Rachel Zamora

THE RIGHT TO REST

THE RIGHT TO REST

“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.”    2 Samuel 11:1

Spring was a good time to go to war because the roads were dry, making travel easier for troop movement. David had just successfully defeated the Ammonites. But immediately following victory, David abandoned his purpose, passed off his responsibility, and stayed home to soak in the victory instead of being alongside his army in battle.

I’m sure David was simply enjoying the many luxuries of being king.  It seems as though he began to build security on his own strength. Forgetting that it was the Lord who enabled him to win in the first place. Instead of being forward thinking, He began to rely on his previous victory. His priorities were out of line, and he failed to face the next task at hand. While most of us think of David as a man with a worshiper’s heart and a warrior’s will; this story portrays him as someone entirely different.

Distraction comes easily if you aren’t focused on your purpose. And distraction precedes failure. I remember the first (and hopefully the last) time I played dodge ball. Six fellow peers of mine dragged me onto their team after realizing that they had to have at least one girl on their team in order to play. I told them I wasn’t too grand at sports, but they were convinced otherwise- and wow were they ever wrong.

I was a miserably pathetic throw and exhibited incredibly poor hand-eye coordination skills to boot. But, for a split second, I experienced my fair share of glory. Three or so minutes into the game, (The anxiety made it feel more like 40) one of the styrofoam balls was launched up in the air, luckily high enough so I could catch it. I caught it, everyone cheered, and my opponent was out. But, I was so overcome with the pride of my new found victory, that I failed to notice the second ball. Lethally headed in my direction. Being entirely distracted made me an easy target. And that was the end of my dodgeball career; just as soon as I had tasted victory; I was out.

I’ve since learned that looking back to soak on your victory too often will only distract you from the next challenge at hand. I don’t know of a time in the Bible where Jesus used his energy recalling all that He had done. He was always forward thinking. Looking for the next person to touch, heal, or save. He had bigger fish to fry than to use his valuable time thinking, praying, or addressing the past. He was always in the Spirit, always in warfare, always on call, accessible, and ready.

“One evening, David got up from his bed and walked around the roof…and saw a woman bathing. David sent someone out to find her…she came to him and he slept with her.” 2 Samuel 11:2-4

Like me, in light of victory, David had let his guard down. I’m sure he did indeed deserve some R&R. After all, he’d served diligently, patiently, and  faithfully all those years. He’d single-handedly killed the giant, destroyed opposing armies, and remained in communion with God. So, hadn’t he earned it?

We mustn’t depend on our past victories to pull us through tomorrow’s challenges, we still have to face them. Every war has a price.  Anytime you lose sight of your mission, you can rest assured that distraction is lying on the next rooftop.  Opportunity is always knocking, and if you don’t have a worthwhile cause to obtain your focus, your own desires will overcome your purpose.

You see, this snowball effect began as a decision; to fight, or not to fight. Never underestimate what hiding from your battles will cost. No matter how great the recent victory is, we should never feel entitled to lay aside our weapons. A friend of mine put it this way “As Christians, we shouldn’t ever feel as though we have the right to rest spiritually.” We can’t let up, give in, or back down. There’s a task that has been assigned to us. The moment we lose sight of it, we will fall, and eventually distraction will destroy us.

If you feel as though you’ve lost sight of your purpose, don’t worry! David blew it- royally at that. Yet, he turned his life around and we still speak of him today. God will honor a man who returns. It’s never too late to come back.

So, let’s face tomorrow. Let’s kick the crud out of our lives. Let’s become so overwhelmingly consumed with the God who loves us, and the task at hand, that distraction has no place in our lives. Contend; it’s what we’re born to do.

“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12

THE ONLY EXCEPTION

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

It seems to me that typically, we don’t expect God to transform or fill us. And we look to things to fill the void because we don’t truly believe that we need Him.

For a few years now, I’ve been praying for my dad whom I haven’t seen since I was sixteen. I felt that if I had a father, I would be complete. His leaving was always my excuse; my reason, to be mad at the world and live however I pleased. Recently, my mom became engaged to an incredible man of God who treats her like a queen and spoils us rotten. Their relationship is a beautiful picture of what true Love looks like. I used to believe that this hole in my heart would be filled when a father figure stepped back into my life.

For the past few weeks, I’ve relied on my environment and circumstances to sustain me. Since I’ve returned from India, it’s been easy living. It’d been so effortless that I began to rely solely on the people and things around me. Yes, it’s absolutely wonderful that everything in life seems to be simplistically drama-free, but it’s been odd. Without battles, I’ve found myself distancing from God. Growing accustomed to coping without Him. As if I only need Him when I’m injured.

Yes, I’ve been spending time with Him. But I’ve also felt empty. Somewhere along the lines of my recently effortless life, I became self-reliant. I assumed since I now had everything I was “supposed” to have, I would be content. This counterfeit confidence lasted a few weeks as  I expected my heart to be filled. But, I was wrong. Slowly drifting away, my self-reliance was killing my purpose. I’m discovering that “happy circumstances” don’t equate to feeling whole, satisfied, or fulfilled. In the end, you find yourself coming up short and something still lacks.

I don’t want to share life with God only when it’s too hard for me to handle. I want Him to be with me in everything. I imagine that it wouldn’t be very fun to only take care of your child through the difficulties. The diaper changes, cuts and scrapes, and continuous messes.  But, I’m sure payment in the form of sharing their first words, steps, or graduation, is much appreciated. God wants to enjoy life with us. He desires to walk with us hand in hand through the bad and the good. If we look, we will find Him everywhere, in everything.

Nothing on this earth will fill me. No earthly relationship can sustain me. No one but Him. He is the Only Exception. I need Him, even when life feels okay.

HOW SMALL IS YOUR FAITH

How Small is Your Faith

Who are you to doubt Me?
Who placed you on dry land and redeems your broken heart?
Who mends your mind and replaces your mourning with laughter?
Who loved you before you were spoken into existence?

Why do you doubt
Who are you to unbelief
How small is your faith!
I move mountains and shake oceans,
I make you smile and remember your sorrows.
How much do you trust Me?

Are you willing?
How ready are you?
Be prepared!
But wait, when My timing’s right,
All will be clear.
Then my directions will be complete.
Then you will find fulfillment.

You can only dream,
I create your reality.
Hope in My words,
Have faith in My peace.

Don’t fret,
Be still my child.
I love every part of you,
I long for all of you.

Count on My words,
Cling to My promises,
I will not fail you.
Trade your temporary happiness
For My never ending joy.

Only in Me will you be accomplished.
Only through Me will you have peace.
Only with Me shall you prosper.

Only because of Me will you meet the one,
the one designed to accompany you in this journey.
Created to abide in My love,
Predestined into your life.
Equipped beyond measure,
And far better than you’ve imagined.
I desire to give you My best,
Don’t settle for mediocre,
My plans are not out of reach.

I turn the tide,
I change the seasons.
I create your reality,
Be patient My darling,
Wait on Me,
Trust in Me,
How small is your faith.