There I was, sitting in church, listening. It was the Sunday before Independence Day. Let freedom ring! And so it did- my phone rang in the middle of the sermon and I immediately lost focus on what Pastor Blake was saying. A tidal wave of emotions came over me. “I still feel like the new girl at this new church, I want to impress everyone but now I look like the ditzy millennial who’s preoccupied with her phone.” Those fearful lies ran through my mind. Stereotypes and labels played ping pong in my brain. I was so focused on myself. I tried to reengage in the message. As I continued to take notes, I realized what just happened and how it was so applicable to the sermon. This Sunday’s message was all about focus and freedom. To me, this was so convicting.

When our focus shifts away from God, we lose our freedom in our relationships with Him. When we’re focused on ourselves, comparing ourselves to others, or preoccupied with material items, we can easily lose track of things. As Christians, we are called to serve the most gracious God of all, what a blessing. But, we often forget this. The enemy likes to distract us. We, as humans, naturally get distracted by things, especially in the form of comparing ourselves to others. These bad habits take the form of scrolling through your social media feeds late at night when you’re all alone or even in the presence of a group of close friends talking about how awesome their new Fitbits are. Pastor Blake related this comparison to David and Saul’s relationship in 1st Samuel.

1 Samuel 18: 8-9

“Saul was very angry. This refrain displeased him greatly. ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.”

1 Samuel 18: 12-14

“Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. In everything he did, David had great success, because the Lord was with him. When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.”

***Keep in mind, Saul was the king at that time!***

When Saul focused on his jealousy of David, he lost his freedom in his relationship with God. When we have a true and intimate relationship with God, we are freed of all the anxiety-inducing struggles that make up the 21st century. When our focus is on God, we are fully equipped to face anything and everything that lies ahead of us.

Pastor Blake also talked about David’s first lie. In 1st Samuel 21:1-14 talks about the first time David lies. Before this, he is innocent little David. At this point, David knows King Saul is out to get him. David is running from Saul. Saul’s jealousy has only made things worse. Now David is in fear of his life, causing him to lie in order to find food, shelter, and weapons. We as a church are called to meet the needs of people who are running. The Bible is filled with people serving other people who are on the run. We are called to feed and equip people. Honestly, everyone is running from something. Whether it’s addiction, comparison, a failing relationship, or something else that seems to be chasing you. You are not alone.

The truths found through a relationship with God will equip you to fight the giants in your life. When you’re focused on God, you’re free. You don’t have anything to run from anymore.

Amen.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day worshipping God in BIG ways. I pray that you and your families enjoyed a safe, happy, and healthy holiday weekend!

Gather with us this Sunday as we continue in our series on David.