Today we look at the first of two men, one successful in never believing lies about him but rather believed what God said about him, resulting in maintaining good emotional and mental health, and the other who refused to enter the process of un-believing the lie, leading to demonic oppression, paranoia, depression, sudden fits of rage, and end up committing suicide. Both were kings in Israel!
The future king David
David grew up as the 8th son - 7 older brothers! By the time he was a teenager and as the youngest, he was given the relatively simple task of watching a few sheep. We have this romantic picture of teenager David with the sheep, worshipping God on his lyre - the sun is shining, flowers blooming, the sheep are happy, lambs are jumping around the field, water from a brook flows gently along...
There may have been days like that, and it is probably in those times David countered his family culture and lies his family accused him of with what the Lord said about him, what he knew in his spirit was a larger purpose and call on his life. It was this refusing to believe the family culture of lies about him that built the emotional and mental foundation that enabled David to fulfill his destiny. And it was a process over years.
Consider this fact about his family life
Samuel was the Judge of Israel, the Head of State, and when he came to Jesse's house neither Jesse nor David's mom nor his brothers even considered that he might like to be there, or should be included!
Can you imagine hosting in your home the Head of State for your nation and not a single family member thinks enough of the teenaged youngest child to let them know of the visit?!
When the Lord kept telling Samuel each of the 7 brothers were not who He had chosen to be king, Samuel had to ask if that was all Jesse's sons. Only when pressed did the family mention David, the youngest, 'who keeps the sheep'. It wasn't that David was out of town and couldn't be contacted, for Samuel said, "Go get him, for I will not even sit down until he arrives." He was nearby, yet left out. (I Samuel 16:5-11)
Consider the family culture
We are told in I Samuel 16:18 that David was good looking, a worshipper, and capable as a soldier, yet in his family's eyes he didn't even exist! Look at the reaction David's oldest brother had towards him when David in obedience to his father, brings his brothers supplies at the front lines of the army:
"Why did you come here? Why did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and your evil* heart! You just came here to see the battle!" (*Hebrew: Badness, to be so wicked, evil) I Samuel 17:28
We can tell from Eliab's accusations he felt his little brother was prideful and did things with ulterior motives, and thought he had an insignificant job of watching a few sheep. Here again David had been left out, as his 7 brothers were considered worthy of fighting for their country, but David had been rejected! And when he heard Goliath and was moved to join the fight, even then he had to argue his case before King Saul.
How many children and teens grow up in a family culture in which they do not count! A culture of accusation of having ulterior motives even when they are doing the right and proper thing! Where every effort to only try and help is met with anger, disgust, and rejection!
How many grow up in a family where they aren't even noticed, or at the least not considered to be an important enough member of the family to be included! How many grew up constantly being given menial tasks just to keep them busy and away from the family so the family could go and do their thing?!
David had every reason to be at least emotionally damaged, and at the worst a dangerously depressed loner, angry enough to explode in violence like a ticking time bomb. Bullied, rejected, family outcast - he was rejected on all levels! Yet we know David's walk with the Lord was strong, solidified in the wilderness, from his own heart and in his own words expressing songs of worship and praise to the Lord.
Why didn't his family see these good things in him? How many children grow up longing for a family member or anyone, to see the good in them, to see the potential in them, but that longing is only met with condescension, accusation, and a family culture that screams at them, 'Your life doesn't count!' Or perhaps it is just that they were too busy with careers and church and sports to even notice them.
David could have gone the other way, believing in the rejection presented him, believing he had no hope, no future, and that maybe he was in fact evil and did things with ulterior motives. But he didn't. He believed the Lord's opinion of him over and above what his own dad and brothers thought of him.
The down and dirty on how to reject a lie
David knew himself and what good was in him. That is the first step. Often even before a person meets the Lord, He (unknown to them) tries to get them to know themselves, to know their potential and believe in themselves even when no one else does, by putting in them a knowing that they are called to a bigger and better purpose than what everyone says about them. Satan tries to squash that inner knowing however.
What David believed about himself was confirmed when alone in the wilderness, for he told King Saul that he had fought off both a lion and a bear - he knew himself, and he knew what he was capable of.
I know our righteousness is as filthy rags before we were born again, but this isn't about righteousness, it is about knowing oneself, knowing and believing in the call to put off those filthy rags and fulfill the Lord's plan in our lives. To do that we first must know and believe we have a divine purpose even when we don't see it.
Satan gets people to reject even the good they know about themselves - he gets them to believe what the family culture says about them. David however, rejected that opportunity to believe the lies, and instead knew himself and knew areas of his life in which he had been successful. He remembered the successes.
But I'm way older than a teenager
You may think it is too late for you because, "I've lived my life believing a lie(s)." But I can tell you the process of un-believing the lie is the same path David took in rejecting lies about him from the start.
You have to take stock of yourself, of your successes, of your gifts, of your talents, of your character, and know yourself. Stop focusing on the failures and look at the good the Lord has put inside you, and the successes He has given you. Get that inside you by spending time thinking on these things. I know, Satan makes you immediately feel guilty for praising yourself or finding something good about yourself - such is the depth of the lie(s) you have believed these many years!
But you have to break through that - to say that yes, it is ok to see the good things God put in you, of the good things you have done, of the successes you have made - even if people or circumstances outside your control destroyed or ruined your good efforts - acknowledge the good!
When confronted by King Saul - King Saul is like the devil confronting David about his youth and inexperience - David stood up to him and told how he knew himself, how he knew his past successes with the lion and the bear, and that Goliath would therefore end up like them. You must do that. Know yourself, and know the good in you and the little successes you've had. And remember, those aren't successes the world saw and applauded - when David killed the lion and bear no one saw him but the Lord.
The final part of this week's Thoughts is this - David approached Goliath with confidence because he not only knew himself, he not only knew his successes, but he knew God was for him. He knew unconditional love from the Father and our Lord even when he received only hatred from his family and he believed in the love more than, and rather than, the hate and rejection.
So start talking to the Father, worship, soak in His presence, let Him take you in His arms and tell you how much He loves you. Then let Him bring up the good things in your memory, and the memories of successes you have accomplished in this life - no man saw these things or knows your heart, but the Father does...so let them bring them to remembrance and let Him affirm you in this way.
More next week...until then, blessings!