It’s easy to think that the universe revolves around you. I mean, look around…literally everything is happening around you. People are walking in and out of your life, cars are passing by you. The clouds in the sky are moving by, and the stars at night seem to revolve around you. Your email is full of messages sent to you, and your Facebook feed is filled with pictures, posts, and funny cat videos from your connections.
To you, the movie of life has been produced for your eyes only. So when things don’t go the way you think they should go, it is tempting to take it personal. Someone doesn’t text you back? They must be mad at you. Someone shows up late for an appointment? They must not respect you. Someone cancels plans with you and does goes out with another friend? They must like them better than you.
We are really good at personalizing everything that goes on in the world. When we do that; when we assume that every decision that people make is based on us, we can get pretty upset pretty easily.
Will people intentionally hurt your feelings sometimes? Sadly, yes. But most of the time, people aren’t trying to hurt your feelings. They are just too focused on their own life to consider what’s going on in yours. It’s not personal. We’re all just too focused on ourselves, our own problems, our own desires, or our own lives and we are blind to what is going on in our neighbor’s life.
I’ve been married for over 13 years now, and with Steph for close to 20 years. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way too many times. I get so focused on my life that I forget to think about her. Or, I am so focused on my life, that I assume that everything she does is done to somehow hurt me, disrespect me, or pain me in some way. I assume she knows what I am thinking. I wonder why she would make a choice that, to me, is obviously the wrong choice (because it doesn’t benefit me).
So why do we do this? Why do we get so focused on self?
I think it is because we find it difficult to put our trust in something outside our self. We hear on Sunday that we should trust God. In the story of David, we repeatedly see David set the example of trusting God, whether it was to be Goliath, or when on the run from Saul.
1 Samuel 24:3-7
At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!
“Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.
But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.
David had the opportunity to defeat his enemy. Saul was searching for David and was sure to kill him if he found him, but David trusted God. Even though David had an opportunity dropped into his lap, he remembered what God had called him to do and he restrained himself.
How often have you had an opportunity fall into your lap and assumed that it must be a good thing…even when you thought it might be wrong? How many times has the enemy convinced you that it was a one-time opportunity and if you didn’t take advantage if it now, you would never have that chance again?
As Blake reminded us on Sunday, “Just because it is right in front of you doesn’t mean it is right for you.”
We’ve got to be able to let go of our wants in life, let go of being the center of the universe and recognize who created that universe in the first place.
Did you set time in motion? Did you create the stars that fill our sky? No.
So why would you ever consider yourself the center of it all? What would you imagine that your plans are better than God’s plans? Why would you believe that your way is better than His way?
When you really stop to think about it, it doesn’t make any sense that we would ever fathom putting ourselves, our wants, and our desires at the center of a universe that someone else created. And yet, we are all guilty of it. We all try to manipulate situations in order to serve selfish ends. We all fall short of the glory of God.
God loves you. He loves you more than the universe he created for you. He loves you so much that he was born as a baby, grew up in this world, became a man in this world, and let this world murder him so that our sins and our selfish ways could be forgiven and wiped clean so that we could all have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him.
When we trust in God, we can trust that the path will be straight. It might not be easy, but it will be straight. It might not be comfortable, but it will be right and pure and good.
Are you struggling to find God’s will for your life?
Gather with us this Sunday as we continue our summer series on David.