwhelm us, leaving us passive when we know we need to take action. Parents can “tune out” instead of intervening in their teenager’s destructive choices. Business leaders can hide in the safety of familiar routines instead of adapting to the rapid changes of their industry. Marriage partners can find escapes to avoid dealing with what is unraveling their relationship.
Instead of yielding to circumstances, we need to learn how to yield to God.
King David went through a season where he passively yielded to the tragic circumstances swirling around him: a family rape, a family murder, and ultimately a family revolt. These all took place right under David’s nose during a season of morose passivity.
Maybe he didn’t feel he had the moral authority to confront these sins. Following his adultery with Bathsheba and his panicked de facto murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11-12), David was compromised as a leader and a father. He was sidelined by depression, self-loathing, and uncertainty about his standing in the eyes of others. And so he resigned himself to the heartbreak going on around him.
But then something happened. As he and his loyal followers abandoned Jerusalem ahead of the invasion of his rebel son, Absalom, the Levites showed up with the ark. And seeing that holy object, something stirred again in our flawed hero. After all, this is the ark David retrieved, with dancing, as his first order of kingly business (2 Samuel 6).
And now, seeing that symbol of God’s reign, David said, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him” (15:25-26).
Here’s the interesting thing: After yielding to God, David began to once again take charge of his circumstances! He began to act like the king we remember, and Absalom’s chaos was brought to an end.
It seems that when God’s in charge, we can take charge.