Time to review! Or catch up! Click on each heading to read the entire devo blog that you missed or need to re-read!
So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.” And David said, “ There is none like it; give it to me.” (I Samuel 21:9 NKJV)
The lesson here really took my breath away. Each victory in Jesus gives us the tools to fight an even bigger battle. And it’s the daily battles that are the hardest to win. But as we fight through the temptations in life, crucifying our flesh, our future is being defined, and mapped out.
11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:
‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”
12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. Everyone wants to be known, but there is a cost, and we should take these things to heart as well, praying for our pastors, leaders, writers, teachers who are in the spotlight, with a target on their back, with an enemy that roars looking for someone to devour. Take a moment today to pray for someone you know, or have admired that might be in this place.
I seem to have had a case of the Januaries. I know I am not alone, because I have confessed this “Blah” feeling to some of my closest friends, only to hear many of them echo my sentiments. Oppressed seems like a strong word, but yet it is the right word. This past week I felt somewhat better, despite circumstances around me getting worse. However, in the middle of it, if you have ever been there, and are in charge of or responsible for anyone else, it’s easy to feel unqualified, defeated, thinking “How do I take care of my children, or students, or coworkers, or fill in the blank….when I don’t even feel like taking care of myself?”
David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.
David was running for his life, trying to cling to a promise that was given to him, betrayed by his master, separated from his best friend, and crying out to God regularly for protection. Yet in this broken state, they came to him, those that were discontented, and in debt, and distressed. And he became captain over them. How? How did he do it? He was anointed to do it. He was chosen to do it. He was empowered to do it. He was surrendered to God’s will. And he chose to do it.
2Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.”
David is acutely aware of his need for guidance. In this chapter, David asks if he should go in and defend Keilah against the Phillistines. And God says yes. But some of his soldiers have a bit of a problem with it. Like, really David? We are barely hanging on here, and you want us to go defend someone else?
The simplest but most common display of pride is denying our need for daily devotions and constant contact with God. Pray without ceasing. So many times you hear people say, I just wish I knew God’s will. But the reality is, that many times we wait till a big decision comes along, and then ask, when the best way to find God’s will is to be talking to Him all day long, bring your daily decisions through the filter of God’s Word.
This is a familiar story to many of us that have been studying the Bible for some time. David has been running for his life from a man who is now sleeping in a cave, at his feet. David was anointed king. And the only thing that stands in his way, is the king who could be taken out of the equation with one fell swoop. But he walks away. Not before cutting off a piece of his robe for evidence. Then he yelled across to Saul from a safe distance to let him know.
This story pierced my heart today. Truly. Here was David, anointed by God, promised the crown, and here was what seemed to be the perfect opportunity to take what was his. But the character of his heart won out over the convenience of the capture. He was going to trust God to deliver the throne, and through his constant contact with God, he knew this was not how it was supposed to go down. Patience. What? Patience to watch God’s plan unfold. Vision for what God intended to do.
God gives us so many real life physical examples of our spiritual reality. Eating right and exercising well are a struggle. The whole point of exercising is to struggle. If you are not sweating, or exhausting your muscle, then likely you aren’t getting anywhere. Eating is easy, but eating healthy requires denying your wants and your desires for your goals. And that is a struggle.
17 I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
Don’t be surprised by the struggle. It has to be. But as we see God come through, time and time again, I pray that we would be strengthened through the struggle and that we would comfort others as we have been comforted as we praise God, putting our trust in Him.