Strengthen Yourself

King David knew what it was to experience anguish. In 1 Samuel 30 things are going horribly wrong, all their loved ones and belongings have been taken. Times were pretty desperate.

Two things I thought when I observed this scenario. Firstly – it’s alright to wail and weep to the point of exhaustion. Yet it doesn’t mean we stay there. In verse 6 we see a shift for David. It tells us that he even though he was distressed that he ‘strengthened himself in the Lord his God’.

Second thought – I have to know how to strengthen myself in the Lord our God. It’s my responsibility to stay strong in the Lord.

For me that means being aware, at all times, of who He is. It means positioning myself to hear the whispers from God. To learn to catch those words that bring light in to those darkest of moments.

How do you strengthen yourself?

Forty Days…God’s Purposes Stand Firm

Still getting up early.
Still praying and asking God everyday.
Still believing.
Still standing in faith.

Reading through Psalms at the moment the following aspects have jumped out at me over the past few days. The way King David writes about…

the question of how long, when will you answer me
the way that frustration is mixed with an absolute trust that God will bring victory
the way he describes the impact that the statutes of the Lord can bring
the recognition of the need for God’s unfailing love

In the context of where I am right now, what I am praying into, the things I am believing for a verse I read today encouraged me so much…

‘the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations’ (Psalm 33:11) He is on the case, working out His plans, through me and through this generation.

What do you think?

Integrity: The Protection Facet

Been thinking about integrity recently and what it looks like…

it’s many facets
the qualities displayed
the benefits it brings
it’s enemies that challenge it
the producers of integrity

Would love your thoughts on this subject and the opportunity to create a dialogue over the next few days. Here’s my first observation: FACET 1:

Obvious I guess but integrity brings protection.
Nothing hidden, no surprises. No skeletons in the cupboard.

KIng David wrote in Psalm 25:21 ‘may integrity and uprightness protect me.’ Your gifting may open the doors of opportunity but it will be your integrity that keeps you there. Staying blameless, keeping a short account, maintaining your uprightness – with God, with others.

Integrity is the diamond in the crown of great leaders.

So here’s a question: a challenge maybe: do we all have something that we don’t want others to know about?

In what ways has your integrity protected you?
Has a lack of integrity let you down in the past?

Who Is Helping You? [Day 10]

Reading the Word today I am struck that King David had an amazing group of people around him. They were not just friends, in fact you never know, they may not have even been friends.

they added value to him.
they made him look good.
they understood what he needed.
they protected him.
they helped him achieve his breakthrough.

It’s interesting that in 2 Samuel 21:17 they advised David that he should not go out to battle anymore. He was too important to Israel. They would fight for him, achieving breakthrough on his behalf.

Challenges me to think about who are the people who are around me. Those closest to me can either help me or hinder me. The can build my faith or make me question my faith. They can add to my life or they can subtract from my life.

Sometimes breakthrough comes by gleaning wisdom from others.
From taking encouragement from others.
From learning lessons that others have experienced.
From listening to those you trust and who you know have your best interests at heart.

Who is in your inner circle?
Are they helping you get the breakthrough you desire?

Hold On…The Moment Will Come [Day 5]

When I read the story of David, anointed as King but not yet King, I marvel at his ability to continue to do the right thing, despite everything that was going on around him. He displays the opposite characteristics to those that Saul demonstrated.

Saul grew impatient.
Saul went with the crowd.
Saul was easily persuaded.
That’s why Saul missed out on God’s best for his life.

On the other hand, David was presented with ample opportunity to ‘deal with Saul’, even encouraged by his men to do so, dressing it up as something provided by the Lord. David holds on to his integrity, twice and proves that those who can do this, will not miss out on what God has prepared for them. It keeps you locked on to your destiny.

I am excited about what God is getting ready to do, in my life and in the life of Xcel Church. I truly believe that Xcel Darlington is ready to explode with growth, provided that we do it Gods way. As I believe for change over these 90 days, it would be easy to get frustrated when things don’t take the shape I think they should. Staying faithful is never easy, God never said it would be.

Tell us…
What do you when God has not come through yet?
Have you ever felt like you missed out because you didn’t wait for God?
Do you struggle sometimes with God’s timing on stuff?

I’ve been here before and will probably come this way again.

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