There is an odd story in 1 Samuel 30 where David and his men are pursuing some thieves and part of the team by virtue of circumstances needs to stop and wait by the stuff rather than continue and fight in the battle…
When Davids men get the victory and return to the “waiters” an argument breaks out about who gets what stuff, the men who went on the battle suggest that those who waited by the stuff only get to keep what they guarded of their own, David tells them NO!
“So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.”
David made it an eternal decree that those who wait by the stuff get the same reward as those who go into the battle…
“All will share alike”…meaning the division of the spoil of battle will be given to each person equally regardless of if they were in the battle or simply guarding the stuff.
I started out in ministry with a lot of hope and lot of energy and a whole lot of ignorance.
I look back and realize the incredible hand of God in keeping me on track…I have been adopted by just about every ministry that I have encountered, I somehow managed to be grafted in to ministries and covenants that really I had no right to.
This has been really humbling to a guy deeply aware that his natural father did not want him, his adopted father did not understand him and his dream partner left him for someone else.
To be grafted in to families and ministries by the hand of God speaks volumes about His grace and Agape love for me in spite of my insecurites.
As I finished a chapter in my life last year I became accutely aware that Jesus had a promise for me…just as real as any other visitation from Him Jesus let me know that my “remaining by the stuff” these last 16 years did not go unnoticed and I would recieve the same pay as those who went out to battle.
It is an eternal decree that the House of David has made that if you stay by the stuff, being obedient to guard and nurture what has been left behind you will in turn receive the same reward as anyone who manages to keep it together enough to stay in the battle.
Within that promise to me are very specific words about the things I stopped pursuing in order to raise my kids…in some fashion I put my own dreams on hold, my own needs on the back burner and poured out my life in order to remain a Godly example to my kids as I raised them.
Really the reward I was seeking was to see them made whole and complete and God has been faithful, my kids have not been messed up or disabled by the divorce and heartache that a split family normally produces, for the most part my kids are confident, whole and serving God on their own which is a testimony to His Grace.
Frankly I did not make those sacrifices for a reward, I made them because that’s the kind of person I wanted to be.
So when Jesus showed up with this promise of ministry and relationship and life, that I would recieve the same share as someone who had never left the battlefield, I was completely undone.
I still am…it messes me up to know that Jesus is thinking about the stuff I quietly sacrificed and turned away from…
My heart was always in the battle, I have always been driven to advance the Kingdom of God and really…I felt that my part would simply be in raising my kids for the kingdom and that would be it…
But God is always bigger than we believe, and He is always better than we imagine, and His promise is always greater than what we can hear…and He enjoys rewarding His kids…as a matter of fact I am discovering it is His nature to reward us as often and as much as we will allow.
So what does it look like?..this promise of sharing the same as those who go out into the battle?
I dunno…for me it will involve traveling to nations, building the kingdom, the prophetic, worship, music, art, a thirty year marriage, pretty much everything I managed to set aside in order to guard the stuff.
Two years ago I was invited to teach in a Bible school in Scotland…I immediately said no since I was raising kids…I imagine I get that back…I get back the relationships I had with missions in Bern, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, and Apai and Samoa…at least I get the same pay as if I had continued down that ministry path…
So 2010 is not just a new year…it is a new epoch…and I’ve got a lot to do, a lot of mental “catch-up” and releasing the kingdom to get on with…its a bit daunting…it will require planning and faith, both of which I need more of…but like Leahbeth told me recently:
“Dad sometimes I don’t have enough faith and I just tell God to give me some more and He does…”
…The stuff we’ve been guarding was/is training us for greatness…
So let me ask you…what is it that you’ve sacrificed in order to “guard the stuff”???
…”All alike will share”…