Seeing stars

2 Samuel 7:18-29
This week, I read of a new study about stars that get too close to black holes.

Scientists created models of black holes that had encounters with stars. The study’s design will help understand the violent breakdown stars face against black holes. Throughout the galaxy, black holes rip apart stars that get too close.

But some stars can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole. It turns out that the smaller, more dense stars have the best chance of survival. It’s not impossible, but it is a struggle.

Let’s consider another struggle we all know. The intrapersonal struggle Paul acknowledged in Romans 7 is one most of us can identify with. The good we want to do we don’t do. What we don’t want to do is what we end up doing.

Why is that so true?

Modern psychology might suggest we actually want to do the things we say we don’t. That’s ultimately why we do them. Prophets might tell us sin makes us do them. Don’t we like to say “at the center of sin is the letter ‘i’”?

Both ideas offer the same truth. As long as we remain at the center of our universe, we’ll do what we want to do. Indeed, the struggle is real. Thankfully, as much as we may fail at removing ourselves from the center of our attention, we can have faithful moments. We can survive our encounters with the black holes of pride, selfishness and ego.

Let’s consider a prayer from King David.

He had planned to build a temple dedicated to the Lord. Who wouldn’t love that idea? I imagine David was excited. Even the prophet, Nathan, agreed and blessed the building project. Money was no object. God had obviously blessed David in his military pursuits. Now, David wanted to honor God.

But the Lord refused the offer. It wasn’t that the temple shouldn’t be built. It was not the time. And it was not to be David’s task.

As much as David wanted to do it, he recognized something more important. What God wanted.

How was David able to resist the urge to still do what he wanted? There’s a lot we could say. For now, I’ll turn our attention to the opening line of our passage today: Then King David went in and sat before the Lord.

For those who would prefer a more dynamic, maybe quicker, approach to learning freedom from sin and control, my apologies. It doesn’t happen overnight. Chances are you’ll come to know what Paul struggled with. What we all struggle with. 

But day by day, prayer by prayer may it be that we are free from the desire to live according to our own will. Sure, there may be so much we want to do that seems good and godly. But is it what God wants from us right now? It is possible to escape the pull of our will. It happens when we constantly recenter our desires and pursuits on the will of God through prayer.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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