Summary: Life throws us some real punches. Instead of focusing in on what we have lost, we need to see what it is we have left that God can still use on our behalf.
When Life Knocks You Down-What’s Left
1 Samuel 30:1-31 Philippians’ 3:7-14
Today we complete our series, “When Life Knocks You Down.” Pastor Toby preached on “I Failed, Now What.” Pastor Kellie preached on “God Specializes in Plan B.” I’ve been given the assignment of preaching on “What’s Left.” Sometimes we can miss out on something because of a failure to search and to see what it is we have left.
Do any of you remember as a kid wanting to buy some cookies or some ice cream but not having any money to do it? I can remember we would look in every nook and cranny of the sofa to find us a coin or two. We’d look in the closet on the floor, and we’d check every old pocketbook we could find. We rejoiced just as much in putting together a ten cents as someone who had won the lottery. We found out there was often more left than we had first thought.
There are going to be times in our lives when we are going to want things, and we are going to come up short. Sometimes it is okay to come up short. Pastor Kellie preached on how our plans for life don’t always go the way we planned them to go.
We didn’t set our lives planning to get a felony conviction. We didn’t plan to become a teen mother. We didn’t plan to lose our job. We didn’t plan to fail in school. We didn’t plan to get cut from the team. We didn’t plan to have the person we love die. We didn’t plan for our spouse to leave us. We didn’t plan for the divorce. We didn’t plan for the crisis and the crime that happened to us. We didn’t plan to be betrayed.
We didn’t plan to lose our health. We didn’t plan to have to take care of our kids now that they are adults. We didn’t plan to lose our business or our jobs. We didn’t plan on our family turning out the way that it did. We didn’t plan to look the way we now do. We didn’t plan that addictions would hit us or someone we love. There are just a lot of bad things that happen to us and around us that we did not plan.
Somebody told us that if we just come to Jesus and give our lives to God, everything will be fine and the problems will be gone. Some even told us that God wants us all to be continuously healthy and wealthy, and if you have enough faith, you can name it and claim it and have it. Unfortunately some of us believed that and have discovered that it’s not true. Some have lost faith in God over this.
When Jesus called us to come and follow him, Jesus never said, his goal was to make us rich and to give us everything we wanted as a sign of his appreciation for us joining his team. What Jesus promised us was an opportunity to know God the Father as Jesus knew Him.
Jesus told us up front that following him was not going to be an easy task. As a matter of fact he told us our peace is going to have to be found in Him, because in this world we will experience trials, troubles, and tribulations. Nobody gets an exemption. If you live long enough, you will suffer either because of the sins of others or because of your own sin.
We make plans in our attempt to create a safe space for us. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future as long as you know that plan is subject to change with our without your approval. If I save enough money, I will have a safe space for retirement. If I get that job with that income, I’ll have a safe space for me and my family’s level of comfort. If I marry that person I will have a safe space from loneliness.
If I have kids, I’ll have a safe space for someone to help look after me when I’m old. If I make that team, I’ll have a safe space of acceptance at school. If I can get in with that group, I’ll have a safe space of friends. We’re all looking for some kind of safe space to live our lives.
David had a safe space called Ziklag. David was a young man who had faithfully served the king. The king was so impressed with David’s ability and anointing, that he placed David over his entire army. But the king became jealous of David, because the people boasted of what David had done in battle as compared to the king.
They said, “King Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.” The king determined to kill David, and he pursued him ruthlessly throughout the country. David knew the only way he would find safety for him and his family was to leave the country and go into the land of the Philistines. The king had branded him as a terrorist. He knew the king would not cross the borders into enemy territory. So David struck up a deal with one of the Philistine rulers, and the ruler gave David the city of Ziklag. David had finally found him a safe space in which to live. No doubt some people referred to him as David of Ziklag.