FROM SHEPHERD TO KING. The years it took from the time David was anointed as a young shepherd boy until he was made king was around 15 years. During which time he was highly afflicted and persecuted by king Saul, who on multiple accounts and times tried to kill David. David was often in hiding and on the run. He had a vagabond group of men who followed him and lived among pagan nations incognito and as a foreigner. How often do you think he forgot God’s words to Him? How many times do you think he said, “It’s always going to be this way!”
Imagine yourself in constant affliction and not seeing an end in sight, asking yourself, “How can this promise ever come about? God has forgotten about me.” Here’s what David did, he wrote songs (psalms) to encourage himself in the Lord’s Word and in God’s power and faithfulness to perform His Word, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalms 138:8 David was most assuredly speaking of a time when God would perform His vow to him to make David king. Many times David was afflicted and he drew near to God through the power of God’s Word instead of allowing his time of affliction to draw him away from the Lord. David remembered God’s promise. David relied on God’s faithfulness, for he knew God cannot lie and was well acquainted with God’s unchanging character.
Fast forward a few hundred years and the apostle Paul in his great affliction says virtually the same words to the persecuted church in Phillipi, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6 Many often preach this word to people who have lost their way and gotten off that straight and narrow path, and these words are true if those wayward travelers repent and return to the Lord of salvation. These words are not for the fearful and faint of heart nor are they for the rebellious, stiff-necked or disobedient sitting in the pig slop.
You cannot live in your sin and proclaim the promise. You cannot rejoice in iniquity and stand on His Word. However, these words are for the crushed and afflicted soul who has not grown weary in doing well, but continues to press on and run the race set before them, casting down evil imaginations and leaving behind every weight and all sin that entangles and destroys.
These words are for the weary few who refuse to give up and back down, who in persecution and fear, they move forward in courage and proclaim boldly the Word of God in the face of adversity and evil. These bold righteous men and women roar like lions for they know in faithfulness that God is able and He will do what He has promised to do. These words encourage the afflicted, crying out from the throne of grace the Holy Spirit speaks to the weary soul, “God is faithful to complete in you the work He started!” How long will it take? I don’t know. How will He do it? Because I don’t see a way. I don’t know, but He makes a way even in the wilderness.
Yes, God can furnish a table in the desert. And let me tell you, the table God provides is much better than one you can provide for yourself. God is not confined by time, space or circumstances. The government cannot confine God. No illness can confine God. Not even death can confine God. Jesus rose from the grave. He is not bound by anyone or anything. He watches over His Word to perform it. He does not make a vow and break it. He is faithful to accomplish His Word in the world and most definitely in His people. My goal is to one day see Him face to face.
He is faithful to see me safely home and I am faithful to run the race set before me. I might lose a limb along the way, but God didn’t promise I wouldn’t lose a limb; He promised He would keep my soul. I will accomplish all He gave me to do because HE is faithful who promised. Weary traveler, do not give up hope. Keep moving in faith. Keep preaching the Word. Keep shepherding the sheep. Do not return to Egypt or buckle under fear. The spirit of fear is your enemy. God has given us a sound mind and the Spirit like a war time general cries out, “Do not fear! We will take that mountain together.” The church flourished the greatest under times of affliction. God is faithful and He requires faithfulness from His sons and daughters. It takes zero talent to be faithful. Just don’t quit. #runyourrace
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