Tag Archives: david at ziklag

Times Of Conditioning

I always loved it when basketball season was starting in high school. What I hated was going through conditioning for it. Coach would have us start off with stretches. We would then have to run about a mile. Once everyone was back in the gym, we began to do exercises that strengthened our core. Our legs would get wobbly around that time, but then we had to start doing drills. If you messed up, you had to take a lap around the three acre property. To wrap up practice we would run the lines, or horses as we called them. The next day, we would do it all again. Our bones ached. It hurt our muscles to go upstairs for classes. Coach would remind us, “We may not be the tallest or the fastest team, but we will be the best conditioned team.” He was right. We ran the legs off every other team straight to the State Championship.

Conditioning has a purpose with the end in mind. It hurt going through those times, especially not knowing if it was going to pay off. In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men were on the run from Saul. They were considered fugitives. They had to move out of the country and live with one of Israel’s enemies. When Israel rose up to fight that country, David and his men went to fight on behalf of the enemy. They weren’t trusted, so they were sent back to the town of Ziklag where they had been staying. As they arrived, they saw smoke rising into the sky. Another enemy came in while they were at the battle front, burned their town and captured their wives and kids. David’s men began to talk of killing him. It was a dark day for David, but it was all part of God’s conditioning for him to become king.

David kept his eyes on God instead of his circumstances. Verses 6-7 say, “David strengthened himself with trust in his GOD. He ordered Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the Ephod so I can consult God” (MSG). David understood that sometimes God’s plan takes us through painful circumstances. It often leads us to places we don’t understand. Like David, it’s important in those seasons when everything seems to be falling apart and our closest friends are turning on us, that we strengthen ourselves in our relationship with God, and that we consult with Him. Conditioning is often very painful, but there’s a reason and a season for it. We must go through that period in order to be prepared to endure what’s ahead. God’s plan and purpose for you are good. Don’t quit when things look bleak. Trust Him more and those times of conditioning will pay off.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

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Go Without Going

  
When I read Mark 16:15 where Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, (NLT)” I get excited and want to grab my passport. I want to spin a globe, put my finger on it, and go immerse myself in that culture so I can be the hands and feet of Jesus. To many of you reading this, that is the scariest thought you could ever have. You have no desire to leave home, and that’s ok.

So many think that the only way to fulfill the Great Commission is to leave home and to go. I believe there are at least two other ways you can “go”. One way is to send your prayers for those who are around the world winning the lost to Christ. Having lived over seas in a missions capacity, I can honestly tell you that you can feel the prayers. You know at that moment that someone is praying for you. Those people who pray will inherit a reward for those souls as well.

Another way you can go without going is to give to those who go. It costs more than you think to be in full time missions. Beyond housing and living expenses, they have to create and print literature, deliver it or mail it, visit various parts of the country, and so many more things that require money. If you can’t or won’t go, give to those who will and are. You will reap where they reap.

In I Samuel 30, David and his men were chasing an army that kidnapped their families and burned down their town. A couple of days into the journey, about 200 men decided they couldn’t go any further. The rest caught the other army, fought them, and recovered everything and more. When they got back to the 200, they didn’t want to share. David said in verse 24, “We share and share alike – those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” He set the precedent that all of us involved, in whichever way we can, will receive the reward. 

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