Summary: David gives us a fool proof pattern for finding victory in our lives.
May 2, 2004
Some years ago a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. "That depends," replied the foreman. "Let’s see you fell this tree." The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, "Start Monday!"
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, "You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today."
Startled, he replied, "I thought you paid on Friday." "Normally we do," answered the foreman, "but we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday."
"But I’m a hard worker," the young man objected. "I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!"
The foreman, sensing the boy’s integrity thought for a minute and then asked, "Have you been sharpening your ax?"
The young man replied, "I’ve been working too hard to take the time."
When we go through life with seeking God’s direction and His plan for our lives we are a lot like that young man. Our efforts become powerless and fruitless but when we seek God’s direction, follow His plan and let Him reveal His power, nothing can stop us.
This morning I want to look at a wonderful example of how seeking and following God can and will bring victory into your life.
8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went out to meet them. 9 Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; 10 so David inquired of God: "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" The LORD answered him, "Go, I will hand them over to you." 11 So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, "As waters break out, God has broken out against my enemies by my hand." So that place was called Baal Perazim. 12 The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, and David gave orders to burn them in the fire. 13 Once more the Philistines raided the valley; 14 so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, "Do not go straight up, but circle around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. 15 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army." 16 So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. 17 So David’s fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him.
I. When problems arise seek God’s direction
Problems are just part of being alive
The problem that David was facing was very real and very old. The Philistines chose to attack Israel just after David had been anointed as king of Israel. They came when David may not have had the complete strength of the country at his disposal. The goal of the Philistines was to find David and to defeat him. David had shamed the Philistines in battle and now they were determined to attack him.
David did not sit and wait for the problem to just go away. He took quick action to deal with the situation. David approached the crisis with courage, confidence and clarity. He knew what needed to be done and how he would get it done
We face great difficulties
Since we are a spiritual people we will always face spiritual attacks because the one thing that Satan fears most is a Christian who is effective for the Kingdom of God. Life can just get to us from time to time as we face the grind of daily living. Daily living can be enough to rob us of spiritual strength and effectiveness
We need to face down our problems
The difficulties we have will not just simply vanish. We need to identify the problems we have and take positive action to find powerful solutions. As we face our difficulties, we need to have courage, confidence and clarity. All of these things are provided for us by the Holy Spirit.
Problems require us to seek God’s direction
David understood that he needed God’s direction before he went into battle.
David had won his fair share of battles including his great victory over Goliath. David could have easily relied on his own personal military experience, confidence and skill as a warrior to handle the situation