They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent….(1 Sa 10:27)
I am learning, with great patience, the power of prayer. I have often lived with a mouth fixed on setting things right and making things happen in my own ability. However, in more recent months, God has been showing me the foolish ways of my past. I’m being brought to a new place of trust, through prayer, learning the value of keeping my mouth shut.
Saul didn’t do many things right during his kingship, but he did, at this time, keep his mouth shut when he was slighted and treated wrong. He did not rise up to fight his own cause or wield words like a weapon to bring about his own victory, no. He stayed silent and let God handle it.
A number of years ago I was at a conference with teenagers. We were in line for lunch and students kept cutting in front of us. I wasn’t happy, so in my own desire to uphold righteousness (in my eyes) and usher forth my own justifiable vindication I said, “I’m going to go set this straight and talk to those students.” One of my dear students gently placed her hand on my shoulder as I was stepping out and said, “Heather, let Jesus handle it.”
I was speechless. I had just gotten rebuked by a teenager. I’m supposed to be the adult here, whats up with that? Needless to say, I stayed put in line and let Jesus handle it. Sometimes in life we start fighting for the wrong things. We get so focused on what we believe to be injustice that we don’t set our eyes, focus and prayer on true injustice.
Should we speak up for actual injustice, yes, by all means. Should we stay silent when before our eyes evil is happening, no, absolutely not. However, we must walk in wisdom when we feel slighted or misunderstood by another. Our feelings are a bad determiner of how we should proceed. They will lead us down paths that are motivated by self.
Wisdom leads us on paths of righteousness. Wisdom teaches us to keep our mouths shut and let God fight for us. Wisdom beckons us forth in prayer, to join with God in the work He is already doing on our behalf. This kind of approach keeps our eyes focused on the work and will of God and not on our own idea of how vindication should look.
We are often focused so much on ourselves that we do not fight for others in prayer. If I could be honest, my fight for vindication, victory and deliverance in my own life often becomes the center of my prayers. We are consumed with self. We do not focus on others. Doing this keeps our lives from fostering deeper relationships with those around us. We cannot, nor will we ever grow past self, if we do not esteem someone else as more important than ourselves.
Lord, help me to stay silent when you are the one who is to fight for me. Help me to walk in wisdom and fight courageously for others in prayer. Lord, I am focused on myself so much more than others. It is not because I do not love others, it is because I love myself too much. God, I want to live a sacrifice, to place others first and bring glory to your name through it all. Jesus, raise up a heart in me that is so full of love that all I can do is spill it out for your glory! In Jesus name, amen.