“The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” ~Conan O’Brien
Rounding out the topic that led us into the new year, we extend the idea of success to the concept of conviction. We journey to 2 Samuel, where David is King, and he brings the Ark of the Covenant into the capital city with excitement and adulation. His clothes fall from him during the celebration, yet David continues to dance in gratitude to God for this momentous occasion. He then blesses the entire nation and all the people before leaving. Once home, David is met with opposition from his wife who mocks him for his celebratory expressions. David, seemingly unfazed, responds with such conviction and purpose:
2 Samuel 6:21-22 (KJV) And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. 22And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
I have found that when you are excited or focused on something in life, there is ALWAYS someone ready to mock you for being happy. Even more jarring is the disdain propelled in your direction regarding something that does not even concern those rising up against you!
If we pause, we can discern THEIR efforts to make us feel bad about what we have done, accomplished, completed, or celebrated, as if it is a waste of time. God, however, gives us the keys to maintain our own convictions in the face of adversity, regardless of any deterrents.
1. God Chose You
No matter what a deterrent says (or brings up from your past) and tries to use against you, always remember that God Chose YOU!
Moses was a murderer, but God chose him. Joseph was naive, but God chose him. Jacob was a trickster and a schemer, but God chose him. David had so many flaws, but he recognized that God chose him.
Just as God chose each of them for the tasks they were meant to complete, God chose YOU for the task He has revealed to YOU! It is YOUR vision, YOUR dream, and YOUR baby. You ought to celebrate and accomplish all that God has prepared for you. The beginning of your conviction is to remember WHO put you where you are in accordance with His will, allowing you to persevere despite the ideals of others who insult and discourage you.
Acts 22:14 (KJV) And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
God chose YOU for this…so, DO NOT FORGET IT!
2. Relentlessly Progress
The momentum you had heading into an obstacle is not enough to overcome it: once opposition presents itself, you will need to push harder!
King David’s second response was to inform his wife that he would not only continue to do what he intended, but David would push harder! What was designed as a hinderance by his wife was actually utilized by David as fuel for progression.
You will encounter different obstacles that will work diligently to thwart your best intentions along the journey of life. As such, you should work with relentless conviction in order to achieve the goals you have set.
If I could paraphrase David’s response from a more modern perspective, he would have told his wife, “If you thought that was bad, it is about to get worse! Watch what I do next!”
Too often we give up at the first sight of rejection, disdain, lack of encouragement, or any form of opposition instead of pushing back with ferocity and vigor to finish what we have started. Take a moment and reflect upon every area that you have quit or given up on…now, make a declaration to yourself that you will not quit this time! Stand firm in this conviction!
3. Invalidate Fabrications
Lies are commonly used as deterrents; do not argue against them, just prove the lies wrong!
In verse 20, Michal tells David that the maidservants looked at his actions with shame. But, in verse 22, David responds to his wife indicating that the people she claimed saw shame will actually interpret his actions as honorable.
Never allow those who lack faith in you to make you turn against people who are not even involved! David’s wife created a lie to discourage him, but he would not let her false claims take residence in his mind. David was convinced that others would see the honor in his actions.
You have to prove every lie false. Do not give into them; live your life the right way! David did not argue or question what his wife said…he simply did not accept it.
Isaiah 54:17 (KJV) No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
Listen to the key phrase here: “[A]nd every tongue that rises against you in judgement thou shalt condemn.” Simply put, every lie said about you will be disproven by the life you live. Do not fight a lie…outlive it! Let your convictions drive you forward toward the successes God has designed for you to accomplish. Even though it takes conviction to see it to the end, succeeding is the best way to prove a lie wrong!