“Lynn, when you get mad your eyes get big and you spit.” said my spiritual father when I was in my 20’s. True story! I was born and bred in a family of 9 where the loudest one with the most drama won. And I like to win. Just for the record, I don’t intentionally spit on people when I am not winning. But if I am passionate about something good or bad, I talk so fast that I end up spitting on the one closest to me.
What do you look like when you get stirred up?
Anger: Do your eyes get big and you spit?
Fear: Do maddening, reoccurring thoughts control, preoccupy and consume you?
Pride: Do you jump into a protection mode to keep what you have or want?
In 1 Chronicles 21, David got stirred up and took steps that eventually led to devastating consequences for himself and those under his care. I wonder what was happening in everyday life for him, as an individual. Did an insecurity from his past get triggered? What circumstance “poked” him? Why did he feel he needed to know how many fighting men he had under him? Was it pride, “I want to see what I have truly built and developed as king?” Or perhaps fear, “Do I have enough men to continue to defeat our enemies?” Was it lack of trust? During my study, one source considered the idea that David was substituting statistics for trusting God.
Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said, “Go and take a count……then report back to me how many there are.” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2
Incited: to urge or stir up
It doesn’t appear from other parts of scripture that David was a prideful man. And it doesn’t seem that anger ruled him. I wonder if dormant insecurities or fears were awakened. Something stirred him up. Something happened to cause emotions to rise up inside of him and choose this direction of action. Something was used to shift his focus from His God, The One who had placed this youngest of his family, a shepherd boy, to become King of Israel.
1 Chronicles 21:1 is not the end all settling place for me; the reminder that Satan is a roaring lion roaming around looking to kill and destroy. That would throw all of the responsibility and blame on Satan and leave David a mere victim. It is fact that followers of Jesus have an enemy. The entire chapter of 1 Chronicles 21 compels me to go beyond the thought of my enemy and pray, “Father, help me be alert because I feel stirred up….. Holy Spirit, please peel away the layers and show me the fear, pride or mistrust of You that is motivating me.” Talking to my Heavenly Father about these feelings helps to disarm my fear, anger or pride.
The chapter continues to unfold, describing the deep consequences of David’s choices. It also reveals a very active God, it reveals a very powerful God, it reveals a very compassionate God, and it reveals a very present God. And I know from other scripture that the God of The Bible never changes. So this truth in 1 Chronicles 21 reminds me that my Heavenly Father is God and He is active today, He is powerful today, He is compassionate today and He is present TODAY. Today, when I am being incited or tempted to get stirred up and act upon feelings.
I continually stand amazed at the heart of my Father God, The God of The Bible. He orchestrates so much in our lives that when the crescendo sounds, there is no doubt that He is the maestro. And then, when we are incited we often make choices to spoil that created beauty. We tarnish the revelation of God in our everyday lives by using what He has orchestrated to justify or propel our anger, fear or pride… because we got “stirred up.”
And the disheartening part of such a scenario is not that we end up getting into a mess or deeply hurt those around us. The saddest part is that we have offended and disappointed our well-meaning Father. And our actions eclipse His goodness, His glory in our hearts and inadvertently in the hearts of those around us…. because we got stirred up.
There are consequences to our choices when we get stirred up. Stay alert my friend and remember The One you are living for. May you take the energy of the initial incitement and harness it to drive you to His feet. Talk to your Father God about what is going on inside of your heart and what insecurities, fear or pride got triggered and stirred you up.
He is always waiting with arms open wide and wanting what is best for you, like any good father.
Even if your eyes get big and you spit.