When I set up our pool this year, I knew I'd need to turn on the pump and filter right away. The cottonwood trees were in full "snow" production, and I needed that filter to do some work.
All of us use filters to make decisions. Our choices are always conditioned by those filters. You may not ever have thought about those filters, or considered that you're using them, but every decision you make is passed through a set of filters that help you to say "yes" or "no" to that choice.
Let's use your breakfast as an example. What filters did you use to choose what you ate for breakfast? A filter of your likes and dislikes. A filter of what is healthy and what is not. A filter of what someone made for you and whether you would eat that or choose something else. See how it works?
We don't always have to actually think about the filters, but they are there just the same.
David didn't arrive in the city of Jerusalem accidentally. He didn't find a crown along the side of the road and put it on and declare himself to be king of all Israel.
Want to read something swashbuckling and cool? Read the last ten chapters of 1 Samuel. Chart the number of decisions David made. Slide all the way into the first five chapters of 2 Samuel. And then ask this: what filters did David use to make his choices?
In 2 Sam 2 and 5, we can learn about a few of those filters - decision filters that we would do well to share with David:
He inquired of the Lord. David had this amazing way of conversing with Almighty God!
He covenanted with God's people. David viewed his ties to the community of faith as a filter through which he could make decisions. We do not act for self; our decisions are not made in isolation of others.
He proceeded to take the stronghold. Filters are not meant to halt progress toward the goal. In spite of the obstacles and the odds, we need to keep moving forward to God's will. If God is directing, and the filters of purpose are in place, eventually it must be time to take action.
Today, this week, this month - you will make decisions. How you decide will be based on the filters you have in place in your life. How will God factor in to those filters and decisions?