Yes, Team. The Internet has no chill.
You’ve really been off radar (not a bad thing) if you haven’t seen the memes, viral gospel video spoof, or merchandise sales of U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the now infamous declaration “Reclaiming My Time” during last week’s House Financial Services Committee meeting (see the congressional video for details).
Rep. Waters’ statement has unintentionally sparked a resolution in many to reclaim their time – from lost relationships, missed opportunities, financial mistakes, to simply deciding to make a positive life change in the here and now.
So, where have WE seen the play call to reclaim before, Team Jesus?
When I thought about this idea of REclaiming what belongs to me, in a biblical context, the first person who mastered this play for me was David. Let’s see how we can all take notes.
Take Back What the Enemy Took from You!
In 1 Samuel 30, we find a worn out David and his 600 men returning home to Ziklag. After many battles, on the run, hiding in the wilderness from Saul who sought to kill David (1 Samuel 23:14), David and his band of men were finally home.
But, instead of being greeted by family and finding rest, the Amalekites had burned the city to the ground and taken all of the men’s wives and children captive (1 Samuel 30:2).
Have you ever felt robbed of your time, joy, peace, loved ones you’re praying for by the enemy? Has that enemy ever been the “Enemy in-a-me”?
Team, with every loss there is a lesson – and sometimes the lesson is one of how to reclaim or recover all. And, since we serve the exceeding, abundantly, above all we could ask or think God (Ephesians 3:20), we are graced with opportunities to use the power that works in us to reclaim and/or recover in victory.
Does your loss seem too great to reclaim? Are you beginning to lose hope that you’ll ever recover all?
You, too, like Maxine and David, have the right to exercise your authority to reclaim and recover what’s yours!
How Do I Reclaim My Time and Recover All?
1. Strengthen Yourself in the Lord.
Loss is draining. Disappointments and frustrations will wear you out! Reclaiming our time, our peace… recovering our joy, our confidence, our hope won’t happen by our own strength (Zechariah 4:6). How do we know? Because if we had the power and might, would we have ever lost it, had the setback, taken the hit, fallen off?
No, the strength to reclaim and recover all will come from your Help (Psalms 121:1-2). The Lord your God will send His Spirit to minister to you when, like David, everyone despises you or blames you for the misfortune. It may seem like no one is on your side, but don’t worry, Team, God’s got your back! He will give you the strength to carry the blessings of 1000% recovery!
2. Consult God as to What is Recover-able.
This is important. While most, if not all, losses may hurt, some losses are beautiful blessings. How many times have you mourned the loss of a job, possession, a relationship, only to realize later that the loss was a blessing? Wisdom and maturity tells us – some “losses” are not purposed to ever be reclaimed or recovered.
So, before you take your strength and run after a loss, follow David’s example and consult God (1 Samuel 30:8). Ask God for His perfect will concerning the loss. And, if God says, “Go after it”, seek His guidance and provision along the journey to go after it His way, in His time.
3. Use What God Gave You – It Still Works!
For many of you in a “loss” season – this is not your first rodeo. You’ve experienced set backs, perhaps an illness, or a hurtful disappointment before and lived to tell the story of victory.
Though David faced a devastating loss and must now fight, again, to reclaim his family, he was able to take with him something that reminded him of God’s faithfulness to deliver – the same sword he’d used to slay Goliath (1 Samuel 21:8-9)!
Didn’t the weapon of fasting and praying work for you before? Didn’t following God’s lead to a strategy you would never have thought of work the last time? Wasn’t your obedience and service to God the main qualifier in that unqualified scenario back then? Stick with what works; remember your testimonies and lean on God’s ability to do it again!
4. Maintain a Giving, Kind Spirit on the Recovery Journey.
Though exhausted, sad, and angry, David was presented with 2 opportunities to show a kind, giving heart on his recovery journey. One to the young Egyptian man who showed him where to find the Amalekites and his wives (1 Samuel 30:12), and another to the 200 men who didn’t go to battle with David, but stayed behind at the brook (1 Samuel 30:10, 1 Samuel 30:24).
With the young Egyptian man, we see how kindness will win you favor faster than revenge. Even though the man was a servant to the very people who destroyed David’s city and took his wives, the man was more willing to reveal the hiding place of the Amalekites with “honey vs. vinegar”. You never know when treating a perceived enemy with kindness will work in your favor.
For the 200 men who stayed behind, David blessed them with their portion of the spoils – even though the men who did fight thought the “bystanders” only deserved their wives and families (1 Samuel 30:22).
How many of us would bless those who didn’t fight or contribute directly to our recovery, win, or success? David was clear – recovery belongs to God. It was God’s blessing to give, and David would not be stingy with what did not belong to him.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Pursue, overtake, and rescue (1 Samuel 30:8). Go boldly and confidently with God – get it ALL back, and then some!