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The Making of a King (1 of 5) Mike Connell 03.02.2008 pm
Great stuff. I want you to open your Bible with me in Revelations 5, just halfway through verse 9 and verse 10. Thank you musicians, what a great job. Well we're beginning the year. Who's in for a great year this year? Okay, let me give you a secret. It'll be what you make of it. See, it'll be what you make of it. If you're going to change it's because you decided to change and I love it when people have decided they're going to grow and change. I want to speak - I'm going to share with you some things, a series of messages called The Making of a King, and we're going to look into the life of David. But I want to start it off and just share just a couple of verses first of all. This one here in Revelations 5, it says You have redeemed us to God. You have redeemed us to God by Your blood. Out of every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation, and You have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on earth. Where shall we reign? Where shall we have our dominion? Where shall we have impact? On earth.
So the Bible tells us of an event in heaven and it says of a multitude of people and they're declaring and thanking God. The Bible tells us that these people have come out of every tribe, every nation, every people, every [kindred, 00.01.24] every kind of group, people group you could imagine; God has drawn them out and made them His own family and destined once we've become family He calls us kings and priests. You are a king, you are a priest. Now you don't have to try and make yourself that. When you gave your life to Jesus Christ the Spirit of God entered into you. You were automatically placed into the family of God with true important privileges; number one, the capacity to come into the presence of God on behalf of yourself, on behalf of others, to begin to intercede, pray and receive blessing from heaven.
That's everyone's privilege. While you can use that privilege you can begin to grow and learn how to function in that area, or you can neglect it. If you neglect it the blessings God has intended will never be yours, because blessings have to be taken hold of. So what will you take hold of from God this year? The second thing He's privileged us to be is to be kings. A king is a person who has dominion. A king is a person who has a realm over which he rules. Now we are called to represent God to advance His kingdom, so every one of you has a region of influence starting with your own life. Start with your own life. If you can't rule your own life, you won't be able to rule much else - but every one of us, God calls us to advance His kingdom like a king. Putting it simply, that means to reach the people around you, to shift the cultures, shift the hearts of men and women, shift young people, shift them into the kingdom of God.
Everyone is called to that. EVERYONE is called to that. Everyone is called to that. You are called to have an influence in your generation. Now if God called you to do it He will provide all we need to do it. It's our responsibility to discover the heart of God and begin to learn how to take hold of it. I want to show you a verse, we're going to look now at a king everyone knows, King David. But I want you to look firstly in Acts 13, so we see when we get born again we're positioned to be kings and priests. It's a language we don't readily take hold of, but we're called to be winners, we're called to win in life. How about that? And we're called to touch and impact an influence to people around us, change them by the power of God. We're called to bring God from heaven into the earth, His life and power. Everyone is called to do that.
Okay, I want you to have a look with me in Acts 13, just two verses, very familiar ones but they give an insight. What we're going to do is we're going to look at the life of a man God chose to be king. Here's a man who actually shifted the whole generation he lived in. How could this - what was in this man that enabled him to arise and have such an impact, see? I'm called to be a king. He was called to be a king. He's got something in his life I can learn from. So I want to share with you two things just here at this point, then we're going to look into his story and pick up one area of his life. In verse 22 he says, look at this; he said when He had removed Saul He raised up David as a king, to whom He also gave testimony and said I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all of My will.
So you notice here's the first thing that God said: I found someone. [Laughs] That other one I had was no good! He said the one that was raised up didn't do what I needed him to do. He failed to realise that when I anointed him and raised him up and positioned him to be king, it was so I could get something done. What was in the heart of God was way beyond Saul's comprehension and so in the end, because Saul just wouldn't cooperate and do what God wanted to do, God had to remove him. Bit of a tragedy isn't it? If I won't fulfil what God called me to do God certainly will find someone to take my place, and the difference will be that person will say yes when I said no. I don't want to be like that. I have a fear of the Lord; oh God, I want to keep on that edge, keep growing. I never want for You to look and say he wasn't doing what I needed him to do, I'll find someone else. That's what happened with Saul.
And so the Bible says I have found a man after My own heart who will do all My will. Notice what He says: He's found him. He's been looking. God is looking for people. Why? Because His kingdom will never advance. People never get saved unless God has someone to represent Him. Are you such a man? Are you such a woman? Are you a person that will represent the Lord this year? Are you a person that will make a difference this year? That's what God wants to know. He's looking for them. He's looking for people like that. The Bible says the eyes of the Lord go to and fro through the earth that He might find someone whose heart is loyal to Him, that He might work powerfully on their behalf. It's not a position. It's not a title. Do you have a heart after God? Notice what God said: I've found a man that is after My heart, or in other words put it like this. He said I have found someone who is desperate to find what I'm like and what I love and what I want to do in the earth.
He's not a guy that's sort of sitting back and just saying a little prayer and get on with his life. Here's a man who actually wants to know what's on My heart to do in the day he lives. It's all very well to look back in the Bible at all these great men, but they lived in a generation and God touched their lives. God touched David. Notice what He says, the first thing about him, he pursued the heart of God. So he wasn't just a guy who had a good idea of being a king. He was a guy with a pursuit and passion for a relationship with God, a pursuit to know what God is like. I shared with you a verse tonight you know, these things I delight in. God delights in some things. Now you see there's things God delights in, there's things He actually loves and when you do the things He loves boy, He really starts to come and take notice of you. See? You know what He loves? He loves people who will pursue Him and be in love with Him; not just sing songs or clap, far more than that.
But actually their longing is to get to know Him and understand how He thinks and what He likes, what He dislikes and to find ways to please Him. He said I've found someone who's got a heart after Me and he will do what I want. Why? Because that's the pursuit of his life, discovering My heart. You know that it's on the heart of God to see people saved? It's on the heart of God to see people reached for Christ. Jesus come into the world to save him, so here's the first thing we see, the pursuit of God's heart. Here's the second thing and have a look here a little bit further down, one of the other verses just a bit further down, same chapter in verse - I've got these marked in my Bible, coloured in. Verse 36: For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep. So here's the second thing. Number one, he pursued the heart of God; number two, he was a history maker. He wasn't [unclear 00.08.34], he was not content to just live an ordinary life.
The overflow of his pursuit of God was that he changed a generation. He became a history maker in that he so impacted the day he lived that everything in the nation changed. The government changed, the finances changed, the social structure changed, the way people related to God changed. Everything changed. He was a man who literally wrote history. Now that's the kind of guy you want to take a look at and say he's got something God liked, because when Jesus came Jesus was called the Son of David. In other words Jesus was identified with King David and they kept calling Him the Son of David because David was the greatest king that Israel had ever known, and he had a heart after God and he was a history maker, determined to change the generation he lived in.
Well you may not change a whole generation but there's some people you can change. There's some difference you can make, so the question is will you be a person who pursues the heart of God? Will you be a person who desires to do what God wants done through you, where you are? It's not about whether you've got great opportunities or great positions or great things like that. Will you do what God wants you to do? And what we're going to do is we're going to have a look at David, this man who became such a great king and there are different seasons in David's life. Every one of the seasons that was in David's life was a season where God had things to teach him, because it's all very well for you to be positioned as a king, but you actually have to grow and learn how to be a king.
You actually have to learn to grow into the role. You have to learn what it is to stand up and how do I serve God and position myself that I can make a difference. David did not start out by making a difference. He started out with some other things and we're going to look and there are five different cities in the Bible which David was connected with. Each one of these cities represents a season in his life, a season, a distinct period in his life when he actually was learning and growing and he learnt certain things. What I want to do tonight is just take the first of those cities and I want to show you what it is that was happening in his life that nobody saw. We're going to have a look at it, go back into 1 Samuel 16. So each of the cities that David was associated with or each of the places - there's five places he was connected with and each one of them was a season in his life.
There were bad seasons, there were good seasons and there were different seasons, but there were some things were constant and I want to look at those tonight. So the first thing we're going to look in 1 Samuel 16 and we'll start it off just in verse one. Now the Lord said to Samuel how long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I've rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, go; I'm sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons. So the first season in David's life - and this event takes place when he's about 17, so we're talking now the period in his life from when he's a young person up to 17. Now what was it David did that made him so distinctive? Then there'll be another season in his life. We'll share that season in another time, but this is the season in the place called Bethlehem. We know of someone else who also was born in Bethlehem and had a season there. His name is Jesus Christ.
But David was living in Bethlehem and when we read the story we find out as we read through the verses in here that David was the youngest in his family. It was a family of seven or eight and he was the youngest in the family. He had the lowest social stature in the family, so Bethlehem was the place of obscurity, the place where no one sees you except God. Bethlehem is a place of obscurity, a place where no one sees you except God. It's a place where there are some things to learn, and if you learn the things in that place you position yourself for the next place or season in your life. Some people never learn the lessons that are found in this place called Bethlehem. So we're going to look not at many verses, just going to pick up a few aspects of his life and I want to talk to you about what he was like up to that age of 17. How many people are about 17 or 17 and under now? Great, you all qualify then aye? How many are over 17? Oh my goodness, whoa. Okay, it's still not too late. [Laughter] You may have to go back to being 17. [Laughter] You may have to go back to being young.
Okay, there are three things that he learned in that season. There are three things he learned in that season, now let's just pick up a couple of things or a couple of verses about it. Verse 11, now what happened was that Samuel now went to the little town of Bethlehem and he searched out the man called Jesse. He said Jesse, we're going to have a feast at your house. I want you to bring all your sons here, and he didn't tell him why. So he brought all his sons together, had a great big feast and he brought all the sons together and then he asked them all to pass by him. So he got each of the sons; he got Eliab, the first one. Boy, he was a good looking guy. He got him to go past him; the Lord said no, not that one. He said man, this has got to be the one. He's so good looking, looks good. This has got to be the one who's going to be the new king. The oldest in the family, good looking guy, that's the one - and God said this. In verse 7 he said this is not the one, He said because man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart.
He said I see not as man sees, I see the heart. The problem Eliab had was an issue of pride. He felt himself better than everyone else, and so they brought each of the sons in front of the prophet and the prophet's thinking man, this is the one. This is the one. No! This is the one. No! This is the one. No! Finally all seven had gone by and there's nothing. He says what a mystery. I wonder if I missed it? Then he said there wouldn't be another son in the family would there? They said oh yeah, don't worry about him, he's out there in the field looking after the sheep, no good in him. Don't worry about him. He said no, I want you to bring this young man to me, let's have a look. It says in verse 11, Samuel said to Jesse are all the young men here? And he said no, there remains the youngest and he's keeping the sheep. And Samuel said to him send and bring him, we will not sit down until he comes here. And they sent and brought him in. He was red head with bright eyes and good looking. That's alright isn't it aye? And the Lord said arise, anoint him; that's the one!
Now get this. His family considered him to be the least, the lowest and the youngest and everyone knows the youngest is either the pet of the family or the one they all pick on. Now in this case with David, David got the worst job in the whole family. The family was quite poor. The family only had a few sheep and we know that because in 1 Samuel 17 it says there are only a handful of sheep, there are only a few sheep. So because they weren't a wealthy family and they couldn't employ someone to look after the sheep, then they gave the job, the lowest job, the dirtiest job to young David. So this is some things we find about David. We found he was the youngest in the family, lowest in position, no one thought anything of him, no one thought he was important. They all walked over him, in fact when there was an important feast he wasn't even invited.
He wasn't even included in the spiritual things. There he was and what was he doing then? Well he had just a few sheep and looking after sheep was the lowest of jobs. It was a menial job. It was a very lonely job. You were just out there and you had a group of sheep you had to look after. So he would have to make sure the sheep didn't wander off; he'd have to lead them and look after them. That was his full time job, looking after a handful of sheep, full time employment. What do you do all day looking after a handful of sheep? What do you do when you've got a boring, menial job? What do you do in that kind of time, see? And see the thing is he had a tremendous - he developed some qualities. He developed three qualities in that time and you've got to realise that in that season when no one notices you and you're just doing the menial tasks that no one even cares about; in fact it's so dirty it's the cleaning the toilets, it's the washing up outside.
Think what he had to do. He had to get the sheep, he had to dag the sheep and they didn't have these fancy buzzers they have to shear them electronically. He had little clippers, so he'd have to get the sheep and had to clip off all the dags, had to clean them all up. He had to get all the bugs out of them. He actually had to lay his life down in looking after them. He actually proved himself faithful in small manners. While everyone else was doing the important jobs, he's got the least jobs and he is qualifying himself to be a king. He qualified himself in three ways. Here's the first way. Number one, he developed a devotion and a passion for the Lord. We know that - he says in Psalm 27:4, one thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
In the same psalm he says in Your presence is joy, fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures evermore. How can you write that stuff? You've got to have experienced it, see? So he begins to - so the first thing he did was he developed a heart to seek after God. So what did he do? Well he played a guitar or some kind of musical instrument, so day after day as he did this work, menial tasks, looking after the sheep, where no one is watching David is developing a heart to worship God, a heart to pursue God. People would say well we feel sorry for you in that job; he's saying no, I'm not sorry I've got that job because this is a great chance for me to pursue what's the delight of my heart, a relationship with God. So even though he had the menial task, he's developing a heart to worship God. He's learning how to worship, he's learning how to express his heart to God, he's learning how to express feelings to God. He's learning how to express his concerns.
Imagine being there, out there just night after night, day after day, you're all alone. There's no one to talk to except sheep. You understand? It's a place where no one sees what's going on in your life and in that place where no one sees what's going on in your life, there are some things happen. Number one, you can develop a heart to love God because no one really recognises you anyway. One of the things that'll be a secret for you becoming great is you learn to have a love of God and find your life in Him, not in the job you're doing. Some people, they look at the little jobs and say oh no man, I want something bigger and better than that. Listen, just celebrate the little jobs. Celebrate the little things. Give yourself to the little things and while you're doing it develop a heart to worship God and be grateful to Him. So David developed a heart that just loved the Lord, that worshipped Him, that enjoyed His presence and I can imagine over a period of time him gradually discovering the anointing of God coming on him as he learnt to worship.
He learnt what it was to experience God's presence. He learned how to play chords that would open his heart and open heaven and the presence of God would come upon him. He learned how to passionately express himself. The whole psalms are written out of what, the overflow of David's relationship with the Lord. They express feelings. They express what he was facing. They express his life. He didn't just write them when he was older; he actually developed a worshipping heart when he was a young person, and you can't have anyone do that for you. That's the one thing you can yourself is develop a heart that is passionate towards God and learns how to be alone and worship Him and encounter Him. When I started out in ministry I was just literally thrust into it. I had no training. I had less than any of you here have really in terms of teaching in the word of God.
The one thing I did have, I had a piano accordion [laughs] and I learned how to worship God. I learned how to just come and spend hours until I learned how to unlock my heart and spirit and just begin to worship the Lord, and begin to feel His presence. Sometimes Joy and I, we'd just have a fire going in Dannevirke, had no TV and I'd begin to play the music and the presence of God would come. You can learn in the place where no one sees what's going on, you can learn to bring the presence of God - and the Lord spoke to me and lead me out of teaching in a public school. We had hundreds of people and they had 25 kids to look after, a little flock [and I sang 00.21.15] well Lord, I want to do this, I want to do this. He said no, this is the place of training. This is the place where you learn. This is the place where I teach you. It's just with these young children; equivalent to working in the kid's church all the time.
What I learnt to do was learnt how to get before God and to bring His presence down from heaven around my life, until I could feel His presence and bring His presence wherever I went. Now you have to learn how to do that. You have to learn how to do this. People can teach you, but you've got to learn how to do that and value that if I've got God coming on my life it doesn't really matter if no one knows what I think or I'm doing or whatever's happening. And actually at that point I came to a place where Lord, if You want me to be here for the rest of my life with just this I'm really happy. Now that is a great place to be, where you're happy to be in love with the Lord and positioned where He wants you. You are preparing yourself for enlargement. So the first thing was a devotion to the Lord. You can learn that now.
You're in a church that teaches how to encounter and experience God; why don't you make it the passion of your heart to learn how to pray in such a way you begin to feel God's presence coming around your life? You become a carrier of the presence of God. We know that David was able to do that because shortly after he went from this place to the next place and he was with the king, he could play his instrument and the presence of God would come and demons would flee. So we know in that secret place where no one saw him he was developing his personal life with God. Now many of you, no one knows about you yet. You're not known. You're a king in hiding. You're one that God has said this is one of My kings, but you've got the responsibility in that place of obscurity to be developing a heart that worships God and loves God, and begins to discover what He likes you know? He says I'm the Lord who delights in loving kindness and justice and mercy, so God loves mercy.
He's not harsh on us, He loves mercy. So David if you look at his life was a man who knew the mercy of God, so even though he did outrageous things at times - you realise he not only committed adultery and murdered a man, he made a foolish mistake that cost 70,000 men their lives. And still he was a man who could sing of the mercy of God. See, you've got to learn how to connect with God yourself, personally. So number one, the first key in the place of obscurity is to develop a heart and a passion for God and to be happy with Him, content in Him, secure in Him. This is the first lesson. The second lesson we see that he learnt was the area of faithfulness you see. Notice here in 1 Samuel 17:28, and David goes down to the battle and Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men.
Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said why have you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart. You've come to see the battle. But actually David was faithful, and so the second thing he learnt was he learnt faithfulness in small things, in the menial task where he was unrecognised and despised. He just learned to be faithful. That's something that we can choose to learn. You know there's one thing you can be unlimited in and that is faithfulness, faithfulness in small tasks. Faithfulness in small tasks means when you give your word you keep it. When you do a job you do it well. When you have a commitment you fulfil your commitment. Now you see you can't just learn that from the Bible. You learn that by taking on a responsibility and this is one of the reasons that we call people unashamedly and challenge them to become connected and committed and involved in some area of the church life and ministry, because somewhere you have to learn what it means to be faithful.
You have to learn what it means, if there's a little task you do the little task. If you're given a little job you turn up on time, you turn up and do it; there's no excuses, you make sure it happens. This is what David learnt, he learnt to be faithful with the few that he had and God was preparing him. In Psalm 78 it says that God took him from the flocks and made him shepherd over a nation, and he led them with integrity of heart and with skilfulness of hands. In other words he developed while he was a young man, he developed integrity, giving his word and keeping his word. He developed skill; that means understanding, knowing what to do, so while no one was looking he was learning some things. The Lord spoke to me when I was working in a Christian school with only 25-plus kids; the Lord said to me this is where you're going to learn the things that will be a part of the ministry for all the rest of your life.
So how did David qualify himself to be a king? Well one of the ways he qualified was he passionately pursued the heart of God and God was so impressed, He said I like that boy. I'm going to do something great with his life. He knows Me, he knows what I like, he knows what I want and he's willing to do it. The second thing is he was faithful. There was a faithfulness in his life given a small task, so I wonder what you're like in your faithfulness? In Luke 16:10 it says this. It says a man who is faithful in small things will be faithful in great things. If you can't be faithful in the small things, you certainly can't be relied on in the big things. How many would love God to entrust to you something significant? Well we'd all like that. How many would like to be promoted? Oh, we'd all like that.
But listen, promotion comes when there's faithfulness at the current level. If you can't be faithful in one task then you're not faithful at all, so it's unlimited your possibility to be faithful. Now think about the small things you can do at home. Think about your responsibilities at home. God's watching all of that stuff. Think about the responsibilities you have in your life; there are bills to pay, pay the bills on time. You give a commitment, keep the commitment. If you can't keep it you still keep it, unless you negotiate your way out by arrangement. It's integrity. These are things that you can do. You've got a little job, you do it really well as though it's the most important job in the whole world. You've got to make a plate of scones for some outing, make the best ones you've ever made. Make them big, make them great, put plenty of butter, plenty of jam on them so people go whoa! Look at that! You see?
Now you think well making scones isn't important; oh yes it is. Every job - yeah, whipped cream and [unclear 00.27.44], yeah, that's right, we need more of that. [Laughter] Can you see what's coming on here? [Laughs] Listen, but it's faithfulness. It's understanding faithfulness. You know the Bible tells us everyone will [reclaim 00.27.54] how great they are, but a faithful person is really hard to find. It's really hard to find people who will give their word and keep it; who will actually take a small task and do it diligently. You know what happens? When you find a person who is functioning faithfully in a little task, you can't leave them there. You can't. They're too good for that little task and you've got to bring them up. And when they function faithfully in that task you can't leave them there, you've got to bring them up further. That's how real promotion takes place, and so we see that God said these words.
He said I have seen among the children of Jesse a son, a king. He saw a king. Now look at that. What did God see? Well we look around and we see there's just a young little red-faced boy, red-head boy with bright eyes and smiling, plays a guitar, sits out there in the country just wasting his time - and what kind of use is he? So when we have the party and call the prophet in they don't even consider to bring him in - but God said I have seen a king. What did He see? He saw a heart devoted to worship Him. He saw a man who was faithful see? So the place of obscurity, the place where no one sees you, no one knows you, you're not important, no one knows about you, just another face in the crowd; that's the place where you learn to develop a heart that seeks God and faithfulness in little matters. So you put your hand up, say count me in. I'll do this job and I will be there and I'll do it well. You are preparing yourself for big things.
The third thing that you develop in that place of obscurity is you develop courage in the face of conflict. You develop courage in the face of conflict. I want you to have a look and go with me and we'll just finish here, in 1 Samuel 17, here it is in verse 34. In verse 33 Saul said to David you're not able to go and fight the Philistine. You're a young boy and he's a man of war. And David said to Saul your servant - notice his language - your servant. See, he's been serving in secret; he calls himself a servant. Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock I went after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it rose against me I caught it by its beard and struck and killed it. And your servant killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God. And the Lord, the Lord, the Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine.
You've got to realise now that David faced conflict in the little job. Here he's got just a handful of sheep and one of the things that was common there was there were wild animals would come. One of the roles of the shepherd was not just to care for the sheep, look after the sheep, clean them up, keep them looking good, de-bug them, do all the dirty jobs. It wasn't just that. This is what he also had to do; if something come against it to kill it he had to do something. The Bible says of Jesus, He said I'm the good shepherd who lays His life down for the sheep, but a hireling runs away when he sees the wolf coming. Because he's just a hireling he's in it for what he can get out of it. He said but the good shepherd lays his life down. Now notice what David did. In the place where he was serving there was conflict, a lion and a bear. Now I'd only ever thought about it, ever been by the zoo and stood outside a lion's cage? See we read this and we think oh a lion and a bear, yeah, David licked them.
Listen, go one day and stand outside a zoo and go outside the lion's cage. Get as near as they'll allow you to get there and then we're going to look into that lion. I remember doing that and I began to walk up and down and I realised he was running up and down with me, so I kept doing it [laughter] and he would come back. Then I'd do this - then I looked and I thought there's only bars separating me from death. [Laughter] I could see the lion was looking at food. [Laughter] He was looking at a meal and I was looking at a lion. Now it says the lion came against the lamb and David rose up - now to hit the lion you've either got to throw a stone from a long way off, which is possibly what he did. But we know he got into personal hand to hand combat because he said when it rose against me I took him by the beard and I killed him. That's personal combat with a lion. Now that's no mean feat. How on earth did he get the courage to do that? I think it came out of his relationship with God and the anointing he tapped into.
Now listen, the call upon David's life was to wage war. Where did he learn to wage war? It wasn't all these years later. He was learning when he was 17. By the time he was 17 he'd physically got stuck into a lion and killed it. He'd physically laid into a bear and killed it. Now I don't think we've ever thought what a bear does and how close you've got to get to a bear. A bear's got mighty paws that can just sweep you away like that. It's not an easy task to kill a bear hand to hand. Think about it. Just think about it. So what would you and I feel? This is what we'd feel: I think I'll just explain to dad that we lost a couple of the sheep. [Laughter] Wouldn't you feel that way? Fear would grip you. I think dad - look dad, you've got to understand. It was a lion you know! I had to look after myself! But you see there was something developing in David that was greater. It was an opportunity for him to prove and develop courage in the face of fearsome conflict.
Now you may not have to face a lion or a bear. The Bible likens the devil to a lion, coming to roar against you and intimidate you, and I'm sure even at your young age you have lions and bears in your life. Lions try and intimidate you; bears try and crush you. Have you thought of circumstances, situations where you face intimidation, something frightens you, where you face being crushed by words that people spoke, by things people have done, the way people have treated you? Do you have courage growing in your heart to arise and defeat those things? He said the Lord delivered these things. The Lord delivered me out of the hand of the lion and the bear. In other words he had a deep trust in the Lord and he grew in ability to be able to face things and conquer them.
Now that's what God's wanting to teach us to do. Now for you perhaps the thing you've got to face is just a conflict with a person. Maybe you've got to put something right that was wrong. Maybe you've got to face something that was really difficult. This year you'll face some lions, you'll face some bears, you'll face things that will challenge you, frighten you; but will you have a testimony the Lord delivered me out of them? You'll never be significant in a public arena until first you've developed in private and see, in the place that was private David did these things. One, he developed a devotion to the Lord and an ability to draw the presence of God around his life; two, he developed faithfulness in small things. He became faithful in the little matters; and three, he developed courage in the face of conflict. These are things that kings do. You are already born a king. You were born again into a royal family; you're born to make a difference with your life - but are you developing a relationship with the Lord?
Are you developing faithfulness? Are you developing courage in the face of conflicts? Or do you quit when there's conflict, you give up the little jobs and your prayer life is just temporary? Listen, this is the time and the season - David served his generation. What does that mean? He was a man who rose up and he impacted the generation he lived by the life he lived. You're called to do the same. It'll be different for every one of us. For some they'll be kings in a business area, some it'll be in a school, some it'll be in the area of government, some it'll be in the area - different areas, educators, all kinds of different places we can learn to be a king. But every one of us is a king, a king in training. God already saw you and said there's a person I like. God already reached out and brought you into His family. You now have to do what David did and develop the qualities of a king within, so the Lord can move you to the next place.
For the majority here you're in the place of obscurity. That's the place to learn those lessons. Why don't you make a decision now, this year this is what I'm going to develop. I'm going to develop a relationship with the Lord. I'm going to develop faithfulness. Now you can't just do that on your own. You've got to have someone give you a job that you see through, and thirdly I'm going to develop courage. When issues come up I'll face them. I won't run away like I've run away before. I'm going to trust God to bring me through it. Come on, just let's close our eyes right now.
[File ends 00.36.58]
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David's Early Life (2 of 5) Mike Connell 10.02.2008 pm
Amen, praise the Lord. Okay, come on, let's open up and I want you to have a look with me first of all in Acts 13:22. We're looking at the Making of a King because every - people know. How many love the story of David? See, well what I'm going to do is I want to just go through it. We're going through the life of David, but we're not looking at all the great things he did. That's how people normally look at David; they look at all the great things he did. I want to look at the kind of man he was, because when you look at the great things people do you mentally position well they're the great person over there, and you don't always think really what you could do as a person yourself. So what I want to do is to look at the heart of David, so let's just pick it up first of all in Acts 13 and this is what God said of him. He said two things about him - well He actually said a bit more than that but I want to pick two things to mention to you.
In verse 22; I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all of My will. So you see the first thing that God says about him, this is what God says, it's what the Holy Ghost said about him, he was a man passionately concerned to discover what God is like. That's something you and I could make our pursuit as well, to discover what God is like, to discover His heart, not just what He does. Not just the miracles, the outward manifestations, but what is in the heart of God; what is it He loves? What is it He hates? What is it He desires? What does He delight in? You can discover those things and David made that his pursuit. Notice what it says here, it says he will do My will, so a man after the heart of God is a person who will overflow and begin to actually do in the earth what he sees God wants done. So He says in a later verse there, the second thing about him, He said for David - verse 36 - after he'd served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep.
So we see two things about David here; number one, a passionate desire to know God and to walk intimately in His presence. He was a heart man, and the second thing is he had a passion to make a difference in the generation in which he lived. Obviously he encountered God in a major way because he totally revolutionised worship, the nation, the army. Every aspect of the national life he changed it. What a man, what a tremendous man. The dilemma of course is that we look at people like that and we say oh, well I'd never be like that. But actually you can draw from the life, the man, what he's like and actually discover things you and I can apply into our own life, so we're going to look at that. Before you do I'm just going to throw out one more thing there in verse 34. God spoke to him and [said, concerning He said 00.02.41] I'll give you the sure mercies of David.
I'm not going to teach you about it tonight but let me just throw this out, that one of the things that God gave to David was a flow of mercy, so much so that David could quite confidently say that even my failures, God can turn them around and make them a great stepping stone to my success. When you look in David's life you find great failures in his life. He wasn't just a perfect boy; there were significant failures in his life, but he's endorsed as a man who walked in the mercies of God. He said in Psalm 23 the goodness and mercy of God's going to follow me everywhere I go. You understand, he tapped into something. He tapped into a life flow. Now what happens is we get a mental attitude, well if I just do what's right God's got to bless me. That's legalism. See God blesses people because He's good. Doing things that are right is your expression of knowing His goodness.
And so David so knew His goodness he could be confident, no matter where I go, what happens, no matter how much I goof up, I can be sure of this: I will continue and have goodness around my life, unexpected blessing and favour, and also if I blow it God's with me. He's going to get me up again. What a way to walk. What a way to walk, see? He made a mistake that cost 70,000 men their lives, but he still said the goodness and mercy of God's around my life. You need a lot of mercy when you've killed 70,000 people by mistake. Come on, imagine that weighing on your conscience. Bad leadership decision, 70,000 men die; how do you handle the pressure of guilt? Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. He knew how to tap into the heart flow of God, God is good, God is merciful. He tapped into it. Now let's go into the Old Testament and we're going to pick up now just where we were.
We saw that there are five cities mentioned in the life of David and those five cities all represent a season in his life. Last week we were looking at the first season, so we'll go over there and get back into the Bible. I want you to, on the way back to 1 Samuel, I want you to look with me in Psalm 75. The first city we saw him at was the city of Bethlehem or the town of Bethlehem, and we found that represents the season of obscurity, or literally the season where no one knows who you are. You're just another face in the crowd, so we saw last week we were looking in that. There was a season when David was a young boy growing up to the age of 17, no one knew him. He was so despised and so thought to be nothing that when a prophet came into their home dad wouldn't even invite him to the feast; nah, get out and do the sheep stuff.
Sheep herding was the lowest job you could have, and there's David day after day and in that place where no one saw him we found he developed some things. You're going to see it come up again today. We saw last week he developed faithfulness. He was faithful in the little matters. That's something you could develop when no one knows who you are. How many believe God's got a significant plan for your life? Well right now [no 00.06.00] the world doesn't know you. Now one day it may well do, but today when you're not known is the day to do what David did and develop faithfulness in the little matters of life. The second thing we saw was he developed a deep personal relationship with the Lord when no one saw him, and the third thing we saw was he developed his character, courage and integrity when no one was looking.
There was no one to see him and so looking at that in your own life, right now when the world doesn't yet know you, when no one may really know you or even see there's much good in you; when you may be young and there's nothing yet really come great of your life and you're struggling with all kinds of issues, nevertheless you can do what David did and develop an intimate relationship with the Lord while no one's looking. You can develop faithfulness; whatever little tasks you're given, you see that you do it. You give your word, you keep your word. You're given a little job, you do your little job well. This is where you're learning for the great things. And then finally you can learn to develop courage, because all of us as young people or whatever stage of our life have conflicts or issues to face, and that's where you learn courage.
You don't learn it when everyone's watching it. You learn when the crowd is watching you and you make a courageous stand and it costs you something, see? You can learn these things now. This is the time to learn them - no use seeking for greatness. Seek to know God and develop great character, and then God will make the other things begin to happen. So here it is in Psalm 75. Let me just show you something here in Psalm 75:6. So we saw the first season was Bethlehem, the place where no one sees you, where you learn devotion to God, develop faithfulness and grow in your character and courage and integrity. Here now we look at Gibeah. We're going to look at the second place which is the place of promotion. We'll get to it in a moment. Notice what it says here: Promotion doesn't come from the east or the west or the south. God is the Judge: He puts one down and He lifts another up.
So you notice here the Bible's telling us about promotion. Promotion means people get to know who you are. Promotion means you get to be popular. Promotion means you get to be out where people see you. How many would like to be promoted, get up there a bit? Your promotion means you get up ahead so in your work, you know you're working at one level, you start off at McDonalds, you start at the lowest job. Then promotion comes. People like promotion. Promotion means more pay usually; get in a job and you get promoted, that's a wonderful thing to get promoted, but the Bible's telling us here very clearly that God brings about promotion in your life. Now I have observed this in watching people that in the hearts of many people there's a struggle for recognition. They want to be noticed, want to get somewhere. What they do is in their own efforts they struggle and manipulate and try and manoeuvre so that they can get themselves into position where they've got influence or significance.
Listen, the Bible's very clear on that. God will promote you if you'll do the things you need to do, and you see if you're struggling for promotion then you'll be afraid of everyone else who looks better than you. But if you can actually put your life in the hands of the Lord and say Lord, when I'm ready then you'll change this season. I can move from this thing to something else but right now I'll stay where I am, being faithful, being devoted, developing integrity, developing character. And when it's right and the right time You'll lift me up. Now listen, this works everywhere in the world. You get into a job situation and you do your job well. You are faithful, you are diligent, you see to the details; that boss can't keep you in that role too long. You have to come up, so faithfulness. The Bible says every man talks about his own goodness, but a faithful man who can find? A person who'll just do the job and get it done, and make sure it's done and there's no hidden agendas in it.
If you do things with a hidden agenda, eventually your agenda will be exposed so you don't have to do - just I serve because I love the Lord. I just serve in the big things, serve in the little things. You're going to see this in David in just a moment. I just saw something this week that just amazed me and thrilled me about him. Okay, let's go into 2 Samuel 16. We're going to have a look at David's promotion. He's in a different place now. Remember each one of these cities represents a different [pay, 00.10.18] a different season in his life. So he's nought to 17, so now we're down here 2 Samuel - or 1 Samuel sorry, 1 Samuel 16:14. Let's read a few verses, then I want to pull out some principles out of here or some really good life lessons. Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him - so he's demonised. And that word distressing is literally to terrify, to suddenly come on and fill you with terror.
So what Saul had now, he was once a man who walked with God and was doing what God wanted partially. Eventually he lost his position altogether and an evil spirit come around him, then he would be terrified. Every now and then he'd be filled with panic - what we'd call it today, he had panic attacks. He had panic attacks, so he's got panic attacks and he's very distressed. And Saul's servants said surely a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Now let our master command your servants who are to seek out a man - now look at this. There's a need arises. Now this is an amazing thing see, God wanted to train David to become a king so he trained him in character, he trained him in relationship, he trained him in courage. Now he needed to train him in how you be a leader, how you actually rule. So what does He have to do? He's got to get him where he can actually be trained.
So what does He do? He allows there to be a need develop and there's this tremendous need. The king is having panic attacks. They said can we find anyone who can help fix this job up? Is there anyone else here knows what to do? So suppose you've got a kid in your class and they're demonised; is there anyone around knows what to do? I was talking with a young guy from City Harvest Church in Singapore and he's in the army. They all do military training for two years, and what happened was they were in their hut with - he's got his platoon or squad or whatever it was, about a dozen guys under him or 20 guys under him. Then one of them began to massively manifest a demon. Now all these soldiers in training just panicked, didn't have a clue what to do, and this guy knew exactly what to do. He knew exactly how to confront and deal with the spirit, and that day they saw him - the guys actually saw him confront the spirit. It left the man and he came right. Immediately his standing in the sight of everyone lifted to a whole new level.
You see the meeting the need, the capacity to meet a need positions you to be promoted. If you have developed no skills to meet needs how can anyone promote you? You have to develop something. You have to have some things in your life that will help people where they're in need and that will create opportunities for you to go forward in life, because all of life promotion involves people and how you relate to them and what you can do for them. If you want to really get ahead somewhere don't just develop your life with God; develop a deep capacity and passion to help people. You will find yourself - opportunities emerge. In a couple of weeks there's a lady going to be speaking at the Miracle Centre. Her name is Patricia Green. I remember when Patricia Green was here years ago and she was looking after a home for wayward girls. I think you were one of them were you? [Yes.] There you go. She was looking after Janice, and after she looked after Janice we looked after Janice see. [Laughter]
So then she felt that season was over of looking after girls in difficulty, not realising of course that God was preparing her for the next thing. She went to and got a heart for Cambodia, went in there and began to work with the kids who were sold into prostitution on the streets. So what they would do, they'd be offered and promised things in the villages that they could come into the city. They get a job alright, but they're working as a prostitute and this is going on in a massive scale over there. She set up a ministry called Rahab Ministries to reach out to people who are trapped in prostitution and to provide a skilled training, because remember without the skill there's a limitation what they can do. So they had to develop, so she set up Rahab Ministries which was to outreach to these girls and then provide skill training so they could earn an income. Otherwise they couldn't get out of the cycle that they were in. See, they were limited because of no abilities or no skills.
Now she did that for some years and what has happened since then is she's been able to raise up someone and hand over the ministry. Now she's working next to, as an advisor to the United Nations. So how does a little Kiwi girl get to be an advisor to the United Nations? Well it just started off helping girls who were in need, and following that through step by step and gradually it grew and grew, and step by step the Lord raised her up until now she's an advisor to the United Nations in the issue of child prostitution and trafficking of people. Now how about that? Do you understand that God can make ways for people to go forward? You don't have to worry about that. You've got to worry about what's going on in your life with what you have now see, isn't that true? So notice here than an opportunity comes, so it says let's go find someone who knows how to play a harp, so they thought the music might help. Saul said to his servants provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.
One of the servants answered and said look, I've seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skilful in playing, a might man of valour, a man of war, prudent in speech and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him. Now notice here that needs are opportunities to advance. Notice this, let other people promote you. Don't promote yourself. Let other people promote you, so one of the interesting things that talks about leadership is that what kind of report do people have? What are people saying about you? Well what are people saying about you? They'll be saying the kinds of things you'll like and what you do and the dealings you have with them, and eventually it comes to a point where you have a whole flow of people know you and they know what you're like. And you never know when someone - there's a need somewhere and they'll speak up on your behalf and say oh, I know so-and-so, they'd be just right for that. This is what happened. David never had to advance himself.
One day a messenger came and he said listen, we want to you to come to the king's palace, come to the place of Gibeah, there's a new season in your life. There's a season now of promotion and preparation for the next thing God has. Now I want you to see what they saw in his life because this is the thing, because most of the time when we look at the story of David we think about slings and Goliaths and lions and bears and battles. What we don't think about is what really was going on in his life, and that is what got him into those places. We've got our own battles and Goliaths and things to fight; we need the similar heart and spirit of this man. Okay then, so notice here what they said. These are the things they identify. What did they notice that lead to him being promoted? Here's the first thing, they said he's skilful in music. In other words he had a musical skill. He had an ability. He had a skill he'd developed. Have you got any skills you've developed that someone could want to pay for those skills? Well think about it.
See, if you have no skill you're an unskilled labourer. If you have a skill now you can do something others can't do. Develop skills. We'll be sharing about that this morning. So they noticed he had a skill. He had an unusual ability developed from a lot of time just alone playing an instrument. I was listening tonight at our instruments and boy, the skill that some of them have - but there was a time when no one saw them and they were doing the practice and going to a tutor, getting lessons and paying for that and learning the [chords - aah! 00.17.57] And someone else had to endure all the bad music and no longer music, but now it is good music aye? The second thing you notice here is it said he's skilful in playing, a mighty man of valour. They saw he had a reputation for courage. A person with courage or a mighty man of valour is a person who when challenges come up can face them head on and not be afraid and back off. Have you developed skill in your life that people know about?
Have you developed courage in your life that people have heard about? Wow, they just stood up, people running down their friends and they just stood up and stood up for their friends, whoa, that's something! When the whole class was laughing about Christian things they stood up unashamed - whoa! Crowd all went to the party and were drinking and they left because they won't get involved in that - whoa, courage! People going out sleeping with one another, they said no, I'm keeping myself. Everyone laughed - courage. You get known - and not everyone likes it of course, not initially, but they do respect it. Have you developed courage in your life? Courage means there's issues and you face them front on and don't run away from them. That's what he was known for. Someone else knew about it and someone in the right place knew about him.
Here's another one. It says he's a mighty man of war. Well he never held a spear or sword yet, but what they knew about him was he had a reputation because he had a fighting spirit in him. Now how did it be that a boy that the family thought so low of that they didn't even invite him to the feast, that other people know about what's going on? You see, he'd established a reputation. People got to know about him. When you've got something going on and God in your life people get to know about it, and so he developed musical skill, he developed in his life courage, he developed a fighting spirit. Notice it said he was a handsome person - sorry, prudent in speech, so they noticed how he spoke. He spoke wisely, didn't mouth off, didn't run people down, didn't criticise people, didn't bad-mouth people. He didn't complain. He wasn't a negative person. When he spoke there's something different about this person, he's got really good living words. Death and life are in the power of the tongue; when David spoke there was life in the words.
See notice all of these things, you could do all of these things. See we tend to look and we say oh that's David. I'm here and I'm just this. Now listen, you can develop these qualities. Then it says the next quality it said about him was he was a handsome man. Well you may not be able to do much about that [laughter]. Some of you are praying for one. Don't pray for a handsome man, that speaks of his appearance. He presented himself well. Now I've noticed an interesting thing. Some people are born with good looks, some people aren't born with such good looks, but what I notice about people is the ones who carry a life within them of God and they're pure inside always look stunning. There is something about a girl who loves the Lord and has kept herself that makes her beautiful and extremely attractive, especially if she's got the other qualities as well, developed some skill, developed some courage, can stand up for herself and be assertive and actually has kept herself well. She is really some woman. Isn't that right?
Come on now, inner beauty shows on the outside of people, so you know people think oh well the Lord looks on the heart. Yes, He does, but people look at the outside and they judge you up by how you present yourself so you need to present yourself well. David presented himself well. When he was with people he not only spoke well, there was a good impression created by the way he presented himself. That's why what you dress in, how you dress says a statement about you. If you wear low-cut stuff it says a statement, come on. Well it does. Is that the message - I'm mean I've seen some girls with some t-shirts and I've actually stopped in an altar call many times and said look what the t-shirt says. Is that the message you want people to know about you? I said you're better than that. Who got you to put that t-shirt on? That's not you, you're better than that. You understand?
So when you've got statements on you that are an encouragement for immorality, that's not a good thing - but it indicates how the person sees themself and so they present themself the way they see themselves. David was loved of God and he presented himself well because he was secure inside. What about the way you present yourself? Sharp - don't have to have the latest things, but you can present yourself really sharply. If you're going to go to the palace of a king you need to be able to present yourself well. Often what happens is people look at Christians and they look so drab and dull in how they present themself, oh my goodness, whoa, keep away from me! See, whereas really in fact actually we need to enhance everything God has given to us. It's a part of who we are and your face gives your identity to the world, so make it look good. Smile, smile a lot more. Okay, we've all gone quiet on this one, goodness me.
And notice here the last one of course. It says the Lord is with him. The Lord is with him, so they were - now isn't that amazing? It was known that God was with him, God [blessed - 00.23.21] how did they know God was with him? Well the reputation must have got out that the spirit of God was on his life. God is with this guy. How do they know God was [there? 00.23.28] Because somehow things seemed to go well for this guy. Did you hear the story about there was this lion and he nailed the lion? Man oh man, how do you nail a lion face to face and grab a hold of his beard and it's dribbling and drooling; it's mouth's open, it's ready to devour you and you just kill it! Boy, I don't know. I've been in front of a lion's cage and I was glad there were bars there. I didn't fancy getting the other side of that, but you see he had an anointing on his life for that particular work and he proved it. He actually learned how to work with the Holy Ghost as a young man.
Now get this. He's still 17 and he's got that reputation - how about that! So you see what's happened in the life of David is out of this relationship with God and his response to God, he developed a heart that [hungered one thing 00.24.17] [unclear 00.24.18] His heart was for God and he developed serving, he developed skill in music, he developed his character, he developed his courage. He developed his ability to fight, he developed his ability to make a stand, he presented himself well, he spoke well and people heard about him. Someone said what you need is David. Bring David in. Notice he didn't have to [promote 00.24.39] himself, someone else said that's the guy you need. Today you're preparing for tomorrow's promotion - or you're not preparing for it see, so I love what Amy was saying. She's off to train to be a teacher; well I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this and I'll be a teacher, see?
In other words she's doing the preparation and one day she'll be a teacher see. Well because she's got a clear goal, clear steps to get there and she's working on some things - what about you? What are you working on? What are you working on see? So now what happens is it says - verse 19 - therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said send me your son David who is with the sheep - see, even knew he was a shepherd. And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul and stood before him, and he loved him greatly and became his armorbearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse saying let David stand before me, he's found favour in my sight. And so it was, whenever the spirit of God was upon Saul - in other words when he had a panic attack - David would take the harp and he'd play with his hand. And Saul would become refreshed, or he'd be released from that demon. Why? Because David had learned how to play in such a way that the anointing of God was released. Oh don't you love that?
If you could speak in such a way that God's presence comes with you. You could play an instrument so God's presence comes with you, or whatever you do God's presence comes with you into it. You see what he had around his life? See, that's what you desire. That comes out of a life devoted to the Lord. You could build these things around your own life, it wouldn't be too hard. Okay then, so now what happens is he's now promoted. Now I want you to get the picture, here's a guy who's in the back side of the desert virtually, alone with sheep. Now he's in the palace of a king. Now he's standing alongside the king, he's in the place where decisions are made, where governmental decisions affecting a nation are being made and he's right there alongside watching every bit, and he's in training for his day. He's in the wings waiting for his moment to emerge. Do you think he's worried about that? Not at all, he's just worried about being faithful.
I want to show you just a couple of things about him because when you get promoted, when you get lifted up, when recognition comes in your life finally, that becomes a bigger test of your character than when you were alone and no one knew you, because when people are successful they tend not to look at the Lord; they tend instead to now enjoy their newfound status, their new privileges. You imagine, he ate at the king's table, he was in the king's palace, he was there when everything was happening. He had a nice room, nice surroundings, had everything going for him, and now he's in a new place - but you know something? He still maintained the same heart he had when he was a shepherd. And see so when you get promoted that will test your attitude. Have you ever noticed some people, you ever had an experience where someone came into a bit of money then they never talked to you? Or they got promoted and now they don't want to know you? See, because their newfound position has caused them to become elevated with pride.
So sometimes success and particularly success in ministry or success in any area of life can cause you to become confident in your own ability and lose what got you there in the first place. Never lose the source - so you notice, now I want to show you just something very simple in here. I'll pick out a couple of things then we'll finish. In verse 15, now notice this. David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. Now here, get this. He never got an attitude, cocky attitude to his brothers; ha ha ha, look at me, okay guys! You didn't think much of me before but now I'm in the king's palace. Now you listen to me, I've got some things to say. If you don't listen I'm going to tell the king, you're in trouble. He didn't get lifted up. The Bible says this: occasionally whenever he had the opportunity he would leave the palace and he'd go back to the sheepfold and serve his father. Now that tells you his heart.
You see most people will never go back to what they did before. They're beyond it, see. You've got to learn to [stay - 00.28.53] see the thing to see in this is when he was in the king's palace he was a servant to the king. When he was in his father's home he was a servant to his father. The real issue was no matter where he was he was always a servant. He never drew his identity from where his position, where he was. He never thought while he was in this lowly role I'm in a lowly role, I'm not much, there's not much for me. I'm just a [unclear 00.29.17]. He wasn't like that and when he was over here he wasn't like that; whoa, look at me now, I'm next to the king! He wasn't like that there. He just said I'm actually the servant of the Lord. Now Jesus was the same. He could be with the crowds and have thousands of people and do miracles, and then He could go alone and wash the disciple's feet, the lowest job.
He could flick between being in a position of prominence, popularity and favour, and then straight away go into insignificance and doing the lowest job. Why is that? Because His identity was never attached to the job and the status. It was always attached I'm the servant of the Lord. Wherever I go I'm a servant. Now I love it. That is a quality that will get you far with God. That was the heart - that's something that's in the heart of David. Wherever he went he's the servant of the Lord. Wherever you go you're the servant of the Lord, see? That's why it's no problem for me. I've learnt some of the things over years. I can remember when we set up a Christian school down in Dannevirke and because I was pastoring the church there, principal of the school, everything's all going pumping, it's all going well, and God wanted to teach me this lesson out of 1 Samuel here.
So one day all the kids are in school and someone reports to me. He said the toilet's broken. Now we only had one small facility there for the toilet, only had one sit on toilet and it's not working. Now that means you're going to have to close the school, unless you can get a plumber. So I rang every plumber in town, no one could get there. So I stood there looking at this toilet [laughter] and the Lord said to me you know what you have to do. [Oh! Laughter] And what had happened was someone had dropped a toilet roll down it which blocked it, then the next person filled it. [Laughter] Yeah, it wasn't too nice - and He just said to me well are you the servant of the Lord or not? If you are then forget you're a principal and forget you're a pastor, just do what needs to be done - so I took off my jacket and rolled up my sleeves. [Laughter]
I don't think I could touch that arm for a month afterwards. [Laughter] We didn't have those fancy gloves that you have now, had nothing like that. I just had to [shove my whole - thank 00.31.45] You Jesus, it's a privilege to serve You Lord, and I did it. Now you see the thing is you'll always face challenges like that, little tests to see whether you really are a servant or whether you're a bit big for your boots. Never get too big for your boots or one day you'll lose them see? [Laughs] Okay, we'll kind of just draw it into a close now. So think about that. I'll just show you what happens in the season of promotion. We won't touch it much, just let me just give you a couple of verses. He got promoted, he got opportunity of course to slay a giant and then in 1 Samuel 18:1 he had a huge favour with the king's son. He got favour with the whole nation. Look in verse 14, David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him; and verse 16, all Israel and Judah loved him; verse 20, now Michael, Saul's daughter, loved David.
Now notice this. David is in a place of huge promotion. He's become a national hero; the king's son loves him, the king's daughter loves him and is about to become his wife. The whole nation loves him. They sing songs about him. He is number one on the popularity chart, and popularity and fame test a person's character. When the crowds came around Jesus the Bible records He just got up early and went alone into prayer with the Father and was able to stand up and say we're not staying here where the crowds are, we're going to another city. You understand there's something in the heart has to be developed to be the servant of God and not worried about the popularity. If you're popular today, the same crowd you're popular today tomorrow they'll hate you. You have a look at Britney Spears and what's happening with her. Her wheels are totally coming off. A little while ago she was fame plus; now you just feel sad for her see, because when the crowd starts to turn the emotions if people have built their life around what others are saying about them, they just go to pieces.
You watch and have a look - just reading Lindsay Lohan, great star and here she is, she's in alcohol rehabilitation. One after the other; Kirsten Dunst, alcohol rehabilitation, one after the other, all of these stars and you find the same kind of stuff going on. They're in a place of fame and they draw their identity out of what people are saying, and when people start to turn against them then they go down. You've got to have your roots firmly in God, and so in this season let's just summarise the lessons you've learned, because David's about to get another lesson. He's about to go from being public hero number one to public villain number one and there's an APB out, kill him on sight. Shoot on sight. That's how people can be with you. Today they celebrated Jesus coming to the city; the next day they yelled crucify Him!
You've got to actually have something inside yourself that the popularity, what people are saying, what people are doing - now young people, this is a huge area for you to grow because as a teenager transitioning out of being dependent on parents to actually becoming a young adult, what the crowd says about you is important to you. But don't make it too important. Make a crowd around you that will actually reinforce your walk with God. Get the right kind of group around you. Connect in with friends that are moving forward with God, because if you hang out with the other ones they'll pressure you to go somewhere else. So we just need to not say there's no such thing as peer pressure. What you do is you create peers around you who actually will pull you in the right direction, so when you're down you've got friends who are going to lift you up and get you going forward.
Okay, we'll just summarise the lessons here that you can learn. Promotion comes from the Lord in His right timing. Develop faithfulness, integrity and courage when no one's looking. Deepen your friendship with the Lord, He's the one who'll promote you. He can get you an opportunity see? If the job is your source then when the job goes you're in trouble. If God is your source when the job goes, I wonder what's next Lord? Hold fast to your integrity and faithfulness when people do stuff to recognise you. Don't get too filled with self-importance, and then you have to realise that when your identity is secure in the Lord you'll be stable no matter what people are saying about you. The time that you start to rise up and start to gather fame and start to become recognised is also the time when against you will start to arise people who are jealous of you.
If you'll have a look here I'll just finish with this last thing. That season of promotion lasted in David's life 17 to 23. It's about - how many years is that? How many years? Six years. He had six years where he was in unusual favour in the nation, then it all turned against him. You notice here, we'll just pick it up and you'll see it here. It says in verse 5, David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he behaved wisely. And Saul set him over all the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all people. Now look at this, verse 12; Saul was afraid of David because the Lord is with him and had departed from [Saul, 00.36.42] and Saul demoted him from his presence, made him captain over 1000, but he still behaved wisely. He got a terrible public humiliation right at the end of the season when he was doing his best. Promotion and popularity doesn't last for very long. You know it's called 15 minutes of fame, so don't live for 15 minutes of fame. Live to please God.
Live to walk with Him and discover His heart, and to find a way that you can please Him. Develop the skills in your life and if people promote you, thank God for the privilege but stay a servant in the middle of it. If people rise in envy don't be worried about it. Your promotion is always from the Lord. He was there at the top of the army, and he's demoted down to 1000. We next see him at the next place, we'll find he's in the period of total rejection and abandonment, where now there are new lessons he's got to learn in his life. You're in a season if you're under 17 or 17 and under, you're in the same season as David, learning the lessons of devotion to the Lord, how to build intimacy with the Lord, how to be faithful, how to develop skills, how to speak right and present yourself right. If you've come out into the place of recognition, now there's new kinds of tests.
Will you still remain a servant, or will you position I'm too important to do the little jobs now? I don't do that, someone else does that. Listen, you're never too big to do the little jobs. Keep that heart of a servant, and if you're promoted to great places you're still a servant. If you lose it all then it doesn't matter because you're still a servant. Your life isn't in what the circumstances say; your life is found in you. Lord, my life is in You. My strength is in You. My hope is in You.
[File ends 00.38.32]
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The Making of a King (3 of 5) Mike Connell 24.02.2008 pm
Okay, let's open our Bibles in Acts 13. This morning I began a series called Unashamed. Going to be following that through on Sunday mornings for a little bit, but I'd love you just to believe that God will help you and open your eyes to see where shame has locked around you and actually restricted or limited your capacity to express who you are, and to give forth the life of Christ. I'm going to show you some keys on it over a few days, but at night time now we're doing a series on The Making of a King. I've just been enjoying that so much because right here the Bible calls us when we come to Christ priests and kings. In other words when you come to Jesus Christ your identity radically changes, and what happens is most of us don't actually come up with the new person we are. We're still living out of the old that we used to be, and we need to come up - God calls us a number of things. He calls us a priest.
That means a person who is called, it's your purpose to come near to God to minister to Him, to access Him, to listen to Him, receive from Him and have something to give. You're also called to be a king. A king is a person who extends dominion, who rules over something. So every one of us has a realm or an area where God calls us to bring His influence to extend His kingdom, so there are places you go and you walk and you meet people and interact I will never go. You are called to advance the work of God in that place. The trouble is so many Christians have been happy and content to come to meetings and consider that that's fulfilling their call of God. No, that isn't fulfilling your call of God. That's positioning yourself to be inspired, be encouraged, but then you fulfil your call when you go out those doors there, and we need to be connected to that call of God.
So what we're doing is we're looking at the life of King David and we saw in King David's life several things. But let's go and pick these verses up because they're very, very good ones, in Acts 13:22. I have found David, the son of Jess, a man after My own heart, who will do all of My will, verse 22. Now pick it up in verse 36; for David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep - or he died in other words. So we discover in this two things about David that God says about him. See, now it's alright to have people say stuff about you. It's another thing when God's saying things about you. You need to value what God is saying about you, see? And what heaven is saying about you. So the first thing tonight is you know, if you've never received Jesus Christ, never given your life to Jesus Christ, what God is saying is you don't belong in His family.
But when you respond to Jesus Christ, when you receive Jesus Christ, begin to trust Him and commit your life to Him, when you recognise I've lived a life apart from God and you begin to connect with Him, God writes your name in His book and He says some different things about you. He says this is My son, this is My daughter, I love them. So we can divide the world up into two groups of people: those who are in God's family and those who potentially are in God's family, and the way that changes is that the people who are in God's family make Him known. So we saw two things here. Now let me just touch on these. Each week we've just reinforced them. The first thing is David was a man after the heart of God. Now we often read this statement and don't have an idea what it means. What it means is this. It means David passionately desired to know what God is like. Now you can have your own ideas of God and they will limit how you can walk with God.
But David made it a personal pursuit to actually discover what God was like. Now what happened was in the season, in his first season in his life when no one saw him, he learned how to worship God and access the presence of God and listen to the voice of God, and he discovered things that God liked. In fact - and often we don't realise this, but in the day - because we've got all the Bible there you see, but when he was living only a part of it had been written. We can look back and we know so much now; he didn't know that much. But what he did was he's so connected with the heart of God, he looked at all of the religious order, the way things were done, the way God had set it up and he was able to - and how Moses had set it up. Moses, the mighty man of God who delivered Israel; Moses, the great giant in Israel's history. He had set up all these ways of worshipping God according to how God had directed him, and you know what David found? He found actually that's not really what God is after.
Now you've got to be pretty bold if you can look at what's existing and be able to say actually that's not really what God is after, there's something else He's after. It's temporary, but there's actually something different that He's got in mind. Now that, how did he find that out? Well he found the heart of God. He found what God desires. He found what God delights in, and he was able to write it down in the psalms. If you search the word of God you'll find out things God really delights in and desires. Now when you begin to discover what He desires and delights, you begin to live a life radically different to everyone around you see? Most people thought God was happy if they turned up three times a year to the celebrations and went to church every week. He said that's not the picture. God is actually after something. He's after passionate worshippers who will love Him and advance His kingdom.
He discovered what God likes and dislikes. Have you discovered that? Have you actually taken time to find out what God really switches on about? See when you do you begin to be a person after the heart of God, and you can't get it all off a platform. You've got to actually discover it through time in the word of God and time in prayer and worshipping Him and waiting on Him, and then He begins to share things with you. The Lord shared some things with me and it's like it just oh! Wow, stunning! See, this is what David was like. He was a man who spent a lot of time pursuing God when no one was looking, and he did that up to the time he was 17. So when David was 17 he was encountering God and discovering things about God that no one else knew in his day. How about that? And that wasn't just where his life started. He actually continued all his life pursuing what God is like, and then he totally reformed everything religious in the nation.
I believe we're in a season and an hour when there's a massive reformation taking place in the way people who are connected to God think about God, think about church, think about what they're called to do. Or you're a part of a group of people that just carries on, I'm happy to just do my little bit and go on. I want to be at the cutting edge of what God is doing in the hour today, because David lived back there. The Bible says David was a man after the heart of God; not only after His heart but would be willing to do what God wanted him to do in his day, and so it says the first thing was he had after God. The second thing is he served his generation by the will of God. Now he didn't serve his generation by continuing what they did in Moses' day; he served his generation by discovering what God wanted him to do in the day he lived, and then he passionately pursued doing that.
And that has not changed. We're in the 21st Century, God is still looking for people who will have a heart to know Him. You say I don't know, it all seems so hard. No, it isn't hard. You're in a church where there are many, many gifted people can help you connect with God and begin to grow in your relationship with God, but ultimately it's got to be your desire. You have to want to. He's wanting you to. He's got things to share with you see, and then out of that flows the fulfilment of destiny. He served his generation by the will of God. Destiny means I discover what God has called me personally to do; what is my assignment in life? What should I be doing with my life? What has God called me to do? Now if you can't answer that you're in trouble, you're drifting, and David discovered what God wanted him to do in his day. God had many things for him to do. He totally reformed the whole way worship was done. Even to this day there are a lot of people get upset about shouting, laughing, jumping, leaping, crying, weeping, expressiveness in the church.
But David saw that hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years before anyone else did. How did he get it? He touched the heart of God and found what God really likes. God likes extravagant worship. He likes expressive, passionate people. He loves that. If He loves that I want to be that kind of person, and so he discovered in his day what he should do. In his day he was called to be a reformer. Now you may not reform the world but there's certainly some part of this community God wants you to make a difference with your life. So we're then looking now into what David was like and we saw there were some seasons in his life that each of the cities that he dwelt in was a season in his life, so the first one we looked at was - anyone remember it? Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a season where he was unknown. Bethlehem - he lived in Bethlehem from nought to about 17.
He was born there, grew up there to about the age of 17 and the place of Bethlehem, it's always the season in our life where no one is looking what's going on. And in that season you are developing your relationship with God and learning to serve and be faithful in small things with no one looking. Now a lot of people need someone to you know, get your room done, aah aah, you've got to stand over them, try to get them to do that. Listen, that's not the deal. David learnt what to do. He learnt how to fulfil small tasks faithfully, and so we saw some things and then the second place we saw was the season of promotion. Let's go back into the Old Testament again, 1 Samuel 16, and it was his time of promotion. So they were looking - God was - it was his point where God was wanting [to promote him. 00.10.37] We learnt that promotion comes from the Lord, and how did he get promoted? He didn't say listen what I can do; someone else said look God, this is what I notice about this young guy.
Do you remember what we saw that he could do? And these were the giftings, these were the things we found in 1 Samuel 16:18. He was skilful in playing, he developed musical skill. What are you doing to develop your skills? Have you got anything to offer? If you have potentially an ability in an area and don't develop it and remain unskilled, what you can contribute there diminishes. You are called by God to become excellent in whatever skill or ability or thing He's put in your heart as a gifting. Develop it. It's your responsibility to develop. They called him out and they said man, he's really excellent in playing an instrument. He's a mighty man of valour. He's got courage. He's developed his character. He's not afraid to stand up and speak out. Notice it said there he was a man of war. He had a fighting spirit. If something rises up you can guarantee he'll stand up and challenge it.
How did they know that? They'd heard of what he'd done; a bear came, he took on the bear. A lion came, he took on the lion in hand to hand combat. We see these characteristics developed where no one saw but God, so what giants are you facing in your life where no one is looking but God? Perhaps it's a giant of lust. Perhaps it's a giant of fear. Perhaps it's a giant of shame. It may be a giant of rejection. Whatever it is, then challenge that giant and do what David said; when the bear tried to get me I took a hold of him and I slew him, and the Lord helped me. You'll never solve issues or problems in life if you aren't willing to face them and stand up to them. And then it says he was prudent in speaking. He was very careful in how he spoke. He'd developed wisdom, words that actually created impressions and touched people's lives. He spoke wisely, he acted wisely, and it said there he looked good. He presented himself well, and then it said the Lord is with him.
They were aware that he carried the presence of God in his life. Now isn't that amazing if others could say that about you? See, if your face comes up an impression of what you're like will come up, and he established credibility by the time he was 17. How about that? So what have you established about your name and your reputation by this stage in your life? If people were to use your name what would they say? Oh, he's a joker. Whoa, that'll take you a long way. Oh wow man, he's the life and soul of the party, can drink everyone under the table. That'll take you a long way too - but not on the right path. So what are you establishing in your life that you want to be known for so when your name is mentioned people say oh, I know that one? Yeah, boy he's courageous. You want to hear how he speaks. See, the Bible says a good name is more to be desired than silver or gold; more desirable to have a reputation that's good and honourable than anything else.
So then came the season of promotion and he was promoted. He came into a place of immense favour and of course that place of immense favour was also a place where everyone's eyes were on him, and we saw that he got promoted. He slew Goliath. Suddenly he's got national prominence. He suddenly emerges to fame. He has overnight success - 17 years and he becomes an overnight success. Now the thing is this, that whether - if you are impacted by the praises of people you will also be impacted by their criticisms. When people are speaking well of you it's a real test on your character as to whether you'll give honour to the Lord for how you got where you got. We need to be able to actually acknowledge what we've done, but give the Lord the credit. He enabled me - notice what David said. The Lord who helped me slay the lion and the bear will also help me slay this giant.
See that he's constantly aware that God is helping him. He's able to give honour to the Lord. Now I wonder how much you're able to honour the Lord for the things you've accomplished in your life? See having a heart that's grateful will help you in that area. Now I want to move on to the next season because seasons in life shift. People are fickle and they change, but even in spite of the fact people change, God always is so consistent. Now look in 1 Samuel 19. Let's have a look - verse 8. There was a war again; David went out and fought the Philistines, and struck them a mighty blow, and they fled from him. So notice he's still on a winning streak. He's just gone out and won a battle. Now he comes into what we call the cave of Adullam. We'll see that in a moment. The cave of Adullam is the season where you are misunderstood and rejected and treated unfairly. Misunderstandings, rejection, injustice; everyone who's going to become a king, a man or woman of God, will have times when you are in the cave of Adullam.
Notice what straight away happened. He'd just gone out and done something good and now the distressing spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house. David was ministering with his music and then Saul tried to kill him. Verse 11, Saul sent messengers to David's house to watch him and said kill him. Kill him, and Michal, David's wife told him saying if you don't save your life tonight tomorrow you'll be killed, so he had to get out and to flee. So you notice now he's gone from being the hero of the nation to experiencing some demotion, and now they just plum outright want to kill him. He's rejected, he's misunderstood and he faces tremendous injustices, not once but many times. Now I want you to see how he handles it because the message of misunderstanding is you don't understand me! I've heard lots of people say that. Young people say it; you just don't understand. No, you're not making yourself clear. [Laughter] Misunderstanding is a part of life and you have to be able to handle it and not need to have people understand you.
We all want someone to understand us - but you don't understand! You need to understand! What I'm saying is you need to understand me! No, no, no, no. Actually you're going to have times in life where people don't understand you and totally get it wrong. Now what goes in your heart, what happens in your life when you're having that season? You know what happens to us? We want to be understood, so we want to rise up and now begin to contend so people can understand us, rather than saying its okay, that God understands and I can rest in Him. If I need to I can communicate - I've been in times where it's like it didn't matter what I said it just got worse and worse. I realised zip your lip - but you don't understand my intentions are pure! I'm just trying - listen, zip! You're just making it worse. Just don't try and explain yourself and justify yourself. It will get worse.
The Lord's the justifier. He can come on your case and sort it out, and the same people who misunderstand you and hate you today can turn around tomorrow and think you're wonderful, and they really now think they understand you - but they don't. You don't have to be understood by everyone. Just let it go. Let go needing to be understood. Just bring your issues to God, see? [Don't understand. 00.18.11] The second one's rejection, so rejection has a message nobody cares about me! I've heard lots of people say that. I used to say it myself, inside my head all the time. You don't understand, nobody cares! That's actually not true, but it's an attack on your inner man where you experience the pain, the feeling and the grief that goes with being rejected. You don't fit in. It appears like people don't want you. That's painful. No one wants that experience. How many have had it already in their life a few times? See, it's a life experience.
How many have been misunderstood a few times? It's life. Come on, get used to it. And there's some times when God actually cranks it up and you've got all of it happening all at once! It's like nobody understands you; you're now all alone, nobody even wants to talk to you. The phone that rang, the texts came have all stopped. Now you are a reject! [Laughter] Of course that's almost like a teenager's terror of being a reject. No matter what happens I've got to not be a reject. I have to fit in! I have to be accepted! No, you don't. You just need to actually go deeper into God. You need to actually obtain your identity and your acceptance through your connection with God, and then it makes you secure so if people don't understand you it's not a problem. If they reject you it's not a problem. You're secure within from the praise of people or the criticism of people, and so how on earth is God going to put that into your life?
Come on, just think about it. Well we'll have an altar call and come up and you can pray for understanding or pray for this thing that, you know? No, no, no, it doesn't work like that. God sets up for you opportunities to be rejected and misunderstood to give you a chance to learn how to handle those things you need to be the man God wants you to be, or the woman God wants you to be. So you should be saying BRING IT ON GOD! [Laughter] Rather than [unclear 00.20.20] don't like me, they just - nobody spoke to me. Well did you speak to anyone? See when you've got this issue of needing to be understood or this issue of rejection, what you're doing is you're placing a demand people have got to come through for me. You, it's your job to understand me! It's your job to care for me! Now listen, that's actually disempowering yourself. It isn't their job to do anything like that. It's your job to learn how to face rejection and misunderstanding, and of course the one really gets people is injustice.
The message of injustice: it's not fair! I've heard my kids say that many times. You understand, it's not fair. How many have said that a few times? If I say it will I be rejected? [Laughter] See, but it's not fair, so that's actually the message of injustice, when we're treated unfairly. Now notice what David had done. David had just gone out and he'd defeated the major enemy that Israel had, and now they're rejecting him. That's not fair! He's just gone out to war, fought a battle and he comes back and now the king - he's come back to the king: oh, you should really understand me now and understand I've got a king inside me, and you should really, really love me and embrace me. And instead of that Saul picks up a spear, says I'm going to stick that little boy. Now maybe people don't throw spears but they do hurl words, and words can be like spears. They're like arrows the Bible says that come into you and hurt you. So how many can identify with being misunderstood, rejected and felt unwanted, and injustice, it's not been fair how I've been treated? Is there anyone here who's exempt from that? You're just obviously not old enough to have experienced much of life yet.
Okay, we all can see it's part of life, but actually it's part of life you must experience to grow as a man or woman of God, and God is watching in that season what you do. He watches what you do, so there are things to learn and things to [unclear 00.22.28]. I want you to see the first thing that David did, the moment this thing came and he realised he's going to lose his life if he stayed where he did. Now I believe he's in a highly - what you'd call a dysfunctional, abusive environment and he did the thing that all people should do in that, leave it. He fled from it. God does not expect you to stay in an environment destructive to your potential in your life. You have to position yourself in the place where you are actually able to grow and go forward, so sometimes we have to flee out of things. Sometimes you've actually got to say no. If you're in a group or in a crowd and that crowd - and sometimes they can be like dogs. They'll just turn on one and bite and devour and put them down.
If you're in that you've got to get out of that crowd. That's not good for your health. So there are some times you have to actually move away from situations, but this is what you do need to do. It says verse 18, David fled and escaped, and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. Now what you've got to understand is the significance of this is Samuel was the voice of God to the nation at that time. Samuel carried an anointing and a presence that impacted the whole nation at his day, so what it tells us then is he ran into the presence of God when he suffered injustice, rejection and misunderstanding. Where do you go? Do you go angry and nut off? Do you isolate and get full of self-pity, have a pity party and there you are, all on your own? You've invited no one - and no one wants to come. [Laughter]
I've been there many times. Depression comes with it, angry at yourself, angry at what's happened, feeling powerless, self-destructive thoughts come. It's a terrible thing really. But you see he didn't do that. He ran in to the presence of God. He ran in to the presence of God to hear fresh from God for his life. The one thing you have to learn to do when you face misunderstandings, rejection and injustice is reach into the presence of God. You've got to go alone with God and begin to start to worship Him, let your griefs, your sorrows, your injustice go before Him until you come to the place of rest in Him, and then ask Him what should I do? Most people angrily react. They rebel. They angrily react, they get sulky, the get self-pity. They go out and have a drink, start to drink, start to smoke, start to do things. Now you'll find - you have a look at a lot of the issues that young people struggle with now. They're rooted in rejection, injustice and misunderstanding and instead of turning into God they begin to turn in and hate themselves, then try and find a way of comforting through drugs or alcohol or sexual relationships, all kinds of stuff like that.
You have to learn consciously to choose to come with your pain to the Lord, and that was the thing that he did. In psalm - I may have it written down here somewhere - in Psalm 142:4, it says this. It says that I look to the left and the right and look at this, this is David. No man cared for my soul. Then he came into the presence of God and discovered intimacy and God's love and acceptance for him. See, how are you going to reach into the love of God when you desperately need to be loved; don't reach for people, reach into God and begin to start to open your heart to Him. I can remember hours over a period of a long time in facing emotional pain and grief, learning how to worship God and to express the pain and grief of the heart and come in and lay before Him, sometimes on my face weeping, but it just took time. And then I'd begin to start to encounter His presence, hear His words. He'd tell me what to do.
Now you understand that the situations were painful. I wouldn't want to go through most of those again, but they drove me to find and discover God in a deeper way. You have to do that, otherwise whenever there's misunderstanding you'll have to prove you're right. Whenever you're rejected you'll react and reject others. Whenever you have injustice you'll angrily try to beat the others down or prove you're right, instead of being able to come into the Lord and get wisdom what to do. God will give you the wisdom but you've got to learn how to connect to Him when you're in pain, because most of us when we're in pain we're just overwhelmed by the pain. Well get some music, go alone with God, begin to play music and select songs that will work for you. Now that's what I was talking before about songs being a way - music is a way, it's a language of the soul, so certain songs will express emotions and feelings and even the cry of the heart.
Sometimes when we're hurt it's hard to put it in words; what's wrong? Err eww I don't know. Well you've got to do better than that. It's your job to communicate what's in your heart. You've got to take time to get what's in your heart out, and so I found like for example that song Lord, You're My Healer. Now God can heal you in any part of your life, it's not just physical healing. Now the guy who wrote that song wrote it in the midst of being riddled with cancer, with death reports around his life and he wrote Lord, You're My Healer. So that song was birthed out of deep conflict where a person made a decision to come to God and arise with faith. You think he cried? I'm sure he cried. Do you think he wept? Do you think he felt injustice? I'm so young. Do you think he felt rejected? I'm sure he felt all of those things, but he decided to turn it in towards God, creatively expressed his heart in a song.
So a song like that is not like ordinary music. It carries with that something from the spirit of a man that when you begin to play it and allow it to come around, suddenly you begin to find you're weeping because it's saying what's in your heart that you can't quite get the right words for. I find I can't always get the words, but music can help. Praying in tongues can help, and spending time in the presence of God, loving on Him and communicating with Him. It helps to unload the heart and the emotions and begin to develop a much deeper trust in the Lord. If you've ever had a broken relationship and it breaks your heart, where will you go? I remember my heart being broken over a broken relationship and night after night weeping with grief, and struggling to find God in the middle of it. But this is part of the making of a person of God. You have to learn how to handle the issues of life. Instead of whimpering and rolling over and becoming a victim and poor me, you begin to pursue God in the middle of it and then you start to build in your life the qualities that are needed to prepare you for your next season.
God is not going to allow these things - you go through the water, it'll not overwhelm you; go through the fire, it'll not consume, because the Lord will help you. See, I know that verse, it comes out of Isaiah, because I needed that one time when the waters were overwhelming and the fire looked like it was going to burn me to the ground. Then I heard God saying I'm with you, I will hold your hand, I'll help you. That's not a verse for me; that's a reality. Understand that? Now that's how you become made as a man of God. You have experiences and what God is watching, all heaven is watching, what will you do with the lemon gave you? Become bitter and sour, turn away, get disappointed, rejected, overwhelmed, offended, or will you just turn into God and become something sweet for others? No shortcuts. There are no shortcuts. No shortcuts to the making of a man or woman of God, this is how it takes place. That's why we have really so few people who actually can make influence or make great changes, because there's a price to pay in your personal life.
God's looking for you. You're the one. You're the one He's got His eye on. All heaven's got their eye on you right now, in the challenge you're facing, the lion that's seeking to intimidate you, the bear that's crushing you. All of heaven is watching whether you'll reach to the Lord and overcome that through His ability in you. We can preach messages, Anna can ring you up and text you, you can be encouraged, everything. But the bottom line that comes down, what will you choose when these things come to you? David chose to go straight into the presence of God. Look in 1 Samuel 22. David then departed from there and escaped into the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down. Everyone who was in distress, in debt, everyone who was discontented gathered to him. And he became captain over them, about 400 of them. Let me just give you a couple of the lessons you need to learn because I'm starting to run out of time now.
There are some lessons to be learnt see. He went into the cave, so the cave of Adullam is the season of your life which is like a cave. In the Bible natural things often pictures spiritual realities. To be in a cave means you've withdrawn from everyone, you're in a place you're really lonely and it's dark and it's cold and you're miserable. Cave time - and everyone in their life has some cave time, everyone. Cave time is not a nice season. It doesn't need to last. It'll only last as long as is needed for your life to turn and change and develop, and then you're out of your cave. Even Elijah went into a cave. God said what are you doing here? [Unclear 00.32.31] and he starts to come up with all these things, and then God spoke to him in a quiet voice; Elijah, Elijah, and gave him fresh mandate and direction. See, so the cave is an important time in our life. What we do means either we stay in there and rot in there, or we actually grow and come out of it, the cave of Adullam.
So the cave of Adullam is a time to deepen your dependency on the Lord. Notice that David did something else. The tendency is in rejection and misunderstanding and injustice, to become totally involved in yourself: it's all about me! And then you let it all hang out. [Laughter] Everyone knows you're in a bad place. Listen, that's not how you handle it. There's a part you must bring before the Lord, but the thing that'll get you out of it is if you do things David did. He went into the presence of the Lord; second thing was he maintained concern for others. Notice he went and he got his parents and family and brought them too, because he was concerned that they would be killed. Even in his own pain he stopped to think about what could happen to his family, and was concerned about his family's welfare. We find if you read on a little bit further there was another city called [Kealla 00.33.45] and the people were being maraudered by the Philistines.
He said Lord, I want to help them. See, there's something in his heart, kingship's in his heart. It's in his heart. It's in his heart. He saw these people and he's [unclear 00.33.58] I've got to do something about it God, just give me a yes and I'll go help them! See, he didn't act impulsively. He asked God, enquired of God and got direction, and God said go up. His men said don't do that, listen, listen! We've got enough problems of our own. Why go making more problems, stirring up the Philistines and trying to help some people? What are they to us anyway? Listen, David had a different heart. He carried in him the heart of a king and a king, no matter what pain they're going through, is still thinking how they can do what God called them to do. I've discovered this over the years. Most people I've watched quit quit when the pain came instead of actually bringing it to God and then staying where they ought to stay and doing what God said for them to do. They quit.
Seen youth leaders quit, pastors quit, people quit marriages, people quit all kinds of things. They quit when they're in pain rather than use the pain as an opportunity to fire them into the presence of God, learn some new things and still keep looking out. You've got to keep looking out, or you'll be consumed with your problems. So he helped his family, he helped these people and did he get thanked for his help? Now listen to this. The Bible says Saul heard where he was. Now you see he delivered the city and after he's delivered the city everyone says oh, you're great. Come on in Dave, we love you. Dave, you're a great guy, come on in. Bring your soldiers, we've got a feast for you. Saul heard about it and brought his armies towards them and David did this; Lord, Lord, you know what people are like. What are they going to do? Are they going to look after me or are they going to betray me? Are they going to stand with me against Saul now I've helped them out, or are they going to turn on me like dogs?
God said they're going to turn on you like dogs. He said you'd better get out. You understand, he never needed the favour of people to make his decisions. People are fickle. People are fickle. Today they love you, tomorrow they've got an issue. Today you're wonderful, tomorrow they've said something behind your back. That's people. Get over it, it's life. But what you need to do is say God, what should I do? Now listen, in this situation he asked God whether these people would be his friends or not - quite good for you to talk to God about your friends. Some people look like they're friends, they all say nice things to you today, but tomorrow they could deliver you up just as easily. So you've got to listen to what God is saying about people. He says some things and He can tell you what's in people's hearts because He knows what's in their hearts.
I've known people go into business with someone and I think did you ask God to go into that or not? They had their mind made up, they went in, their wife was trying to warn them. Later on it was a disaster. They never stopped to listen. David listened. He listened and that got him out of a potential trap that could have taken his life. You see this comes out of in the midst of his pain and his sorrow, he came into the presence of God to learn how to express to the Lord, and then secondly he actually asked God what to do. He got involved with people, helping them, but he never let his life be delivered into their hands. And Jesus was the same. It says He didn't commit Himself to these people who thought He was wonderful because of the miracles, because He knew what was in their heart. He knew they'd deliver Him up. The people that are saying you're wonderful today could tomorrow deliver you up and betray you.
You've got to listen to God and let your roots go into God, and accept sometimes people do things that hurt us. It's part of life, but when you're set in the Lord you can get over injustice, over rejection, over these things that have happened. So we see there what he did. He didn't react. He didn't get angry with them. He didn't stand there: listen, well you lot, you know what you can do! I've just helped you out and saved you and this is how you're going to treat me? They didn't even know what was in their own hearts, but God did and He positioned David so he never had to have that issue. There's an awful lot of pain you could free yourself from and not have to face if you ask God about relationships before entering in too deeply to them. God knows how people will react under pressure, so why don't you ask Him if He wants you involved in partnerships or relationships, or ask His direction because He knows what they will be like. He knows how they'll respond. You've got to listen to Him when it comes to these things.
I've had over the years all people say, lots of people say lovely, sweet things but the Lord said don't trust that person because there's this, this and this in their heart, and when the pressure comes this is what will come out. You say oh, that's not very loving. No, that's very wise, see? We're to love the world. That means you do what's best for them; you act in a way that's godly towards them, but trust everyone? No way. You're not called to trust everyone; you're called to give trust to people who prove trustworthy, and God has got a few things to say about that. Now I tell young people you would save an awful lot of pain in your coming life if you could handle your issues the way David did. He went into the presence of God, discovered a place of comfort and friendship with God that enabled him to get over injustice, misunderstanding and rejection.
In the middle of his own pain he still had the heart to fulfil his course and care for people and help them, and he listened to God before entering into any relationships and it saved him. The last thing that happens and I won't go into these stories, but there were two opportunities. Someone really treated him badly and he was about to go kill them and he listened to good advice, and then thanked them for advising him well. He ended up marrying the lady because she gave such good godly advice. There's a second situation where he's in a cave with Saul and his friends around him said listen, this is the day that God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Why don't you get up and kill him now, get this over with? You'll become the king, Saul's out of the way, our problems have stopped. He said God forbid that I should take his life. He refused to touch someone who had treated him [justly. 00.40.10] He said God set him in that place; let God sort him out.
God saw that [attitude. 00.40.16] You know twice David faced that same test and the crowd was saying - this is what the crowd said. The crowd said oh ooh, now's your chance, get him! This will be over. Knock him out of your way and then it'll be over! And David said no, the Lord forbid I should do such a thing. I'm trusting God to get me where He wants me to get. That brings us to the final thing and it's this. No man can steal your destiny, but you can mess it up by not responding to God. Saul was never able to kill him, in spite of trying and using all these soldiers, everything at his disposal could never kill David. There's no one can stop you getting where God wants you to get, but you can stop yourself by getting wrong attitudes and not responding right to God. The season of misunderstanding, rejection does not last forever, but it's preparing a king for his next place in the work of God.
If you're going through that why don't you make a decision, I'm going to change how I respond to it and behave differently. I'm going to do these two things; one, I'm going to bring what I have to the Lord and press in to His presence to listen to Him, to hear His words, to be encouraged in my faith. I'm going to release and bless the people that have done this, and I'm going to keep focussing on my commitment to the destiny and call of God. I will continue to help people. I won't become bitter. There have been times when I have come through that gateway there, overwhelmed with personal grief at what was happening in my life, and I made a statement to the Lord in the 100 metres from that roundabout there through to that gate. When I cross that gate I'm going to fulfil my call and I expect you to take all the grief from me and anoint me to do what I need to be doing.
See, God notices that kind of thing. You didn't notice that, but God did. You understand? You couldn't have done anything about the pain or couldn't have done anything to help about it. I could have quit and given up, been overwhelmed. But Joy and I stood together, pushed into God and said we'll still continue to serve the way we're called to serve. That's the heart of a king. That's the heart of David. Jesus was called the Son of David. That's the kind of man that David was; Jesus was even identified with him, same kind of person, same spirit.
[File ends 00.42.52]
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The Making of a King (4 of 5) Mike Connell 02.03.2008 pm
Amen. It's great when God enlarges us isn't it aye? It's always good to be enlarged and we're in a season now where God is enlarging us. Enlargement has two forms; it's external, you grow, things change, things increase, things get bigger. Business grows, your influence grows, you get promoted. Now those are the external things, but always external enlargement is preceded by internal change. So right now whether you're young or whether you're old, God is calling you to be willing to change on the inside. I want to just pick up that story of David and we've been looking at the seasons in David's life. We've been following through the theme the Making of a King, and I want to just share tonight related to that. I want to just stop and look at an incident in David's life and I want to just tonight talk about courage to continue, courage to continue.
So we're going to go back where we started. We're going to start the same place each time because if I keep repeating the scripture you'll find you remember it. In Acts 13, so let's go back into Acts 13 and this is what the Bible says concerning David. Now this is God's commending him. It's not like someone wrote this about him. It says in verse 22 I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all of My will. So we see the first characteristic that made David the man he was was he had a heart that longed to know God intimately; God, what do You like? What do You delight in? What is in Your heart? What are the things that You think about? And so he pursued God. He was a man of intimacy with God, a man who pursued God and if David could do it we can do it too.
David, when he had time alone when he was just a young person up to the age of 17, established in those 17 years a track record of reaching out and connecting with God. He made the pursuit of God his personal priority. Now I know many of you young ones, you're doing courses at school, all of those kinds of things and they're all really helpful for you, but listen. The pursuit of God will carry you through to your destiny. There is nothing you can learn at school that will actually take you to the God-given destiny. The only way that you can reach your God-given destiny is if you connect with the one who created you, develop intimacy with Him. Intimacy takes time. It's time spent praying, time spent pouring your heart out, it's time spent reading the word. It's not found in a meeting; it's found at home alone, and then when you come into a meeting you find already before anyone else has even started your heart is arising to connect with God.
You've practiced it, and one of the things you find when you begin to practice engaging the presence of God at home, it becomes like a track built into your inner man and it becomes easier and easier and easier to just suddenly lock in and engage the presence of God. But if you've never made it a habit, if you've never made it a habit to pour out your heart and begin to learn how to reach into the heart of God; if you never do that when you're young you find it gets more and more difficult as you get older. You have much more stuff has got into your life, so David, when he was a young man pursued God. The second thing we saw in this scripture here is He said I know David, he's a man after My heart who will do all My will. So David was a man who not only sought what God wanted, he actually was happy to do what God wants. So in verse 36 David, after he'd served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep. So the second thing we see about David, not only was he a man passionate to know God intimately, he didn't just spend a lot of time praying.
He actually was a man who influenced and changed a nation. It says he served his generation, so every generation including this one is looking for a man or a woman who will get to know God, and then fulfil what God says to do. Now that could be that you reach your friends for Christ, it could be you start up some kind of thing that helps gather them up. You may start some kind of program that touches people's lives. Who knows what it will involve for you? Every one of us has got a unique way of expressing the will of God in this generation, but the key thing is that we do it. Now I want you just to look with me at a couple of verses, then we're going to go back into the Old Testament to David again. I want you to pick up in Hebrews 6:12. The TV man hasn't got that one because I just threw it in. In Hebrews 6:12 he says this. He says don't become sluggish or lazy, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Don't become a slacker in other words. I like that kind of [word 00.04.39], don't become a slacker. So obviously he's writing to Christians. It's possible to become a slacker. Tell the person next to you, don't become a slacker. [Don't become a slacker.] That's good, good counsel. That's good advice, don't become a slacker. A slacker is a person who's lazy, they're waiting for someone else to do it all. Notice this, it says be followers or an imitator of certain kinds of people. Now young people, there's a great tendency to follow the crowd. Have a look really what you're following and where it goes. Just think through what you're following and where that leads to, because the people you follow, the people you connect with, the people you share your life with, they begin to shape what you are. So begin to be careful what you follow.
The Bible tells us what to follow. It says follow those men and women who through faith - listen to this - faith and endurance, or courage to continue in the face of pressure. Follow people who are believers in God and when it's tough in their life, they've got the courage in them to stick with it and go on. They may not be up on a platform, they may not be people that you see visibly, but they've got faith in their life and when you watch them in adversity, you watch them in trouble, you watch them in pressure, the thing you notice is there's a courage inside. They stand up and they stay the course and they're not quitters. I've had years and years of people and when the pressure comes on them they quit right at the crucial time. I grieve over people that do that. Right at the point when they should be breaking through to the things God has they quit because they didn't have the courage to stay the course.
One of the things that helps us stay the course is you have people you look to and model your life on who've got faith. They believe God and they have courage to stand. You watch them when times are tough, and you hear them still praising God. They still continue and a year later they're still there serving God. Over the years I've seen some bright and shining stars. Well the bright stars shine and then they go. What I look for are men and women who stay the course, and you may not see them up here. They may not be on the platform, may not be out in the open, but when you watch over the course of time you see there they were. They just hung into God. You never saw what went on behind the scenes, but they hung into God. They had courage to stand. I could share story after story of people here who had the courage to stand when everything in them wanted to quit see? That's what the Bible says; be like that.
He said be followers of those who through faith and patience - notice this - inherit the promises of God. So if God has spoken to you about something He wants to do in your life, you've got to realise it'll take you faith and it'll take you some courage to stick with it, because everything is going to take off course if it possibly can. I can think of times when people have come up and have stood in altar call, they've dedicated their life to the Lord, Spirit of God spoke prophetically and I look at them now. They just didn't have the faith and the courage to stay the course. They were sabotaged before they finished their course. I say Lord Jesus, help me, I want to stay the course and finish strong. See? You want to do that? It's not where you are now, it's how you finish. I was talking to someone today, I said it's not where you're at now. It's what you're like at the end of the course, what you're like at the end of your life.
Are you still strong and there's fire and there's passion for God, you're pursuing and still believing promises of God? Or did you quit because it got tough; you gave up because your friends around you gave up? There was someone who was your friend and they gave up on God, and you followed them? Don't be followers of quitters; followers of people who stick the course, stay the course. Listen, even in the natural things of this world people who quit too easily never achieve, never succeed. There's something about staying the course, not being distracted, keeping your focus on your dream, your vision and particularly in this case focussing on the Lord who's got the ability to fulfil your promises. Notice the second thing, found in Hebrews 10:38. So what have we got to do? Don't be a slacker, but rather be followers or imitators of people who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Here's another one, similar kind of thing in Hebrews 10:35; Don't cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of - what have you got need of? You've got need of courage to stay the course, so that after you've done the will of God you may receive the promise. So notice again that in order to receive what God has promised you there are a couple of things it tells you here. It says number one, don't lose your confidence, confidence in God. Man, you can have a mess all around you but stay confident that God's great at fixing messes. If God could reach out of heaven and raise a dead man out of a grave, and raise him up and bring him to heaven, he's got the ability to raise me up. It doesn't matter what I look, doesn't matter what you say, doesn't matter what my finances are saying, doesn't matter what circumstances say. God can lift me up and help me finish the course! He can do it for you too!
Look at Joseph. There he is in the lowest prison of Egypt. He's been accused falsely of rape, attempted rape, and there he is rotting away in a prison and God is able to reach into the prison, lift him up and stick him on a throne. That's the God we serve. He can do it! If He can do it for Joseph and Daniel and men like that, He can do it for you. He's not a different God - but I'll tell you something. The Bible's very clear, don't let go of being confident in God. Don't be confident in yourself, don't be so confident in your friends. Be confident in God! God is faithful. God is faithful. He will get you there. Don't lose your confidence, and hang in and stay true because after you've done what God says to do, that's when you get the promises. There's something about that that people today struggle with. You've got to remain bold and confident in God and stay on course, doing what God said to do. Then God brings you through.
I've seen this over and over and over, people just stuck the course and I've seen it with people and they - I couldn't believe it. Right when they're about to break through they just gave up and went off track. I thought oh, my heart broke for them. I was just talking with someone this week and right at the point they're about to have everything enlarge for them they just went off course, actually gave up. I think oh, don't be a quitter. Don't give up. Never, never give up. Tell someone don't give up! [Don't give up!] Don't be a quitter, don't give up. Come on, stay the course! [Repeated by congregation.] Okay, let's go into the Old Testament. We're going to have a look at David. Let's go into the Old Testament, courage to continue. Let's pick it up in 1 Samuel 30.
I love this about David. Sometimes we look at all kinds of things. We're not looking at all the things he did. We're looking at the kind of man he was. We want to find out not just what people did but what kind of person they are. I was just thinking today of Ian coming back from overseas and conference opened up for him over there. But I remember when he first arrived here, it didn't look like he was going to be taking conferences all over the world. He had to stay the course, stay the course, stay the course, just keep doing what God said to do. Then it comes about. That's how it works, and that's why the Bible says be followers of those who've got faith and they stick the course. Don't follow people who waver all over the place and quit and give up; follow people who've got the courage to follow their convictions in God.
Now look at this. It tells us here that David was in Ziklag. Ziklag had been a city that was given to him. Remember we found that there are certain lessons in David's life associated with cities. We saw a number of cities and what happened in those places. Now here's a major challenge that David faces. It's the challenge where has he got courage to continue when his whole world is falling apart. Now this is not for just young people tonight, this is also for any one of us who right now may be facing your life being overwhelmed. Here it is. Now it came pass or happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, and attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great. They did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.
David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. And David was great distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters. Now you see here David is in a crisis. He had no warning a crisis was about to overtake him, absolutely no warning.
What he'd done is he'd gone out on a raiding party as he'd always done. The soldiers, about 600 of them went out. They were all armed and they were ready to go and conquer some areas of land, and when they went away they left the city behind them. They left the city of Ziklag, and in that city they had their wives, their children, their finances, their TV sets, their computers. They had everything that people have, they were all there. David I guess in his heart trusted because he was serving the Lord, that the Lord would look after him in that situation, and so they went out on a raiding party. About three days later they returned to the city. Now I want you to try and imagine what he must have felt. Remember, we're looking at what was in his heart and how he conducted himself.
We're looking at what kind of type of guy he is. Then we want you to think about something that you have faced or may have faced in the past. When he came and he looked as they drew near they would have seen a column of smoke rising up. Have you ever seen a city on fire? I've seen a city on fire. When a city's on fire there are columns of smoke rising up into the sky from every burning building. When I stood in India in 1984 and there was a riot in the streets, I stood on the roof of a house and as I looked from the roof of the house as far as you could see, every direction there were columns of smoke rising up from burning buildings. It's a most incredible experience to have, to be there and see the city is on fire.
The Amalekites were a very, very violent people. They were known to wait and just hang on in Moses day and pick off the people of God. They were horrendous people. Saul was challenged to go and kill them and he never did, so now these Amalekite hordes had come up. Now they were a violent people. It's hard for us to kind of imagine that. You imagine now say a motorcycle gang has gone into town and has absolutely destroyed everything that's there. Not only do they just smash the windows, smash the doors, smashed everything that was precious, they just looted the place. Now when a place has been looted everything's just pulled out. There's no respect for any property. They just tear stuff around, they're looking for money, looking for gold, looking for silver, looking for valuables and looking for people.
These cruel people gathered up and they saw that there was just women and children in the town; they gathered up and took every woman, every child, every son, every daughter. They herded them all up. Can you imagine the panic in the families surrounded by an army like that? And then as they were taken out of the city they went through the city burning it to the ground, razing it to the ground. Now can you imagine what it's like to have been there, to have been captured like that? There's no one to protect you. You're being carried away by an enemy army. You know what's going to happen. They will be raping and molesting the women and the children; they'll be forcing the young men to just serve them as slaves. They're dividing the people up so this one belongs to this one, no, this one's mine and they're beginning to argue and fight.
They've got the wine and the alcohol. You can imagine what would have happened within a day or two of them taking everyone out of the city. You get the picture what this is like - so David now as he approaches the city, looks and the city he expected God to look after now has been devastated. Everything has gone. Now don't think that David didn't feel deeply about it. The Bible says they cried and cried and cried until they had no more tears to grieve, so we see here he faced a major setback, a major disappointment in his life. How do you handle setbacks and disappointments? It's valid to grieve - part of what we do because we're human, we just grieve. Have you ever had a setback? Have you ever had a disappointment, something you were looking forward to and it just never worked out? Something that you had hoped would be there and it just fell apart, something that you valued and someone just destroyed it and treated it like it was nothing? There is a grief comes with that.
David and his friends wept. Now this is a hardened soldier and what is he feeling? Imagine what he's thinking as he's coming to that city now; my wife, my beautiful wife, my beautiful children, and they've been taken away by an Amalekite man and who knows what they're doing to them right now. Can you imagine the grief and the anguish of soul that he felt? All the money's gone, all the goods are gone, everything he has built in his life has now just gone. That's the kind of level that he's facing. Here's a man who never lost a battle and now in front of him is a total disaster, and to top it off not only did he have a major setback and disappointment. The second thing that happened was he was rejected by his own men.
Now you've got to understand this is not the first time David's been rejected. David was rejected by his family. David was rejected by King Saul. David was rejected by the nation. David was rejected by the men he had reached out and helped them and saved them, risking his life. David understood the pain of rejection, and now the men that had stood with him for the last 13 years, they too are saying we better get rid of David, he's a poor leader. They are about to snuff out the only hope they have for their future. This is what people do. When they get hurt they want someone to blame, they want someone to get angry against. When people get upset, they lose someone, they just get real angry and they'll lash out at the person right near them.
You understand he's facing two major things; deep disappointment and deep rejection. He was overwhelmed with grief and extremely alone. Have you ever felt in a time like that, extremely alone, disappointed and there's no human person to support you? And that's David's condition at that time. But what you don't see, see we can see it now when we read the Bible, because when you read the Bible it's like you just look into the book of his life. So we know what comes, we've got the benefit. We can just flip the page; oh, he becomes a king. We can look at it and see what God did, but you can't imagine what it's like for the man standing there. He doesn't know what the future's going to be like. He's just lost everything he's invested his life into. It's like a financial collapse and he's lost everything, including his wife and children. That's the level of disaster.
There are many people facing that kind of thing at the moment. What would you do? Would you have the courage to continue? Would you have the courage in spite of it all to believe God and continue? That's the thing that David had to face, have you got it in you to continue? What do you do when there's no one to turn to and all your world has fallen apart? Well I'll tell you what'll happen. Whatever's been built into your life in the days preceding that will be the thing that'll come to the surface. If you have never built a relationship with God, when that time comes you'll be angry and shaking your fist at God. If you've never built a consistent relationship with God and learned how to lean on Him, when a crisis like that happens you'll fall apart.
I have seen over the years when people find their world falling apart they fall apart themselves. They begin to be angry. They blame the church. They begin to blame God, they blame this one and that one, and then marriages fail, all kinds of stupid things happen because they never learned to just have the courage to continue the course. I want you to have a look what David did, a very, very interesting thing the Bible says about him. This is something that's just unique about this man see. Think about it. It says here in verse 6, David was greatly distressed, greatly distressed, greatly distressed, greatly distressed. He was pressed and besieged, he was overwhelmed. He was immensely overwhelmed. He was absolutely devastated, numbed, too much weeping. What do you do now when the pressure's on you?
And so the Bible tells us very clearly what he did. It says he strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Now let me ask you this question: what controls your life? When you face some pressure what controls your life? Do your feelings control your life, so when your feelings are up oh, it's great. We come to church and we serve the Lord. When you're feelings are down no, I don't think I'll go, I don't think I'll follow through, I've just - I've got other things. See, do your circumstances control your life? Well if circumstances are going good I'll be happy to come to church, praise the Lord; circumstances not so good, oh well I don't know, I don't know about this God thing. See, what controls your life? Your friends, do your friends control your life? Does money, your things control your - what controls your life?
You see what was at the centre of David's life was a relationship with God. He said my life and my destiny are wrapped up in the Lord. Whatever the Lord started He can finish, and so David, he turned - see it's interesting. We see what people turn to when the pressure's on. Some people when the pressure's on, they turn to the television, more videos, more videos. See, some people when the pressure's on go on the internet, click-click-click-click-click-click. Some people when the pressure's on start to smoke, some people when the pressure's on start to drink. Where do you go when the pressure's on? Where do you go when you find that you're in adversity? It says where David went, and that's what made him unique. That's the thing about him; in the midst of pressure when it looked like even God had let him down, there's no person to support him, it says he strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
He came into the presence of God and he did some things. Now there's certain things that he must have done in order to become stronger. The Bible says he strengthened himself, so he did things that enabled his whole inner life to become filled with strength, to the point where he was able to then seek God for what to do next. Now normal tendency is to be overwhelmed with emotions, and I'll show you just a couple of things that he must have done. We'll just hold your finger there and we'll just look at these couple of verses, then we're just pretty well finished. I want you to have a look Psalm 142 and then Psalm 138. Psalm 142, there it is, verse 1. I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour my complaint and declare before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they secretly set a snare for me. Look at this - I look at the right hand and see, there is no one who cares for me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul. And I cried out to You, O Lord and said You are my refuge. Notice what he does; he reaches out and he pours his soul out the Lord.
Look in Psalm 138:3. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. Now I want you to see the first thing he did. The first thing he did after he'd cried all his tears out, he went and he poured out his heart to the Lord. It takes something to do that. Sometimes we just shrink our emotions down on the inside and bottle everything up and become like a raging thing. He went before the Lord and he just began to weep and weep and weep, and poured out his concern, his fear, his loss and then he said Lord, You are my refuge. In this you get a key how to deal with stuff that's tough. You have to learn to acknowledge your feelings and let your feelings of your soul go out and express to the Lord.
David never tried to tough it out. He actually opened his heart and he poured out his complaints, his sorrows, his difficulties. He was overwhelmed and the first thing he did was acknowledge how overwhelmed he was and let his heart just weep before the Lord. I could see him on his knees, weeping and weeping and weeping, and sharing with God how he felt about it. And then once he had shared how he felt he began to arise and declare Lord, You are my refuge. You are the place I go. You are the strength of my life. My life is in You. My strength is in You. My hope is in You - and he began to declare his relationship with God and the promises of God. Lord, You said you would bring me to the stage where I would be the king. I believe Your promise to me. I believe Your word - and he would take the words of God and bring the words of God back before him.
Number one, he poured out his emotions and heart; number two, he began to declare the promises of God. He began to declare God's faithfulness. He reminded God of what He'd said, and strength began to come back into his spirit. You see it's not what the people around you are doing; it's what God says and God is doing. God is faithful no matter what is happening. Now of course if you've never proven that God is faithful you don't really know that yet, and so long before David came to this crisis, when David was just a teenager, David had learned to lean on the Lord, express his feelings, express his needs, begin to reach out and lean upon the Lord. When David got to this point he had a whole track record of times he'd lent on the Lord and God had delivered him out of a mess, and so he could go back and remind himself God, I remember when You delivered me out of that. Oh yeah, that was great. Man, I was overwhelmed then. Boy, You got me out of that.
Another time, oh God, You got me out of that too. Wow, You got me out of that situation - man Lord, You really got me out of a whole heap of things. I'm confident You will get me out of this one here - and he was able to strengthen himself. You can strengthen yourself in praying in tongues. You can strengthen yourself confessing the word of God. You can strengthen yourself as you begin to praise the Lord for the things He's done. You can strengthen yourself thanking the Lord for the way He's helped you in the past. You can strengthen yourself remembering what God has done but friend, if you don't strengthen yourself what are you going to do? Now it's wonderful to have people around us who can stand with us. It's important to have supportive relationships, but there's a part of your life which is the secret part when it's just you and God. Will you lean upon Him?
When you've lent upon Him do you know what He'll tell you? He'll then tell you what you need to do. It says then David enquired of the Lord. After he had got back into a place of confidence and encouragement, then he was able to say Lord, give me some wisdom here, what should I do? Do you want me to follow them all? Do you want me to leave it? Shall I pursue? It's an amazing question. What would you want to do? Want to get in your car, go down there and find these people and get your family and your goods back? He said Lord, You show me what I should do. That's tremendous trust to stop the natural impulse of wanting to go out and smash these people up, and to ask God what do You want me to do? And the Lord said very clearly, pursue, overtake and you'll recover all.
He had a word, a mandate that gave him faith to be able to shift all these leaders, stand up and begin to change that circumstance around. What changed it was in the midst of a crisis a man knew how to lean on God and get a word from God to shift that situation around.
Now what I've observed over many years is when Christians face pressure they cry, they stop praying, they stop reading, they watch television, they drink. They go to the wrong places, but often they don't do the very one thing that would get them through, which is go into the secret place, pour their heart out to God, lean on the Lord and remind Him of His promises. And then listen; Lord, what should I do? I can remember being in many different situations and I didn't know what to do. We came to the place of grieving and I waited on the Lord, and then He gave me exactly a word exactly what to do, and I followed it to the letter. The whole situation turned around. I can remember there was a season in the church when the Spirit of God had moved and everything was in turmoil and upheaval because issues in people's lives had come up.
Foundations of the church were being shaken and what we'd built was having a good shake. I remember being through that time and I remember going there and weeping before the Lord, and He told me very clearly, He said don't try and fight this battle. He said lean upon Me and learn to rest in Me, and I will direct you exactly what to do. And now you see today where we are, we've come way out of that whole situation. We're in a whole different place now. You see, God can do it. This is what made David a great man; in the time of rejection, in the time of disappointment, he didn't do what everyone else did. They just wept and then wanted to find someone to blame. He went into the presence of God and found an answer.
Now God is looking for people just like that, Davids in the heart; young men, young women, that when the pressure's on they've already established a track of coming into the presence of God. They know how to pour their heart out and how to stand on God's word. They've got a history of growing behind them of past victories and now, right now they're poised ready for their greatest challenge. Within seven years of this particular battle, David became king over the whole of Israel and all of the promises of God began to be fulfilled in his life. You never know that the crisis you're facing now is not the decision point of whether you take hold of God's promise, or whether you let it go. Be followers, don't be lazy. Don't be a slacker. Don't quit, don't give up, but be followers of those who through trust in the living God and steady endurance, doing what God says to do, obtain the promises.
[File ends 00.32.12]
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The Making of a King (5 of 5) Mike Connell 16.03.2008 pm
Great, I want you to open your Bible at Acts 13. I want to finish tonight what I've started. Sorry I wasn't here last week. I was with a group of Indians. We had a great time, some good miracles and people getting filled with the Holy Ghost. It was great - so we've been sharing a series on the Making of a King, the Making of a King. And the Bible tells us that we are kings; that we have an area God wants us to have dominion over and you saw coming up for some of you that area of dominion will be your money. If you can't get dominion over your money forget about the world. [Laughs] It ain't going to happen. So we're called to be kings, to have dominion. You're designed for that. You're designed for dominion. You're designed to actually express the love of God and to bring the values, the life and the victory of heaven into the earth, to take dominion.
There's no place in the kingdom of God for people who are passive, who are victims in their thinking or waiting for something to happen. God calls you to connect with him, arise and begin to advance his interests in the earth. We've been looking at the life of David and let's just pick up a couple of verses about him in the New Testament; then we'll go back and finish our story with him in the Old. Acts 13:22, it says when He had removed Saul, He raised up David as a king, He raised up for them David as a king, to whom He gave this testimony, saying I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will. So we see the first thing about David was he was raised up by God. He said he's a man after My own heart. He was a man with a passion to know God, a passionate desire to know what God is like. A lot of people know about God - different knowing about God to actually knowing Him personally. He can be known as you search the word of God.
If you were to read the Bible and begin to start to find and look up the word 'delight' and 'desire', and start to have a look around and find what the Lord delights in and what He desires, you'll be quite amazed what you can find out about Him. You know there's things He loves, things He hates. If you want to walk with the Lord begin to discover what He loves and love that; begin to hate what He hates, and you'll begin to start to find your fellowship with the Lord increases. You are starting to become more like Him in your thinking and the way you run your life. There are some things God really loves. He delights in mercy, He delights in justice, delights in things being done right, see? There are things He hates; a proud look, a lying tongue, someone who sows discord. Things that God loves, things He hates, and David had a heart to discover what God desired.
He had a passionate heart for God. Notice what it says that God said of him: I've raised him up for them, so David was raised up not just so he could be a great man, but he was raised up for a purpose. We see that a little bit down the line in one of the verses in Acts 13 where it says after David had served his generation - verse 36 - after David served his generation by the will of God. So we see then two things about David; number one, he had a passionate desire to know and to walk with God. That was the driving force behind his greatness. The second thing was he was committed to serve his generation. He was committed to do something with what he had. If you're going to walk with God it will always be He will raise you up for someone else. The call of God on your life is not for you. You are called to represent God, to touch the lives of people. So when God raises you up and gives you a role, a gifting or whatever, it's not for you.
You are to bring that to touch the lives of people. So everything that God gives us somehow overflows to be a blessing and a benefit to people. We must not only build the vertical dimension of our love for God; we actually have to have a heart to be able to serve the people that are around us to bring God to them. The key problem in Saul's failure as a king - think about this: God did not hate him. God loved him. God gave him opportunities. The problem with Saul was he never actually found out what God delighted in. He in many ways just listened to what people want and he feared how people thought about him, so he lived his life subject to the pressures of people around him, and he disqualified himself from a great role. We see him now and we think of Saul, we think of him as a man who failed - but actually he was a person anointed by the Spirit of God, raised up. He could have been a great king. He just chose a wrong path.
David was a man after the heart of God and so David's journey was a little different. Saul got promoted quickly; David actually just allowed God to bring him forward. One of the challenges in your life is to build an intimate relationship with the Lord, begin to set goals based on what you know in your heart God is showing you, and then let God get you there. You don't have to walk over people to get there. You don't have to tramp people down to get where you need to get. If God has called you to something He is able to get you there, and that's the thing you see in the heart of David. Now we've looked at several instances in David's life. We looked at some different seasons in his life; we looked where he was in - first of all he was in Bethlehem where he was unseen. That was up to the age of 17.
While he was in the place where he was unseen he was learning how to be responsible for little things. He was learning how to build a relationship with the Lord, and he faced some challenges there where no one saw him. That's the season many of you young people are in right now; the season when you're young, this is the time to be building a relationship with God. This is the time to be worshipping Him, getting to know Him, getting to hear His voice. This is the time to just be faithful in the small things you have. Keep your eye on just doing small things well. If you have a little task do it well. If you have a little job to be given do it well, and God will be watching the little things that you do. You are preparing yourself for your next season and it's very, very important. So think about it. Don't worry about all that's ahead. One of the things that young people tend to want to do is when they're at school they're thinking of how quick I can get out of here and into the workplace.
Listen, you've got all the rest of your life to work. The season you're in now, do the very best you can. One of the things that happened to David when he was in that season unseen, he developed his skill. You have some skills; develop your skills. Pay money, invest in your skills being developed. You see, when the time came for him to come forward he was called forward not because he promoted himself, but because someone said I know a man and he's really skilful in music. He developed ability there. He's also very anointed with the Holy Spirit. He's also very wise. He's also got a fighting spirit. I've heard how he's fought these battles; I hear how he tackled a lion, tackled a bear. See, he had a reputation established at 17. I wonder how many people are 17 or under? Okay, that's quite a few of you there. How many are over 17 then? That's all the rest, alrighty then. Okay, well at 17 people already know what you're like. You've established a reputation for something.
If I was to go around your friends and ask what are you known for, what would you be known for? What would you be known for? If I mentioned your name, oh yes, what would they say about you? See, they will be saying about you - what they'll say about you on the most part will reflect what you've been doing with your life. Right now you're preparing for your future. Don't waste this time - so that was a place of preparation, a place of small things. Don't think about challenging Goliaths in the land and doing great things for God, unless you're willing to tackle the small things in your personal life. For some of you it might be just the managing of your money. It's a giant to beat. It's a lion that will try and intimidate you. Beat that thing. Begin to establish mastery over your money; learn how to save, learn how to give, learn how to invest. Do it when you're young. I guarantee when you get old you'll have a heap of money.
Start when you're young, don't wait until you're older. Oh well I haven't got much. Listen, it's not the much that counts, it's what you're doing with the little. You've got to start with the little and work with the little. So we saw Bethlehem was that [place where - of unseen place then 00.08.09], he was noticed. He went to a place called Gibeah where he was recognised and promoted, and we found he had some lessons to learn in that season as well. We noticed when we saw David we found he was able to be in the court of a king and go back to the place there by the shepherding the sheep out of sight. He could move from the highest place to the lowest place and no problem to him. Some people can't do that, because they want everyone to notice they're in the highest place. Their identity is about having a position. David could be here, could be there; he didn't worry what anyone thought of him or how it looked. His heart was I just want to please God, because He's going to look after me and take me where He wants me to go. So he could move in and out of serving and promotion just like that.
You could imagine the attitude he could have had as a young man. Listen, he could have talked to his brothers and said oh hey, I'm in the court of the king now. Ha ha - who's the big fella now! See, but he never did. There was no sign of that attitude. He was able to shift from being in the court of a king and going down and serving the lowest job in his home and family. Are you too big to do the lowest job? [Laughs] You're too small to be a king. Think about it; greatness is seen in the small things, ability to do the small things. Then we saw he went from there to the cave of Adullam. He had a season of promotion, then he was rejected. Adullam was the place of rejection and injustice, where he was treated terribly unjustly, pushed around. He was chased down, he was treated like a criminal, but it was a place where he had to deal with injustice and rejection. Are you still hurting inside because of how you've been treated? Are you still angry about how people have treated you? You're still in your cave of Adullam trying to get to grips with what's happened.
In the place of Adullam he was able to touch God and let go the hurt and the anger and the bitterness, and begin to develop a life with God that prepared him to take on and be responsible for a whole nation. The cave of Adullam, that place where you're chased and things aren't going well; it looks like you've been treated badly, is also the place of preparation for your next season in life. Then we saw he went to the next place which was Ziklag. He'd had a season of tremendous success. He was starting to grow. People were starting to come to him, and then he had a devastating problem. He had a devastating failure. What do you do when you have a failure? What do you do when everything around your world goes wrong? Well you'll do what you do most of the time - and David did what he did most of the time. He went to the Lord. He went straight into the Lord, he got divine direction, and as a result of that he got a strategy. He not only got back everything, but he actually got back more than that and he was in a position to bless multitudes of people.
Your disasters, your places of disappointment are stepping stones to your next enlargement. Your places of disappointment are stepping stones to your enlargement, or they're places that cause you to become bitter. You choose. So we see these things and each one of these areas of course we could explain quite a bit out. I want to just pick up the last one now, in 2 Samuel 2. So we're not trying to look too much at all the things that happened. We're trying to look at what was going on in David's life, the kind of heart he had and there's a lot more could be shared, but I'm just going to draw it in this last session here with this. Let's go in 2 Samuel 2. Now what's happened, David has been anointed king. Saul, the current king, has fallen in battle. He's been totally defeated, and now David - notice what it says. We're just going to read a few verses here in chapter 2. It happened after this. After what? After Saul's death. David inquired of the Lord, saying shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said to him go up. David said where shall I go up? And He said to Hebron.
David went up there with his two wives. Verse 3: David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household, and the dwelt in the cities of Hebron. Verse 4: Then the men of Judah came, and they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying the men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul. So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, you are blessed of the Lord, you've shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him. And now may the Lord show kindness and truth to you. I will repay you for this kindness, because you have done this thing. Now let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me to be king over them.
One of the first things you see here is that David is in a position where he could just - there's a leadership vacuum. He could immediately just rise up and take this role. Here's the first thing David did. It's the same thing he did all the time. He enquired of the Lord what to do next. When opportunities come to you do you take time to go and talk to the Lord about the opportunity? Do you ask Him what you should do? David enquired of the Lord; he didn't just pray a prayer. He expected God to actually speak to him and direct him. He expected that God would show him what He wanted to do and give him the plan for it. If you follow David's life you'll find one thing is consistent in his life; he enquired of the Lord. He didn't just go and pray. He didn't just go and tell God what his problems were. He actually asked questions with the expectation God would speak back to him. Many times in our prayer life what we do is we tend to pray to God or commit things to Him, and we never stop and take time to wait quietly and in a still place, until you can hear His voice.
He is interested in the affairs of your life. He's interested in the struggles you have. He's interested in the decisions you have to make - but He wants to actually give you confidence in making the decisions by speaking to you. But you've got to take time to listen. Many times I've found we tend to just talk at God, and not take the time to just stop: Lord, what do You want me to do? What should I do? I can remember being at a crossroads in my life and asking the Lord what should I do, and He replied. How did He reply? I just spent time reading the scripture and a scripture lit up to me, and it was like a direct answer to the question - so God can speak to you just by raising a scripture up and you just know that that is a clear word and answer from the Lord. Or He may just speak into your heart, and as you just wait on Him He begins to talk to you and begins to tell what He wants.
I've found many Christians tend to approach their walk with God; here's my plan Lord, bless my plan. It's true we should plan, but it's also true we need to come with our plans before the Lord and ask Him. God had a plan for David to make him a king. David's question is this: should I arise and seize this now, or what would You have me do? What do You want me to do? The Lord said to him I don't want you to be the king over the nation right now. I want you just to take one little bit and grow one little bit. Isn't that interesting, we tend to want to take on the whole world, but God will just take us bit by bit. He said take one tribe, the tribe of Judah, the tribe of praise, the place of origin where you come from. Begin to work in that area first, so the first thing we see there is he was able to resist pressures because he listened to the Lord. When you look at David in battle, before he went to a battle, Lord, what do I do? How do You want me to approach this?
You know, if you lack wisdom for decisions ask the Lord to show you. Then take enough time that you can actually wait on Him to give you an answer. What happens is we pray and go and do what we're going to do anyway, rather than pray and just give God room to give you an answer. It may take a couple of days, it may take a little longer. Give God room to give you an answer. Many times people have come to me and they've asked about this and that, and I see they've already made up their minds. So I just say it's okay, go do it then. They've already made their mind up. They actually haven't come for any counsel, any advice. They haven't come to really ask what God wants. They just have made up their mind and they just want me to agree with them. How much different if a person comes and they lay their plans down, say I'm feeling this, what do you feel about this? What do you think about this?
One of the ways God talks to us is directly. Another way He talks is through the counsel of people who have wisdom. If you have something you're wanting to do why don't you talk to someone who's a Christian or got some kind of experience behind them, who's successful in that area, and ask them to give you advice and counsel? Why don't you ask someone to show you what to do, to help you with your decision? You may have the broad plan, this is where I want to go, but I need someone to help me with those decisions. God can speak through the Bible. He can speak directly. He can also speak through a person with wisdom, but if you're wanting an answer or direction in your life do not go to the crowd. Go to someone who has a track record of success in their life, talk to them, ask them. See, think about this.
A lot of people run around and do all kinds of stuff. I had a member, one young person came to me and they asked what do you think I should do this coming year; should I go to university, or should I stay here? I said give me a chance to think about it. I said no, I think you should stay here for one more year. The person went off to university anyway because they felt they wanted to get - and then what happened was they had not been prepared properly for it, just like I'd told them. You're not ready for that yet. Just stay and become consolidated, get some money behind you, begin to get a track record of working and serving. Then you'll be ready - but they didn't. They went ahead and what happened was their whole life was turned over and they came back with failure around them. It took about two, three years to get over that. Isn't that amazing aye? If they'd just listened to God's advice at the right time they would have saved two, three, four years cycle with all the problems that went with it.
How better it is if we listen. David enquired of the Lord. He had a heart to ask and seek God for what to do. See, think about that. Jesus constantly looked for direction Himself. There's a situation in Mark 1 where Jesus had tremendous crowds around Him, all kinds of miracles were there. He rose early in the morning and the Father said I don't want You to stay here with us. I want You to move on. He said this is what I have as Your purpose. And the crowds came and they said Jesus, won't You just stay here, it's so good and things that are happening? He said no, I must fulfil My purpose, I've got to go to other cities. So one of the things that will keep you on track is having a clear purpose where my life is going, some kind of plan to get there, and continually consulting the Lord just where do I go, what do I do? Lord, show me now at this point what I should do. Think about that. Do you have clear plans?
Young people, if I was to ask you have you got any kind of ideas where you're going, what you're going to do; think about it if you haven't. A person who's got no clear plan will be drifting and be unaware of what's coming and taking away their time and life. So the first thing is he enquired of the Lord, he had a heart to ask after God. Now I want to show you some other things here which show David's heart. Remember, now he's in a place of being promoted. The next thing you see about him is he showed personal care, not only to his family but to those who helped him. Look there in verses 2 and 3, and you see not only did he look after his wife and family, but he also looked after the men who were with him. He made provision for them. So one of the things that was in David's heart, he had not only a heart to seek God but he also had a heart to care for the people who were around him, to ensure that they were provided for, to ensure that they got blessed.
Today often you find with ambitious people, what they want to do is walk on everyone to get where they want to get and they have no sense of caring for the ones around them who are a part of it. There's no one really makes it on their own. Always there's people help you, so what is your attitude to the people around you that are helping you move forward in your life? Have you identified the people who are supporting you, helping you? Maybe it's a parent. Maybe it's both parents. Maybe you have some friends, maybe there's a youth leader, maybe there's someone around you that's being a support and a help. What is your attitude to them? Do you appreciate them? Do you speak to them and express your appreciation? David was a person who not only loved God, but he also valued the people around him and appreciated them. How regularly do you stop to think who is helping you or who has helped you to get where you've got?
Have you ever thought back in your life, who actually helped me get where I am? Did someone make an investment in my life that's helped me move to where I am? Did you stop and thank them? Did you stop and bless them? Did you stop and give them something that acknowledged you help me get where I've got? Young people, think about youth leaders that help you and sow their life, their energy and their time. It's a very difficult, challenging thing being a youth leader. The reason it's challenging is because young people are so up and down, and today they're this and tomorrow they're something else. They're unstable in the course. You can't always rely on them, and often they'll just use everything you've got and then take you for granted and walk away. And that's what makes it really hard for someone working with youth. That's why it's quite challenging for people to take on ministering and working with young people.
So how many times have you stopped to look at the people who've helped you, counselled you, gave advice to you, and actually stopped to thank them, appreciate them and make room for them in your life? Write a note and say thank you, it meant so much when you did this. Maybe you've had kid's church leaders and they've invested in you, and you know you are where you are because of what they did. Perhaps you're an adult and you realise as you look back, there were two or three people in your life that helped you. They were with you, they supported you, they enabled you to get where you are. Did you ever stop to write to them and thank them, and appreciate them? Have you made any provision to bless them for what they've done for your life? This is the heart of David. The Bible says in Hebrews 6:12 I think, it says God is not unrighteous to forget your labour of love, in that you minister to the saints and continue to minister.
So get this. God says it's actually unrighteous to forget when people do good. If people do good and you just don't acknowledge it and you forget it, that's actually unrighteous. It's wrong. It's just minimising them, devaluing them and taking them for granted. How often do we just take for granted what people do for us, instead of actually blessing them and thanking them and appreciating them, and expressing that in some kind of way? What David did was he actually provided financially for the people who had blessed him and helped him. He gave a financial gift. He actually helped them. He was always like that. He continued to do that; even at Ziklag when he received and got tremendous wealth as a result of standing up, hearing God and coming into a place of victory, what happened was after that he gave gifts to everyone who'd been his supporters. That's the heart of David.
Are you that kind of person, or do you just look to get something out of people - and I've seen this over the years in the church among Christians. So many of them have still got the mentality of the world, that they'll come and what they really want is they want to draw what they can get so they can get ahead. Then the moment they've got it, then they forget you and walk away. They're looking for someone else to get them ahead again further. This is unrighteous. This is exploitation of people, it's lacking honour and value for the people that position and help us in our life. Ooh, everyone's all quiet about that. Well think about that, how many people. What about what your parents have done; have you stopped for a while to honour your parents and honour them for what they've done, what they've contributed, to actually think about the sacrifice, what it cost them to do what they've done, and begin to just find ways to express the appreciation.
It may be a gift, maybe a written note. Think of what would really make the difference. Think about this. This is the heart of David. This is the kind of person he was. He never forgot the good that people did to him, never forgot it. There was something about him that just actually always appreciated and valued the people that he had around him. Notice here in verses 5 and 6; David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them you are blessed of the Lord, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him. And now may the Lord show kindness and truth to you. I will also repay you this kindness - now get this. What had happened was now Saul, now remember King Saul was his enemy. King Saul's son Jonathan was his friend, and Saul and his sons died in the battlefield and they chopped off their heads and hung them up on a wall. The men of Jabesh Gilead went in the middle of the night, took the bodies down, took them back and gave them a proper burial.
This is what David had to say: Because you did this thing, he said may the Lord show His blessing upon you. He said I will repay you for it too. So you see his heart; his heart is to actually bless people and show kindness to people who act honourably. Do you actually acknowledge people who do what's right? Do you acknowledge people who act honourably, who do the right thing? Quite a challenge to do that. When you see a young person make a stand, maybe an unpopular stand, do you actually go up and encourage them and speak into them: man, I really was inspired by what you did. That really was wonderful. Here, here's just something to encourage you. See, this is the kind of person that David was. We tend to see his battles and his victories, and how he became a king and changed a nation. We see him as a history maker when we look at his events, but we're trying to look into his heart what kind of person he was.
Looking into his heart we find there's this passionate love for God, and then as he had this passionate love for God not only did God guide him and direct him in his life, but what he also did was he took on the characteristics of what God is like. So he didn't forget his friends, he honoured those who honour the Lord. Come on, think about that. He honoured those who honoured the Lord. What kinds of things have you done in the last year to express appreciation to those who you've seen act really well, do something really good, or have actually helped you get where you are? Think about that. Here's another thing that he did. He showed bigness of heart in welcoming people who had formerly served his enemy. See King Saul was hounding him down and these people served King Saul, and then what he did was this. He actually showed kindness to them and honoured them and valued them.
Now it shows a bigness of heart if the people who once were against you, you can actually then still not react and reject and be bitter towards them, but actually include them in your future. That takes bigness of heart to do that doesn't it? Most people, if someone's really affected you or hurt you that's it, you write them off, judge them. They're never going to come near you again - but do you have a heart big enough that if someone has hurt you, offended you or done something that's upset you, that you can still be big enough to welcome them into your future when they look like they've made a change? In a small town what often happens, a small place like this, it's very hard to live past your mistakes. But people change, and these people who were against him initially, they've turned now and they're open to him, and he's enlarged his heart to make room to include them. How inclusive are you? Do you have your little cliques and ones you're really close to, or do you have a heart to reach out and gather up potentially other great people?
The think you'll find with David that many people came to him. In fact they came to him in their droves and he welcomed them, received them and raised them up to be loyal men, to be men of war, to be men who would shape the future. If you're going to have a great destiny, you're going to need great people around you. Are you big enough to welcome into your life people who may have been difficult before? You think about that. I've found that one of the dilemmas that all leaders face is this, is the difficulty of being big enough in heart to include into their world those who have leadership abilities or are challenging to them. If you only accept into your world the people who are nice to you, the people who you like, the people who personally you feel comfortable with, you have a small world. God has got a lot of other people he wants to bring into your world, but you've got to have a heart to embrace them and welcome them.
Have you got a heart to do that, or can you only bring in the ones you feel comfortable with? You'll stay very small and in your comfort zone, instead of facing the challenges of bringing challenging people around you. See, we all need people around us who are big and who have got greatness in their life to help us. They stir us to get to where God wants us to get. And finally, we find that David waited patiently for the Lord to promote him. He didn't push himself to get where he wanted to get. He spent seven years in this place called Hebron. He spent seven years; he spent from the age of about 30 to 37 in that period in Hebron, so he was able to wait for God to fulfil His promises. Most people today I find are impatient. They want it all and they want it now, and that song represents the spirit of the age. I want it all, I want everything and I want it all now. Now you think, if you take on that mentality think how that's going to affect every part of your life.
I want it all, I want it now. How do you ever build good relationships? How do you ever build a relationship with God? How do you ever build financial strength and independence? I want it all and I want it now. You can't with that mentality. David, he was able to wait patiently for the Lord and many times in the psalms he was saying learn to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. He will bring about everything He's said. You don't have to strive and struggle and make it happen. He never had to fight to make himself king; what he did was he walked with the Lord and listened to Him, and God got him there. See, it's a tremendous thing to be able to be patient. The Bible tells us don't be lazy, but be a follower of those who through faith, trusting God and through patience receive the promises of God. Nothing comes quick in life, and so the world will offer you everything quick and it tries to tempt you with things that are quick. What happens is if you buy into it you actually lose sight of how God builds.
He builds slowly, step by step, and He builds with your whole life in mind and with the next generation in mind. So when you're young of course all you want everything and you want it all now, but listen. If you can actually stand against that and wait patiently, and persevere slowly and steadily towards your goals, you will outrun everyone. You will outrun everyone. The race does not go to the most gifted. You look around you; maybe you feel insecure, this one's so gifted, that one's so gifted, this one's so gifted. Listen, at the end of the day it won't be the gifted ones necessarily that actually shine and rise up to the top of the pile. It'll be the ones who had a plan, who trusted the Lord, and patiently and persistently worked towards where they wanted to get. Well think about that. Don't buy in to the current generation and how it thinks. Start to be a leader by just thinking and acting differently.
Begin to get the heart of David around you; passionate love for God, a caring heart for the people around him, a willingness to honour and value people who were helping him and part of his team, a willingness to impart what he knew to others, a willingness to receive others who had strengths to add to him, a willingness to wait patiently for God to break through and bring him to where he was supposed to get. And the final thing that I see in the Bible about David was this. There's many other things, but when he did succeed the first thing he wanted to do was to restore the presence of God to be the centre of the nation. The first thing he wanted to do when he got to the place where God had got him king over - not only over Judah but eventually put him king over all of Israel, listen, this is what he did. The first thing he wanted to do was this, he wanted to restore the presence of God to the centre of the nation. In other words he gave God the full honour and glory for getting him there. What an amazing man this man David is.
Jesus was called the Son of David because He had the same kind of characteristics and qualities. What kind of heart do you have? Do you have a heart that delights in the Lord? Do you have a heart that's faithful in the small things? Do you have a heart that can trust God to get you where He wants to get you? Do you have a heart that blesses and thanks the people around you, that actually help you get where you get? Do you honour those who do well? Do you have room in your heart to include those who actually have gifts that could help you? And when you do get to the place of victory, when you've got that promotion, got that job, got that business, won that [court 00.32.44], whatever it is; you get to that place, God is still first in your life. He didn't even act like a king when he got there. He just acted like someone still passionately in love with the Lord, because being king was never his goal. To honour God and serve his generation was.
Now for you to serve your generation learn to just study these aspects of David and take on the same traits. Take on the same traits, because you know what's going to happen? God wants to get you somewhere. There's a place He wants to get you, and God wants to raise you up into leadership because He has people for you to touch. So how can it happen? You've got to make the choice.
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