David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:1- 8
In the 1991 comedy film What About Bob? Richard Dreyfuss plays the exasperated, impatient therapist who is stuck caring for a patient named Bob played by Bill Murray.
The title character Bob is a neurotic, phobic, obsessive-compulsive personality with innumerable needs. Bob explains his problems, “Problems breathing. Problems swallowing. Numb lips. Fingernail sensitivity. Pelvic discomfort. What if my heart stops beating? What if I’m looking for a bathroom and I can’t find one and my bladder explodes?”
You got to love Bob, here’s a guy who’s feels like his chaotic life is about to crash if he doesn’t get any help.
We’re all kind of like Bob; we feel at any given time our life could spin out of control, and there would be nothing left. Well-intentioned people will say to us, “Just get centered.”
Makes me want to puke.
That phrase reminds me of the comedian who once said, “When I’m feeling down and someone will say to me, ‘Suck it up.’ I get the urge to break their legs with a baseball bat and tell them to walk it off.”
But really, how do we stay focused in a foggy world? How do we center ourselves in the midst of confusion?
There’s got to be more hope than those three little words, “Just get centered.”
In 1 Samuel 30, King David was having a pretty bad day. By the way, not many of us faced today getting stoned because of our leadership skills, but that is exactly what David was facing. In the text, there’s an interesting phrase which says, “David strengthened himself in the Lord.” In other words, David centered himself in the greater reality than the one he was facing. He reminded himself that he belonged to the Lord, and that he could face anything that came his way because the battle was the Lord’s.
But how do we strengthen ourselves in the Lord?
Last Sunday, I mentioned a couple of steps; the first was to remind ourselves of what the Scriptures say about us. The second step was to experience the profound encounter of The Lord’s Supper. The place of communion with God at the table is a a set time and place to have real life met a real God; to lift up our hearts to the reality of victory in the midst of difficulty.
Another step that we can take is to pursue a fresh encounter with God’s presence, His Holy Spirit. You see, when we encounter the Holy Spirit, we aren’t just saying a creedal statement; it’s not just lip service to a belief that rolls off our tongue when we say together on Sunday morning, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”
We aren’t just saying a doctrinal statement, we are encountering a person who can change everything. The Holy Spirit brings about a sense of well-being, contentment and wholeness no matter their circumstances.
Supernatural peace is an indication of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
It’s not a creed, or a belief, we are encountering a Person who can change everything for us and it begins with a simple step of strengthening ourselves in in the Spirit of God.