Kate Hansen – Queen Creek Student Pastor
Many of us are very familiar with the story of 2 Samuel 11 and the story of David and Bathsheba. Quick summary: David’s hanging out on the roof, sees Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and thinks she’s beautiful. While Uriah is away at war, Bathsheba ends up pregnant with David’s child, David eventually ends up getting Uriah killed at war, David and Bathsheba’s son dies. Quite the story!
Typically as Christians, we study 2 Samuel 11 and focus on some of the dramatic elements included in this chapter such as adultery, unplanned pregnancy, and even murder, we tend to overlook David’s choice that set this all into action in the first place:
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1
Did you catch it? “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war… David remained in Jerusalem.” As the King of Israel, David was responsible each spring for leading his army onto the battlefield as they fought other nations. David stayed home and sent Joab instead.
We do not know the reason David did not go into battle that spring. Perhaps he was ill or tired of fighting or simply did not want to go. Regardless of the reason, David took the season of war off to spend at home and ended up romancing Bathsheba. David stepped away from his responsibilities and role in God’s Kingdom for a season of rest. He chose pleasure over purpose and David’s decision was detrimental to the lives of many.
When we shrink back from our responsibilities and the role that God has called us to, like David, the impact upon ourselves and on others is insurmountable. No, I am not saying that if you do not step up in the role you are called that you are going to kill someone. But I am saying that when we take time off or away from where we have been placed by God then we often end up taking time off and away from God. We end up stepping further and further away from Him until we are no longer making decisions that reflect His glory. It becomes harder and harder to hear His voice, to be aware of His presence, and to serve His Kingdom.
At Central, we believe that Summer Changes Everything and that phrase is powerfully true in my life. When I was 19, I returned to my hometown after my first year in college and planned to spend the summer working a few part-time jobs, laying out by the pool and partying with friends on the weekends. I had attended church a few times growing up and had even volunteered for a year in my church’s Children’s Ministry. However, I never had a personal relationship with Jesus. But everything changed that summer. God captured my heart in a way I had never experienced. For the first time in my life, I surrendered my life to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I joined a college ministry in my area and began to read the Bible. I prayed and saw God answer these prayers. I finally realized that there was more to life than me. When I returned to college that fall, people were shocked by the transformation that had taken place in my life and the passion I suddenly had for Jesus.
In the summer it’s easy to skip your Life Group and spend the evening out by the pool, pass on church on the weekends as you spend your time in Payson, and not pick up the Bible because you are picking up after the kids. It’s easy to set God on the shelf for the summer and plan to return to Him again this fall. Make a decision for it to be a summer on and not a summer off, for you and your family.
This summer, choose to prioritize Jesus. Challenge yourself to read through a book of the Bible that you want to better understand. Step in and serve at your campus. Reach out to a hurting friend over a cup of coffee and encourage them. Invite a friend or neighbor to join you at a weekend service. Commit to memorizing one verse of the Bible every week for the next three months (that would be 12 new verses memorized!). Implement a new spiritual discipline such as fasting, meditation, or silence (check our Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster for more ideas).
Make this summer a season of stepping toward God and not away from Him. Passionately pursue Jesus over the whims and the ways of the world. Decide to know and love the word of God over Netflix and novels. Determine to pray about problems more than complain about them.Pick up your cross daily, and follow Jesus. Let this summer be a summer on, not a summer off.
Because Summer Changes Everything!Click here for the photo credit on this post