Memory verse: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Challenge: Go through your phone and delete those ‘foolish’ numbers- both the ones that make you act the fool and those that are the fool. Journal how that it feels to let him or her go.
Have you ever looked up and said how in the world did I get here?!? How did I get into this relationship, and WHY did I stay so long? Why did I allow myself to fall for the same lines again? Maybe just as Aaron Neville said- ‘everybody plays the fool sometimes, there’s no exception to the rule.’
Read 1 Samuel 25. This is the story of Abigail, her husband Nabal and her king, David. By looking into her life, we are going to determine-are we the fool or just foolish, and how to get out of a foolish situation. Abigail was an uncommon woman. She was intelligent and beautiful and smart and wise and had discernment. She had it going on. So WHY did she marry THIS FOOL?!?!! She was an uncommon woman in a common situation.
I believe that, not unlike Abigail, we too can find ourselves in some foolish situations. We look back and say: ‘God I should have seen that coming. How could I have been so stupid?’ We are intelligent uncommon (royal priesthood, chosen nation, fearfully and wonderfully made) people, but we often find ourselves in some foolish situations.
If you know me, I love acronyms. So let’s use the acronym of FOOL to see how we got in and how to get out of foolish situations.
- 1. F- FIGURE OUT HOW YOU GOT IN THE SITUATION
This may be a hard thing to understand and I see it in two perspectives. First Abigail may not have had a choice in her situation. Nabal was rich enough to pay her dowry; he was accepted by her father-(for whatever reason) so she was married.
Some situations we didn’t get ourselves in, we were called up for them. What does this mean? Job was called up- he didn’t choose his situation; he was ordained for it. Jeremiah couldn’t get away from his calling if he tried, and he did try. Mary was summoned to bear Jesus- she didn’t choose to be an unwed teenage mother to the Savior of the world. She was ordained. The Israelites didn’t get lost when they were chased by the Egyptians, God directed them to an impossible, impassible situation in order for the Israelites to see God’s glory. Many of our situations will be the same. We will simply be chosen by God to fulfill His glory.
The next scenario was that Abigail willingly married a fool! Nabal didn’t start being a fool in Chapter 25, he was a fool when she married him, but she still married him. Why? How many times have we willingly walked into a foolish situation as wise individuals? We have attached ourselves to some foolish people, some foolish situations, some foolish relationships both platonic and definitely romantic, but yet we still do it? Why? God only knows…
So now you know how you got there. Maybe we get into that situation because we feel we can change them, we can affect our environment. Is this foolish thinking? NO, (or at the least, not always). Abigail was in a foolish situation, but she didn’t conform to her environment; she changed it.
INSIGHT: ‘Man, did I play the fool. I fell in love with the potential and ignored that he may never actualize to that. I saw him for the man that he could be, but wouldn’t believe that he didn’t really want to be that man. As women, we believe that we can change a man. And it’s impossible. Only God can, but even with an All-Powerful God, the man still has to WANT to change. All the praying and fasting and crying and arguing and cussing and fussing in the world, will not move a man that doesn’t want to be moved. It took me a while to realize that. I was always saying ‘Why can’t you just be the man that I know you can be?’ I had to eventually realize that I was playing the fool. This man did what he had to do to get me, but he had no intentions of maintaining that role to keep me. Yet I stuck around, hoping.’
- 2. O- ORDER YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Verse 14, the servant came to her-NOT NABAL. She was more wise than her husband. She had discernment and order in her household, and everyone knew it, but he was foolish enough to believe that he was running things. She didn’t flaunt this or make a big show- she simply was. She was in what seemed like an unchanging situation, so she decided to change.
Not only did she order her environment, she ordered those in it as well. She recognized that she needed to cover her husband to save the lives of those connected, but do it in such a way that her husband didn’t know. We, as women will often play the background in our families, at work or school, and we are often overlooked as a group, but we have to recognize that our reward has to come from Christ. We may never get those earthy accolades.
Romans 12:1-2; Abigail renewed her mind. We have to do the same daily. She didn’t allow what she was going through to turn her foolish, she remained unconformed (is that a word?) to her environment. You have dominion. USE IT.
- 3. O-ORCHESTRATE YOUR EXIT STATEGY
This can be tricky. Jonah wasn’t released until he relented. Your exit strategy must be in the will of God. When she saw the opportunity to act, she acted quickly (some versions say AT ONCE-SHE LOST NO TIME) There is a window of opportunity for us on many things, and we have to be ready to act when that happens. Divine guidance only comes to prepared hearts. Because she had spent her entire married life dealing with a harsh man, she had learned how to manage him; a sensible, Godly man was no problem. She learned from her foolish situation.
She used discernment to secure her exit strategy. She reminded David of his commitment to the Lord first, and that the shedding of blood would put guilt on his hands. Then she admonished him to ‘remember her’ when the Lord had exalted him. She was now connected to someone that could get her out of the situation. Who are you connected to that can pull you out? Or are you the only one pulling up and everyone else is pulling you down? If you are the latter, then you haven’t ordered your environment and might need to find your exit.
She was intelligent and didn’t allow her situation to dull her sensitivity so she was ready to move when it was time.
INSIGHT: ‘Yet I stuck around, hoping. Until one day I realized that I continued to stay, I would spend my entire life hoping. Wishing he would be the man that I knew he could be, praying he would just fully submit his ways to the Lord, desiring him to treat me like the pearl that my Daddy told me I was. I woke up and realized that he wouldn’t, at least not now-maybe not ever. I had to understand that although I desired to be married, this man WAS NOT my husband, so I could orchestrate my exit strategy. I had a way out, if I would only choose it. How many single women stay in long-term relationships, knowing that they should get out? Many actually marry the man, THEN start looking for an exit. No, once you take an oath to each other and make a covenant with God, you’re now bound-realize if you should get out NOW. You may be in a foolish situation, but you still have a choice whether you will marry a Fool!’
- 4. L-LIVE FOOLISH NO MORE
V 39-41. She got out. How many times do we see an open door but we stay paralyzed to walk through it? I’m reminded of the story of an elephant that was tied to a poll for 6 months where he could only take 2 steps forward, 2 steps back, 2 steps left and 2 steps right. At the end of this time, he was unchained but for the next 6 months he still continued to walk those 2 directional steps. Why? Because he had gotten so used to being stagnant and stationary, that he didn’t even recognize his own freedom. We have been set free, yet we keep dancing the same two step, dating the same guy with a different face, falling for the same girl in a different dress.
Vow to never live foolish again. When Jesus met the woman at the well, her situation changed and she had a choice to go back to her old life, but once she had a taste of God, she couldn’t.
INSIGHT: Stop re-visiting the grave site. Once God has called you out of something, stay free. Don’t get in another foolish situation. Don’t get with a wo/man that is ‘almost’ what you want. Stop settling for a fool and wait for your KING.
YOU’VE BEEN MADE FREE. DON’T GO BACK!