In part one of the START HERE series we looked at Samson. He had blown it big time and found himself shaved, blinded, and serving the enemy he had once conquered. But we learned even when things seemed hopeless, Samson remembered where his strength came from. He repented, his strength was restored, and he was able to accomplish the mission God have given him – to be a judge of Israel and conquer the Philistines.
Through Samson we learned when we feel like quitting, the first step is to remember that our strength is in God, not in ourselves.
As we continue with Part Two of the series, we’ll look at King David and find out how, even when we have to wait, God is faithful to His promises.
David was a man known both for great accomplishments and great mistakes. His name was synonymous with victory many times in his life – in battle, in honor, and in ruling his kingdom. But he was also familiar with the taste of fear, of defeat, and of…. waiting.
You may remember that David was anointed king at the young age of 15 by the prophet Samuel. Like many accounts in the bible, we are able to read through the story quickly and find that he does in fact become king. What we can miss, however, is that the process took 15 years! Yes, from the time he was anointed king it took 15 years before God’s promise would be fulfilled.
If you’re thinking that’s a long time to wait, I agree! But what’s worse is what David goes through during that 15 year period. It started off well enough – watching sheep, killing Goliath, playing a harp for King Saul, and even winning some great battles as he got older. However, as his fame grew we see his situation begin to change… for the worse. Saul didn’t like the attention David was getting from his people and his jealousy grew to the point of wanting David dead. So David finds himself on the run – in the wilderness, hiding in caves, even pretending to be insane at one point. Not exactly what you’d picture God’s anointed king doing.
But we can learn a lot from David during this story. While being hunted by King Saul, David depends on God for strength, provision, and defense. Some of the Psalms were even written by David during this time. For example, Psalms 18 was written after David and his small army of outcast men were surrounded by King Saul’s vast army of trained professionals. The situation seemed bleak for David and his men. Saul’s army was about to close in and David had not even a slim chance of victory. But in the face of impossibility God delivered David by allowing the Philistines to attack Saul’s land, causing Saul to leave his pursuit for the more pressing issue. Even Saul realized the Philistines were more important than his raging jealousy of David.
We look at what God did here for David and are amazed. But do you know what I think? I think David almost expected it – and that’s what makes the difference. David believed God would keep His promise and he was willing to wait for God’s timing. Even in the face of impossibility. Even when he was hiding in a cave. Even after years had gone by.
Right now you may be the David we read about in the wilderness. You’re sure that God put a dream in your heart and that He has a purpose for your life. Maybe someone long ago spoke a word over you and you felt confirmation in your spirit that it was from God. Possibly you’ve felt led into an area of ministry or to work with a specific group of people. However your dream got there, it’s there and you’ve been waiting for the right door to open, the right person to recognize your ability, or the right time to move but it hasn’t come. Like Saul after David, the devil has been trying to destroy you. Honestly you wonder why he’s so concerned. You’re not doing much at all for God, after all. You surely don’t feel like your fulfilling your destiny!
Satan is after you because he sees God’s hand at work in your life. He wants to chase you into the wilderness and keep you distracted and discouraged. He hopes to destroy you before you fulfill your destiny. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When the devil is attacking you, consider it a compliment. If he didn’t see you as a threat, he wouldn’t waste his time.
David could have quit. He could have reached the point where he’d had enough and gave up. But he didn’t, he believed God and the promise He made. Guys, sometimes we quit just short of victory. We give up, not realizing that the open door we’ve been searching for was just a day away, a phone call away, or new contact away.
I can never expect to understand the mind of God or His grand plan for my life but I can trust that He always has a perfect plan. If we can trust Him like David, we will be amazed at what God will do. Just be willing to wait.
Wait, expecting great things to happen!