2 Samuel 17: 2

And I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and will terrify him so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone.

What does this have to do with our present day existence, you may ask. I have found this to be an instructive verse for daily life.

Many of us live in cultures that are rushed and hectic. That can pose a problem. First, it is hard to hear the leading of God when hurried and stressed. God speaks to our inner quiet. He does not shout into the chaos. That is why He told us to be still and experience Him as God (Psalm 46: 10).

The other issue, of course, is that our chaotic lifestyle paints bull’s eye targets on our foreheads and hearts. I noticed many years ago that when I was tired, weary and exhausted I was susceptible to attacks. If you don’t think your enemy is looking for opportunities to bother you, you are deceived. The enemy is always looking for someone he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). So, don’t volunteer to be his chow. When you are exhausted, you look like prey. And, you probably actually are. Your defenses go down.

The answer, of course, is to take time to rest your spirit, especially. Take that quiet walk with Jesus and let him give you the refreshing waters that he offered the Samaritan woman. Let him rejuvenate you in body, mind and spirit. He can restore you but only you can set the appointment with him. If “busy” is a word you use often to describe yourself, then you need a check-up from the neck up, as a friend of mine says. Change your priorities. Say no to some events or even to some people. Let’s be honest, as uncomfortable as that can be, we have none the less, grown very adept at saying “No,” to Christ. It makes me wonder, sometimes, why we call ourselves Christians since he seems to be rather low on our priority list. If you will put him back in first position, he will guide you in setting your priorities and he will give you strength for the things you need to do.

Please hear this with your heart. If you are too busy to slow down and spend some time with Jesus in the resting and restoration of your soul, then you are too busy, period. Shall we go so far as to say that busyness is a sin? I know it is a problem in my life and one I have to battle constantly. Sometimes I need to just kick back. Other times I have to get up an hour earlier so that I have time for things that need doing.

Don’t weary yourself with much doing and don’t train your children to do the same thing. Your spirit, your soul and your body need rest. Go to a yoga class, spend time sitting in your garden or take a walk along the water and pray. Make it a priority to care for your triune self. Guard against busyness and overworking yourself. Word hard when you work but then take time to allow Jesus to restore you. It is really important that you do. Otherwise, you become a target.

Making a Good Target

2 Samuel 17: 1 – 2

Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. And I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and will terrify him so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone.”

Ahithophel suggests a good strategy; wait until your enemy is exhausted and fall on him. When one is tired or stressed out he is a much easier target. Satan knows this. He wants to see you stay stressed and exhausted because you make an easy victim. Imagine what he can do with an entire culture of over-worked and over-stressed people.  

Jesus is the author of peace. When we are fixed on him we are at peace. Soon the world comes in to crash our peace party. Then we find ourselves disrupted and keyed up. In fact, when you take account of yourself you may find that you are stirred up on the inside. That settled, calm feeling has flown. This is exactly what the devil is after. He can do more to damage your health, emotions and life if he can keep you in an agitated state. Some of us retain that agitation even at rest. We never fully relax. I know for many years as a practicing attorney that was the story of my existence. I could rarely ever let myself relax into a completely restful and peaceful state. The most pronounced effect was in my health. I was a mess. You see, peace will guard and keep you and I had none.

The key to living in peace and actually letting peace have a place in your heart is fixing your eyes on Jesus. I was very active in church during that phase of my life so church wasn’t the answer. Even though I attended church and all of the church functions, I really never had quiet time with Jesus. On the surface it seemed like I was doing all of the right things but now, in retrospect, I can see that I never allowed the calm of Jesus to ever sink down into my heart. I kept myself on high alert all of the time. Every nerve tingled with anticipation. Sure, I prayed and praised God but I just didn’t have quiet time for Him and me to commune within my heart. Even when I tried to meditate my mind ran at 1000 miles an hour. This is no way to live and in fact, I was killing myself. And God could barely talk to me. My world was too loud for His voice so He couldn’t even lead me out of my mess.

King David was able to be led by God and it saved him more than once. But he spent quiet time alone with God where he would even still his own spirit so that the Spirit of God could speak to him. He learned to be still and rest his mind, spirit and body so that he did not make a bigger target for Satan’s attacks. If he had not done so, God would not have been able to lead him out of trouble because David would not have been able to hear Him.

So here is my advice … don’t follow my former example. It is a stupid ruse that Satan has planted in our culture that will destroy you. Believe me in this. Instead, follow peace. Learn to give your body, mind and spirit rest and invest time spent with Jesus, the author of peace. Your health, relationships and even your success will be positively impacted if you do.