Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A message calling all Soldiers of the Lord into service.


Text: 1 Samuel 22:1-5

A new day. A new start. Decision time for some. I had reached a point of unlimited potential in ministry – had a beautiful family, a good church, all was well and the I was awakened by a naysayer at a conference. I remember 2 years ago as I was sitting at a church last fall and someone overheard me state that I was pastoring at E. Gadsden COG. To my surprise the gentleman said, “that’s the last place that I would want to pastor – you won’t like it” Bad news for them – I not only like it, but I have no plans of leaving any time soon – we are setting anchors to be here for a while”. God delivered the vision and we have tried to adhere to it. All I can say is:

God Is Faithful!

vs. 1a, “David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam.”

David had strangled a lion, slain a giant, and has overcome 200 Philistines, but now he is overcome by fear. He has escaped here as an outlaw, a rebel.

He is running –

It seems that in today’s society there are many people who are running away from the troubles they face.

1. Children run away from home because their parents mistreat them.

2. Employees leave their jobs because they are not respected or paid what they are worth.

3. People walk away from friendships because some need is not being met. Marriages break up for many reasons.

4. Pastors leave churches running from problems and members do the same.

5. In many cases there is good reason to dissolve such a relationship.

6. There are people in the world that are abusive and unfaithful.

7. However, there are times we run for the wrong reasons. We are selfish and run because we want to find a place where things work more for our favor.

David is running and has escaped to a place of safety and seclusion. He needed some rest and quiet – he was exhausted physically and no doubt mentally. The cave became a place of earnest supplication.

Let’s look at Psalms 142

1) He sought for forgiveness.

2) He sought protection from his enemies.

3) He sought deliverance from his prison – we all have prisons – doubts, sickness, persecution, loneliness,

It was a place to learn to respond to his PROBLEMS.

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you, depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring. Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:

1. God uses problems to DIRECT you. Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways (Proverbs 20:30).

2. God uses problems to INSPECT you. People are like tea bags...if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you? When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience (James 1:2-3).

3. God uses problems to CORRECT you. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something... health, money, a relationship ... by losing it. The loss may have been the best thing that could have happened, for it teaches us to pay attention to God’s laws (Psalm 119:71-72).

4. God uses problems to PROTECT you. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. (Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good (Genesis 50:20).

5. God uses problems to PERFECT you. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. We can rejoice when we run in to problems... they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady (Romans 5:3-4).

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Paul Mazzio

commented on Sep 21, 2006

Excellent Rick, I am using portions to share with our men for an upcoming men's retreat. Thanks for your obedience!

David Robb

commented on Oct 13, 2006

This message speaks to where I am currently, as well as working through the topic of Soldiers of Christ. Thanks for the good perspective of the lessons of battle.

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