» View one page at time »

The Making of a King

Mike Connell

Deaf/Hearing-Impaired Audio Transcripts

The Making of a King

King David was associated with 5 different cities, representing different seasons in his life, each with their own lessons to learn.

To serve your generation, study these aspects of David, and take on the same traits.

Jesus was called the “Son of David”, because He had the same kind of characteristics and qualities.

Bethlehem (1 of 5)
David served in obscurity, where he developed:
1) Devotion for the Lord
2) Faithfulness in small things
3) Courage, in the face of conflict.
God took him from the flocks, and made him shepherd over a nation. A man who is faithful in small things will be faithful in great things.
David said: The Lord, who helped me slay the lion and the bear, will also help me slay this giant. He was constantly aware that God is helping him, and He was able to give honor to the Lord.

Gibeah (2 of 5)
I have found David. the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.
I will give you the sure mercies of David. Even my failures, God can turn them around, and make them a great stepping-stone to my success.
Gibeah was a place of Promotion, because of his reputation:
1) Skillful in playing
2) Mighty man of valor
3) Man of war
4) Prudent in speech
5) Handsome (well-presented)
6) The Lord is with him
There’s no use seeking greatness. Seek to know God, and develop great character, and God will promote you.

Cave of Adullam (3 of 5)
David went from being the hero of the nation, to experiencing a demotion, and now they outright want to kill him!
He's rejected, misunderstood, and he faces tremendous injustices - not once, but many times.
The Lord is the Justifier! He can sort it out! You don't have to be understood by everyone - just let it go!
David ran into the presence of God (to Samuel), when he suffered injustice, rejection and misunderstanding - to hear fresh from God for his life.

Ziklag (4 of 5)
Amalekites invaded Ziklag, and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women, and all those who were there, from small to great. They did not kill anyone, but carried them away, and went their way.
David's two wives had been taken captive, and he was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters.
David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. God is looking for people just like that!

Hebron (5 of 5)
Saul and his sons died in the battlefield. 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.
David said: Because you did this thing, may the Lord show His blessing upon you. I will repay you for it too.
His heart was to bless people and show kindness to those who acted honorably.



Bethlehem (1 of 5)  

Sun 3rd Feb 2008 PM « Back to Top

Audio»  Paperback(1)»  Share»  Website»  

David served in obscurity, where he developed:
1) Devotion for the Lord
2) Faithfulness in small things
3) Courage, in the face of conflict.

God took him from the flocks, and made him shepherd over a nation. A man who is faithful in small things will be faithful in great things.

David said: The Lord, who helped me slay the lion and the bear, will also help me slay this giant. He was constantly aware that God is helping him, and He was able to give honor to the Lord.

Bethlehem (1 of 5)

Who's in for a great year, this year? Let me give you a secret... It will be what you make of it! If you're going to change, it's because you decided to change. I love it when people have decided they're going to grow and change.

I'm going to share with you a series of messages called “The Making of a King”, about the life of David.

Revelations 5:9-10 – “…You have redeemed us to God by Your blood. Out of every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation, 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!

The Bible tells us of an event in heaven, and it speaks of a multitude of people, and they're declaring and thanking God. These people have come out of every tribe, every nation, every people, every kindred - every kind of people that you could imagine. God has drawn them out, and made them His own family, and destined that once we've become family, He calls us kings & 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…

1) The capacity to come into the presence of God, on behalf of yourself, and on behalf of others, to begin to intercede, pray and receive blessing from heaven. That's everyone's privilege! 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 that God has intended will never be yours, because blessings must be taken hold of. What will you take hold of, from God, this year?

2) 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.

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. You are called to have an influence in your generation. Now, if God called you to do it, then He will provide all that 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.

We're going to look now at a king that everyone knows - King David. But first, I want you to look in Acts 13, so we see that when we get born again, we're positioned to be kings and priests. It's a language that we don't readily take hold of, but we're called to be winners - we're called to win in life. We're called to touch, impact, and influence the people around us – to 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.

We're going to look at the life of a man that God chose to be king - a man who actually shifted the whole generation he lived in. What was in this man, that enabled him to arise, and have such an impact? I'm called to be a king; and He was called to be a king; but He's got something in his life I can learn from.

Acts 13:22 – “And 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’”.

God said: I found someone! That other one that I had was no good! 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, then 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 – I want to keep on that edge, keep growing. I never want You to look and say: he wasn't doing what I needed him to do, so I'll find someone else - but that is what happened with Saul.

The Bible says - “I have found a man after My own heart, who will do all My will”. He has ‘found’ him, meaning that He's been looking. God is looking for people. Why? Because His kingdom will never advance without them. People will 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.

2 Chronicles 16:9 – “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?

God said: “I've found a man that is after My heart”. In other words, 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 wants to know what is on My heart to do, in the day he lives.

Look back in the Bible at all these great men - they lived in a generation, and God touched their lives. God touched David. The first thing He says about him - he ‘pursued the heart of God’. 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.

Jer. 9:24 – “For in these I delight… that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth”

God delights in some things. There are things that He loves; and when you do the things, He really starts to come and take notice of you. He loves people who will pursue Him and be in love with Him; not just sing songs or clap - its far more than that. 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. It's on the heart of God to see people saved - to see people reached for Christ. Here is the first thing we see - the pursuit of God's heart.

Acts 13:36 – “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep”.

1) The pursuit of God's heart

2) He was a history maker.

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!

He had something that God liked, because Jesus was called ‘the Son of David’. 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 - he had a heart after God, and he was a history maker, determined to change the generation he lived in.

You may not change a whole generation, but there are some people you can change, and there are some differences that you can make. 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?

We're going to have a look at David - this man who became such a great king. 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. 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 must learn to grow into the role, learn what it is to stand up. 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. 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 distinct period in his life, when he was learning and growing, and he learnt certain things.

In this session, we will examine the first of those cities, and I want to show you what it is that was happening in his life, that nobody saw. There were bad seasons, good seasons - different seasons; but some things were constant.

1 Samuel 16:1 – “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”.

What was it that David did, that made him so distinctive? The first season in David's life - this event takes place when he's about 17. This season is in a place called Bethlehem, and we know of someone else who also was born in Bethlehem and had a season there - Jesus Christ.

David was living in Bethlehem, and was the youngest in his family, of seven or eight. He had the lowest social stature in the family, so for him, Bethlehem was the place of obscurity, the place where no one sees you, except God. It's a place where there are some things to learn, and if you learn those things, in that place, then you will position yourself for the next place or season in your life. Some people never learn those lessons, that are found in this place called Bethlehem, but there are three things he learned in that season…

Samuel 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, they had a great big feast, and he brought all the sons together, and then he asked them all to pass by him. Eliab was the first one, and he was a good-looking guy. He got him to go past him; but the Lord said: no, not that one. 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. They brought each of the sons in front of the prophet, and the prophet was thinking: this is the one? No! This is the one? No! Finally, all seven had gone by, and… nothing! He says: what a mystery! Have 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.

1 Samuel 16:11-12 – “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. And the Lord said arise, anoint him; that's the one!”

His family considered him to be the least, the lowest, and the youngest - and often the youngest is either the pet of the family, or the one they all pick on. In this case, David was given the worst job in the whole family. The family was quite poor, they only had a few sheep - we know this because in verse 17 it says: “only a few sheep”. So, because they weren't a wealthy family, they couldn't employ someone to look after the sheep, so they gave him the job - the lowest job, the dirtiest job, to young David. He was the youngest in the family, lowest in position, and no one thought anything of him - no one thought he was important. They all walked all over him! In fact, when there was an important feast, he wasn't even invited!

He wasn't even included in the spiritual things. He had just a few sheep; and looking after sheep was the lowest of jobs. It was a menial job, and a very lonely job. He would have to make sure the sheep didn't wander off; he would lead them, and look after them, and that was his full-time job. 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?

He developed some qualities, three qualities, in that time. In that season, when no one notices you, and you're just doing the menial tasks that no one even cares about… it's cleaning the toilets, washing up outside. Think about what he had to do...

He had to dag the sheep - and they didn't have these fancy buzzers they have now - he just had little clippers, and he had to clip off all the dags, to clean them all up. He had to get all the bugs out of them. He had to lay his life down, in looking after them. He proved himself faithful, in small manners. While everyone else was doing the important jobs, he got the least jobs, and he is qualifying himself to be a king. He qualified himself in three ways…

1) David developed a devotion, and a passion, for the Lord.

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”.

Psalm 16:11 – “…In Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”.

How can you write that stuff? You must have experienced it! He developed a heart to seek after God. 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: we feel sorry for you, in that job; but 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 a menial task, he was developing a heart to worship God. He was learning how to worship, how to express his heart to God, express feelings to God. He was learning how to express his concerns.

Imagine being out there, night after night, day after day - all alone, with no one to talk to, except sheep. It's a place where no one sees what's going on in your life, and in that place, some things happen. You can develop a heart to love God, because no one really recognises you anyway. One of the things that will be a secret for you, becoming great is, you learn to have a love of God, and to find your life in Him; not in the job you're doing.

Some people, they look at the little jobs, and say: 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. David developed a heart that just loved the Lord, worshipped Him, and enjoyed His presence. Over a period of time, he was 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 of psalms are written out of that 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 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 do yourself - develop a heart that is passionate towards God; learn how to be alone, and worship Him, and encounter Him. When I started out in ministry, I was literally just 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, 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, we 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. The Lord spoke to me and lead me away from teaching in a public school. We had hundreds of people, and I had 25 kids to look after, a little flock. I said: Lord, I want to do this; but 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, its equivalent to working in the kid's church all the time.

What I learnt was 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. You have to learn how to do that! People can teach you, but you've got to learn how to do it, and value that. If I've got God coming on my life, then it doesn't really matter if no one knows what I think, or I'm doing, or whatever's happening. 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, then I'm really happy. 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.

The first thing was a devotion to the Lord, and 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 that you begin to feel God's presence coming around your life? 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 - 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.

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 begin to discover what He likes.

He says: I am the Lord, who delights in loving kindness, and justice, and mercy. God loves mercy! He's not harsh on us. David, if you look at his life, was a man who knew the mercy of God, even though he did outrageous things at times. He not only committed adultery, and murdered a man, but he also made a foolish mistake that cost 70,000 men their lives! And still, he was a man who could sing about the mercy of God!

You've got to learn how to connect with God yourself, personally. 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 that he learnt, was the area of faithfulness.

1 Samuel 17:28 – (David goes down to the battle…) “Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men, and 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. The second thing that he had learnt was: faithfulness in small things. In the menial task, where he was unrecognized, and despised, he just learned to be faithful. That’s something that we can choose to learn. You can be unlimited in faithfulness. Faithfulness in small tasks means that 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.

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, and unashamedly challenge them, to become connected, committed, and involved in some area of the church life and ministry - because somewhere, you have to learn what it means to be faithful.

If there's a little task, you do the little task. If you're given a little job, you turn up on time and do it - no excuses; you make sure it happens. David learnt to be faithful with the few that he had, and God was preparing him.

Psalm 78:70-72 – “God took him from the flocks, and made him shepherd over a nation; and he led them with integrity of heart, and with skillfulness of hands.”

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. 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.

How did David qualify himself to be a king? 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. I wonder what you're like, in your faithfulness?

Luke 16:10 – “A man who is faithful in small things will be faithful in great things”.

If you can't be faithful in the small things, then you certainly can't be relied on in the big things. How many would love God to entrust to you something significant? We would all like that! How many would like to be promoted? We would all like that! 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.

It's unlimited, your possibility to be faithful. Think about the small things you can do at home. Think about your responsibilities at home. God is watching all of that stuff! Think about the responsibilities you have in your life; there are bills to pay, on time. If you give a commitment - keep the commitment! If you can't keep it, then you negotiate your way out, by arrangement. It's integrity! These are things that you can do.

If you've got a little job, then do it well, as though it's the most important job in the whole world. If you need to make a plate of scones for some outing, then make the best ones you've ever made. Make them big, make them great, plenty of butter, plenty of jam on them, so people go whoa! Look at that!

It's understanding faithfulness. A faithful person is hard to find. It's hard to find people who give their word, and keep it; who will actually take a small task, and do it diligently. Do you know what happens? When you find a person who is functioning faithfully in a little task, you can't just leave them there. You can't! They're too good for that little task, so you've got to bring them up! That's how promotion takes place, and God said these words.

He said: I have seen among the children of Jesse, a son - a king! He saw a king. We look, and just see a young little red-faced boy, with bright eyes, smiling, plays a guitar, just sits out there in the country, wasting his time - what kind of use is he? When they 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! The place of obscurity, the place where no one sees you, and no one knows you, you're not important, 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, put your hand up, and say: count me in! I will do this job - I will be there, and I will do it well. You’re preparing yourself for big things.

The third thing that you develop, in that place of obscurity, is: courage in the face of conflict!

1 Samuel 17:33-37 – “Saul said to David: you're not able to go and fight this Philistine. You're a young boy, and he is a man of war, from his youth. But David said to Saul: your servant… (notice his language - he's been serving in secret, so he calls himself a 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. Your servant killed both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God. 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 this Philistine.”

David faced conflict in the little job. He just had a handful of sheep, but there were wild animals that would come. One of the roles of the shepherd was not just to care for the sheep, look after them, clean them up, keep them looking good, de-bug them... It wasn't just that! If something come against it, to kill it, then 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. A hireling is just in it for what he can get out of it; but the good shepherd lays his life down.

Notice what David did. In the place where he was serving, there was conflict - a lion, and a bear. Have you ever been to the zoo, and stood outside a lion's cage? Get as near as they will allow you. I remember doing that, and I began to walk up and down, and I realised that he was running up and down with me! I looked, and I thought: there's only bars separating me from death! I could see the lion was looking at food! He was looking at a meal; and I was looking at a lion.

It says the lion came against the lamb, and David ‘rose up’! To hit the lion, you've got to throw a stone from a long way off - which is possibly what he did. But we also know that 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; and 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 that he tapped into.

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 had physically got stuck into a lion, and killed it. He had physically laid into a bear and killed it! I don't think we've ever thought about what a bear does, and how close you've got to get, to a bear. A bear has got mighty paws, that can sweep you away, just like that. It's not an easy task to kill a bear, hand-to-hand.

What would you and I feel? I think I would just explain to dad that we lost a couple of the sheep! Fear would grip you! Look dad, you've got to understand… it was a lion! I was by myself! But 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.

You may not have to face a lion, or a bear; but the Bible likens the devil to a lion - coming to roar against you, and intimidate you. I'm sure that 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 about the circumstances and situations where you face intimidation? Something frightens you, where you face being crushed by the words that people spoke, or the things that people have done, the way they 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. He had a deep trust in the Lord, and he grew in his ability to face things, and conquer them. That's what God is wanting to teach us to do!

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. 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 in the place that was private, David did these things.

1) He developed a devotion to the Lord, and an ability to draw the presence of God around his life

2) He developed faithfulness in small things. He became faithful in the little matters.

3) 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? Do you give up the little jobs? Is your prayer life just temporary?

Listen, this is the time and the season - David served his generation. He was a man who rose up, and he impacted the generation he lived in, by the life he lived. You're called to do the same!

It will be different for every one of us. Some will be kings in a business area; in a school; in government – all kinds of different places, where we can learn to be a king. Every one of us is 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 must 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…

1) I'm going to develop a relationship with the Lord.

2) I'm going to develop faithfulness. You can't just do that on your own. Someone gives you a job, that you see through,

3) I'm going to develop courage. When issues come up, I will face them. I won't run away, like I've run away before. I'm going to trust God to bring me through it.

Gibeah (2 of 5)  

Sun 10 Feb 2008 PM « Back to Top

Audio»  Paperback(1)»  Share»  Website»  

I have found David. the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.

I will give you the sure mercies of David. Even my failures, God can turn them around, and make them a great stepping-stone to my success.

Gibeah was a place of Promotion, because of his reputation:
1) Skillful in playing
2) Mighty man of valor
3) Man of war
4) Prudent in speech
5) Handsome (well-presented)
6) The Lord is with him

There’s no use seeking greatness. Seek to know God, and develop great character, and God will promote you.

Gibeah (2 of 5)

Acts 13:22 – “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

How many love the story of David? We're going through the life of David, but we're not looking 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 them as that great person over there, but you don't always think what you could do, as a person, yourself. I want to do is to look at the heart of David, and this is what God said of him….

He was a man who was passionately concerned to discover what God is like. That's something that 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, and the outward manifestations, but what is in the heart of God. What does He love, and hate? What does He desire, and delight in? You can discover those things - and David made that his pursuit.

It says: “he will do My will”. 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.

Acts 13:36 – ““For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption”

The second thing about him… After he'd served his own generation, by the will of God, fell asleep.

We see two things about David here…

1) A passionate desire to know God, and to walk intimately in His presence. He was a heart man.

2) 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, and the army. Every aspect of national life - he changed it. What a man, what a tremendous man! The dilemma is that we look at people like that and say: I'd never be like that; but actually, you can draw from the life of David, the man, what he's like, and discover things you and I can apply into our own lives.

Acts 13:34 – “… I will give you the sure mercies of David.”

God gave to David 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. You find great failures in David's life, but he's endorsed as a man who walked in the mercies of God.

Psalm 23 – “…the goodness and mercy of God is going to follow me everywhere I go.”

He tapped into something - a life flow. We get a mental attitude: if I just do what's right, then God will bless me; but that's legalism! God blesses people, because He's good. Doing things that are right is your expression of knowing His goodness. David so knew His goodness, that he could be confident, that no matter where I go, or 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.

If I blow it… God is with me! He's going to get me up again! What a way to walk! He made a mistake that cost 70,000 men their lives, but he still said: the goodness and mercy of God is around my life. You need a lot of mercy when you've killed 70,000 people, by mistake. 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!

There are five cities mentioned in the life of David, and those five cities all represent a season in his life. The first was the city (or the town) of Bethlehem, and that represents the season of obscurity. No one knows who you are; you're just another face in the crowd. David was a young boy, growing up to the age of 17, and no-one knew him. He was so despised, that when a prophet came into their home, his dad wouldn't even invite him to the feast.

Sheep herding was the lowest job you could have; but day after day, in that place where no one saw him, David developed some things… He developed faithfulness; he was faithful in the little matters. That's something that you can develop when no one knows who you are. How many believe God's got a significant plan for your life? Right now, the world doesn't know you; one day it might, but today, when you're not known, is the day to do what David did, and develop faithfulness in the little matters of life.

Secondly, he developed a deep personal relationship with the Lord, when no one saw him. Thirdly, he developed his character - courage and integrity, when no one was looking.

Right now, when the world doesn't know you, or even see there's much good in you; perhaps 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 is looking. You can develop faithfulness - whatever little tasks you're given, see that you do it. If you give your word, then keep your word. If you're given a little job, you it well. This is where you're learning for the great things.

Finally, you can learn to develop courage, because all of us have conflicts or issues to face - and that's where you learn courage.

You don't learn it when everyone's watching... When the crowd is watching you, and you make a courageous stand, it costs you something. You can learn these things now. There’s no use seeking greatness; seek to know God, and develop great character, and then God will make the other things begin to happen.

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. Now we look at Gibeah - the second place, the place of promotion.

Psalm 75:6-7 – “For exaltation comes neither from the east, nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another”

Promotion means people get to know who you are. You get to be popular, and out where people see you. People like promotion! Promotion means more pay, usually - it's a wonderful thing to get promoted, but the Bible's telling us here that God brings about promotion in your life.

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, and to get somewhere. What they do is in their own efforts, so they struggle, and manipulate, and try to maneuver, 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 will do the things that you need to do. 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 will change this season. I can move from this thing to something else, but right now, I will stay where I am - being faithful and devoted, developing integrity and character; and then when it's the right time, you will lift me up.

This works everywhere in the world. If you get into a job situation - do your job well! If you are faithful, diligent, and see to the details - that boss can't keep you in that role too long; you must come up! The Bible says: every man talks about his own goodness, but a faithful man, who can find? A person who will just do the job, and get it done, with no hidden agendas. If you do things with a hidden agenda, then eventually, your agenda will be exposed. I just serve because I love the Lord. I serve in the big things; serve in the little things.

We're going to have a look at David's promotion. He's in a different place now, a different pay grade, a different season in his life.

1 Samuel 16:14 – “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him”

He's demonised. That word distressing is literally ‘to terrify’ - to suddenly come on and fill you with terror. Saul was once a man who walked with God, and was doing what God wanted, partially; but eventually, he lost his position altogether. An evil spirit come around him, and he would be terrified. Every now and then he'd be filled with panic. He had ‘panic-attacks’, and he was very distressed.

1 Samuel 16:15-16 – “And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.”

A need arises; this is an amazing thing see! God wanted to train David to become a king, so firstly, he trained him in character, relationship, and courage. Now, he needed to train him in how to be a leader, how to rule. He needs to get him to where he can 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?

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 they were in their hut - about 20 guys under him, and 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; but this guy knew exactly what to do. He knew exactly how to confront, and deal with the spirit, and that day, 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 capacity to meet a need, positions you to be promoted. If you have developed no skills to meet needs, then how can anyone promote you? You must develop something. You need 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, and opportunities will emerge.

In a couple of weeks there's a lady going to be speaking at the Miracle Centre, Patricia Green. I remember when she was here years ago, looking after a home for wayward girls. She felt that season was over, of looking after girls in difficulty, not realising that God was preparing her for the next thing. She went to, and got a heart for, Cambodia. Went there, began to work with the kids who were sold into prostitution on the streets. They would be offered and promised things in the villages, that they could come into the city. They got a job alright, 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, to provide skilled training, because without those skills there's a limitation what they can do. They had to develop; so she set up Rahab Ministries, which was to outreach to these girls, and provide skilled training, so they could earn an income - otherwise they couldn't get out of the cycle that they were in.

She did that for some years, and since then, she's been able to raise up someone, and hand over the ministry. Now she's working as an advisor to the United Nations. 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. 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!

Do you understand that God can make ways for people to go forward? You don't have to worry about that. Worry about what's going on in your life with what you have now. So, an opportunity comes. Let's go find someone who knows how to play a harp - they thought the music might help.

1 Samuel 16:17-18 – “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 skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”

Needs are opportunities to advance. Let other people promote you. Don't promote yourself. One of the interesting things about leadership is, what kind of report do people have? What are people saying about you? They will be saying the kinds of things you will like. What you do, and the dealings you have with people, eventually it comes to a point where you have a whole flow of people that know you, and they know what you're like. When there's a need somewhere, they will 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 season now of promotion, and preparation for the next thing God has. I want you to see what they saw in his life, because this is the thing - most of the time when we look at the story of David, we think about slings, and Goliaths, and lions, and bears, and battles. We don't think about what was really going on in his life, that 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.

What did they notice, that lead to him being promoted? Here's the first thing… he's skillful in music! He had a musical skill, an ability, a skill that he had developed. Have you got any skills that you've developed, that someone might want to pay for? If you have no skill, then you're an unskilled laborer; but if you have a skill, you can do something that others can't do. Develop skills!

They noticed he had a skill, an unusual ability - developed from a lot of time alone, playing an instrument. He's skillful in playing; a mighty man of valor. Secondly, they saw that he had a reputation for courage. A person with courage, or a mighty man of valor, 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? People are running down their friends, but they just stood up for their friends - that's something! The whole class was laughing about Christian things, but they just stood up, unashamed - wow! The crowd all went to the party, and were drinking, but they just left, because they won't get involved in that - courage! People going out sleeping with one another, but 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.

Thirdly, it says: he's a mighty man of war! He had never held a spear, or a sword yet, but he had a reputation, because he had a fighting spirit in him. How could it be, that a boy whose own family thought so low of him, that they didn't even invite him to the feast - yet 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.

He developed a musical skill; and he developed courage, a fighting spirit. Then it also says “prudent in speech”. They noticed how he spoke. He spoke wisely, didn't mouth off, or run people down, criticize people, or bad-mouth people. He didn't complain. He wasn't a negative person. When he spoke, there was something different about this person - he's got good, living words. When David spoke, there was life in the words.

Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue!”

You could do all of these things! You can develop these qualities! The next quality it said about him was, he was a ‘handsome’ man. He presented himself well! I've noticed an interesting thing... Some people are born with good looks, and some are not; 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 - has developed some skill, and some courage, can stand up for herself, and be assertive, and actually has kept herself well. She is really some woman!

Inner beauty shows on the outside of people! People think the Lord looks on the heart, and yes, He does; but people look at the outside, and they judge you by how you present yourself, so you do need to present yourself well. David presented himself well. When he was with people, he not only spoke well; there was also a good impression created by the way he presented himself. How you dress says a statement about you. If you wear low-cut stuff, it makes a statement. I've seen some girls, with some t-shirts, and I've stopped in an altar call, 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.

When you've got statements on you encourage immorality, that's not a good thing; and it indicates how the person sees themselves. David was loved by God, and he presented himself well, because he was secure inside. You don't have to have the latest things, but you can present yourself sharply. If you're going 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 themselves… oh my goodness, whoa, keep away from me! We need to enhance everything God has given to us. It's a part of who we are; your face gives your identity to the world, so make it look good! Smile more!

Lastly, it says: “the Lord is with him” - it was known, that God was with him! How did they know that God was with him? Because somehow, things seemed to go well for this guy. Did you hear the story - there was this lion. and he nailed the lion! Man, how do you nail a lion, face-to-face, and grab a hold of his beard? It's dribbling and drooling, it's mouth is open, ready to devour you - and you just kill it! He had an anointing on his life for that particular work, and he proved it. He learned how to work with the Holy Ghost, as a young man.

He's only 17, but he's got that reputation! Out of this relationship with God, and his response to God, he developed a heart that hungered for one thing. His heart was for God, and he developed serving; he developed skill in music; he developed his character, his courage, and his ability to fight. He presented himself well, spoke well, and people heard about him. Someone said: you need David! Bring David in! He didn't have to promote himself, because someone else said: that's the guy you need. Today you're preparing for tomorrow's promotion - or not preparing for it?

To become a teacher, you need to be doing the preparation - have a clear goal, taking steps to get there, working on things… What are you working on?

1 Samuel 16:19-23 – “Therefore, Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said: send me your son David who is with the sheep (he 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 favor in my sight. And so it was, whenever the spirit of God was upon Saul (whenever he had a panic attack), David would take the harp and he'd play with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart”.

David had learned how to play in such a way that the anointing of God was released! You can speak in such a way that God's presence comes with you. You can play an instrument, so God's presence comes with you. Whatever you do, God's presence comes with you, into it. See what he had around his life? That's what you desire! That comes out of a life devoted to the Lord. You can build these things around your own life - it wouldn't be too hard.

He's now promoted, from the back side of the desert, alone with sheep, to the palace of a king. He's standing alongside the king, in the place where governmental decisions affecting a nation are being made, and he's watching every bit, in training for his day. He's in the wings, waiting for his moment to emerge; but he's only worried about being faithful.

When you get promoted, when you get lifted up, when recognition comes in your life, 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 enjoy their newfound status, and their new privileges. He ate at the king's table, was in the king's palace, was there when everything was happening. He had a nice room, nice surroundings, had everything going for him - but he still maintained the same heart he had, when he was a shepherd.

When you get promoted, that will test your attitude. Have you ever noticed where someone has come into a bit of money, and then they never talked to you? Or they got promoted, and now they don't want to know you, because their newfound position has caused them to become elevated with pride. Sometimes success, and particularly success in ministry (or 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!

1 Samuel 17:15 – “David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem”.

That tells you his heart! He never got a cocky attitude towards his brothers – ha-ha, look at me! You didn't think much of me before, but now I'm in the king's palace! If you don't listen, I'm going to tell the king - you're in trouble. He didn't get lifted-up! Most people will never go back to what they did before - they're beyond it!

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. No matter where he was, he was always a servant. He never drew his identity from his position, where he was. He never thought, I'm in a lowly role, I'm not much, there's not much for me; or whoa, look at me now, I'm next to the king! He just said: I'm the servant of the Lord. 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 favor; and then straight away go into insignificance, doing the lowest job, because his identity was never attached to the job, or the status. It was always attached to - I'm the servant of the Lord. Wherever I go, I'm a servant. That is a quality that will get you far with God. That was in the heart of David. Wherever he went, he's the servant of the Lord.

I can remember when we set up a Christian school, down in Dannevirke. I was pastoring the church there, and principal of the school, and it was all going well, but God wanted to teach me this lesson, out of 1 Samuel here. One day all the kids are in school, and someone reports to me: the toilet is broken! We only had one small facility there, one toilet, and it wasn’t working, which means you have to close the school, unless you can get a plumber! I rang every plumber in town, but no one could get there! I stood there looking at this toilet, and the Lord said to me: you know what you have to do... Someone had dropped a toilet roll down it. which blocked it; then the next person filled it. Yeah, it wasn't too nice, but 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 a pastor, and just do what needs to be done. So, I took off my jacket and rolled up my sleeves…

I don't think I could touch that arm for a month afterwards! We didn't have those fancy gloves that you have now, nothing like that. I just had to shove my whole arm up there… Thank You Jesus, it's a privilege to serve You Lord, and I did it! The thing is, you will always face challenges like that, little tests, to see if 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!

He got promoted, and he had an opportunity to slay a giant; and then in 1 Samuel 18:1, he had huge favor with Jonathan, the king's son. He got favor with the whole nation.

1 Samuel 18:14 – “David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him”

1 Samuel 18:16 – “All of Israel and Judah loved David…”

1 Samuel 18:20 – “Michael, Saul's daughter, loved David.”

David is in a place of huge promotion. He became a national hero; the king's son loves him, and the king's daughter loves him too, 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; but popularity and fame will test a person's character. When the crowds came around Jesus, 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.

There's something in the heart, that must be developed, to be the servant of God, and not be worried about popularity. If you're popular today, then tomorrow, the same crowd will hate you. When the crowd starts to turn, the people who have built their life around what others are saying about them will just go to pieces. You've got to have your roots firmly in God!

David is about to get another lesson! He's about to go from being public hero number one, to public villain number one! 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; but the next day, they yelled: crucify Him! You've got to actually have something inside yourself.

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! Build a crowd around you that will 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 those other ones, they will pressure you to go somewhere else. We cannot say that there's no such thing as peer pressure, so create peers around you who 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!

Let’s summarize the lessons here, that we can learn…

Promotion comes from the Lord, in His right timing. Develop faithfulness, integrity, and courage, when no one is looking. Deepen your friendship with the Lord; He is the one who'll promote you.

If the job is your source, then when the job goes, you're in trouble; but if God is your source, then when the job goes… I wonder what's next, Lord?

Hold fast to your integrity and faithfulness when people start to recognise you. Don't get filled with self-importance.

When your identity is secure in the Lord, you will be stable, no matter what people are saying about you. The time that you start to rise up, and gather fame, and start to become recognized, is also the time when against you will start to arise people who are jealous of you.

That season of promotion lasted in David's life from the age of 17 to 23. He had six years where he was in unusual favor in the nation - then it all turned against him.

1 Samuel 18:5 – “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”.

1 Samuel 18:12-14 – “Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. Therefore, Saul demoted him from his presence, and 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 don’t last very long. It's called “15 minutes of fame”, so don't live for that 15 minutes of fame.

Live to please God! Live to walk with Him, discover His heart, and find a way that you can please Him. Develop skills in your life, and if people promote you, then 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, but now he's demoted down to 1000. In the next place, we find that he's in a period of total rejection and abandonment, where there are new lessons he's got to learn in his life.

If you're under 17, 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 remain a servant, or will you think that you’re too important to do the little jobs now? 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.

Cave of Adullam (3 of 5)  

Sun 24 Feb 2008 PM « Back to Top

Audio»  Paperback(1)»  Share»  Website»  

David went from being the hero of the nation, to experiencing a demotion, and now they outright want to kill him!

He's rejected, misunderstood, and he faces tremendous injustices - not once, but many times.

The Lord is the Justifier! He can sort it out! You don't have to be understood by everyone - just let it go!

David ran into the presence of God (to Samuel), when he suffered injustice, rejection and misunderstanding - to hear fresh from God for his life.

Cave of Adullam (3 of 5)


Acts 13. The Bible calls us, when we come to Christ, priests and kings. When you come to Jesus Christ, your identity radically changes, but what happens is that most of us don't come up to the new person that we are. We're still living out of the old that we used to be, but we need to come up.

God calls us a Priest! That means a person who is called. It's your purpose to come near to God, to minister to Him, access Him, 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. Every one of us has a realm, or an area, where God calls us to bring His influence to extend His kingdom. There are places that you go, and you walk, and you meet people, and interact where 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 they consider that to be fulfilling their call of God. No, that isn't fulfilling your call of God! That's positioning yourself to be inspired, and be encouraged, but you fulfil your call when you go out those doors, and we need to be connected to that call of God!

Acts 13:22 – “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all of My will”

Acts 13:36 – “For David, after he had served his own generation, by the will of God, fell asleep, and was buried…”

We discover two things about David, that God says about him. It's one thing to have people say things about you, but it's another thing when God is saying things about you. You need to value what God is saying about you, and what heaven is saying about you.

If you've never received Jesus Christ, never given your life to Jesus Christ, then God is saying that you don't belong in His family; but when you respond to Jesus Christ, receive Jesus Christ, and begin to trust Him, and commit your life to Him, God writes your name in His book, and then He says some different things about you. He says: this is My son, and My daughter; I love them. 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. The people who are in God's family, make Him known.

David was a man after the heart of God. David passionately desired to know what God is like. You can have your own ideas about God, and they will limit how you can walk with God; but David made it a personal pursuit to discover what God was like.

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. We have the whole Bible, 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 was 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. Moses, the mighty man of God who delivered Israel; the great giant in Israel's history. He had set up all these ways of worshipping God, according to how God had directed him.

But David found that it was not really what God was after. You've got to be quite bold if you can look at what's existing, and be able to say: actually, that's not really what God is after. It's temporary, but there's actually something different that He's got in mind. 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 will find out things that God really delights in, and desires. When you begin to discover what He desires, and delights in, you begin to live a life radically different to everyone around you. Most people thought that 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 after something different! 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 taken time to find out what God really switches on about? 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: Oh, wow, stunning!

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 age of 17. When David was 17, he was encountering God, and discovering things about God, that no one else knew in his day. He 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 there.

The Bible says: David was a man after the heart of God; willing to do what God wanted him to do, in his day. Secondly, he served his generation, by the will of God. 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.

That has not changed! We're in the 21st Century, and God is still looking for people who will have a heart to know Him. You might 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, who 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 must want to. He's wanting you to.

He's got things to share with you, and out of that flows the fulfilment of destiny. David 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? If you can't answer that, then you're in trouble, you're drifting; but 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 who get upset about shouting, laughing, jumping, leaping, crying, weeping… expressiveness, in the church.

But David saw that, hundreds and hundreds of years before anyone else did. How? 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, then I want to be that kind of person; and 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.

Looking into what David was like, we saw that there were some seasons in his life, and that each of the cities that he dwelt in was a season in his life. Bethlehem was the first season, where he was unknown, and he lived in Bethlehem from birth to about the age 17. No one is looking, but in that season, you are developing your relationship with God, and learning to serve, and be faithful in small things, with no one looking. David learnt what to do. He learnt how to fulfil small tasks faithfully,

The second place we saw was the season of promotion (1 Samuel 16). God was wanting to promote him. Promotion comes from the Lord. How did he get promoted? Someone else said: look, this is what I notice about this young guy...

1 Samuel 16:18 - He was skillful in playing. He developed musical skill. What are you doing to develop your skills? Have you got anything to offer? If you potentially have an ability in an area, but don't develop it, and just remain unskilled, then what you can contribute diminishes. You are called by God to become excellent in whatever skill, or ability, or thing, that He's put in your heart as a gifting. Develop it! It's your responsibility to develop.

They called him out, saying: he's excellent at playing an instrument. He's a mighty man of valor. He's got courage. He's developed his character, and he's not afraid to stand up, and speak out. He was a man of war. He had a fighting spirit. If something rises up, you can guarantee that he will stand up and challenge it.

How did they know that? They had heard of what he'd done - a bear came, and he took on the bear. A lion came, and he took on the lion, in hand to hand combat!

These characteristics were developed when no one saw but God. What giants are you facing in your life where no one is looking but God? Perhaps it's a giant of lust, fear, shame, or rejection? Whatever it is, challenge that giant! 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.

It says that he was prudent in speaking. He was very careful in how he spoke. He'd developed wisdom, words that created impressions, and touched people's lives. He spoke wisely, he acted wisely. It also said that he looked good. He presented himself well.

Then it was said “the Lord is with him”. They were aware that he carried the presence of God in his life. Isn't that amazing, if others could say that about you? 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.

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 - that'll take you a long way! Oh 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. 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? He's courageous! You want to hear how he speaks!

The Bible says that a good name is more to be desired than silver or gold. Its more desirable to have a reputation that's good and honorable, than anything else.

Then came the season of promotion, and he was promoted. He came into a place of immense favor, and of course that was also a place where everyone's eyes were on him. He slew Goliath, and suddenly he's had national prominence. He suddenly emerges to fame, has overnight success!

The thing is, if you are impacted by the praises of people, then 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 honor to the Lord for how you got to where you got. We need to be able to acknowledge what we've done; but give the Lord the credit. He enabled me!

David said: The Lord, who helped me slay the lion and the bear, will also help me slay this giant. He was constantly aware that God is helping him, and He was able to give honor to the Lord. I wonder how much you're able to honor the Lord, for the things you've accomplished in your life? Having a heart that's grateful will help you in that area.

Main Message

I want to move on to the next season now, because seasons in life shift. People are fickle, and they change, but God is always so consistent.

1 Samuel 19:8 – “There was a war again; David went out and fought the Philistines, and struck them a mighty blow, and they fled from him”.

He's still on a winning streak - he's just gone out and won a battle; but now he comes into what we call the Cave of Adullam, which is the season where you are misunderstood, 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.

David had just gone out and done something good, but 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.

1 Samuel 19:11 – “Saul sent messengers to David's house to watch him, and to kill him in the morning. Michal, David's wife told him: if you don't save your life tonight, tomorrow you'll be killed”.

He had to get out, and to flee. He's gone from being the hero of the nation, to experiencing a demotion, and now they outright want to kill him! He's rejected, misunderstood, and he faces tremendous injustices - not once, but many times.

The message of misunderstanding is: “you don't understand me”! I've heard lots of people say that. Young people say it all the time. No, you're not making yourself clear! Misunderstanding is a part of life, and you have to be able to handle it, and not need to have people understand you.

You're going to have times in life where people don't understand you, and totally get it wrong. What goes in your heart, and what happens in your life, when you're having that season? Often, we want to be understood, so we rise up, and begin to contend, so people can understand us - rather than just saying: it’s okay, God understands, and I can rest in Him. If I need to, I can communicate.

I've been in times where it didn't matter what I said - it just got worse and worse! I realized… zip your lip! But you don't understand… my intentions are pure! Listen, zip! You're just making it worse! Just don't even try to explain yourself and justify yourself - it will get worse!

The Lord is the justifier. He can come and sort it out, and the same people who misunderstand you, and hate you today, can turn around tomorrow and think you're wonderful. Now they think they understand you - but they don't; and 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.

The second one is Rejection – 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 not true, but it's an attack on your inner man, where you experience the pain, 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 been misunderstood a few times? It's a life experience! Come on, get used to it! Sometimes, God actually cranks it up a notch, and you've got all of it happening all at once! It's like nobody understands you; and now you're all alone - nobody even wants to talk to you. The phone that rang, and the texts that came, have all stopped. Now you are a reject!

That’s 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 must be accepted! No, you don't! You just need to go deeper into God. You need to obtain your identity, and your acceptance, through your connection to God - because it makes you secure, so then 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.

How on earth is God going to put that into your life? Think about it! Will we have an altar call, so you come up, and we can pray for understanding? No, no, no, it doesn't work like that! God sets up opportunities for you to be rejected, and misunderstood, to give you a chance to learn how to handle those things. You need to be the man (or woman) that God wants you to be! You should be saying: BRING IT ON GOD! Rather than… they don't like me - nobody spoke to me.

Well, did you speak to anyone? 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 on people, that they must come through for me. You - it's your job to understand me! It's your job to care for me! Listen, that's disempowering yourself! It’s not their job to do anything like that! It's your job to learn how to face rejection, and misunderstanding.

The one that really gets people is injustice... The message of injustice: it's not fair! I've heard my kids say that, many times. It's not fair! How many have said that? That's the message of injustice, when we're treated unfairly.

David had just gone out and defeated the major enemy that Israel had - and now they're rejecting him! That's not fair! He's gone out to war, fought a battle, and he comes back to the king… Oh, you should really understand me now, that I've got a king inside me, and you should really, really love me, and embrace me? Instead of that, Saul picks up a spear, and says: I'm going to stick that little boy!

Maybe people don't throw spears at you, 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. How many of us can identify with being misunderstood, rejected and felt unwanted… and the injustice – it hasn’t been fair, how I've been treated? Is there anyone exempt from that? It’s part of life; and it's a part of life that you must experience, in order to grow, as a man or woman of God - and God is watching in that season, what you do.

The first thing that David did - the moment this thing came, and he realised that he was going to lose his life, if he stayed where he did. It’s what you might call a dysfunctional, abusive, environment, and he did the thing that all people should do in that situation – leave! He fled from it! God does not expect you to stay in an environment that is destructive to your potential in life. You need to position yourself in a place where you can grow, and move forward; so sometimes, we need to flee out of things. Sometimes, you've got to say no. If you're in a group, or in a crowd, sometimes they can be like dogs. They 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! There are times when you need to move away from situations.

1 Samuel 19:18 – “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”.

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 then, he ran into the presence of God, when he suffered injustice, rejection and misunderstanding. Where do you go? Do you get angry, and nut off? Do you isolate, and get full of self-pity; have a pity-party, all on your own? You've invited no one - and no one wants to come?

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; but 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 must learn to do, when you face misunderstandings, rejection, and injustice, is to reach into the presence of God. Get alone with God and start to worship Him. Let your grief, sorrow, and injustice go before Him, until you come to the place of rest in Him - and then ask Him: what should I do?

Most people react angrily. They rebel; they get sulky; and get self-pity. They go out and have a drink, a smoke, and start to do things. A lot of the issues that young people struggle with now are rooted in rejection, injustice and misunderstanding. Instead of turning into God, they begin to turn inwards, and hate themselves; then try to find a way of comforting themselves through drugs, alcohol, or sexual relationships - all kinds of stuff like that. You must learn to consciously choose to bring your pain to the Lord - that was the thing that David did.

Psalm 142:4 – “I look to the left, and the right. 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. 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 to come and lay it before Him - sometimes on my face, weeping. It just took time; but then I'd begin to start to encounter His presence, hear His words. He'd tell me what to do.

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 need to do that, otherwise whenever there's misunderstanding, you will have to prove you're right. Whenever you're rejected, you will react, and reject others. Whenever you have injustice, you will angrily try to beat the others down, or prove you're right, instead of being able to come to the Lord, and get wisdom on 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, are just overwhelmed by the pain. Get some music, be alone with God, and begin to play music, select some songs that work for you. Music is a language of the soul, so certain songs will express emotions, feelings, and even the cry of the heart.

Sometimes when we're hurt, it's hard to put it in words. What's wrong? Um… I don't know. Well, you've got to do better than that. It's your job to communicate what's in your heart. Take time to get what's in your heart out. I like that song “Lord, You're My Healer”. God can heal you in any part of your life; it's not just physical healing. 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. That song was birthed out of deep conflict, where a person made a decision to come to God, and arise with faith. Do you think he cried? I'm sure he cried. Do you think he wept? Felt injustice? Felt rejected? I'm sure he felt all those things, but he decided to turn it in towards God, and creatively expressed his heart in a song.

A song like that is not like ordinary music. It carries with that something from the spirit of a man, so 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 can't always find 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 need 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 into your life the qualities that are needed to prepare you for your next season.

Isaiah 43:2 – “You go through the water, but it will not overwhelm you; you go through the fire, but it will not consume, because the Lord will help you”.

I know that verse, 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. I heard God saying: I'm with you, I will hold your hand, I will help you. That's not a verse for me; that's a reality. That's how you become made, as a man of God. You have experiences, and what God and all heaven is watching for is, what will you do with the lemon He 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?

There are no shortcuts to the making of a man or woman of God - this is how it takes place. That's why we have so few people who can make influence, or make great changes, because there's a price to pay in your personal life.

God is looking for you. You're the one that He's got His eye on. All of heaven has got their eye on you right now, in the challenge you're facing - the lion that's seeking to intimidate you, or the bear that is 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, and others can ring you up or text you, and you can be encouraged, but the bottom line that it comes down to is: what will you choose, when these things happen to you? David chose to go straight into the presence of God.

1 Samuel 22:1-2 – “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.”

He went into the cave, and the cave of Adullam is the season of your life which is like a cave. In the Bible natural things are often pictures of spiritual realities. To be in a cave means that you've withdrawn from everyone; you're in a place where you're really lonely, and it's dark, and cold, and you're miserable. Everyone in their life has some cave time. Cave time is not a nice season, but it doesn't need to last. It will only last as long as it 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? He starts to come up with all these things, but then God spoke to him in a quiet voice: Elijah, Elijah, and gave him fresh mandate and direction. 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 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! 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 will get you out of it, is if you do the things that David did.

1) He went into the presence of the Lord.

2) He maintained concern for others.

Notice that he went and 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.

In chapter 23, there was another city called Keilah, and the people were being maraudered by the Philistines. He said: Lord, I want to help them. There was something in his heart, kingship was in his heart. God, just give me a yes, and I will go and help them! He didn't act impulsively. He enquired of God and got direction; and God said: go up. His men said: don't do that, listen, we've got enough problems of our own. Why go making more problems, stirring up the Philistines, trying to help some people? What are they to us anyway?

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 about how they can do what God called them to do. I've discovered this over the years. Most people who quit, do so when the pain came - instead of just bringing it to God, and then staying where they ought to stay, and doing what God said for them to do. They quit!

Youth leaders quit; pastors quit; people quit marriages, all kinds of things. They quit when they're in pain, rather than using that 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 will be consumed with your problems. He helped his family, and he helped these people - but did he get thanked for his help?

Saul heard where he was. He delivered the city, and afterwards everyone said: oh, you're great! Come on in Dave, we love you! 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... 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? Will they stand with me against Saul, now that I've helped them out; or will they 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 favor of people to make his decisions. 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! What you need to do is: God, what should I do?

In this situation, he asked God whether these people would be his friends or not. It’s quite good for you to talk to God about your friends! Some people look like they're your friends - they say nice things to you today, but tomorrow they could deliver you up, just as easily. You need 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 who go into business with someone, and I think: did you ask God to go into that, or not? They had their mind made up, so they went in, but their wife was trying to warn them, and later on… it was a disaster! They never stopped to listen. David listened, and that got him out of a potential trap that could have taken his life.

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. Jesus was the same. 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 would deliver Him up! The people that are saying you're wonderful today, could tomorrow deliver you up, and betray you.

Listen to God, let your roots go into God, and accept that 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, rejection… over these things that have happened.

He didn't react. He didn't get angry with them. He didn't stand there and say: listen, 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 that you could free yourself from, and not have to face, if you ask God about relationships before entering them too deeply. God knows how people will react under pressure, so ask Him if He wants you involved in partnerships or relationships. Ask His direction, because He knows what they will be like. He knows how they will respond. You've got to listen to Him, when it comes to these things.

I've had, over the years, lots of people say lovely, sweet things, but the Lord said: don't trust that person, because there's this in their heart, and when the pressure comes, this is what will come out. You say: oh, that's not very loving! No, but that's very wise! We are called to love the world, and that means you do what's best for them; 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. 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, to care for people and help them; and he listened to God before entering into any relationships, and it saved him.

Finally, with David, there were two opportunities. Someone really treated him badly, and he was about to go kill them, but 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 was a second situation too, where he was 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, just get this over with? You will become king, and with Saul out of the way, our problems will have stopped. He said: God forbid that I should take his life. He refused to touch someone who had treated him unjustly. He said: God set him in that place; let God sort him out.

God saw that attitude. Twice David faced the same test, where the crowd was saying: now is your chance - get him! This will be over! 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.

No man can steal your destiny - but you can mess it up, by not responding to God. Saul was never able to kill him, despite trying, using all these soldiers - with everything at his disposal, he could never kill David. Nobody can stop you from getting to 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 and rejection does not last forever, but it's preparing a king, for his next place, in the work of God.

Closing Prayer

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 bring what I have to the Lord, and press into His presence to listen to Him, to hear His words, and be encouraged in my faith. I'm going to release, and bless, the people that have done this; and I'm going to keep focusing 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, just overwhelmed with personal grief at what was happening in my life, and I made a statement to the Lord… 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.

God notices that kind of thing. You didn't notice that, but God did. You couldn't have done anything about the pain, or anything to help. I could have quit, given up, been overwhelmed; but Joy and I stood together, and pushed into God, and said: we will 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.

Ziklag (4 of 5)  

Sun 2nd Mar 2008 PM « Back to Top

Audio»  Paperback(1)»  Share»  Website»  

Amalekites invaded Ziklag, and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women, and all those who were there, from small to great. They did not kill anyone, but carried them away, and went their way.

David's two wives had been taken captive, and he was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters.

David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. God is looking for people just like that!

Ziklag (4 of 5)

It's great when God enlarges us! 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. Those are external things, but external enlargement is always preceded by internal change. Right now, whether you're young or old, God is calling you to be willing to change on the inside.

We've been looking at the seasons in David's life, on the theme the Making of a King, and I want to look at an incident in David's life, and talk about “courage to continue”.

Acts 13:22 – “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all of My will.”

The first characteristic that made David the man he 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? He pursued God! He was a man of intimacy with God - a man who pursued God; and if David could do it, then 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 a track record of reaching out and connecting with God. He made the pursuit of God his personal priority.

The pursuit of God will carry you through to your destiny. There is nothing you can learn at school that will take you to your 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. Its time spent praying, pouring your heart out, and 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 when you practice engaging the presence of God at home, it becomes like a track built into your inner man. It becomes easier and easier to just lock in and engage the presence of God. But 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, then it gets more difficult as you get older. David, when he was a young man pursued God.

The second thing He said is: I know David - he's a man after My heart, who will do My will. David was a man who not only sought what God wanted, he was also happy to do what God wants.

Acts 13:36 – “David, after he'd served his own generation, by the will of God, fell asleep”.

Not only was David a man who was passionate to know God intimately, he didn't just spend a lot of time praying. He was a man who influenced, and changed, a nation. It says: he served his generation. 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, or start something that helps to gather them up, that touches people's lives. Every one of us has a unique way of expressing the will of God in this generation, but the key thing is that we do it.

Hebrews 6:12 – “Don't become sluggish or lazy, but imitate those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.”

Don't become a slacker! He's writing to Christians. It's possible to become a slacker. That's good advice - don't become a slacker! A slacker is a person who is lazy. They're waiting for someone else to do it all.

It says: be followers (an imitator) of certain kinds of people. Young people - there's a great tendency to follow the crowd. Have a look at what you're following, and where it goes. Think it through, and where that leads to, because the people you follow, connect with, and share your life with, will shape what you are - so be careful what you follow.

The Bible tells us what to follow. It says: follow those men and women who through faith and endurance (or courage) 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, but they've got faith in their life, and when you watch them in adversity, in trouble, under pressure, 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 when you have people you look to, and model your life on, who have 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 continue, and a year later, they're still there serving God.

Over the years I've seen some bright and shining stars. The bright stars shine, and then they go; but what I look for are men and women who stay the course. They may not be on the platform, or 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 the 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? The Bible says: be like that!

“…be followers of those who, through faith and patience… inherit the promises of God.” If God has spoken to you about something He wants to do in your life, it will take you faith, and some courage to stick with it, because everything is going to take you 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, and the 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. It's not where you are now - it's how you finish! It's what you're like at the end of your life!

Are you still strong, and there's fire, and passion for God? You're pursuing, and still believing, the promises of God? Or did you quit, because it got tough; you gave up, because your friends around you gave up? Perhaps there was someone who was your friend, and they gave up on God, and you followed them? Don't be followers of quitters; follow people who stay the course!

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 focusing on the Lord, who has got the ability to fulfil your promises.

Hebrews 10:38 – ““But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

Don't be a slacker, but rather be followers (or imitators) of people who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.

Hebrews 10:35 – “Don't cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of courage to stay the course, so that after you've done the will of God you may receive the promise.”

In order to receive what God has promised.... don't lose your confidence in God! You can have a mess all around you… but stay confident that God is great at fixing messes. If God could reach out of heaven, and raise a dead man out of a grave, and bring him up to heaven, then he's got the ability to raise me up. It doesn't matter what it looks like, what you say, or what your finances are saying, whatever the circumstances, just say: God can lift me up, and help me finish the course! He can do it for you too!

Joseph was in the lowest prison of Egypt, falsely accused of attempted rape, rotting away in a prison, but God was 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, then He can do it for you. He's not a different God - but don't let go of being confident in God. Don't be confident in yourself, or your friends; be confident in God! God is faithful.

Don't lose your confidence; hang in and stay true, because after you've done what God says to do - that's when you get the promises. 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 - people who just stuck the course, and I couldn't believe it. Right when they're about to break through, they just gave up, and went off track! Oh, my heart broke for them! Don't be a quitter! Don't give up! Stay the course!

1 Samuel 30 - David was in Ziklag, a city that was given to him. We found that certain lessons in David's life were associated with cities. Now here is a major challenge that David faces. It's the challenge where has he got courage to continue, when his whole world is falling apart. This is not for just young people; this is also for any one of us, who right now may be facing your life being overwhelmed.

1 Samuel 30:1-6 – “Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, 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.”

David is in a crisis. He had no warning that a crisis was about to overtake him - absolutely no warning. He had gone out on a raiding party, as he had always done. The soldiers, about 600 of them went out. They were all armed, and 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… everything that people have.

David, I guess in his heart, had trusted that because he was serving the Lord, the Lord would look after him in that situation, so they went out on a raiding party. About three days later they returned to the city. I want you to try and imagine what he must have felt. We're looking at what was in his heart, and how he conducted himself. What kind of type of guy he is.

As they drew near, they would have seen a column of smoke rising. Have you ever seen a city on fire? There are columns of smoke rising into the sky from every burning building. When I stood in India, in 1984, there was a riot in the streets, and I stood on the roof of a house, and as I looked from the roof of the house, as far as you could see, in 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, in Moses day, and pick off the people of God. They were horrendous people. Saul was challenged to go and kill them, but he never did, so now these Amalekite hordes had come up. They were a violent people. Imagine a motorcycle gang has gone into town, and has absolutely destroyed everything that's there. They smash the windows, the doors, everything that was precious, and just looted the place. Everything is just pulled out, there's no respect for any property. They're looking for money, gold, silver, valuables… and looking for people.

These cruel people gathered up, and they saw there was just women and children in the town; they took every woman, every child, every son, every daughter, herded them all up. Can you imagine the panic in the families, surrounded by an army like that? As they were taken out of the city, they went through the city, burning it to the ground. 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 children; and forcing the young men to serve them as slaves. They're dividing up the people, 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.

David, as he approaches the city, that he expected God to look after, now has been devastated. Everything has gone! The Bible says: “they cried and cried and cried, until they had no more tears to grieve”.

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 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. This is a hardened soldier, and what is he feeling? Imagine what he's thinking, as he's coming to that city… 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 is gone, all the goods are gone, everything he has built in his life has now just gone.

Here is a man who never lost a battle; and now in front of him is a total disaster. Not only did he have a major setback and disappointment; the second thing that happened was: he was rejected by his own men!

This is not the first time that David has been rejected. David was rejected by his family; by King Saul; by the nation; and by the men that he had reached out and helped, and saved, 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, someone to get angry at. When people get upset, when they lose someone, they get really angry, and will lash out at the person nearest them.

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? That was David's condition at that time.

What you don't see, is that when we read the Bible, we know what comes - we've got the benefit. We can just flip the page and 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 that 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 now. 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?

Whatever has been built into your life in the days preceding that will be the thing that will come to the surface. If you have never built a relationship with God, then 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, then when a crisis like that happens, you will fall apart.

I have seen over the years, when people find their world falling apart, they fall apart themselves. They get angry. They blame the church; they 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.

1 Samuel 30:6 – “David was greatly distressed…”

He was pressed, besieged, and immensely overwhelmed. He was absolutely devastated, numbed, too much weeping. What do you do now, when the pressure is on?

“… But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

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, we come to church, and we serve the Lord; but when you're feelings are down, no, I don't think I'll go. Do your circumstances control your life? Do your friends control your life? Does money, or your things control your life? What controls your life?

At the center 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!

We see what people turn to when the pressure's on. Some turn to the television, or the internet; they start to smoke, or drink. Where do you go when the pressure's on?

It says where David went, and that's what made him unique. In the midst of pressure, when it looked like even God had let him down, and there was 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. There are certain things that he must have done, in order to become stronger. 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.

Our normal tendency is to be overwhelmed with emotions, but I will show you some things that he must have done...

Psalm 142:1-5 – “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.

I look on my 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: I said You are my refuge. My portion in the land of the living”

He reaches out, and he pours his soul out the Lord.

Psalm 138:3 – “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”

1) The first thing he did, after he had cried all his tears out, he went and poured out his heart to the Lord. 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 must 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 opened his heart, and he poured out his complaints, his sorrows, his difficulties. He was overwhelmed, but the first thing he did was acknowledge how overwhelmed he was, and let his heart just weep before the Lord.

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. 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 those words of God back before him.

2) 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. 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.

David had learned to lean on the Lord = express his feelings, express his needs, and begin to reach out, and lean upon the Lord. When David got to this point, he had a whole track record of times when he had lent on the Lord, and God had delivered him out of a mess, so he could go back and remind himself: God, I remember when You delivered me out of that. That was great! Man, I was overwhelmed then, but boy, You got me out of that! You got me out of a whole heap of things, so I'm confident You will get me out of this one.

He was able to strengthen himself. You can strengthen yourself by praying in tongues; by confessing the word of God; by praising the Lord, for the things He's done; and thanking the Lord for the way He's helped you in the past; remembering what God has done. But friend, if you don't strengthen yourself, what are you going to do?

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, He will then tell you what you need to do.

3) 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? Do you want me to leave it; or shall I pursue? What would you want to do? 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 will recover all!

He had a word, a mandate, that gave him faith to be able to shift all these leaders - to 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.

What I've observed over many years is, when Christians face pressure, they cry; they stop praying; they stop reading; they watch television, and 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, and 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 a word of exactly what to do. I followed it to the letter, and 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 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 and disappointment, he didn't do what everyone else did. They just wept, and then wanted to find someone to blame; but he went into the presence of God, and found an answer.

God is looking for people just like that: Davids in the heart; young men and women who, when the pressure is on, have already established a track record 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 right now they're poised, ready for their greatest challenge.

Within seven years of this battle, David became king over the whole of Israel, and all 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, and doing what God says to do, obtain the promises.

Hebron (5 of 5)  

Sun 16 Mar 2008 PM « Back to Top

Audio»  Paperback(1)»  Share»  Website»  

Saul and his sons died in the battlefield. 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.

David said: Because you did this thing, may the Lord show His blessing upon you. I will repay you for it too.

His heart was to bless people and show kindness to those who acted honorably.

Hebron (5 of 5)


The Bible tells us that we are kings; that we have an area that God wants us to have dominion over. 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! We're called to be kings, to have dominion. You're designed for that. You're designed for dominion. You're designed to 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.

Acts 13:22 – “When He had removed Saul, He raised up David as a king, saying: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

David was raised up by God. He said: he's a man after My own heart. He was a man with a passionate desire to know what God is like. A lot of people know about God, which is different to knowing Him personally. He can be known, as you search the word of God.

If search for 'delight' and 'desire' in the Bible, and look for what the Lord delights in, and what He desires, you will be amazed what you can find out about Him. There are things that He loves, and 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 will 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, justice; delights in things being done right. There are things He hate - a proud look, a lying tongue, someone who sows discord. David had a heart to discover what God desired. He had a passionate heart for God.

God said of him: “I've raised him up for them”. David was raised up, not just so he could be a great man, but he was raised up for a purpose.

Acts 13:36 – “after David served his generation, by the will of God…”

1) He had a passionate desire to know and to walk with God. That was the driving force behind his greatness.

2) He was committed to serve his generation; to do something with what he had.

If you're going to walk with God, it will always be that 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. When God raises you up, and gives you a role, a gifting, etc. - it's not for you. You are to bring that, to touch the lives of people.

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 must 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. In many ways, he 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 disqualified himself from a great role. We tend to think of Saul as a man who failed - but 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; but David 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.

We looked at some different seasons in David’s life. First, 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 are in right now; the season when you're young, and 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. God will be watching the little things that you do. You are preparing yourself for your next season, and it's very important.

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. When David was in that season, unseen, he developed his skill. Develop your skills. Pay money, invest in your skills being developed.

When the time came for him to come forward, it was not because he promoted himself, but because someone said: I know a man, and he's skillful in music. He developed ability there. He was also very anointed with the Holy Spirit. He was also very wise. He also had a fighting spirit. They’d heard how he's fought these battles; how he tackled a lion, and a bear. He had a reputation established at 17.

If I were to go around your friends, and ask what are you known for, what would you be known for? If I mentioned your name, what would they say about you? What they will say about you, will reflect what you've been doing with your life. Right now, you're preparing for your future. Don't waste this time. 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 just be 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. When you get old, you'll have a heap of money. Start when you're young, don't wait until you're older. Listen, it's not the much that counts, it's what you're doing with the little.

He then went to a place called Gibeah, where he was recognized and promoted, and we found he had some lessons to learn in that season as well. David we able to be in the court of a king, and then go back to the place of shepherding the sheep, out of sight. He could move from the highest place to the lowest place, no problem to him. Some people can't do that, because they want everyone to notice that they're in the highest place. Their identity is about having a position. David could be here, or there; he didn't worry what anyone thought of him, or how it looked. His heart was: I just want to please God. He's going to look after me and take me where He wants me to go. He could move in and out of serving and promotion, just like that.

Imagine the attitude that he could have had, as a young man. 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! 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 to serving in the lowest job, in his home and family. Are you too big to do the lowest job? You're too small to be a king! Greatness is seen in the ability to do the small things.

From there, he went 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, chased down, and 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 has 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, when things aren't going well - it looks like you've been treated badly, but it’s also the place of preparation for your next season in life.

The next place was Ziklag. He'd had a season of tremendous success. He was starting to grow. People were coming to him; and then he had a devastating problem, a devastating failure. What do you do when you have a failure? What do you do, when everything around your world goes wrong? You will do whatever you do most of the time. For David, that meant that He went to the Lord. He went straight into the Lord and got divine direction - a strategy. He not only got back everything, but he got back more than that, and was able to bless multitudes of people.

Your disasters, and places of disappointment, can be stepping-stones to your next enlargement; or they can be places that cause you to become bitter - you choose!

Main Message

David has been anointed king. Saul, the current king, had fallen in battle. He was totally defeated.

2 Samuel 2 – “It happened after this that 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.

David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household, and the dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 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 the house of Judah has anointed me to be king over them.”

There's a leadership vacuum. David could immediately just rise and take this role. The first thing David did, is the same thing that 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. One thing is consistent in David’s life - he enquired of the Lord. He didn't just go and pray. He didn't just tell God what his problems were. He asked questions, with the expectation that God would speak back to him.

Many times, in our prayer life, we tend to pray to God, or commit things to Him, but 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 need to make; but He wants to give you confidence in making those decisions, by speaking to you. But you've got to take time to listen.

We tend to just talk at God, and not take the time to just stop and ask: 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 I should 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. God can speak to you, just by raising a scripture up, and you just know that it’s a clear word and answer from the Lord. Or, He may just speak into your heart, and as you wait on Him, He begins to talk to you, and tell what He wants.

Many Christians tend to approach their walk with God: here's my plan Lord, bless my plan. It's true that 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, and the place of origin, where you come from. Begin to work in that area first.

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?

If you lack wisdom for decisions, ask the Lord to show you. Then, take enough time, that you can wait on Him to give you an answer. What happens is, we pray and go - and just do what we were going to do anyway; rather than pray, and then 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. I just say: it's okay, go do it then, because they've already made their mind up. They haven't come for any counsel, or any advice; or to ask what God really wants. They’ve made up their mind, and just want me to agree with them. How much different it is, if a person comes, and they lay their plans down, saying: 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 has some experience behind them, who is successful in that area, and ask them to give you advice and counsel? 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 and talk to them - ask them.

I had one young person come to me and ask: 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; and then I said: no, I think you should stay here for one more year. The person went off to university anyway, but 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; get a track record of working and serving. Then you'll be ready - but they didn't. They went ahead, and their whole life was turned over, and they came back with failure around them. It took about two or three years to get over that. 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. 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, 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.

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: where do I go? What do I do? Lord, show me now, at this point, what I should do. Do you have clear plans? A person with no clear plan will be drifting, and be unaware of what's coming, and taking away their time and life.

He enquired of the Lord, and he had a heart to ask after God. 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. 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.

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. No one really makes it on their own. Always, there's people that 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, and helping you? Maybe it's a parent? Maybe it's both parents? Maybe you have some friends, a youth leader, or 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 about who is helping you, or who has helped you, to get to where you've got?

Have you ever thought back in your life, who helped me to 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? Think about that youth leaders that helped you, and sowed their life, energy, and time.

It's a very difficult, and challenging thing, being a youth leader. The reason it's challenging, is because young people are so up and down; 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 will just use everything you've got, and then take you for granted, and walk away. That's what makes it so hard for someone who is working with youth. That's why it's quite challenging for people to take on ministering and working with young people.

How many times have you stopped to look at the people who have helped you, counselled you, given 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, and 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.

Hebrews 6:10 – “God is not unrighteous to forget your labor of love, in that you minister to the saints, and continue to minister.”

God says that it's unrighteous to forget when people do good. If people do good, and you don't acknowledge it, and you forget it - that's unrighteous! It's wrong! It's minimising them, devaluing them, and taking them for granted. How often do we just take for granted what people do for us, instead of blessing them, and thanking them, and appreciating them, and expressing that in some kind of way?

David provided financially for the people who had blessed him and helped him. He gave a financial gift. He helped them. He was always like that, and He continued to do that - even at Ziklag when he received tremendous wealth, as a result of standing up, hearing God, and coming into a place of victory. After that, he gave gifts to everyone who had 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? I've seen this over the years in the church, among Christians. So many of them still have the mentality of the world - that they will come, and just draw what they can get, so they can get ahead. Then, the moment they've got it, they just 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 honor and value for the people that position and help us in our life.

Think about what your parents have done - have you stopped for a while to honor your parents, 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, or a written note. Think of what would really make the difference. This is the heart of David. This is the kind of person he was. He never forgot the good that people did to him. There was something about him that always appreciated and valued the people that he had around him.

2 Samuel 2:5-6 – “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”.

Remember, King Saul was his enemy, but his son Jonathan was his friend. Saul and his sons died in the battlefield and the enemy had 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, may the Lord show His blessing upon you. I will repay you for it too. His heart was to bless people, and show kindness, to people who act honorably.

Do you acknowledge people who do what is right, who act honorably, and do the right thing? Its quite a challenge to do that. When you see a young person make a stand, maybe an unpopular stand, do you go up and encourage them, and speak into them: man, I really was inspired by what you did! That was wonderful! Here is something to encourage you. 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 not only did God guide him, and direct him in his life, but he also took on the characteristics of what God is like. He didn't forget his friends, and he honored those who honor 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; who do something really good; or have helped you to get where you are?

Here's another thing that he did. He showed bigness of heart in welcoming people who had formerly served his enemy. King Saul was hounding him down, and these people served King Saul, but he showed kindness to them, honored them, and valued them. It shows a bigness of heart if, the people who once were against you – if you can not react, and reject, and be bitter towards them, but include them in your future. It takes bigness of heart to do that.

Most people, if someone has really affected you, or hurt you, then that's it - you write them off, and 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 like this, it's often 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?

With David, many people came to him, in their droves - and he welcomed them, received them and raised them up to be loyal men, men of war 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?

One of the dilemmas that all leaders face is this - 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 you like, the people who personally you feel comfortable with, then 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 will stay very small and in your comfort zone, instead of facing the challenges of bringing challenging people around you. We all need people around us who are big, and who have got a greatness in their life to help us. They stir us to get to where God wants us to get.

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, from the age of about 30 to 37. He was able to wait for God to fulfil His promises. Most people today are impatient. They want it all, and they want it now. If you take on that mentality, think about how it’s going to affect every part of your life. How do you build good relationships? How do you build a relationship with God? How do you 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 that He has said. You don't have to strive, and struggle, and make it happen. He never had to fight to make himself king. He walked with the Lord, and listened to Him, and God got him there. 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 quickly in life, but 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, then 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.

When you're young, you want everything, and you want it all now, but if you can actually stand against that, and wait patiently, and persevere slowly and steadily towards your goals, you will outrun everyone. The race does not go to the most gifted. Look around you; maybe you feel insecure? This one is so gifted, and that one's so gifted, but at the end of the day, it won't be the gifted ones, necessarily, that shine, and rise to the top of the pile. It will be the ones who had a plan, who trusted the Lord, and patiently and persistently worked towards where they wanted to get. Think about that!

Don't buy in to how the current generation thinks. Start to be a leader, by thinking and acting differently. Get the heart of David around you - a passionate love for God; a caring heart for the people around him; a willingness to honor 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.

The final thing that I see in the Bible, about David, was this. When he did succeed, the first thing he wanted to do was to restore the presence of God, to be the center of the nation. The first thing he wanted to do, when he got to the place where God had put him king over - not only Judah, but eventually over all of Israel… this is what he did. He wanted to restore the presence of God to the center of the nation. He gave God the full honor 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, who helped you get where you are? Do you honor those who do well? Do you have room in your heart to include those who have gifts that could help you?

When you do get to the place of victory, when you've got that promotion, that job, that business, whatever it is - 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 honor God, and serve his generation was.

To serve your generation, study these aspects of David, and take on the same traits. God wants to get you somewhere. God wants to raise you up into leadership, because He has people for you to touch. How can it happen? You've got to make the choice!


Sermons | Collections | 中国
YouTube | Vimeo | Podcast
eBooks | Paperbacks
Transcripts | 成绩单
Facebook | Share
Donate with BitcoinDonate with DogecoinDonate with Litecoin