Today I will continue with “Faith and Patience In a previous message, we saw how Saul was devastated when he had a psychic conjure up the spirit of the Prophet Samuel, only to receive news that he and his sons were going to die the next day. Saul was still recovering from this news when he realized the battle was still looming. The Philistine army had already mobilized, and they were camped at Aphek. Saul and the Israelites prepared themselves and camped at the spring in Jezreel. The stage was set. The next day would bring a major battle between the nations.
While the Philistine army mustered in their camp, a few of the commanders noticed that David and his men were marching with king Achish of Gath. The Philistine commanders demanded, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” Achish said, “This is David, the servant of King Saul of Israel. He’s been with me for years, and I’ve never found a single fault in him from the day he arrived until today.” But the Philistine commanders were not having it. They demanded, “Send him back to the town you’ve given him! He can’t go into the battle with us.” The commanders did not trust David. They thought he might turn on them in an attempt to reconcile with Saul. They heard the stories of the Israeli women singing, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands,” and they never forgot it. While David thought he was too much of a threat to Saul to be in Israel, he then realized he was also too much of a threat to the Philistines to fight alongside them. So there David was, stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Achish summoned David and said to him, “I swear by the LORD that you have been a trustworthy ally. I think you should go with me into battle, for I’ve never found a single flaw in you from the day you arrived until today. But the other Philistine rulers won’t hear of it. Please don’t upset them, but go back quietly.”
Although David did not really want to fight the Israelite Army anyway, by this point, he was upset because he was invested. He and his men were a three-day journey away from home. After leaving their wives and children, after trekking across the desert for three days, and after seeing all the other Soldiers gather together for battle, it was not easy walking away. It should have been easy. But it wasn’t, because David was out of place. When you are out of position, you don’t know what to think or what to want. In this state of confusion, David was upset, and he said to Achish, “What have you ever found in your servant, that I can’t go and fight the enemies of my lord the king?” Achish insisted, “As far as I’m concerned, you’re as perfect as an angel of God. But the Philistine commanders are afraid to have you with them in the battle. Now get up early in the morning, and leave with your men as soon as it gets light.” So, David and his men headed back into the land of the Philistines, while the Philistine army went on to Jezreel.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things:
1. When you are out of position, you don’t know what to think.
Think about the situation. Although David had been lying for years about fighting his own people, the reality is that he had never done it. David had never shed Israelite blood. Although he was living a life for years, at least he had never crossed that line. Then, when King Achish backed David into a corner, basically forcing him to fight king Saul, David reluctantly agreed to the situation. But when the king was giving him an out, instead of being happy about it, instead of thanking God, David got upset. This is what happens when you are outside of the will of God; you don’t think clearly.
— This series is about walking with God for the long haul. It is about living by faith and developing patience along the way. The major things I am teaching you about in this series, the major promises God has made you are things that will not happen overnight. These things may not happen for months, years, or decades. This means that you are going to experience lots of things in the space between the promise and the performance. In that space, you must do your best to remain in alignment with your divine purpose.
— If you ever get out of alignment with your divine assignment, you will be around the wrong people, you will receive the wrong advice, and you will experience the wrong things, to the point where you may be so confused that you don’t know what to do. However, when you are in alignment with God’s purpose, you will have a level of clarity that will help you make the right decisions, and it will also help you maintain your peace, even when the world around you is going crazy.
— You can be out of position and be confused, or you can be in alignment and have clarity. The choice is yours.
— When you have clarity, it does not mean everything will be easy. It just means you can hear from God, you know what to do, and you have peace. This is what it looks like to have faith and patience. This is how you walk with God for the long haul.
2. When you are out of place, you don’t fit in because you don’t belong.
— David should have never connected with the Philistines. Since he did, he never truly fit in. The same will hold true for you when you willfully place yourself around people you are not supposed to be with.
— If the Lord has called you to do something and you know it, but you choose to connect with a crowd that is heading in the opposite direction, you will never fit in because you are going the wrong way! The direction they are headed in may be okay for them, but it is not okay for you because God called you to do something different. This is why you must know WHO you are and WHAT God called YOU to do!
— God will not allow you to get comfortable with where you are not supposed to be. You may try to fit in, but you can try all you want. You won’t ever truly fit in when you are outside the will of God.
3. Don’t try to force yourself to fit in where you don’t belong.
— David was arguing with Achish, upset about the fact that he was not going to have the opportunity to fight his own countrymen, when deep down inside, he knew he was not supposed to do it anyway.
— David was upset because he and his men had already invested a three-day journey. So what? No matter how much you have invested in the wrong thing, if it’s the wrong thing, no amount of investment can make it the right thing! When the Lord gives you an out, take it!
— Don’t try to force yourself into a situation you know you are not supposed to be in. I can tell you from experience that if you stubbornly force yourself into something you know God is NOT in, then SIN will take you further than you wanted to go, and it will cost you more than you wanted to spend.
— Life is much easier when you know who you are in Christ, you accept your divine identity, and you refuse to be anyone else. Living this way, the Holy Spirit will make it clear where you fit in and where you don’t.
— Just as long as you agree with the Holy Spirit and you don’t stubbornly attempt to force yourself into situations where He is leading you to avoid, you will be just fine. But to be clear, you can be Born-Again and live outside of God’s purpose because you have never DIED TO SELF. If you pursue selfish desires over God’s purpose, you will be out of place, your life won’t have the clarity you need to make good decisions, and you will pay for it.
4. Thank God for all the times He kept you from doing something you never should have been doing!
— God is so good that He often keeps us from making mistakes, even when we invested heavily in them. We can work on something for a long time, and we can be so invested that we really want it, but if that “thing” is outside the will of God, God will sometimes see to it that we never do it. We may get upset about it. But when it is all said and done, the Holy Spirit is able to help us look back and realize how close we came to making a major mistake because we were hard-headed. Thank God for His grace!
Father, You made plans for me before the foundations of the world. I am determined to find, follow, and finish my purpose before I die. In this season, You have a special place for me. You know where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing, so my actions can take me incrementally closer to Your overall expected end for my life. I submit to Your plans and purposes. I humble myself before You. I make time to hear from You, and I attune my heart to Your Spirit. You confirm me when I am in alignment with Your purpose, and You convict me when I am not. You let me know when I am out of place and when I am, You don’t allow me to fit in with the wrong crowd. Even if I try to fit in with those I am not called to, I am never able to because that is not my place. So, I pray, by faith, that if I am ever out of position, You convict me of righteousness, You lead me out! Thank You, Father, for correcting me when I am headed the wrong way. In Jesus’ name, Amen!