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Summary: Sermon to encourage listeners to press through their circumstances because God can bring you out on top.

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1 Samuel 30:18-19 KJV And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. [19] And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.

I. INTRODUCTION -- JOHN WESLEY POWELL

John Wesley Powell has been pretty much forgotten.

It used to be that every grade school kid in America knew about Powell and his amazing courage to survive a journey against all odds.

As a matter of fact, a lot of people thought that Powell was nuts.

The expedition was simply too dangerous, especially for a man with just one arm!

During the Civil War, Powell had lost his arm when an enemy soldier shot him in his forearm.

The wound led to an amputation but Powell never let his injury stop him from being a national hero.

Back in 1869 conventional wisdom said that passage through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River was impossible.

The country surrounding the Grand Canyon oozed with legends of doomed expeditions.

No one had ever dared that stretch of river and come out alive.

Out of all the expeditions that had given it their best shot, there was not one survivor.

One army lieutenant who had explored the Colorado just on the southern side of the Grand Canyon believed that powerful river so treacherous that ‘the Colorado, along the greater part of its lonely and majestic way, shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed.’

But the one-armed explorer thought he could pull it off.

On May 24, 1869, Powell and a party of nine stepped into their boats to attempt the thousand mile journey.

Along the way, their party encountered numerous ambushes.

They were ambushed by legion killer rapids.

They were ambushed by waterfalls.

They were ambushed by boulders the size of cabins.

They were ambushed by the loss of boats, critical foodstuffs, and instruments.

Yet one hundred days later, Powell and five men emerged from two boats.

The hope for their survival had been given up weeks before.

They were suffering from exposure and near starvation.

But they made it.

What happened to the four other men?

One had decided to turn back.

The other three, after numerous disagreements with Powell, left the expedition.

They hiked up to the rim of the Canyon, only to be killed by Indians.

(Adapted from Finishing Strong, Steve Farrar, 1995, Multnomah Books, pp. 21-22)

-Powell and his men rose up against the odds and pushed on through.

-Life and service to God is going to have more than one or two obstacles for you to have to move through.

The longer I live the more and more I am coming to believe that it is something that burns in the heart of a man that helps him to press on against the odds.

II. THE STATE OF MEN IN BATTLE

-The church is beginning to understand the armaments that have been afforded to her.

Revival has the capacity to awaken those things within the heart of even the most distant saint of God.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV [3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

-What Satan has embezzled from the Church, both individually and collectively is reaching a point of recovery.

• His plundering of our joy.

• His robbery of our victory.

• His kidnapping of our children who are caught up into a place of

worldliness must stop.

• He has pillaged our prayers and mocked our worship.

• He has looted our peace.

-But there is always another side to the story. . . . .

All of these things must be restored to a Church whose hope is not in itself but in Another.

One who is much higher and more powerful than any thing in this world.

-The church must arise and pursue.

The Church was never intended to be something that was stagnant and static, it is ever seeking to meet the challenge of its times.

It is dynamic and pulsing with life.

II. THE TEXT IN 1 SAMUEL

A. Leading Up To Ziklag

-To get the setting of the story for which 1 Samuel 30 is leading up to, one must understand that David is still having to deal with the onslaught of pursuit by Saul.

We find in the opening chapter of 1 Samuel 29, that David was in a place called Aphek.

Aphek was a three days worth journey from Ziklag.

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