I have been blessed with amazing friends in the last seven years as I started to really walk with God. My first Mentor (and Best Friend) helped me understand many things God has been doing in my life. There is one thing that sticks out the greatest: She taught me early into this walk to not be looking at her but rather to look to God. In that, she has showed me that each time I step away from a person or place, I need to have my eyes on God at all times. This has helped me as I talk with others. I want them to have their eyes on God as well, and not anything I say.
God has showed me scripture where David took his eyes off of God and listened to his men which cost him his son Absalom’s life. David was depressed because of Absalom killing his brother, Ammon, for sleeping with their sister Tamar. At that time in his life, David didn’t have Jonathan or Samuel in his life to help counsel him. I feel it is important to always have people alongside of us to help us stay in alignment with God. Sometimes when we get out of alignment, we are unable to see it ourselves. Sometimes it takes someone else to speak into our life to keep us in check. We need to continue to allow people to speak into our lives and to stay in a place where we are teachable and able to receive what others say while continually taking it all back to God. Imagine being David – unable to deal with the death of your son Ammon who was killed by your other son, Absalom. Ammon raped Tamar and causing an anger to brew inside of Absalom because of the devastation his sister, both physically and emotionally. Absalom let the anger stew for over two years as he waited for his father, David, to rectify the situation until Absalom could stand it no longer and he had Ammon killed by his servants. Several years later, David finally let Absalom come home but would not look at him and didn’t interact with him. It was as if he was dead to David.
Rebellion rose up inside of Absalom to the point that he wanted his father David’s kingdom and they went to battle and David was ready to fight against his son. This part is the interesting part of the story: David’s men speak to him, saying that it would be better for him to stay back and not go to battle with his men.
2 Samuel 18:3-4
But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.”
King David answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.” So the King stood beside the gate while all his men marched out in units of hundreds and thousands.
Instead of David taking that word back to God, he said to his men “I will do whatever seems best to you.” How many times do we take a word from someone and not go back to God to see if it truly is from Him? I hear people prophesying to people as if giving a Word and saying it was God, when all along they actually knew something of their situation; I call that the Spirit of Obvious. I see people hang on those Words, believing the Word exactly as it was spoken over them. I don’t like to prophesy over someone who I know or at least in an area I already know about in their life. I rarely accept a Word from someone who knows me, especially if that Word is in regards to something they already are aware of in my life. I want confirmations to come from people who have no clue as to what is going on in my life or at least that area of my life they are prophesying over.
As Absalom headed into battle against David’s men, his mule took him under the thick boughs of a great oak and Absalom’s head was caught fast in a fork of the oak’s branches. The mule under him ran away, leaving Absalom hanging between the heavens and the earth. So let’s think about this for a moment. Visualize being caught in a fork of the great oak. In Isaiah 61 it speaks of the oaks of righteousness which are planted by God Himself. What if Absalom was in the hand of God, hanging between heaven and earth awaiting his fate. What if David had gone to God to ask Him if he should go to battle against Absalom? What if David would have been on the battle field that day? I would like to propose that God was waiting on David to come and rescue his son.
The revelation God showed me in these scriptures is that the hand of God was holding Absalom and waiting for David to rescue him. However, David was listening to others and had not consulted with God, so David missed one of the greatest opportunities ever to see the prodigal son come home.
What does this look like today in our own society? Picture a young man raised in a really great home. This young man has loving parents and incredible potential in life. One day he and his brother are out on a joy ride with two friends and had a little too much to drink. All of a sudden, the car loses control and a horrific accident unravels before their eyes. Absalom is the son who is the driver and lives through the accident while Ammon and two other friends die in the accident.
Hearts are broken and lives are shattered in the midst of the horrific accident. Absalom is injured badly and has life threatening injuries. His parents are heart broken and in despair and don’t know how deal with this tragedy. They are grieving over both sons, one critically injured and the other dead, and the enemy pulls them into the deep darkness of oppression and depression. They are gripped with anger and unforgiveness towards Absalom because he was the oldest and was highly intoxicated. He was living his life recklessly and now he has involved his little brother to the point where it killed him. What do you do as parents? How do you get out of the darkness of the pit you feel like you have fallen into?
David is the father and also has choices to make, yet he is so grieved with the pain of losing his youngest son that he can’t see past the pain and forgive the oldest son who is laying in the hospital hanging on for his own life. He can’t bring himself to go to the hospital and his friends are angry as well because they also lost their sons and are grieving. He is not hearing any encouragement to reach out to his son, Absalom, so he allows the grief to hold him in bondage. This pain keeps him from walking into the hospital room where his oldest son, the one he has never connected with, the one that has always been rebellious and troubled, but was really always looking for his father’s acceptance. The son is in a coma and in the hands of the Almighty Father waiting on David to come speak life into him, but David doesn’t come. No matter how much love the mother gives, the son still longs for the father to appreciate him and to love him for who he is and to no longer judge him because he is different.
Absalom is fading fast because he has lost all hope in believing his father truly loves him. He hears what people are speaking even though he is in a coma. He hears the words which are spoken about Ammon dying in the car accident and that he was responsible. How can he ever fix that problem, when he has screwed up everything he has ever laid his hands through his life?
The young man, Absalom, dies without hearing his father say I love you! His life hung on those words and his wounded heart and lack of hope open the door to the enemy to destroy him completely; His body was unable to heal because there was no hope in his life.
David, the father, never meant for Absalom to be distant from him. He loved him the only way he knew how to love; He loved his son the same way he was loved by his father. His father was hard on him also and believed in David greater than David believed in himself, but David’s father never said he loved him nor did he show David any love. His son was so much like him that they didn’t know how to communicate. The difference was that David in his younger years learned how to persevere through life as he was out on his own, building his career. He found great success and wanted his son to have the character to take it over someday as his oldest son. David was hard on young Absalom so that he would be strong and bold enough to take over the business someday.
How many people can you picture having a similar scenario? Have you ever wanted love or acceptance from a Mother or Father or someone else in your life yet never received it? Sometimes we never understand why people can’t show us love even though they really do love us. What will you do in your life differently so that the Absaloms in your life are not left hanging?
God loves us so much and He forgives us each time we go to him in true repentance with a pure heart. He believes in us and encourages us to succeed and walk out our destiny with Him, not just for Him. He says to forgive 70 times 7 and He also says 7 times in one day. He wants us to love our enemies and the two commandments He gave us were to Love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We struggle with both because it takes loving ourselves to be able to love. We love to the degree that we have been taught to love. When you see an angry person, take a moment to pray for them and know that maybe they are loving to the degree they love themselves, and that is not at all.
I believe the church as a whole has felt that the ones who see life and God differently are rebellious because we don’t just go along with the way things have always been done. We are a generation who just can’t understand why people just go along with something because it is the thing that has always been done. Some people know if they stand up to the old traditions and go with their heart that rejection would point at them and that scares them to death. They remain miserable in their own lives instead of standing for something that touches their hearts. I believe this has created plastic people in the church who wear a facade while in Church and around the Church friends. In reality, their lives and families are dying on the inside and are on the very brink of destruction. They slowly spiritually die and lose all hope!
I experienced the Hand of God in an encounter a few years ago. I have struggled on occasion walking out my walk, questioning not working and wondering what full-time ministry looks like. I have people continue to ask if I should just get a job. It does wear on you, especially when it comes from people you highly respect and those who walk in authority or close friends or family whom you love. I really started to doubt what I was doing because I was down to my last $20. I was driving home from Ohio, not sure if I really had enough gas and toll money, but believing God was providing. I started to entertain the idea of looking for a job even though I know each time I do that God shows me something else and reminds me that “where He is taking me, He is building great faith in me because He says where I am going I will need to trust Him and to have great faith.” That hurts, building great faith because it is a stretching of everything I know. He has also said He would teach me through experiences because we tend to forget the amazing things God does at times when you are being stretched the greatest.
I was in a Church service and went down under the power of God during prayer time and God took me into an encounter. During the encounter, my body was laying in a grave and my spirit was up above the grave trying to get to my body. I was so frustrated and at my wits end because the devil was standing in front of me and wouldn’t let me get to my body in the grave. I am standing there and tears were streaming down my face as I watched the devil throw dirt in on my body and I felt myself suffocating. Not a pleasant feeling and I really felt like I couldn’t breathe! I crouched down and put my arms around my knees and my head in my hands and gave up all to God and said “God, I need your help!” As soon as I said “Help”, Jesus walked out of the grave with my body in His arms. I knew in my spirit I was going to be okay. Jesus looked at me and said “it is not your own”. I felt this amazing refreshed and restored feeling flood my body with an incredibly intense peace washing over me. It was so amazing and I was not concerned anymore. As I lay there a sobbing mess, God spoke to me and I won’t forget what He said to me. God said “Stop adhering to what man says”! If I don’t stop adhering to what man says, this is what would truly happen to me: I would lose all hope; I would lose my passion; I would then lose my purpose; and finally I would lose my vision. He said that “without passion, purpose, and vision” I would spiritually die and that would open the door to the enemy attacking greatly everywhere I had been healed. Everything I was healed of would come back with a vengeance.
You may be asking “Where that is in scripture?” Or maybe even thinking “That wouldn’t happen!” Oh, but I believe God was real that day and I heard Him loud and clear. The scripture that comes to me is when Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda and the next day He sees him in the Temple and says to him “you have been healed; stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:14
In my case, I would have been walking in direct disobedience to God because I know He had me leave my job and has me walking out a faith journey, building a ministry with Him. Working in my case would be sin because it would be in disobedience to God. People struggle for many reasons, but you cannot take on their worry, their doubt, or even their jealousy. You have to know without a doubt what God is saying in your life and that it is from Him and not just a feel good Word from someone else. Use what others say as confirmation of what God is saying to you. God is about relationship and He wants us to commune with Him all the time, not just when we are in trouble.