Continuing from "David's Strength" and "David's Resolve:" Beside the smoldering remains, alone, through tears, and while assassination plots fester in the dark, a deliberate counter-force begins to take issue with the onslaught of the enemy. With mounting determination a spiritual tug-of-war begins.
The momentum of the enemy and his contingent degenerates into an apparent stalemate with the hosts of heaven, and then, ever so slowly, like a locomotive turning the wheels of a loaded freight train, the strength of the Lord begins the process of reclaiming lost ground.
Like a fighter, David doesn't bolt and run, suppress or sidestep the pain. He faces the challenge before him and stays in the ring. How else would he be able to write the words we read above? For every conundrum constructed by the enemy, David counters with confidence anchored in truth.
Picture it: The Bible says that all the people were bitter and spoke of stoning David. Had I been in his sandals, I think my first words would have been, "OK. Everybody put your rocks down and let's talk reasonably about this predicament." But this man has been chased all over creation by Saul, dodging hurled spears and hiding-out in the wilderness. If asked, I think he would say, "When the Lord takes me home it will be because He's ready, not because a bunch of guys decide to stone me." I don't think it ever crossed his mind to ask his men to put down their rocks.
I hear only the strength and confidence of the Lord when David says to Abiathar, "Please bring me the ephod" (used in praying). A fearful, insecure man would not say, "Please." That simple word tells us that the internal peace of God was being expressed through David. With dignity and confidence he faced the mounting hardship.
In other words, David wasn't strengthened because the Lord told him that he would recover all that had been lost (v. 8). He was strengthened before he ever asked for the ephod. If the people stoned him, he was strengthened. If he never saw his family again, he was strengthened. If Abiathar refused to bring him the ephod, he was strengthened. He was strengthened even as he sat on the ashes of his home.
Being strengthened in the Lord doesn't mean your emotions get the message or that the circumstances change, but it does mean your confidence in the Lord surges and the locomotive of the Spirit begins to build spiritual momentum.
So, sit down. Right where you are. Your perch may be a charred remnant, the front seat of your pickup, the kitchen table, or your mahogany and leather desk chair. But sit down. Let's strengthen ourselves in the Lord. Personalize these thoughts along with me:
It would be sheer folly to depend upon my resources to attack the issues before me. The gifts, power, influence, and strength available to me are a false hope for victory. God is my refuge and strength. He dwells inside me in the form of the Holy Spirit and has been my stronghold and refuge when I have been distressed before. Why wouldn't He be the same today? My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart now and throughout all time. I will seek the Lord and His strength and determine to do so continually. The Lord is my strength, my shield, and my song. I trust Him. And, just by doing so, I am helped. 1
"Thank you Lord. Now, I have decisions to make, a mess to clean up, people to work with, and a few fires to put out. I realize You don't need reminding, but I do. As I stand up to deal with these issues, I'm depending on Your strength."
1 Compiled from Psalms 33:17; 46:1; 59:16; 73:26; 105:4; 118:14; 147:10; 28:7