David: What To Do When We Fail

JD Rodgers // Nov 19, 2019

We all make mistakes, but they don’t have to define us. What matters most when we fail is how we respond. In this message, we look at 2 Samuel to see how God used David despite his failure and learn how we can respond in the midst of our mistakes.

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Let's go! How are we doing tonight, Porch? Hey, I want to give a quick welcome to those tuning in live with us, some of our locations. We have Philly, Phoenix, Fayetteville, and of course, hello to my friends here in the room at The Porch on this beautiful Tuesday night. If we haven't met, my name is JD. I'm on staff here at Watermark Community Church. I get to serve every single Tuesday night here at The Porch, and I absolutely love it. I'm usually in that chair producing the services, but this is my first time teaching the Word, and I could not be more excited. Let's go!

Here's the deal. I thought, "How am I going to start this night?" I don't know you guys; you don't know me. I thought I'd go ahead and start from the bottom, and maybe we'll get here. I think we all have that moment in life that we can all resonate with where we say, "Yeah, that probably wasn't my best moment." For me, it was the start of my college years. Here I was, small-town kid, big dreams, wide eyes, heading to the notorious Stephen F. Austin State University.

I go there, and I'm a music major. My whole life I was a band nerd. What happened was I get to the university, and I have this kind of like, "Okay, I think I'm the guy," and I quickly realized, "Dude, you're in the band. You're not the guy." One of those memories in band… We were sitting there. I'm in my uniform. Picture me about 25 pounds heavier, curly hair. I'm at the front. I'm at the end of the field, and this guy walks up. He's a sports photographer with one of those big lenses. You know what I'm talking about?

He gets over there, and he's like, "Hey, you! Throw up the ax and smile!" I was like, "I'm going to give you way more than a smile, pal." I grabbed this cute girl, and I'm like, "On the count of three, jump, throw the ax." So I'm like, "One, two, three!" I jump in the air…the picture you just saw. I'm sitting there, and I jump up in the air, and the guy takes the photo and leaves, and I'm like, "I guess I'll never see that again."

Well, quickly, I go through the year. I recognize, "Okay, I'm not much of a band guy." It just wasn't me. I tried. I tried to force it. It just wasn't happening. So I got rid of the major, changed my wardrobe, fixed my haircut, and started working out a little bit. I know you're like, "Really?" But I did, and I'm heading to sophomore year kind of full of myself. I'm walking in. I'm like, "Okay. New year, new me. A new rendition of the JD."

I walk up, and I remember it was a day like any other, and I get tagged in all of these photos on Facebook. The photo that you see now was that photo. It came back to haunt me. Here's how it was told. This cute girl comes up to me, and she's like, "Hey, I'm a freshman." I'm like, "Yeah?" I'm like, "Cool. How are you doing?" She says, "I think I know you." I was like, "Oh, you don't, but obviously there's a connection we cannot deny." She says, "No, no. I definitely know you. Wait! You're that band guy on that photo."

What you don't realize is that photo is actually the acceptance letter to let people know they were coming to SFA. Not only was it a photo of me jumping in the air looking like a…weirdo. When you opened it, it was like, "Congrats!" and confetti popped out. So I was literally sent all over the world, and no matter how much I tried to change, no matter how much I worked out, no matter what I did, every single semester for the entirety of my college years, freshmen would come up to me like, "You're the guy…" and I was like, "I'm not that guy anymore!"

Deep down, though… I mean, here I am, 26, in this moment. I've had a few job experiences, and I still can't deny somewhere deep, deep down I'm still that guy. I'm still living kind of like… I think in the back of my mind that best moment is still now. It's still somewhere in me. That's kind of how we all feel at times, coming in here with a time that we could describe as "That moment wasn't my best moment."

When I was writing this, I couldn't help but think of a few celebrities who could probably say the same thing. Some I put down here. We have Miley Cyrus…from Hannah Montana to that. We have Britney Spears…from blondie to baldy. Another low moment I believe is…David Marvin. I mean, who is that guy? Talk about a low moment. Hey, God restores.

I also have Kanye West. Now you know him as "Jesus is King," but don't forget, at one time he had not his best moment, where he went and stole the award show and made fun of Taylor Swift in his drunken self. Then last but not least, I have Tiger Woods who just won the Masters but at one time was known for his mug shot for getting a DUI.

I know we're laughing and I kind of come in with this innocent, silly example, but the reality is we all, like I said, have a defining moment that we go, "Man, I don't want to be reminded of that. That wasn't my best moment. I took an L. That was a season of intense failure." Some of you walk into this place tonight, and you're going, "That's me now. I'm in that season."

You're coming in here tonight, and you're going, "Man, if only the people in this place knew how bad it is, they'd go running. They'd be like, 'Get out of here.'" Some of you come in here tonight having made huge mistakes you've never told anyone. You're thinking right now, "I swear to you. I am taking that to the grave. No one is ever going to know, because that will redefine me for the rest of my life. If my parents knew, if my friends knew, if you knew, you wouldn't want anything to do with me." And it's heavy.

I don't want you to think just because I'm up here speaking on a stage and talking to you about the Bible that I haven't been where you are and that I'm not where you are, because that's all of us. If there's anything we have in this room more common than the fact that we are loved by God, it's that we all make mistakes. We all fail. So tonight, I want to talk about what you do with that. What do you do when you can't seem to define your failures so they start to define you?

What do you do in the midst of hardship and pain and mistake after mistake? Because honestly, how you respond to failure in your life really defines your life, and if you don't know how to, your life is going to be full of anxiety, confusion, a weight, a pressure. Some of you might be experiencing that, and you don't even realize it. So tonight, I want to talk about some truths about failure.

If you're joining us for the first time, we're in a series called Bloodline. We've been highlighting key figures through the Old Testament that made the bloodline that led to the example of Jesus. We hit Adam, a man who literally walked with God on the earth, lived in perfect harmony with God there at the very beginning. God looked at him and said, "You're my child; we have this perfect thing going," and then Boom! Major failure. Not his best moment. It changed the trajectory for all of mankind.

Abraham, a man known by faith, remarkable faith, but at the same time didn't even believe God would give him a son like he said he would, so he sleeps with his wife's servant. At one time, he does this weird thing where he disguises his wife as his sister to save his own back. He actually does it twice. We see him also lack faith in moments. Not his best moment.

Tonight, we're going to talk about my favorite character in the Bible, someone I would say is probably one of, if not the most famous character in the Old Testament. His name is David. A lot of you come in here and go, "I think I've heard of David." If you've heard of him, you've probably heard of David and Goliath, the David who conquered the giant, who came up the little shepherd boy, was anointed to be king of Israel, the righteous king, the one they'd all been waiting for.

He goes up to the nine-foot Philistine and says, "In the name of the Lord, I'm going to conquer you!" He goes over and chops off his head after he does the slingshot thing, and all of this amazing moment. Israel, after his courage, follows pursuit, charges after the Philistines, and conquers them. They follow his example. He's a ruling king, a righteous king. That's the David we tend to know, but there's actually a part of David's life I want to talk about tonight that is a David that relates to a lot more of us. It's a part of David's life that was defined by failure.

Tonight, I want to talk about two things that are always true about failure, and I want to do that by looking specifically at the life of David. Turn with me to 2 Samuel, chapter 11. Like I said, David at this point is crushing it. Everything is going his way, and now Samuel… The plot thickens. He comes in on this moment that is a lot like a soap opera. You'll see.

"In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem." I hope you see it. He's writing here. Samuel is saying a time when the kings (David!) are supposed to go out to battle, but David remained in Jerusalem. It's kind of like when we are supposed to go to work and we call in sick. That's what David is doing. He's like, "I know I'm the king. I don't feel like going to war today. You guys have got it."

Verse 2: "It happened, late one afternoon…" I love that. I love that imagery. It's like, "It happened, late one afternoon, there he was." "…when David arose from his couch…" If this was David in 2019, he's probably sitting there. He has probably hit a Juul a couple of times. Ladies, he's probably on his fourth White Claw. He's sitting there…I don't know…drinking wine, watching The Bachelor, whatever it is, and then he goes walking on the roof.

"…and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing…" It's getting steamy. "…and the woman was very beautiful." I love that emphasis. The woman wasn't just pretty; she was very beautiful. She was smokin'. This is the moment where David is walking around, he's chilling on the roof, and he's like, "Aruga!" It's that moment for him. He sees this woman bathing on the roof, and he's like, "Okay. Who is this?" Let's keep on reading. Oh, it's getting good.

"And David sent and inquired about the woman." Clearly, the man had no game. He had to send a wingman. The wingman comes back and says, " [I don't need to go down there.] Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Basically, he's saying, "Yo, man. Remember the bro code. This is someone else's woman." David doesn't care.

"So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. […] Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, 'I am pregnant.'" Awkward. She comes to him. Imagine. She's like, "Hey, David." He's like, "Oh, you back for round two?" She's like, "Actually, no. I'm pregnant."

Can you imagine the heat David must have felt in that moment? Just sweating. He's like, "I have to cover this up. I don't fail; I'm the righteous king. That's not who the Lord made me to be." So immediately, he calls Uriah, her husband, off the battlegrounds and says, "Hey, I'm going to get you really drunk, have you go sleep with your wife, so that way you wake up, she conceives, and you think that's your baby." Perfect plan.

But Uriah, being the man of character that he was… He comes, dines with the king, and when the king sends him to go have sex with his own wife, he says, "I can't go do that while my brothers are out at war. You expect me to go sleep with my wife while they're all out there fighting on behalf of our nation?" He's like, "That's crazy!"

David will do anything to shut him up, to not expose himself, so he tells the commander to put Uriah on the front lines back in the war, and we all know what happens on the front lines. He was killed. I mean, can you imagine this moment? The man just committed murder. It all began because he was at home when he should have been at war. That leads me to my first point.

1 . We fail when we don't go to war. Here's the reality. Just like David physically was not where he was supposed to be…in the action, in the war zone, being the king he was called to be…so you and I have to wake up every day and we have to walk in what we're called to be. We have to understand that we are stepping into a war. The moment you get up and you don't realize you are in a war, you're going to fail. It happens every single time.

So the first thing I want you to recognize is that you are in a war. You have to ask yourself, "But come on, David. Why all of this?" Clearly, he's having an internal struggle, a war going on inside of him, first and foremost, and that war is called the need to feed what we call a sinful nature. You and I both have it. It's the thing that wars inside of you. You didn't have to get this thing. You didn't have to create this thing. It was just born in you ever since the garden.

Here's a really simple way to talk about a sinful nature. When you leave here today, you're going to be like, "That was so awesome. Go God!" and you're going to get in your car, and you're going to get in the parking lot, and you're going to wait in a line. At first, you're like, "Count it all joy. Okay." You're going to play your worship music, and suddenly you're going to be like, "All right. It has been 15 minutes. I'm hungry," and you're going to immediately start getting angry.

The parking guy is like, "Yeah!" and you're like, "Man, go away!" That anger right there? No one did anything to make you have that. You literally just have a sinful nature. You have it. I have it. David had it. The reason is there are three things your whole life that you're going to be searching to feed. You're going to be wanting to feed the desire to have security, significance, and satisfaction. I remind myself of that often.

"JD, remember. Every day, you are searching for security, significance, and satisfaction. And what are you going to find it in? What are you going to choose today to find those things in?" For some of us, we're looking for security in our finances, in how much money we can make, the job position we have, so we keep climbing, because "That is going to provide for me. I can provide for my family. We can have the house in the cul-de-sac."

Some of you are going to look for significance in that dating relationship. "Think about all of the comments, the 'relationship goals' we're going to get when we post that picture, and then one day it's going to lead to marriage. I'm going to have a constant source of significance." Some of you are looking to feed satisfaction through quick fixes, anything to make you feel something in the moment, whether it's going out, getting high, having a one-night stand for the adrenaline rush, looking at porn. Whatever it is, we're all searching for it.

I know for me right now in this season, I feed those things in the form of anxiety. I feed anxiety. Here's why: I want God to be proud of me. There's some void in me, often, when I am not getting up and going to war that I think, "God isn't proud of me, so I need to do more. I need to climb a ladder and achieve more so God will be proud of me."

When I don't feel like God is proud of me, when I'm not going to war, here's what I do: I turn to others, and I do things to get their attention, to get a laugh. I look for affirmation from flirting with girls. I go and work out. I push myself pretty hard. I know you probably can't tell, but I do try, and it's all so I can feel good about my body and the way I can walk into a room and not have to constantly compare myself to everyone else.

I go to leaders, and I do things in front of them so I get an "attaboy." It's so short-lived, and I've just realized no matter what it has been in my life, every time I go to war to feed myself, it's never enough. For you, you might be looking to feed yourself and that sinful nature through porn, sex, the things I've said, like one-night stands, that dating app, that marriage, I don't know, but it's never going to be enough.

You need to ask yourself, "When am I prone to fall to this? When is my rooftop moment? When am I, like David, strolling around looking to feed this hunger? When am I on the couch, bored, watching sports, home alone, looking over at my computer, knowing where it will lead me, and sitting there and contemplating? When am I doing that?" Ask yourself what the rooftop moment is, the couch moment in your life, that you are sitting there, apathetic, and you're not getting up and fighting and going to war against your sinful nature.

A lot of times, the reason we do that… We think we have to feed ourselves because we don't think God has enough to feed us. We don't think God wants to give us all we need. We think, oftentimes, that God is withholding something from us, like he's like, "Nuh-uh. Not today." That's just not who he is. But I'll tell you this: there's also someone else going to war every day, and it's the Devil.

He's going to war whether you realize it or not. Whether you're ready or not, here he comes. When he's watching you and going, "Look at them feeding their sinful nature. They must think God is withholding from them. They must think God is not enough. Man, I bet right now they have open hands looking for anything to feed that desire," he will always put something in your hands, because that's what he does. The Devil is going to war whether you're ready or not.

First Peter 5:8-9 says, "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." John 10:10 says, "The thief [the Devil] comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

That is God saying, "Hello! I have enough for you. I'm not withholding from you. What sometimes you think you want, if I gave that to you, it would actually lead to you killing a guy, David. So why don't you trust that I'm going to give you what you need in the time that you need it?" In that waiting, though, the Devil is watching, and he's prowling, and he's creeping. He's in a war, and he's looking for those who aren't fighting, who are vulnerable. Like a lion sitting there watching, he's looking for the weak gazelle, the baby, and that's the one he attacks.

He's looking for people who aren't getting up and going into the war, so you need to get up, and you need to wake up. He's looking to take from you. He'll make it seem like he wants to give you something, something that will satisfy, but I promise, slowly but surely, it's only taking. Here's how he does it. The Enemy will minimize your sin before you commit it, and he will maximize it after you've done it. Hear me. The Enemy will minimize your sin before you commit it and maximize it after you've done it.

That's why you're afraid to tell people. That's why you're walking around in a façade, faking it all the time. You know you listened to him again. You believed the whisper. He's sitting there, and he's like, "Man, if you just…" You know that every time you text that ex who only wanted something from you, it only leads to him taking something from you physically, but the Enemy is going to sit there and go, "Come on. He just texted you. Just text him back. He just wants to hang out. Maybe this time he'll actually listen. Maybe this time he'll actually want a real relationship and not just sex."

Then every time, you give in, and on that drive home, he's screaming at you. "Look at what you did, you worthless, pathetic… Here you go again. You're not worthy of a good love life. You're not worthy of a happy marriage, because you just keep going back to this." That's why you're afraid: because you're listening to that roar of the lion that is our Enemy.

It is time that our generation, it is time that we, as young adults, stop letting Satan have a voice in our lives and in our culture and in our society. It's time that we stop giving him opportunities to come and feed us nothing but lies, but he's going to every time, so you have to get up and go to war, and here's how you do that. First, we do that by taking hold of our weapons. God has given us weapons, because he's a good God who wants good things for us…life and life to the full.

The first weapon he gives us is God's Word. I have wanted to say this for a long time to people my age. It is time that we bring the Bible back. It is time that we start turning back to the Word of God, because what I see right now is a generation that does not know truth, and they are falling every day to lies because they don't know truth.

Right now, some of you are believing a lie simply because you don't know truth. You're walking in darkness, and you think you're walking in the light, but you're being deceived. I want you to know that this right here is not just some rule book. This isn't something God gave for people who want to become Christians to just follow some law and be like, "Bad! How dare you?" That's not what this is.

I'll tell you, I recently started taking the Word of God seriously in my life, and it has changed everything. This is how you have life and have it abundantly. I always say you don't know a line is crooked until you see a straight line. Until you see a straight line, you don't know that the line is crooked. It's the same. Until you see the truth…I mean, really see it the way God intended for you to…until you become a steward of the Word, you get around people…

Some of you are going, "Man, I wouldn't even know where to start." Just start. Open up the book of John. Just read the life of Jesus. Get around people in this building right here. Come up to the front. Find someone in a Porch shirt and just say, "I don't know how to read my Bible." I promise they will put you in the right direction, but just start. This is a weapon. Ephesians 6 says, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil."

He goes on to say more specifically in verse 17, "…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…" If you're going to go to battle, you'd better have a weapon. You'd better have your sword, and that sword is the Word of God. It is enough, and it will go before you and fight for you on your behalf, because this right here is God. So start using it. Start knowing it. Start reading it.

The second thing we can use as a weapon in the battle is God's people. I love this part of the story. We see that David just murdered Uriah, had him killed, and all of these different things, and then God sends a prophet by the name of Nathan to come and basically wake up David and say, "Hey! You've gotten out of the war." Here's what he says in 2 Samuel, chapter 12, starting in verse 1:

"And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, 'There were two men in a certain city…'" He totally finesses David right here. "'…the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him.

Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.' Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, 'As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.'"

Nathan looked at David like a good brother in Christ and said, "You are the man!" When was the last time you had someone in your life look at you and say, "Hey, wake up. You are the man, and not in the good way"? When was the last time you had someone actually tell you what you needed to hear? I bet this wasn't comfortable.

Imagine Nathan in this moment going up to the king, who just killed a guy, to go tell him he has food in his teeth, essentially, like, "Hey, you're doing something wrong. This isn't who you're called to be." But he does it. In that moment, David could have taken the easy way out. He could have hushed him, pushed him away. Sometimes when people come and tell us truth, we're so quick to be like, "Man, you don't know what's good for me. I can love whoever I want. Love is love. You just don't want me to be happy. You don't really know what's good for me."

We're so quick to push away people who just want what's best for us. Not what's good for us…what's best for us. Why? It's because we don't realize we're in the war. I love what David does here. He doesn't let this just stew in him with anger, but he lets it change the trajectory of his life, which leads to my second thing that's always true about your failure.

2 . When we fail, we can always run to God, not from him. Here's where we see this take place. David is sitting there. Nathan just came to him, and Nathan says all this to him, calls him out. There's this book called Psalms. It's the biggest book of the Bible. David goes and kind of writes in his diary the thoughts of this moment in his brokenness. He comes before God, and he has this exchange with God, and here's what he says right after all of this goes down:

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, [I know what I did, God] and my sin is ever before me." Verse 10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. [Come and change me from the inside out.] "

Verse 16: "For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; [you don't want my works; you don't want my church attendance; you don't want my money] you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

How you respond to God in your sin reveals what you think about your God. If you run from God in your sin, that tells me that you think something wrongly of God, because my God, our God, the God of the Bible, is a God you can run right to in your failure. You don't have to run from him. I bet David in this moment is feeling it. It's probably hard, but he pushes through and he runs to God, and it changes him from the inside out.

Why can we do that? Why can we run to God? It's because he loves us. God loves you. If you take away anything from this talk, let it be this: God loves you. That's crazy! David, you just slept with another man's woman, and then you killed him, and guess what. Here you are, broken, a sinner, nothing, and all he does is say, "David, I love you, not because of anything you are but because of all that I am, and all that I am is a God who loves his children no matter what."

The reason you can run to God, the reason you can come to him and talk about your sin and your mistakes is because he loves you. Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [for those who do not walk in the flesh but in the Spirit] .""How, JD? How is there no condemnation? I deserve this. If only you knew what I did."

I would tell you this. There was a time in my life, the hardest season of my life. I lost my dad in his 40s to cancer. Life sucked. It was really bad. I was in college. I ran from God. I pretty much gave the bird to God. I knew who he was, but I just chased partying and alcohol and anything that could make me feel something to feel satisfied and like I could take control of my life, and I did it for six months.

I'll never forget the night, like David. I was just lying there, New Year's Eve, all alone. I had pushed everything and everyone I loved out of my life. I just lay there in the dark, drunk, in an empty house. If you're alone on New Year's Eve, it's pretty bad. I'm going, "I don't want to bring in a new year," and I just cried out to God. I said, "God, why? Why is it like this? Why is this so hard? Why do I keep making these mistakes? I get it. You're probably gone."

He just stopped me and said, "JD, I love you." And I just wept. I lay there, drunk, in the dark, and I wept. What was true of that moment in my life and what was true of David's moment and this moment and what's true of your moment, your mistakes and failures that you're walking in here with tonight, is that there is a God you can run to and say, "God, blot out my transgressions. Make me whiter than snow. All I have to bring you is nothing," and he says, "That's everything. All I need is nothing, because I am everything."

Next week, we're talking about Jesus in the bloodline. God makes a promise to David. Right before he messes up with Bathsheba, God comes down to David and says, "Hey, David. I'm going to use you to bring the line of Jesus to the world. The Savior of the world, David, is going to come through your blood." I bet David in that moment is going, "But, God, me?"

He's here writing Psalm 51. He's like, "God, please blot out what I did with Bathsheba and how I murdered Uriah, because I still want to be used by you. I still want to have promises with you. I still want you to trust me. I still want you to love me." I bet as he's writing out Psalm 51, he's wondering, "Is God still going to do it? Is God still going to use my blood, my line, my offspring to bring Jesus to the world? Would he do something that crazy through someone so broken?"

The best part of this whole thing… The first sentence of the New Testament, the greatest story ever told, the beginning scene of the story of Jesus, the God-man on earth, opens up with this. Matthew 1:1: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David…" Do you know what that means? "The son of David." God was faithful.

God actually took a future child of David and Bathsheba, a woman he had an affair with, and produced an offspring that failed, an offspring that failed, an offspring that failed, time and time again, and he still brought Jesus. He still used David. Why? Because Jesus had to come, because he would be different. He would redirect the story, and he would make a way. He would come and die a sinner's death. David's sin, your sin, my sin… He would pay for it on the cross.

All of wrath from all of mankind would be thrown on him, and he would die. He would bury sin and shame once and for all, and on the third day he would rise again and change our lives forever and make a way. God is saying, "Yeah. On your own, you can't come to me, because you do have nothing, but through my Son, because of my faithfulness, you can run to me now, because all I see when I look at you is the blood of my Son."

That is the best news. If you haven't been honest with yourself, if you haven't gone to war, if you haven't told someone about the things you've been carrying because you haven't seen yourself worthy of being redeemed, tonight is the night. Don't walk out of here without a weapon. Don't go back into the war zone on your own. Deal with it tonight, because that's what he died for: so you could run to God, not from him.

Father, I ask that if there is anyone here who is walking in going, "JD, you don't know my story, man. It's bad. The drugs were bad. The addiction is bad. I can't get the abortion out of my mind," that right now, they would hear the truth that they are known and loved by a God who sent his Son for that very reason, that even when they're not faithful, they could run to the faithfulness of our Father who fulfilled his promise and brought his Son to the earth.

May we wake up every day recognizing that we are in a war, we are being attacked, but through you, through others, and through the Word, we have the power to say no to the Enemy and yes to the everlasting good and gracious love of our Father, amen.