Fingerprints

When I look back at the defining moments in my life and dust for prints, the greatest moments are the moments when my fingerprints are nowhere to be seen. All I see are the fingerprints of God.

How tempting is it when someone blatantly does wrong to you, or even worse to one of your kids, to desire to “GET EVEN” or “GET AHEAD”?! I can honestly say that the hardest thing I have ever done is…to NOT DO ANYTHING…when someone has, on purpose for their own selfish gain, stepped on, kicked or maligned one of our children. To just drop my hands…to TRUST God…in these situations. Maybe you can’t identify, but the older I get, the more I realize most everyone has this temptation.

I love the story found in 1 Samuel 24 when David was anointed to be the next king. David was even friends with the current king’s son, Jonathan. King Saul and his army were chasing David with the intent to kill him. The scene found in chapter 24 tells that David and his men were hiding from Saul in a cave. Unbeknownst to Saul in his pursuit of David he, too, goes into the cave where David and his men were hiding.

Verse 3, “…and Saul went in to relieve himself.” David’s men said to David, “This is the day the Lord gives your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.” David chose to just cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. David had every opportunity to kill the man trying to kill him. David even knew that God had chosen him to take Saul’s place as king…but he did not take matters into his own hands. He dropped his hands knowing it was not only against the law to kill the king, but that it was not his place to take matters into his own hands.

HE TRUSTED and FEARED God.

Even when his friends encouraged him and gave him the green light saying, “God delivered Saul into your hands,” David followed God. Verse 6, “He said to his men, ‘The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay a hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.'” David realized that God allows and puts people in positions even if those people do very wrong things. David knew that the Lord saw everything so he deferred to God and His protection and His plan.

David didn’t want his fingerprints on Saul’s life…He wanted God’s fingerprints.

There are so many lessons in this account of David and Saul in 1 Samuel that we can all apply to our lives. When wrong is done to us, or our kids, especially when it is by people in authority over them, seek God. Allow God to orchestrate…our actions..and motives…and desires. We do not want to take matters into our own hands! Don’t get me wrong…I am not at all suggesting NOT to confront wrong, and in some cases God my lead you/me to take action. By all means, many times we are to confront wrong. David confronted Saul’s actions many times…but he didn’t take matters of revenge into his own hands. He deferred to God and His leading.

I love what David said to Saul in verse 15, “May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it, may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”

Allowing God to lead, guide, and orchestrate our lives when the bad…the uninvited…happens to us is the absolute best thing we can do. David even felt “conscience-strickened” for having cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. I personally have felt that way after confronting, knowing I was supposed to confront and led by the Holy Spirit, but wrestling with my personal feelings of anger. It encourages me that scripture gives us insight into David’s thoughts.

If you study the story, David cutting off Saul’s robe was a good thing. It demonstrated to Saul that David could have taken his life but didn’t. In verse 12 David states to Saul, after revealing to him a piece of his robe, “May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, From evildoers come evil deeds, so my hand will not touch you.”

When we are tempted, as David was, to put our “hands” more into a situation than we should, be encouraged as I have been. Allow God’s fingerprints to be the only ones found…when justice comes!

We don’t always see justice on this side of heaven but the longer I live and the more closely I follow God and all his commands, the more I have actually seen justice served. In a particular situation in my own life that, so far, has been the most difficult for me to live with and watch, I have been encouraged to follow David’s example: to obey God….fully and allow God to serve justice…as God sees fit. It is a very freeing thing to give all things to God…especially the extremely hard things.

For me, those have been things that have happened to our kids. I have had to allow Him to teach, train, and develop patience in me in situations that have been very painful and heartbreaking. I can personally say…by doing this…obeying when obeying took all the courage and strength I could muster… has given me a greater love for God, a greater trust in God and grown my faith in God abundantly.

I have actually witnessed God’s justice and revenge and can honestly say, it has been His fingerprints, not mine, when the ax has fallen. God’s hands, not mine. Now that, my friends, is encouraging. To know God does see. He does cause all things to work for His good….even when the road is
long….
painful…
devastating.
For me…it has developed the fruits of the spirit of patience and self-control.

Turning back to David, think about this: in looking at David’s life, fighting Goliath took epic courage…a defining moment. Not killing Saul took epic integrity. In fact, it may have been harder to NOT kill Saul than to kill Goliath. Killing Goliath was an act of power. Not killing Saul was an act of willpower.

Today, God wants to give us both power and willpower. The right kind comes from a Holy God. This means we have to give up our human power and rely on and trust in God’s supernatural power. Our experiences in life, especially the hard ones–the injustices–can actually soften our heart, fine-tune our conscience and allow us to follow God more closely. The fine-tuning of our consciences not only prompts us to do what is right, but keeps us from doing what is wrong. Thus God’s voice becomes clearer and clearer so that we can make the next RIGHT turn.

I encourage you today to seek only God’s fingerprints in all of life’s choices especially the ones that cause us heartache.

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