Monday, September 22, 2014

Feeling the Squeeze, part three

Currently I am preaching on the life of David from the book of 1 Samuel.  Chapters eighteen and nineteen show us three sets of trials God allowed David to experience.  In each set, David learned different lessons.  First, he learned how to deliver himself.  Then, he learned to allow other people to deliver him.  And finally, at the end of chapter nineteen, God put him in a situation where David could only depend upon God. 

David was feeling the squeeze and learning to trust God . . .

"Those sustained periods of preparation fueled the future effectiveness of each choice servant.  They learned the value of growing deep, of spurning life’s shallow life so they could minister out of the overflow of the inner life.  That is precisely why superficiality is the curse of our age.  Our shallow lives offer no promise for lasting impact.

The exceptional work for David was that he would lead the nation of Israel for forty years – in fact, for forty of their greatest years.  He received that remarkable appointment by divine decree.  However, we forget he waited thirteen years before he actually became king, living as a fugitive, hunted and haunted by Saul.

Why didn’t David assume the throne of Israel at age seventeen?  Wasn’t he more qualified than bumbling, self-willed Saul?  Actually, he wasn’t.  The Lord knew that only a man seasoned by years of life’s lessons and protracted times of solitude and obscurity was fit to be the next king."

-       Charles Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit

It is what V. Raymond Edman called “the discipline of delay.”

The delay that instructs and prepares saves time, never loses it.  From it one can walk with a step of assurance and a heart of flame.  - Edman

When it comes to walking with God, there is no thing as instant maturity.  God doesn’t mass produce His saints.  He hand tools each one, and it always takes longer than we expected.  - Swindoll

3 Different Responses to Trials and Wilderness Times

First,    I don’t need it!           This is the response of pride.

Second, I’m tired of it!           This is the response of shortsightedness.

Third, I accept it.                   This is the response of maturity.

"Then something painful happened to Mr. Murray.  Miss Carmichael records that this is how he met it.  He was quite for a while with his Lord, then he wrote these words for himself:  'First, He brought me here, it is by His will I am in this strait place:  in that fact I will rest.  Next He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.  Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.  Last, in His good time He can bring me out again - how and when He knows.  Let me say I am here, (1) By God's appointment, (2) In His keeping, (3) Under His training, (4) For His time.'"               - V. Raymond Edman on the life of Andrew Murray

David is Delivered by God (19:18-24)

Saul and his men go after David, but God delivers him (19:18-24).

Gradually, David was losing all his support, everything he might have leaned on: his position in the king’s court and in the army, his wife, and now Samuel.  David’s emotional stability is slowly eroding.  The once calm, confident young warrior is feeling the squeeze.  – Charles Swindoll

3 lessons learned by depending on God alone

1. We learn His sufficiency and grace (2 Cor. 9:8; 12:8-9).

2. We learn His omnipresence and omniscience (Ro. 11:33-36; He. 13:5,8).

3. We learn to depend on Him alone (Prov. 3:5-6; 2 Cor. 1:9).


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