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July 9, 2015

Your Holy Disturbance

David asked some soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does that worthless Philistine think he is? He’s making fun of the army of the living God!” 1 Samuel 17:26 (CEV)

If there’s a time to be quiet and still so you can hear the whisper of God to direct you in your life message, then there’s also a time to be aware of and frustrated by the evils and injustice in the world around you. We call this your “holy disturbance.” David felt this when taking some food and supplies to his brothers who were on the battlefield for Israel. The Philistine giant, Goliath, had been taunting the Israelites every morning and every evening for forty days! When young David arrived to the army camp and heard about what was happening, he was ticked! You can hear it in his voice when he asked,

Who does that worthless Philistine think he is? He’s making fun of the army of the living God!

At first, his own brothers chalked it off to youthful ignorance and unsupported zeal. Some of the soldiers overheard David and reported what he said to the King. Since none of the soldiers were bold enough to fight Goliath, King Saul wanted to meet David. I love the exchange recorded between this young teenager, David, and King Saul of Israel found in 1 Samuel 17:32-37 (CEV):

“Your Majesty,” (David) said, “this Philistine shouldn’t turn us into cowards. I’ll go out and fight him myself!”  “You don’t have a chance against him,” Saul replied. “You’re only a boy, and he’s been a soldier all his life.” But David told him, “Your Majesty, I take care of my father’s sheep. And when one of them is dragged off by a lion or a bear, I go after it and beat the wild animal until it lets the sheep go. If the wild animal turns and attacks me, I grab it by the throat and kill it.  Sir, I have killed lions and bears that way, and I can kill this worthless Philistine. He shouldn’t have made fun of the army of the living God! The Lord has rescued me from the claws of lions and bears, and he will keep me safe from the hands of this Philistine.” “All right,” Saul answered, “go ahead and fight him. And I hope the Lord will help you.”

This is, no doubt, one of the most favored stories in the Bible. David illustrates the power of a holy disturbance that moves us off our blessed assurance and into action! Your comfort zone is the death zone. God loves you enough to shove you out of your comfort zone and into your calling! Like David, you’ll recognize your unique life message through your holy disturbance. It’s the issue that hits you like a kick in the gut. It’s the news story that makes you see red, the troubling statistic that you’re unable to forget, the television image that seems to be embedded on the inside of your eyelids. It’s the thing that bothers you enough to make you consider moving out of your comfort zone to become part of the solution. What is your holy disturbance?

I really like a prayer Craig Groeschel wrote: “May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, and starvation, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done…” Amen!