2 Samuel 5:6-16 (Part 2) – If You Can Do Anything Else, Do It!

Posted: May 29, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
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2 Samuel 5:6-16 (Part 2 of 3)
David Captures Jerusalem

I had a conversation with a younger man yesterday about his belief that he has been called to be a pastor. It was a good and honest conversation. I remember those years that I battled the call to full-time ministry quietly in my soul and gave God every excuse for why I could not do it. God eliminated each and every one of those excuses over the years until the point, I said OK God I hear you and I submit. Once I declared it to others, it was a long road. In fact, it turned out to be about 8 years from the time I publicly declared to my senior pastor at the time until now that it took me to come into full-time ministry. I remember my first conversation about the ministry and the many conversations with my senior pastor in our South Carolina church, he would do his best to discourage me from going into the ministry. He often said that if you can do anything else, do it. I don’t think that he meant it to say that I was not capable of being a minister but rather that being a pastor is so much more demanding than people generally think. Many people think it is all just what you see on Sunday morning and it’s playing golf and having lunches the rest of the week.

He wanted me to understand that it is the hardest job you will ever have, the most draining job you will ever have, and then there are those moments where you say this is why I went into the ministry. Those highlight moments are what keep you in the ministry but they are often days, weeks, and even months apart. The intervening times are dealing with people, making someone mad about something at least once a week, navigating broken families and hurting for them deep in your soul, navigating apathy among the people, navigating busy schedules filled with the mundane tasks of running what amounts to a small business enterprise, worrying about finances, worrying about your own family because the church demands so much of your time, people wanting your favor because they think if they are close with the pastor that they are somehow closer to God and more important than other parishioners, discerning who you can trust with your inner feelings and struggles and who you can’t, struggling with how real you can be even with your closest friends, navigating deaths of loved ones in the church family, and a 1,000 or more other demands on your time. He said if you can do anything else, do it. He said if you want to get into ministry for the local celebrity of it that you can become, don’t do it. If you want to go into ministry because you think that every pastor makes what a large church senior pastor makes, don’t do it. Especially when you start out, you will not be a senior pastor of a large church, you will be an associate pastor at best, a small church pastor in some small out of the way place, or you will be a church planter. None of these are get rich quick schemes. So don’t do it, if that’s the real reason. If you want to get into ministry because you think it’s all about being on stage on Sunday morning, don’t do it. If you want to go into ministry because you think it would be a fun way to spend the remainder of your life, don’t do it.

However, he said, if you are so burdened with this calling that nothing else will do even when you consider all the negatives of being a pastor. If serving God full time is all you can do and all you can think about and everything else seems now dissatisfying or empty, then go do it. If you can deal with God’s inevitable slow timing compared to what we want as far as being a pastor, then go do it. He will test your resolve. If you can deal with that, go do it. If you cannot do anything else but follow God’s call on your life to be a full time pastor, and nothing, nothing but serving God will do, then go do it. If you can wait and wait and wait on God, then go do it. If you can serve God where you are at until God says it is time for you to fly off into ministry, then go do it – even if it is 8 years from now. Think Moses in the desert at Midian for 40 years, Joseph in prison for 12 years, Jesus serving as a carpenter for 30 years – each had long times of waiting before they came into the season where they fulfilled the purpose that God was preparing them for.

That conversation yesterday with a friend desiring to go into full time ministry reminded me of where I was at 8 years or so ago. It reminded me that we are not the ones calling the shots. God is the one in control. Why did I think about this fact when I read this passage, 2 Samuel 5:6-16 for a second time today? It was because David recognizes in this passage that it is God from whom his greatness comes. I think that was the point of my whole 8 year journey from declaration of God’s calling on my life to the now where I am serving Him full-time. It was a time where He molded me into a servant who understands that God is the one in control of my journey and I must trust that – even when I get impatient:

6 David then led his men to Jerusalem to fight against the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land who were living there. The Jebusites taunted David, saying, “You’ll never get in here! Even the blind and lame could keep you out!” For the Jebusites thought they were safe. 7 But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David.

8 On the day of the attack, David said to his troops, “I hate those ‘lame’ and ‘blind’ Jebusites.[b] Whoever attacks them should strike by going into the city through the water tunnel.[c]” That is the origin of the saying, “The blind and the lame may not enter the house.”[d]

9 So David made the fortress his home, and he called it the City of David. He extended the city, starting at the supporting terraces[e] and working inward. 10 And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies was with him.

11 Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar timber and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built David a palace. 12 And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

13 After moving from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more concubines and wives, and they had more sons and daughters. 14 These are the names of David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

In this passage, we see that it says, “David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king…” Although the pagan kingdoms based their greatness on conquest, power, armies and wealth, David knew that his greatness came only from God. To be great means keeping a close relationship with God personally and nationally. To do this, David had to keep his ambition under control. Although he was famous, successful, and well-liked, he gave God first place in his life and served the people according to God’s purposes. Do you seek greatness from God or from people? In the drive for success, remember to keep your ambition under God’s control.

Lord, help us to remember that even when you call us to do something that honors you that we must learn to bow our desires and ambitions to you. We must learn to trust that You have our future in your hands. We must trust that you have our best interest at heart. We must trust that Your timing is the best timing. We may have to plow and plow and plow to the point of impatience with your execution of the calling that You gave us but we must be obedient enough to recognize that it is in the plowing that we learn how to farm in your fields. We must trust that you are teaching us the things that we will need when we come into the season that you have designed for us.

Amen and Amen.

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