Recapturing the Vision
by Dennis Michelson
I Chronicles 21
Introduction: C.S. Lewis said that pride is like spiritual cancer which eats up love and contentment. It is actually a sign of our own insecurity and feelings of inferiority. Spurgeon warned us not to be proud of race, face, or place. In this chapter David succumbs to pride toward the end of his life and ministry.
He has lost the vision of what God has for him to do and it is only through an episode in a "great strait" that he recaptures the vision and God's direction. The real battle is always the unseen battle. Luther said where God builds a church, the Devil will build a chapel, thus is the Devil ever God's ape. When we focus on what men have done rather than what God can do then we are in trouble.
1. Pride (21:1-8)
David conducted a sinful census. Compare this with II Samuel 24 and you learn that what David did, the Devil suggested, and God permitted. God called us to feed sheep, not just count them!
2. Pressure (21:9-13)
Pride always leads to pressure and that pressure is directed by God Himself. It is sad but the "great strait" of verse 13 is usually required before we recapture the vision God gave us in our youth.
3. Pestilence (21:14-15)
The ripple effect of David's pride resulted in the loss of 70,000 men. Who is counting now?
4. Perception (21:16-17)
When David gets on his knees then he begins to see what was already there.
5. Price (21:18-25)
We pay no price for salvation but there is a price for service. You do not find the will of God but the will of God finds you when you pay the "full price" (v.22) and "give it all" (v.23) . . ."I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offeringss without cost."
6. Peace (21:26)
The burnt offering precedes the peace offering. Sin must be dealt with before fellowship is restored.
7. Power (21:26)
Fire from heaven! That's what we need . . .less mud slinging and more fire falling. The fires of Pentecost will never rest where the fires of Gehenna are burning. "Send the old time power, the Pentecostal power . . .may sinners be converted and Thy Name glorified." When your focus is on the size of your God and not the size of your congregation then you are in a place of blessing.
8. Providence (22:1)
By the way, this obscure place that David stumbled onto in the midst of his backsliding was Mount Moriah and will be the site for the long-promised Temple. All things work togther for good in spite of our wanderings and pride. The believer can fall down onboard the gospel ship but can never fall overboard.