Strengthen Yourself in the Lord!
Oh, how I love God's Word! The truths that are written and the lessons to learn are so abundant! As I'm reading in first Samuel tonight, I see a story that though the lifestyle is quite different than what we live today there's so many similarities. The methods are still effective in our day.
As David is out with his most powerful men, his own people are left vulnerable and unprotected. Their town was completely burned, and their wives and children taken captive. Now he's faced with both his grief and the threat of being stoned to death. As if the heartache of his own loss wasn't enough, he now carried the guilt of the pain that his own men were experiencing.
So, what do you do when your back is against the wall, your heart is broken, and you feel responsible for the pain and grief that others are experiencing? I'll tell you what David did. It says he strengthened himself in the Lord! The Word strengthen here is to fasten upon and to become strong and courageous! He fastened himself to the Lord, He stopped focusing on the trial but placed his affection and attention on Him! As His peace and strength returned he saught His guidance, then acted upon God's Word! He inquired of the Lord and God's answer was for them to pursue their enemy, overtake them and recover all! The outcome? The most miraculous thing takes place. A man is left behind by the troop that invaded Ziklag. He was too sick to travel and they left him to die. As David's men gave him food and water, he was more than willing to tell them where they had taken their families and possessions. By the amazing hand of the Lord they recovered everyone and everything with additional spoils! All they had and more to give as an offering was restored!
That's how God works! It all comes down to perspective... when all hell seemingly breaks loose in our lives, what will we focus on? Are our go to emotions worry, doubt, anger, anxiety and fear? Well the truth is, that's the natural way. We are Christians, citizens of the Kingdom of God... It's time we stop living as peasants in the earth, moved by natural emotions. We must begin to take our place as the Children of the Most High God! Instead of being moved by emotions allow the Holy Sprit to move you in the direction of the open arms of Jesus! That's where the peace, strength, answers and miracles abide!
It's true, we still feel the pain of the sting some circumstances bring, but take that pain to the foot of the cross and strengthen yourself in the Lord! He has the strength, courage and guidance you need to bring about your own amazing miracle!
1 Samuel 30:1-20 (NKJV) 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. So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then 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. Now David 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 his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor. Then they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, and they let him drink water. And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. So when he had eaten, his strength came back to him; for he had eaten no bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights. Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong, and where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man from Egypt, servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick. We made an invasion of the southern area of the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.” And David said to him, “Can you take me down to this troop?” So he said, “Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this troop.”
And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”