This was the beginning of a long war between those loyal to Saul and those loyal to David.
As time passed David became stronger and stronger, while Saul’s dynasty became weaker and weaker.
2 Samuel 3:1 NLT
As long as you breathe in your mortal body, civil war will rage between your sinful and sanctified natures. While a resident in time, you will have to deal with tension between your human and heavenly sides. Beguiling carnality and ideal Christlikeness are locked in interminable combat. Struggling with sin drags on and on, but never surrender to evil. Travel the high road—avoid swampy detours.
Contradicting actions puzzle you. You cannot seem to find a way to accomplish holy goals. It seems an invariable fact that though you strive for perfection, you keep missing the mark. You really love My law, but sin still attracts you with its advertised pleasure. Good intentions sabotaged by sin, you are miserable in addiction’s shadows.
Without Christ’s assistance, sin will always win over sacred aims. You are powerless to defend yourself against hell’s onslaughts. Up against more than you can handle, never try to stand up to temptation by yourself. Always depend on your Savior. Your Commander in Chief is engaged in hand-to-hand combat against Satan in the trenches right beside you. His Presence takes the terror out of the front line.
There is one cure for spiritual schizophrenia, one strategy to win the war against evil habits, one ray of hope in the night of slavery to vice—Jesus Christ. When the fog of war confuses you, claim His power and enjoy freedom and victory! Do not waste time in useless self-reliance and human willpower—rely on My Holy Spirit to break evil chains. Depend on your ingenuity, and you will be overcome by evil in the blink of an eye. Keep in step with Me, and you can nail evil desires to the cross.
First-century Christians held hands and participated in a tripedion—a dance of three steps forward and two steps backward, reminding them of their life of faith. When you step backward, repent. When you step forward, rejoice. Never give up the dream of Christlikeness. Day by day, by degrees, almost imperceptibly, you are becoming more like Christ—stronger in grace, brighter in understanding.
Stay unflinchingly loyal to the Son of the Most High—one day you will reign with Him when He ascends the throne of His ancestor David. Satan’s regime will weaken into oblivion, his subjects forever tortured. Citizens of Christ’s kingdom will celebrate eternal victory. Until then, hold My hand—I will teach you how to dance for joy.
© 2013 Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity