(1 Samuel 23:13,14 NLT)
So David and his men—about 600 of them now—left Keilah and began roaming the countryside. Word soon reached Saul that David had escaped, so he didn’t go to Keilah after all. David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.
Today I will continue with “Faith and Patience Volume 5 – Greater is Coming!” Today we are only covering two verses. Two major points jumped out at me as I read them. I will tell you what they are.
After David was led of God to save the people of Keilah from the hand of the Philistines, and he found out that Saul was on his way to attack him, David asked God two questions. They were basically, “Is Saul coming?” and “Will these people, who I just saved, betray me and hand me over to Saul?” God’s answer to David was “Yes” to both questions. Saul’s coming was not strange to David because it was no secret that Saul wanted him dead. But I am sure that David was disappointed to find out that the people of Keilah, whom he had just saved, were so quick to stab him in the back. So David had to do what he had been doing for a while, and he went back on the run.
David did not flee back to the safety of the Cave of Adullam. Instead, David and his men roamed the countryside. As I was picturing David and his men, attempting to find cover and concealment along the countryside, I noticed that the text said David had 600 men by now. Chapter 22 opened with David hitting his lowest point in a cave, all alone, when God started to send people his way until he had 400 men to lead. Here we are a chapter later, not much has happened since David became the commander of his rag-tag bunch, and already the group has grown by 50%. The Bible does not tell us how the growth happened, but while David was waiting on God and doing what God was leading him to do, men kept coming to join his militia. That’s the first thing that jumped out at me from this passage.
The second point that resonated with me this morning comes from this phrase: “Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.” For years I have taught on faith and our responsibility towards God, but in this series, where the Lord is leading me to teach on grace, I am being forced to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and His commitment to us. While David and his men were roaming the countryside, not necessarily standing in faith, not making any sacrifices to God, not performing any acts of worship, and not doing anything to initiate the supernatural, God was shielding them from Saul, confusing Saul’s scouts, and not allowing Saul to find David. Why did God do it? The answer is simple: GRACE. God’s grace is truly amazing!
So what does this mean for you today? A few things:
1. God is blessing you, DURING the process.
— This series is about faith and patience. I am teaching you about the MAJOR things God has called you to and how God is preparing you for your purpose. He is not punishing you; He is processing you for your divine assignment.
— God predestined you for a specific purpose in life, He prepared everything you would ever need to get it done, and He is not preparing you for what He prepared for you!
— Many like to acknowledge major checkpoints in life like a graduation, a promotion, or arriving at a certain level, putting on a certain rank, etc., but God does not hold back His blessing until a major moment. While many only acknowledge “The Blessing” of the Lord during major moments, if you would slow down long enough to recognize it, you would realize that the Lord is blessing you daily, DURING the process of becoming the person He has destined you to be.
— David was called to be A King. But “The Blessing” was working in his life even when he was in a cave, or roaming the countryside on the run. So don’t wait for a major moment to acknowledge what God is doing in your life, because He is working daily.
— God is always working. This means that we should always be on the lookout for the ways God is moving in our lives, and when we acknowledge them, we should be quick to give Him praise every step of the way!
— In short, while it is true that you are in the development process, it is also true that God is not withholding His blessing until you get developed. Said another way, you are being BLESSED IN THE PROCESS! You serve a God who does not withhold His blessing for special occasions. He wants to bless you richly, daily! If you are spiritual discerning, you will be able to see the hand of God in operation in your life, even while you are waiting for Him to do the MAJOR things you are standing in faith for!
2. God provides divine protection by His unearned grace.
— I may not know you, but if I met you someday and I asked you to tell me your story, to tell me what God has done for you, I am sure you would have something to say. However, you can only tell me PART of the story. You will have to wait until you get to heaven to find out ALL God has done for you. Why? Because you don’t know of the countless times God stepped in — without you knowing it and without you doing anything to prompt it — to protect you from an enemy, from an attack, from an accident, from a drunk driver, from… you get the point.
— God has been working behind the scenes in your life, all your life, protecting you for His plans and purposes, and He has been doing it by grace. Not because you deserved it, not because you did anything to initiate it, not because you earned it, but simply because He loves you, and He wanted to protect you. Isn’t that awesome?
— This morning, before you leave where you are right now, take a few minutes to give God praise for ALL He has done in your life — for what you know about and for what you won’t find out about until you get to heaven! As you do, you will be acknowledging God’s amazing grace in operation in your life.
— I have shared with you before one of the most amazing experiences I have had with the Holy Spirit. I was a newly Born-Again believer, and the Holy Spirit took me down memory lane. He showed me incident after incident, where He protected me in the streets of Brooklyn. He did not do this because I asked for it. I was not a praying boy. Now, my mother prayed for me. My grandmother prayed for me. So I am not sure whose prayers were being answered. I won’t know until I get to heaven. But what I do know is that God was shielding and protecting me for my purpose. One time I was shot at with a sawed-off shotgun. I was clearly in the line of the sight of the weapon. But nothing touched me. I have many stories like that. God was protecting me when I did not even know it. This is what He did for David, while he and his men were in the woods. God was protecting them for their purpose. God did it for David, He did it for me, and He will certainly do it for you! Thank God for His protection (seen and unseen).
3. God is far better to you than you will ever be to Him!
— In our text (1 Samuel 23:13,14), God was being good to David, blessing him and protecting him and his men, when he did not even realize it. Sometimes we need to slow down long enough to acknowledge how good God has been to us.
— My Pastor, Tony Brazelton, talks about the mistakes we often make when asked to give a testimony in church. Christians like to go up to the front of the stage, take the mic, and then talk about all the things “THEY DID” as part of the testimony. They talk about how much THEY prayed. Or how much THEY gave. Or how much THEY worked. And in the end, they said, “But look at God! God did it!” If they were honest, the testimony would be more like, “Okay, guys, I was struggling with my faith. And God did it anyway!” Or, “I didn’t even pray and look at what God did for me!” These are the testimonies I key-in on because they are testimonies of God’s goodness. God blesses us by His unearned and amazing grace. So, yes, we are supposed to provide the faith. But if we are completely honest, there are times when we are shaky, and God does not hold it against us. He blesses us far beyond anything we could ever earn or deserve.
— When you give your testimony, make sure God is the STAR of the STORY and not you!
— If God only gave us what we deserve, we would all be men/women most-miserable. Thank God for His amazing and overflowing grace towards us! He often blesses us DESPITE what we are doing, not BECAUSE of it. That’s amazing grace!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for blessing me during the process. I have not arrived at Your desired destination for my life. I have not yet become the person You have called, destined, desired, or designated me to be. I am still in the process of becoming and developing, but I thank You for NOT reserving Your blessing until the end. You have blessed me, You are blessing me, and You will continue to bless me, even as I am becoming the person You want me to be. You are better to me than I am to me. You have shielded me from attacks I knew nothing about. I will have to wait until I get to heaven to find out about all the times You kept from planned attacks and freak accidents. I have no idea how many times You kept a drunk driver from running into my car, or a disgruntled co-worker from carrying out a plot against me. You protect me in ways I know of, but You also shield me from all sorts of dangers I know nothing about. I shall never cease to give You praise for Your goddess towards me. And the best part is that my story is not over! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!