David and a band of loyal followers fled Jerusalem after learning of Absalom’s rebellion. As they were leaving, David told Zadok, one of the chief priests (Abiathar was the other): “‘If the Lord sees fit,’ David said, ‘He will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. But if He is through with me, then let Him do what seems best to Him” (II Samuel 15:25a-26, NLT).
I want you to think about David’s statement in light of David’s past. God forgave him his sin with Bathsheba. God forgave him the murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah and the other men who died alongside him. But David lived every day remembering his past sin. And I believe that was the very reason for his statement to Zadok.
David, knowing how miserably he’d failed his Lord, saw everything that was happening to him as just punishment. And God had warned David: “Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you” (II Samuel 12:11a). The consequences set in motion by David’s sin were coming to pass.
But what about us as New Testament believers? Yes, consequences our sins set into motion on earth can also be catastrophic, but even so, if we’ve confessed those sins, God has done what He’s promised to do: “never again remember [our] sins” (Jeremiah 31:34b).
When we look back at our pasts and think, I have no right to be teaching a Bible study class; singing in the choir; helping with a mission project; we’re giving Satan a very undeserved victory. We’re allowing our pasts to prevent us from being productive for the Kingdom today.
David wasn’t worthy of being the king; but God had forgiven him and called him to serve in that capacity. I’m not worthy of writing a Bible study. If all of you reading this could pull all the skeletons out of my closet, you wouldn’t read another word I write. But wonder of wonders, Jesus Christ has redeemed me! He’s forgiven me! He’s even forgotten every sin I’ve ever confessed to Him. And He’s willing to use me.
Folks, you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: it’s not your ability; it’s your availability. If you’re doing whatever you’re doing in your own strength, it ain’t worth diddly. But the least little thing you do through the power of the Holy Spirit is growing the Kingdom for God’s glory.
Don’t let your past dictate your future. If you’ve confessed it, He’s forgiven it. You have a clean slate. Fill it up with good works for Jesus.
Allow me to take a little liberty with Ephesians 2:10 and change each “we” and “us” and personalize it with “you.” I hope you’ll read it like God is speaking directly to you – because He is:
“For you are God’s masterpiece. He has created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things He planned for you long ago.”
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates