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The Word For Today

Lessons from the life of David 4

'So the three mighty men broke through.' 2 Samuel 23:16 NKJV

David knew how to develop other leaders. He didn't 'use' people to get what he wanted. He recognised their talent, gave them opportunities to serve, then rewarded and honoured them. And as a result they were willing to lay down their lives for him. In 2 Samuel 23 we read: 'David said with longing, "Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem"...So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well...and brought it to David' (2 Samuel 23:15-16 NKJV).

It's impossible to learn leadership without actually leading. After all, leadership is action. As leaders our natural tendency is to give others tasks to perform rather than leadership functions to fulfil. But if we don't delegate leadership - with authority as well as accountability - our people will never gain the experience they need to lead well. If you're a leader answer this question honestly: Are you providing your people with leadership experiences? 'But what if they fail?' you ask. Count on it - they will! But if you've picked people with genuine leadership ability, they will learn from it.

Dr. John Maxwell writes: 'As I've grown older, I've come to think of myself as a lid lifter. That's my main function as a team leader. If I can lift the leadership lids for the members of my team, then I'm doing my job. The more barriers I remove for my people, the more likely they are to rise up to their potential.' David developed leaders who became known as 'mighty men,' and you must invest in others too.

Soulfood: 1 Tim 1-3, Matt 27:27-32, Ps 42:1-5, Prov 19:12-14


Lessons from the life of David 3

'They mobilised all their forces.' 2 Samuel 5:17 NLT

Paul writes, 'Fight the good fight of faith' (1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV). Some of God's promises have to be fought for. The Jebusites who controlled Jerusalem told David, 'You'll never get in here' (2 Samuel 5:6 NLT)! Expect resistance to your vision, especially when there's no evidence yet to validate it. To make matters worse, Jerusalem was hundreds of feet above David's army and the only way up was through a water cistern, which meant wading through muck. 'Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion' (2 Samuel 5:7 NKJV). If he has to, God will bring you up through the gutter to get you to the throne. Note the word nevertheless. When you're up to your neck in problems and the enemy is saying you won't make it, stand on God's promises and declare, 'Nevertheless.' Rise up in faith and claim what God has promised you. 'The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits' (Daniel 11:32 NKJV).

God can show you how to exploit the circumstances for your good and his glory. But don't expect everybody to be helpful. 'When the Philistines heard...David had been anointed king of Israel, they mobilised all their forces to capture him' (2 Samuel 5:17 NLT). You'll have to fight to get to your destiny, and fight to hold it. And with each new battle you'll have to turn to God for fresh instructions. 'David asked the Lord, "Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" The Lord replied... "Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you"' (2 Samuel 5:19 NLT).

Today move forward knowing that God is with you.

Soulfood: Gen 5:22-24, Heb 11:5, 2 Kings 2:1-12, Acts 1:9- 11


Lessons from the life of David 2

'Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.' Hebrews 6:12 NKJV

Here are three lessons from David's life: (1) God makes the choice. When Samuel the prophet came to David's house to pick Israel's next king, David wasn't considered. But God chose him anyway - just like he chose Deborah to lead the nation in a male-dominated society. Stop trying to figure God out! And stop comparing yourself to others! We'd have rejected many of the people God used - which shows how little we know.

(2) God designs the plan. 'Being confident of this...that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it' (Philippians 1:6 NKJV). Who designs the plan? Who performs it? Who should your confidence be in? God! His plan for David involved years of ducking Saul's spears, living in caves as a fugitive, and working with six hundred misfits who redefine the word 'dysfunctional.' God trains you through the difficulties you experience so you can handle the assignment he has in mind for you.

(3) God sets the schedule. 'Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises' (Hebrews 6:12 NKJV). Patience means standing firm under pressure. The prize belongs to the one who's committed for the long haul. David was anointed king in his teens, but he didn't take the throne until he was 30. So be patient. God's doing a work of preparation in your life so you'll be ready when your time comes. Yes, waiting is hard. But if you run before the starter fires the gun, you'll be disqualified from the race. Just keep your eyes on the prize and don't give up.

Soulfood: Hab 1-3, Matt 27:11-26, Ps 1, Prov 19: 9-11

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