Spiritual StrugglesWhen you struggle spiritually, how do you react?
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1 Chronicles 11:10-19
So the Three broke through the Philistine
lines, drew some water from the well . . . and
brought it back to David. But David . . . poured it
out as an offering to the Lord (v.18).
In his book Faith at the Edge, philosopher Robert
Wennberg describes attending a small church
with his students as they traveled through Europe.
The students were not greeted warmly by the church
members, did not know enough of the language
to follow the songs or the sermon, and generally
considered their Sunday morning to be a complete
waste of time. Wennberg assured them that it wasn’t, for
the effort they made to worship with fellow believers was
an act of respect toward God.
Wennberg quoted Pascal: “Respect means; put
yourself out. . . . It amounts to saying: I should certainly
put myself out if you needed it, because I do so when
you do not; besides, respect serves to distinguish the
great. If respect meant sitting in an armchair we should
be showing everyone respect and then there would
be no way of marking distinction, but we make the
distinction quite clear by putting ourselves out.”
We respect others when we put ourselves out for them.
It may be something small, such as standing to our feet
when they enter the room, saluting or tipping our hat, or
kneeling in front of their wheelchair. It might be huge,
as when David’s elite warriors crept behind enemy lines
to bring him water from Bethlehem, or when David—
overcome by the magnitude of their devotion—poured out
the water as a drink offering to the Lord (1 Chr. 11:17-19).
We respect God when we put ourselves out for Him. We all experience dry
spells when the Bible seems irrelevant, our prayers don’t seem to matter, and
we’d rather sleep in than go to church. These down times are opportunities to
express our allegiance and devotion to God. If we continue to put ourselves out,
even when we don’t feel any benefit, we pay God the highest respect.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
to see how God showed
respect to us, and how
we might show respect to
God and to each other.
What has God done to
show that He respects
you? Think of some
people who would
benefit from your respect.
How might you go above
and beyond the norm to
sacrifice for them?
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