- I have to let go of the past to take hold of the future.
- Just because I’m not visible doesn’t mean I’m not valuable.
- I am anointed to accomplish my assignment.
- I don’t need a greater assignment to experience a greater anointing.
1 Samuel 26:7-11
So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”
But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the LORD lives,” he said, “the LORD himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”
David had every reason in the world to kill Saul and end his personal nightmare, but he refused to lift his hand against the man God had anointed.
What would David say if he could hear the way we cut down other ministries and churches? We slander and blame any person and any organization that makes us feel uncomfortable or inferior.
It’s time we commit ourselves to cheering on our sister churches and encouraging our fellow servants. We should be building up ministries instead of tearing them down. The Kingdom is built on cooperation, not competition.
If my ministry looks great only because I’ve torn down the reputation of the others, then I fail. And the Kingdom suffers. Period.
1 Samuel 22:1-2
David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
Why is it that some people just naturally draw followers?
David was a heroic, God-honoring man who had stood up to his brothers, faced down giants, defeated massive armies and defied a self-serving king. All in the name of seeking God’s Will. And here’s the reward he received… He is on the run, hiding in a cave, unsure of tomorrow, let alone next year.
When you’re living in a cave with nothing but the clothes on your back, the future looks pretty bleak. It’s hard to lead people when your only plan is to hide and survive. So, my question is… What made David so special that he drew 400 followers to himself?
Notice that the very first to come join him are his brothers, the same brothers that had mocked him and thought he was an arrogant nuisance. Then, all kinds of down-on-their-luck people started pouring in. Losers and misfits started setting up camp and looking to David for leadership.
Here’s the key to David’s leadership… Point your heart toward God’s and relentlessly pursue. Give it time and people will follow. Even those that mock you right now will be intrigued by your consistency and commitment.
Answer this… Is your life worth following? If you woke up tomorrow and had 400 outcasts looking at you for direction, where would you be leading them?
1 Samuel 17:8-11
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
An unbelieving giant stood and mocked, belittled, cursed and degraded the nation of Israel and their God for 40 days. He stood in an open field unopposed for 6 weeks while the mighty army of God did…nothing. Not a thing. They made no plans, no preparations whatsoever. They were so terrified by this giant in front of them that they did nothing but shiver.
In Saul’s defense, it was a pretty big problem. The challenge was for 1 normal-sized Jewish warrior to face off against a 9 1/2 foot tall champion for all the marbles. If the Israelite won, things were great… If he lost, well, the army would be slaughtered and the nation enslaved. Pretty high stakes and, frankly, Saul was afraid to make the wrong choice… So, he made the choice to do nothing.
Thankfully, a little shepherd boy came along to save the day. A kid happened to come into the camp, heard his God being slandered, and refused to hide in fear. He stood up, faced his fear, made his choice, and followed through. And God blessed him with a victory and Israel routed the enemy that day.
The question that’s been nagging at me is this… If David hadn’t come along, what would have happened? How long would Goliath have cursed God? How long would Goliath have mocked Israel?
What happens when followers of Jesus let big, scary problems paralyze them?
Don’t let nothing happen on your watch! Be David, not Saul, and stand up, face your fear, make your choice and follow through.
Honor God with decisive action.
1 Samuel 17:38-40,48-50
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
When God calls you to do something, He prepares you for the task.
David didn’t need Saul’s armor, helmet or sword to defeat Goliath. All those “professional tools” just got in his way. What David needed was to be the man God had created him to be and to fight the way God had trained him to fight.
God has called you to do something. I’m not sure what it might be, but I am sure that He’s given you the tools and the experience you need. Quit trying to be someone you’re not and simply do what you know. Let God lead, take up your sling and kill a giant.
1 Samuel 17:37
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
Saul was chosen by God to lead His people but over the years, something changed in his heart, causing him to be rejected by the God who had chosen him. By the time we read 1 Samuel 17, David had been anointed the next king and God’s blessing had shifted. Israel was under attack from the Philistines and was being directly challenged by a giant named Goliath. Things looked bad and no one knew what to do.
At least, until David came along… He had the confidence and courage that comes from walking with God and was willing to challenge the warrior who was mocking his God. Saul laughed when he volunteered but was impressed with David’s conviction and agreed to let the boy face the giant. And Saul sent him off with these words… “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Saul referenced God’s name and sent David out with “God’s blessing” but in his heart, he had moved away from a place that was centered in worship. Now, though, he has no problem calling on God’s name.
Makes me wonder… When I call on God’s name, am I sincere? Or am I using that name to get what I want? Or to look like who I want to look like?