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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hiding Behind Our Royal Robes

(Part 2)

“As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.”

                                                                                                            2 Samuel 6:16

Instead of joining David in worshipping the Lord, Michal sat in her window and criticized his enthusiasm. It should have been one of the most joyous days of David’s life and yet he comes home to an earful!

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal, daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the King of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

                                                                                                            2 Samuel 6:20

Notice how she was more concerned about David’s image as King of Israel than celebrating the return of the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, in her sarcasm she spoke truth. David did distinguish himself, but it wasn’t among the slave girls and servants rather he distinguished himself before God:

“David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel-I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

                                                                                                            2 Samuel 6:21-22

David knew that he would be honored by the slave girls and servants because they too were worshippers. They had joined him in celebrating before the Lord. Michal, however, stayed behind and scoffed from the palace window. She was more interested in hiding behind her royal robes than worshipping the God of Israel, but her attitude cost her dearly:


“And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.”

                                                                                                            2 Samuel 6:23

What about you? How would you characterize your worship? What keeps you bound? Is it the opinion of others, your image, your position, or identity? What royal robes are you hiding behind?


Pastor Scott Burr


Friday, January 25, 2013

Hiding Behind Our Royal Robes

(Part 1)

“Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the Ark of God.” So David went down and brought up the Ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David wearing a linen ephod danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.”

                                                                                                            2 Samuel 6:12-15

 From the time he was a young man in his father’s fields, David distinguished himself as a worshipper. He was known and recognized for his skills on the harp and lyre, even being summoned to play for King Saul when he was being tormented by an evil spirit:

“Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”

                                                                                                            1 Samuel 16:23

David’s love of worship was not simply a hobby, a way of passing time as he watched over the sheep, but it was his passion. He was known as a psalmist. Many of his lyrics are recorded for us in the Book of Psalms. It is believed that David composed nearly 78 of the 150 Psalms. So it isn’t strange to read that not only was David a skilled musician, sing and a gifted psalmist; but he could also dance.  According 2 Samuel 6, David stripped down all the way to his lined ephod and danced with all his might.  Whether he danced out of them or took them off as a symbol of humility, David removed his royal garments to worship.

Those robes symbolized his identity as King of Israel. I am sure that there was a lot of pressure to ‘act kingly’ in the presence of all the people. He had a reputation to uphold. He was the king! Proper protocol for such an assembly would have called for demeanor not disrobing and dancing. According to Mark Batterson, author of the book- “In the Pit with A Lion on a Snowy Day” no one would have known that better than David’s wife- Michal:

“After all, she was a “KK”- a king’s kid. She grew up in the palace. She knew the protocol.”

                                                                                    Mark Batterson, Author and Pastor

Michal was the daughter of King Saul. She grew up in a home where pomp and circumstance ruled the day. Saul wanted to be honored before the people. To Saul, being king was all about image. He was chosen by the people of Israel because of his image and he worked hard to maintain it.  David, however, did not find his identity in his role as King of Israel.  Instead, what made David a man after God’s own heart was his willingness to lay aside his kingly robes.

Pastor Scott Burr



Friday, January 18, 2013

"Taming Our Appetites"

(Part 2 of 2)

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world.”

                                                                                    1 John 2:15-16

What do you love so much you cannot do without? Is it certain foods, secular music, sports, your favorite television show, sex, a relationship, the pursuit of wealth? Our hesitancy or unwillingness to give up earthly/fleshly desires is a clear indication of a bondage that needs broken in our lives. If it is easy to refrain from, it is not likely a stronghold in your life. However, if every ounce of your flesh resists giving it up, that is an area you need to examine very closely.

Fleshly desires become strongholds in our lives because we feed them.  The more we feed them the more dependent they become on us keeping them fed. This dependency leads them to begin demanding we keep them fed. It is at this point we become controlled by our own appetites. The only way to break it is to withhold nourishing it.

Fasting, in part, is beneficial in telling our flesh that we will not be dictated by its desires. Throughout scripture great men and women of God, like Moses, Esther and Elijah fasted in times of great distress. Jesus, too, after being led into the wilderness was tempted of the devil and fasted forty days.  In every instance, fasting always included refraining from food. Food is a core appetite. Every one of us must eat. Thus it is foundational to breaking every other appetite. In Luke 4, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, we see that he was tempted first in the area of food. Then he is tempted in other areas and although he resisted and refrained from pursuing what Satan was offering Him in those areas as well, it was established on the fasting of food. In doing so, Jesus set the example for us, not only in worship and prayer, but also in fasting.

However, breaking the grip of unhealthy appetites is only part of the fasting process. Fasting is more than just starving our earthly appetites; it must also include feeding our spirit. We cannot starve the one, yet still neglect the other. We must feed our spirit by consuming the Word of God, through worship, prayer, devotions, giving and good works.  Fasting is an exercise in spiritual freedom that liberates us from the bondages of our flesh and renews us in our spirit.


Pastor Scott Burr


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Taming Our Appetites"

(Part 1 of 2)

“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.”

                                                                                      Philippians 3:17-19

I am reminded of this passage often, but none so much as when I am approaching a time of fasting and prayer. During this time, I am specifically drawn to the phrase “their god is their stomach.”

Paul had just told the Philippian believers that they would do well to live according to the example and pattern the he had passed on to them. Then he cautions them to be aware of those who live as enemies of the cross. He describes them as individuals whose “god is their stomach.”  This phrase simply means that they are people who are dictated and controlled by their appetites.

Appetites can come in various forms. We can have an appetite for food, sex, entertainment, sports, relationships and money. All of which are real, fleshy, earthly appetites which if allowed to dictate us will lead to disastrous results.

I have always been a proponent of the idea that what feed flourishes. If you feed your spirit, your spirit will flourish. If you feed your flesh, your flesh will flourish.  Whichever nature we feed will be the nature that prospers within us:

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

                                                                                    Romans 8:5-8

Fasting is a tool to help us to identify and break the bondages of unhealthy appetites. Fausset Bible Dictionary defines fasting as – “the laying aside of food for a period of time when the believer is seeking to know God in a deeper experience.” It is refraining from feeding our fleshly appetites!

Pastor Scott Burr



Friday, January 4, 2013

Faithful in Little Things

(Part 2 of 2)

“He who is faithful in a very little thing, is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little thing is dishonest and unjust also in much.”

                                                                                                 Luke 16:10 (Amplified)

After Daniel’s rise to leadership we catch up with him again in the Book of Daniel chapter 10. Daniel has a great vision and an angel of the Lord is about to give Daniel some tremendous revelation concerning events to come:

“He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, “ Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”

                                                                                                      Daniel 10:11-12

One might think that God just happened to choose Daniel for such a great honor, however it was not a random selection. Daniel 6:10 tells us that Daniel had demonstrated a faithfulness to prayer!

“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

Daniel’s faithfulness to daily prayer opened the door to a visitation from heaven. These big things that God was doing in Daniel’s life were a result of his faithfulness in the little things.  His ascension to governor began with a commitment to maintaining his firmly held dietary laws. His becoming a conduit of great revelations from God began with a commitment to daily prayer.

We see a similar pattern in the life of King David. 1 Samuel 17:48-51 tells us:

“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.”

David defeats a skilled warrior. A giant! How does one prepare for such a confrontation? The answer we read in 1 Samuel 17:34-36:

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized in by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.”

Keeping sheep may not seem like much compared to slaying a giant, but David’s faithfulness to it opened up the door to much more; eventually the kingdom! Too often we want “the much” without being willing to do the little. Are you only willing to be obedient to God in the big things? The truth is that God cannot and will not use us in the great things until we prove our faithfulness in the small things. Faithfulness in the little things puts us in line for the great things God has in store for us.

Pastor Scott Burr