Strife & Distraction

John Tilton

1 Kings 5:3-4 “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.
Solomon noted clearly that God did not call David to build the temple of the Lord due to the distraction of strife with the enemies of the Lord that David was contending with. David indeed was following God's will in the battles he fought, yet His call was so different from His son Solomon. The Bible even notes later that God's choosing of Solomon to build the temple was related to David's direct involvement in his battles on behalf of the Lord. It would be his successor and a new leader for a new season of rest for the people of Israel that would be called to build the temple; one who would not be distracted with strife and conflict.
It'a so true that conflict, strife and battles can be so distracting to achieving one's goals and success. I can see when conflict, strife and battles befall us requiring resolution and mediation. Yet, how often do we invite or allow conflict, strife and battles to beleaguer us? The saying goes "pick your battles wisely." Being distracted by strife can be so counter-productive and can often lead to bridges and relationships severed and ramifications that have longstanding scars. It seems that beside choosing our battles wisely, it's best choose not to battle, but to seek resolution with grace and understanding. I don't mean laying down and being trampled on, but rather reason with grace and sincerity of heart.
Dear Lord, may your guide me not to get caught up in the opportunities and traps of the enemy of strife, conflict and battles that will distract me from serving you and your will/call on my life. May I be wise like Solomon to choose my battles well and seek resolution with reason, grace and understanding communicated with words born out of a heart inspired by Jesus.

Devotions for May 20

1 Kings 6
2 Chronicles 3
Psalms 97
Romans 1

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