Dwight Fletcher | When life crumbles - Part 2
What do you do when your life falls apart? We continue from last week, looking at someone whose life crumbled - David, in 1 Samuel 30.
Several years before, Samuel the prophet had anointed David king over Israel. He was declared to be a man after God's own heart, chosen to lead God's people. But David had been on the run for the last eight, years from his own King Saul.
In the scene we are about to discuss, David and his men had just walked more than 100km in three days over difficult terrain to come home to their loved ones, only to be met by devastation. The Amalekites had kidnapped their families, stolen their animals, and burnt down their city.
So how do you turn things around when your life crumbles? Last week, we suggested several actions to take to overcome. Let's look at those in detail now.
PUT WORSHIP BEFORE WARFARE
David was well known as a mighty man of warfare, especially after his defeat of Goliath. Yet, David didn't just get angry and stomp off to battle. He paused to worship God: "But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6b (AMP).
Spending time with God is your first priority if you are to stay encouraged during the demands of life. Time spent in worship ushers in the presence of God. "Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel." Psalm 2:3 (NLT). Worship also prepares us for battle. "Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:2 (NIV).
REALISE GOD IS DOING SOMETHING BIGGER
David didn't know it, but this was the final episode in what could be described as his 'wilderness years'. In just a few days, Saul would kill himself and David would become king. God was using this incident as David's rite of passage before he assumed the throne.
Time spent in the wilderness and how we respond is characteristically a time of formation and testing, and a time to explore the true nature of your relationship with God. He can use it to make you the man or woman you are called to be.
The way you respond is critical to your next steps in life; your promotion and your deliverance. But if there is no clear leading, we must do according to the next step.
ASK GOD FOR DIRECTION
After David spent time worshipping, the Bible says: "Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, 'Bring me the ephod.' Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, 'Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?'" 1 Samuel 30:7-8 (NIV).
If you start off worshipping God that's great, but don't forget to follow God's instructions if you want to stay encouraged.
God can instruct you through his written word, the Bible (Psalm 119:105). He can reveal His will through the inner prompting of His Holy Spirit; either through direct prompting, like in Philippians 2:13, or through a deep-seated peace about your decision, as Colossians 3:15 suggests. God can also lead you through the counsel of wise, qualified people, according to Proverbs 11:14.
So, David got God's direction: "Pursue them ... and succeed in the rescue." 1 Samuel 30:8 (NIV). David and his men did so and recovered all that had been stolen, along with the belongings of the Amalekites.
CELEBRATE GOD'S GOODNESS WITH GRACE
When David got back to the Besor Valley where 200 of his men had rested, some of David's men said, "Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered." 1 Samuel 30:22 (NIV).
These men thought they had won the battle by their own strength. But David knew it was the Lord's doing. David exercised grace when he responded: "The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike." 1 Samuel 30: 24 (NIV).
The victories in our lives are because of God's unmerited favour and empowerment. When God blesses you in victory, be a blessing to others.
Even in life's darkest days there is hope! This is one of the many reasons you've got to love being a child of God. It's also a good reason to become one!
David's story shows us that when your life is crumbling, you can trust that God will work things out if you include him. What will you decide to do today?