Handpicked By God For a Purpose

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Day One of the Anointed Transformed Redeemed study.

I have found David son of Jessee a man after my own heart. – Acts 13:22, NIV

You did not choose Me, but I chose you. – John 15:16, HCSB

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus. – 1 Corinthians 1:30, NIV

Wow.  There are SO many things I wish I could blog about right now as I start this study, but the timing is not right yet.  Let me just say that the lessons of this first week have affected me in a powerful way.

1.  Acts 13:22 tells us that God selected David to accomplish His purposes because he was a man after God’s own heart and would do God’s will.

David had integrity of heart (Psalm 78:71-72).  He was sinful, but repented and sought forgiveness (Psalm 51:1-4, 10-13).  He offered hope to people who had none (1 Samuel 22:1-2).  He boasted in God, not himself (1 Samuel 17:44-45).  He was honorable and humble (1 Samuel 24:1-22, 2 Samuel 2:4-7).

These are the types of things that will be evident in our lives if we are pursuing the heart of God.  Galatians 5:22-23 tells us about the “fruit” of the Spirit of God.  The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  If you are truly seeking God, these things will characterize you.  I must say that the majority of my life, I have not been characterized by these things.  I believed in God, and trusted Jesus as my Savior, but I didn’t pursue Him.  I didn’t seek to have His heart.  Man, was I EVER missing out – and I was definitely missing the point.

2.  Psalm 23, written by David, reveals much about what he believed regarding God and what characterized his lifestyle.

Priscilla has us work through the psalm and explain what we think each part of the verses she capitalized reveals about David’s beliefs and character.

  1. The LORD is my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT – David trusted in God to take care of all of his needs.  We need to do the same.  If we are following our Shepherd, He will not lead us astray and we will never be in need.
  2. He maketh me to LIE DOWN in green pastures:  he leadeth me beside the STILL WATERS – David waited on God and was patient.  He will give us rest if we seek Him.
  3. He leadeth me in the paths of RIGHTEOUSNESS – He gave David a vision for his future and showed him the way that he should take.  Following closely after God leads us toward His holiness.
  4. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies . . . MY CUP [OF THANKSGIVING] runneth over – David was blessed by God and overcame his enemies by God’s help.  He gave praise to God for his successes.  We are to give thanks and praises to God for all the good things He gives us.  EVERY good thing comes from God.
  5. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:  AND I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER – God had promised David that he would always have an heir on the throne.  He also promised David that he would always be with Him.  God has promised the same thing – eternal dwelling with God – to all who accept Jesus.  We can trust in His promises to us, just like David did.

I have blogged before about how God has pounded certain lessons into my head by having my pastor preach a sermon on the EXACT SAME THING right before or right after I studied the lesson.  See here, here, and here, among others.  In keeping with that theme (LOL), our executive pastor, Bob Landham, preached on Psalm 23 this past Sunday.  At this point, I am really not surprised.  😉  Here are the sermon highlights:

  1. The Lord is worthy of worship by virtue of His identity and as our provider.  This doesn’t mean that He will give us everything we WANT.  It means that we shall not want for CARE and we shall not want SOMETHING ELSE other than Him.  We become like that which we worship.  God deserves extravagant devotion.
  2. When we understand “I shall not want” we can begin to understand biblical rest.  Living in stress is caused by fear, problems in relationships, torment or oppression from others, hunger, etc.  God offers us rest from those things.  There is no rest apart from our Redeemer.
  3. You are incapable of managing your life alone.  He has our highest good in mind.  He will lead us on the paths we should take. (Where have I heard that before?)  Shepherds are constantly moving their sheep from one place to another for the good of the sheep.  If they didn’t, the sheep would eat everything in sight and then starve to death.
  4. His rest brings restoration.  When we worship the Lord, we move closer to what we are supposed to be – what we were originally created to be.
  5. Restoration is costly and requires a guide.  It takes time, commitment, and sacrifice.  Restoration is moving from one condition (our present self) to another condition (a holy, righteous self found in Christ). 

I don’t want to trust God only when things are going my way, I want to trust Him all the time.

I don’t want to spend time in prayer and in the Word when it is convenient and there is nothing good on TV, I want to seek Him all the time.

I don’t want to pursue holy living only when I am in a good mood and not mad someone else, I want to pursue Him all the time.

I don’t want to be grateful only when good things are happening to me, I want to give thanks to Him in all things.

So:

I will walk through the door of opportunity that God has opened for me.

I will make sure I go face down before God daily and talk to Him as I would a trusted friend.

I will get in the Word daily so that I will know the paths that I should take and how to live a holy life.

I will tell others about how God has blessed me and praise him without ceasing.

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