(Read 1 Samuel 30:7-9)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing.” When we left off with the story of David he was at a new all-time-low. His family was gone and so were the families of his men. His village was burned to the ground and so was everything he and his men had. His ally denied him the opportunity to fight alongside the men of Philistine. And his men — the same men who had been there for him through thick-and-thin — were speaking of stoning him. All David had left was God and the Bible says, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” Another translation says, “David found strength in the LORD his God.”
Then David did something interesting. It was customary for leaders in the Old Testament to consult with a prophet or priest when they needed to hear from God. The prophet or priest would serve as the intermediary between the leader and God, they would seek God for the leader, and they would then come back and tell the leader what God said. David had a priest with him, Abiathar. And David did summon Abiathar, but not for what you might think. David asked Abiathar to come to him and when he did, David asked the priest to bring him the ephod. The ephod was a priestly robe that was customarily worn when performing priestly duties. David did not ask Abiathar to don the ephod in order to intercede, with God, for him. No, David wanted to put the ephod on to hear from God. David was at a low point and he needed to hear from God for himself.
David put on the ephod and inquired of the Lord. While his town was burned to the ground, while his family and the family members of his men were gone, and while his men were speaking of stoning him, David made time to hear from God. David knew that one Word from God could turn any seemingly hopeless situation around. David asked the LORD two specific questions, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” David basically wanted to know what we all want to know from time to time: should I do it? And, will I be successful? The LORD responded, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” And with that — with a Word from God — David got the courage to round up his men, to encourage them in spite of their feelings at the time, and David and his 600 men set out to pursue what had been taken from them.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Bad things happen when you are out of position. I have made this point already, but it is worth repeating. David being out of position left his family vulnerable to the enemy. There is a certain level of divine protection that comes when you are aligned with God’s will. So, if you are know you are out of position this morning, quickly repent and get back in line. You don’t want to open yourself up to things that are not God’s will for your life.
2. It is important to be able to hear from God for yourself. David appreciated priests and prophets, but when his back was against the wall, he needed to hear from God for himself. The same should be true for you. You should appreciate your Pastor(s) and the five-fold ministry gifts in the Body of Christ, but when the pressure is on, you have be able to hear from God for yourself.
3. One Word from God can turn any seemingly hopeless situation around. Everything changed for David once he heard from God. His wives were still gone, his town was still burned to the ground, and his men were still upset with him, but once he heard a Word from God he was changed from the inside-out. All you need is a Word. Even before the external circumstances change, if you get a Word from God you will be changed on the inside!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for blessing me to be able to hear from You. You said in Your Word that Your sheep hear Your voice and the voice of a stranger, they will not follow. I am Your sheep. You are my Good Shepherd. I submit unto You every day in every way. I look unto You for guidance in all things. Your written Word is the ruler by which I judge every decision, and Your Holy Spirit is my guide. I am filled with Your Spirit, I have ears to hear what You are saying to me daily, and I seek Your counsel for all my ways. Like David, when the pressure is on, I know I need to hear from You. One Word from You can turn any seemingly hopeless situation around. So I look to You daily. I thank You for my Pastor(s) and the five-fold ministry gifts You have placed around me, but when I can’t get a hold of them, and when I know I need a Word from You, I declare by faith that I can hear from You for myself. My ears are anointed to hear, my eyes are anointed to see, and my heart is anointed to understand. Your Spirit is in me and You speak to me Spirit-to-spirit. I receive insight, wisdom, revelation, knowledge and understanding from You. And once I know I have heard from You, I am empowered to face any challenge head on. When the enemy takes something from me, and You instruct me to pursue what was stolen, I know I have the grace to pursue and recover all. I enter this day and every day with boldness, confidence, faith, and great expectations. No matter how bad things get and no matter what it looks like (externally), I live my life from the inside-out. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.