Monday, January 23, 2017

Don't Know What To Do?

Our pastor was out of town last Sunday so we had a substitute preacher. I had thought about traveling to West Allis to hear a former pastor and friend preach that day but instead I stayed home. I was glad I did. I didn't know it but I was about to receive a valuable life lesson on how we can navigate through life's struggles.

We were instructed to open our Bibles to 1 Samuel 30. Do that now. Here's a link. The whole chapter is gold but especially verses 1-19.

What would you do if you were soldier and you came home from war to find your home burned and your entire family taken captive by Muslim extremists. Everything you had and cherished was gone. What would you do? God tells us exactly what to do in this story about David from the Old Testament.

David came home from war to find his entire city burned and ALL of the woman and children taken as prisoners. There was nothing left.

The first thing David did was mourn the loss. That's natural. We all do that. Verse 4 says this . . .

"Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep."

That's a perfectly natural and totally expected reaction. The next thing David did, however, was something that we often fail to do. He looked up. The end of verse six . . .

"But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God."

 How often do we pray? Only in time of need? For David and his men, losing everything they had certainly was a time to pray. The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5). Do we do that?

When David was done praying he did something else you and I seldom do. He asked God what he should do. Verse eight . . .

"So David inquired of the Lord,"

And guess what? God answered David and directed him to pursue those who had captured their wives and children. David didn't know which direction to go but he was obedient to the Lord and set off in pursuit. Then something amazing happened. God provided direction. Verse 11 . . .

"11 Then they found an Egyptian in the field . . .
a servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick. "

When we pray to God and are obedient in our response to His leading, God will often bless us and provide for us exactly what we need. The Egyptian, you see, had been traveling with the very people that David and his men were seeking. And the Egyptian led them right to the Amalekites that David was after. Gee. Isn't that interesting that the Egyptian just happened to get sick and just happened to be left behind where David would find him? Verse 16 . . .

"16 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. 17 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. 18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. 19 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."

Have you suffered a loss recently? A devastating turn of events like David did? Perhaps a loved one died or a relationship has sudden;y ended. What stuff like that happens, do we "inquire of the Lord?" Do we obediently follow His direction? David did, and looked how God rewarded him!

May we always seek God's direction in our prayers. May we always turn to Him in times of trouble and sorrow. God will provide for our every need. Just ask David. When he returned home, he had everything with him that he desired - his wives, his family plus everything that they had taken from the Amalekites. They came out ahead! And so shall we if we would only turn to God and trust Him in all things.

This past week I was able to use this story of David's obedience to minister to two people in my life. How will God use YOU this week? These days, the Amalekites take different forms. They still take captive those we love. Let us inquire of the Lord. Let us look up and pursue our God, seek His will and direction and then, let us move.

Lead Me - Sanctus Real
David Saves His People

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