People are typically led to pray not when everything is going well, but in a place of need. However, here lies the problem for many of us: We can lose our focus on God when life is going according to plan. When the bank account is moving in the right direction, or when the family seems to be getting along, our focus and dependency on God can lessen. Yet it is when we lose our focus on God that we are most susceptible to creating catastrophe in our own life and the lives of those around us.
King David, Israel’s second and perhaps greatest king, knew this struggle well. Scripture says,
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. -2 Samuel 11:1
Despite being known as a successful warrior and a man after God’s heart, David greatest fumble in life happened when he neglected to uphold his duty to go to war. By being in Jerusalem, David used his leisure time to wander onto his roof and gaze upon a bathing woman named Bathsheba.
What started off as a neglect of duty soon turned into lust, adultery, and a large scale coverup. David did not want anyone to know that he had slept with another man’s wife—especially since the wife’s husband was a faithful soldier in Israel’s army. Yet things continued to escalate, as David soon realized that he had impregnated Bathsheba. Realizing there was no way he could keep his moral failure from the public, David had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed. Like a spider’s web, sin entangles its objects. It always results in our separation from God and spreading evil into the world.
Like a spider’s web, sin entangles its objects. It always results in our separation from God and spreading evil into the world
David’s moral failure would follow him for the rest of his life. His story is a reminder to each of us on how easy it can be to fall from a position of prominence. There is no point in our lives—even when God’s blessings flow and the battles seems to be already won—that we are immune to temptation. In fact if we find success in life, we must be careful not to allow ourselves to become too comfortable. The enemy often uses comfort as a mechanism to bring about moral failure.
Comfortable people aren’t typically on alert or thinking of the battle at hand. Instead, they may falsely trust that life will find a way of working out.
Comfort oftentimes encourages unfocused, lazy behavior. Comfortable people aren’t typically on alert or thinking of the battle at hand. Instead, they may falsely trust that life will find a way of working out. However, this is a failure to see that the goodness we receive in this life all comes from God. Perhaps the greatest measure of grace seen outside of the cross comes from God preventing all sorts of moral evil from this world. That is, while this world is still riddled with pain and suffering as a result of the fall and sin, it would be much worse if God did not play an active part in human history. He is still diligently leading people to find forgiveness and calling his church be an example of moral goodness to the world.
In my own life, I have been reminded time and again that the choices I make impacts my own life and others. There have been many who hold a fist up to heaven for the circumstances that they find themselves in and, while it may be true that life can be cruel, this is not God’s doing. If God were to remove his presence completely from this earth, then the very being that teaches and encourages peace, love, patience, kindness, self-control, mercy, and justice would also be removed from this place. Similarly, just as our sin impacts our own life and others, so does our focus on God. When we are focused on a God who brings about moral goodness, then we too will also bring about moral goodness that will impact our own life and others.