REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on April 16, 2015. Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“A Life of Sitting on the Fence”
1 Samuel 29:4-5 (ESV)
But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?  Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”
The Philistines amassed all their armies at Aphek, and the Israelites were nearby in Jezreel, ready to square off in anticipation of a great battle. The Philistines wanted to deliver a death blow to Israel and were foaming at the mouth in eagerness. But David is among the Philistines. Because Saul’s relentless attacks against him were unbearable, he and his men left the people of God and the land of Israel and decided to unite forces with the Philistines instead (1 Sam. 27). Ironically, the one who slayed Goliath, the Philistine giant, found himself in a place he never imagined: among the ungodly, ready to fight to death against God’s people.
But, to David’s ultimate benefit, the leaders among the Philistines looked at David and his men and declared, “They are Hebrews. They are not amongst us. We don’t belong together!” Though David seemed to have forgotten his identity, blinded by his own pride and fear of Saul, the Philistine leaders did not—they knew David’s true identity: that he was a Hebrew, part of the nation of Israel, and among to the people of Yahweh. David would not have found himself in this predicament if he considered who he really was and the calling of God in his life.
What is troubling is how the Philistine ruler Achish defended David so confidently. David behaved so much in accord to with the ungodly that Achish knew he had David in his pocket. To be vouched by the ungodly should have revealed to David just how much he was away from God and His people. The other Philistine leaders did not agree with Achish’s evaluation. They didn’t trust David and feared that he would stab them in the back in battle so to somehow bring himself back into Saul’s favor.
Here’s how David found himself in this plight: David was not content or at peace in the land of Israel (27:1), and now he discovered that his “Philistine friends” wouldn’t receive him either. By trying to live in both worlds, David quickly realized that he was a man without a home. That’s a life of sitting on the fence.
We, too, find ourselves having to make choices. We are sometimes hesitant to live out our faith for Jesus Christ, because we are afraid of the rejection of the ungodly. This can be at work or amongst friends. And if we disguise it well enough, some people never come to see that we are Christians. Like David, we may even have the ungodly, perhaps an ungodly coworker, vouch for us because of our lack of distinction from them.
How much better it is to be all out for Jesus and to trust that if the ungodly reject us, God is for us; and that He will eventually use the rejection for our good, as we will see in David’s life. We must not be double-minded—enjoying God and enjoying the world. Rather, we must be single-minded—living as a child of God and for the cause of the Gospel. This is the only way to avoid being in David’s predicament, where he had too much of the world in him to be at peace in the LORD and too much of the LORD in him to be at peace in the world.
Prayer: Lord, help me to live out my faith boldly today! May I never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation. Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 2
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 12:1-2: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Questions to Consider
- What are we to offer the Lord as our spiritual service of worship?
- We are called not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. What is the result of this?
- What is an area you need to work on to be godlier and less worldly? (i.e. about the way you view money, sex, relationships, etc.)
- We are to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice.
- When we don’t follow the ways of the world, but follow the ways of God, the Lord is pleased with our offering.
- Personal response
Before going to bed, reflect on 1 John 2:1: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.