1 Samuel 30:1-23
David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. 10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat— 12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”
He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”
15 David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?”
He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”
16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”
23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.

Run, Pursue and Overtake

These were the words I was hearing in my Spirit before I awakened this morning. As I have meditated on what the Lord was speaking, I came upon this passage about when David and his men had their families and goods plundered and taken from them by the Amalekites. This is a type of what the enemy has done to God’s people. They have come in and plundered taken our families, divided our home, robbed our finances and left sickness and death in their wake. God is arousing His David Company as they are sorely grieved at what has been taking place. The prayer of David has gone up, ““Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
The answer of the Lord has come back, ““Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
Even as I prayed this morning I sensed the Lord reminding me to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6). A warrior spirit was arising in my spirit as I began to go in by the Spirit and take back those whom the enemy had afflicted and taken captive.
Warriors of God, I sense this is an hour for us to gird ourselves with the armor of God in the Spirit and arise and pursue our enemies. We have been pursued, attacked and abused long enough. It is now a time for us to take the offensive in the Spirit and pursue the enemy in spiritual warfare. The Word of the Lord is that we will overtake them and succeed in the rescue.
I bring to remembrance a portion of the Song of Moses that the children of Israel sang after they had crossed the Red Sea and their enemies were destroyed behind them in Exodus 15:9-12.
“‘The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.’
10But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
12You stretched out your right hand and the earth swallowed them.”
The battle is not ours, but the Lords as we arise in faith and pursue our enemies. It is a day for his back to be broken and the captives released and set free. In Psalms 18:34-42 David writes these words that speak into this hour and this time. “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great. 36You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. 37I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 39You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet. 40You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
41They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—to the Lord, but he did not answer. 42I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured them out like mud in the streets.”
This is an hour of victory for the Lord’s people that will arm themselves in the Spirit and pursue the enemy. There is no more place for fear or shrinking back. It is a time of retribution upon the enemy of our souls. The Lord goes before us in battle and by the power of His might the enemy can not stand and all of his powers are broken. Enter that spiritual warfare. Arm yourself in Him and the authority of His Word. It is a day wield the sword of the Spirit as we take heavenly authority and mandate to destroy our enemy and the works of the devil. It is fulfilling the very purpose as to why Jesus said He came in 1 John 3:8, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
So today put on your armor, “Run, Pursue and Overtake”, for the battle is the Lord’s and we have the victory! Amen

Blessings,
#kent

Hebrews 10:35-36
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Hold Fast to Your Relationship

Have you ever exercised, ran a race or just lived life and you came to the place where you thought you couldn’t or didn’t want to go any further. You were tired, exhausted, maybe even discouraged and felt defeated. There are times as we walk through life trying to hold fast the faith that we get tired. We just want to let ourselves drift back into the flesh and quit the daily effort of living a life of faith and righteousness. Perhaps we have a friend or loved one who is always pressuring us to go out and have fun with them or do the things we know would be displeasing to the Lord. There are times we get weak, we get discouraged and we want to give up trying and fighting the good fight of our faith. “After all, God still loves me and maybe He is not all that interested in what I do and don’t do.”
I can tell you from experience that when we step through that door, we step out of our place of fellowship and relationship with the Lord that we have cultivated through our walk and prayer time with Him. Often we don’t even realize what we do have and what His fellowship means to us until we lose it. When we walk away from it, that ground is so much harder to gain back the second time. The Lord knows our heart and our feelings, but we must be careful not to allow the enemy to come in and rob us of that confidence and relationship we have in Him. It is often so subtle and many times perpetrated through the ones we like and love.
The Lord says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The pressures and the trials of life often weigh heavy upon us and we sometimes want to give up, but the Word says, “don’t throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Stay the course, don’t give up and don’t give in. Find your rest and your strength day by day in the Good Shepherds arms. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Blessings,
#kent

If I have to live this way, just shoot me!
1 Kings 19:4
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I [am] not better than my fathers.

Have you ever felt that way? You came to a point in life, maybe more than once, where life was just too painful, too hopeless and a dark cloud of depression and despondency covered your soul. Maybe it was from physical pain, emotional heartbreak or pressures around you that were just too much to bear. Thoughts of suicide were contemplated and maybe even attempted. Voices were in your head telling you, “just to end it, get it over with. Once you’re dead your pain is over. Besides, who really cares? Everybody will probably be better off without you.” Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? If they do then you have wrestled the enemy of depression and despair. If you have been in this place, don’t feel condemned or weak, even the most spiritual of men have had there bouts with these demons. Our scripture today is speaking of Elijah, the mighty prophet of God and it came just after one of the greatest spiritual victories of that time. He should have felt invincible, but here we find him weak, frightened, fearful, despondent and despairing of his own life. Isn’t it wonderful how God shows us the great spiritual men of the Bible in their weakness as well as there strength? That in itself gives us hope. If they are so spiritual and yet they went through these things, then maybe there is hope for me and you.
Beloved, some of you have endured great pain, suffering, persecution and affliction, beyond what one should have to bear. Even if you have tried to fight the good fight and be faithful, you can grow weary in the battle. Mental, physical and spiritual exhaustion can overcome you until thoughts and reasonings can come in that have no place being in your head. These are like the testing experiences of Christ in the wilderness when He was at His weakest point. The enemy tries to come in for the kill. He would tell us, “God is a lie, that He is not faithful, He has forsaken you, He doesn’t care about you, and there probably isn’t even a God.”
His strategy is to disconnect us from our unity, oneness and identification in Christ, who is our strength and our life, because that is our power. If He can rob Christ from us then what do we have? What strength can we stand in?
Some of you are thinking, “yeah, but if God loves me so much, why would He allow me to have to go through so much pain?” Sometimes it is the deep inner working of pain and suffering in our lives that brings us to terms with areas that we would just as soon keep buried forever. There may be root causes for these pains and afflictions in our lives that can’t be healed and delivered until they are brought into the light and dealt with. If Christ learned obedience through the things He suffered as it tells us in Hebrews 5:8, are we then greater than He?
It is not God’s will that we are in continual suffering and pain, but these are often the tools brought to bear upon us by the enemy, but God turns and uses them to do an inner surgery upon our character and our heart. One thing we have to come to terms with is, “God is faithful all the time”, but you won’t always outwardly see that faithfulness. Quite the contrary, everything in the natural can be speaking and demonstrating against the faithfulness of God. 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us a secret, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.” What does Hebrews 11:1 tell us about faith? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” As hard as it is, our trust can not be placed in the outward circumstances that surround us.
God loves you and is with you even in your weakest, darkest moments. He has not abandoned or forsaken you. What you are living with or going through may be the valley of the shadow of death, but David says, “I will not fear, for thou art with me. Thy rod (authority of the Word) and thy staff (salvation) they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” While the enemy is doing everything in its power to defeat and destroy you God is setting the table of blessing and mercy right in the face of the enemy. You are the anointed of God. He is pouring the anointing of His Spirit and power over you that you may be more than a conqueror through Christ who has loved you and gave Himself for you. See with your spiritual eyes, embrace with all the faith of your spiritual man the love and goodness God has for you, even in the midst of such darkness and despair. Don’t give up, keeping on trusting Him. The race isn’t to the swift and strong, but to the faithful.

Blessings,
#kent

When You Get Weary

April 4, 2013

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

When You Get Weary

You who are believers, do you ever get discouraged in your Christians walk? Do you ever get tired of swimming upstream and going against the flow? Do you ever just want to give up and give in?
You’re not alone. I think all those that have really walked their faith have had those times and maybe you are struggling right now. You may have grown very weary with the trials and the assaults of the enemy. It may seem the more you try to live for Jesus the worse things get and the more others try to get you to compromise and back off.
That only means you are doing something right. If we were not facing opposition of some kind, then we may need to examine how earnestly we are walking in our faith, because the Word says, ‘those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.’ The Lord is just letting us know that it goes with the territory.
I know we can grow weary and we are all continually tempted to compromise with the world and its values. Just remember this, you have fought the good fight. You have persevered in faith, prayer and holding fast to God’s Word. Just as in a natural war, the ground you gained spiritually has come at personal price and sacrifice. It was ground that you had to do spiritual warfare to gain. The last thing you want to do is retreat and give it up.
The enemy wants to wear us down, discourage us, make us feel defeated and lose sight of the prize of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. Sometimes when we are walking uphill and get tired and exhausted we don’t realize what ground we have gained until we look back and see how far we have come and how steep the grade. The same is true of your faith.
Yes we can just let down, give in and quit fighting so hard, but if we aren’t moving forward we are moving backwards. God knows you need times of rest and refreshment and He will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but He will stretch you beyond what we may think we are capable. He wants you to know that the strength and power that you need is not in you, but in Him. When you have nothing left then you find the rest and the strength of His arms that carry you through. He will honor your faithfulness.
Remember that no ground that is lost is easily regained. It is much harder the second time around, so be encouraged and stay the course. Enter into the strength of God’s rest, and trust Him to help you to continue on, knowing that He who began a good work in you is able to bring it completion. You are not alone. Your identity is now in Him and through Christ you can do all things.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Blessings,
kent

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