That’s a whole lot of distress!

If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 

1 Samuel 22: 2 NKJV“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”

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Perhaps this is where they get the saying, misery loves company. Here is David running for his life running from a powerful crazed man who is bent on destroying him. It’s bad enough when you have trolls & haters, enemies with nothing else to do but make your life miserable. It’s even worse when you have powerful adversaries, and that’s what David had… a King with unlimited resources out to get him.
When I was 10 years old we left Chicago, Illinois and moved to San Bernardino, California near Seccombe Lake. There were plenty of kids around to play with, and one of our favorite games was Hide-and-go-Seek which we played in our neighborhood at night. 
Now that I think about it, it was just a bunch of knuckleheads trespassing on other people’s properties. To us there was nowhere sacred and nowhere off-limits when we played Hide-and-go-Seek. 
We would hide under houses, on roofs, in abandoned cars, in backyards, in trees and under parked cars. I once found this pink fluffy material stacked in a neighbors side porch that I dove into headfirst. The minutes hiding in the fluff seemed like hours, and when I heard, “All-lee All-lee in come free!” I knew the game was over, I didn’t get caught but I itched for a few days. I guess no one in my neighborhood thought that anyone was crazy enough to hide in that fluffy pink stuff. Before then I didn’t know what fiberglass insulation was. What kind of monster creates something that looks like cotton candy but itches like poison ivy??? 
I said that, to say this, when you find a place to hide there’s no way in the world you let other kids hide with you! Its a well known fact, it’s impossible to keep two kids quiet. You are bound to get caught. 
So I wonder what David was thinking, fleeing from King Saul was hard enough with a couple of loyal guys, but how in the world was he going to pull it off with 400 discontented, debt ridden and distressed men?
If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 
I didn’t think so. 

It’s a mystery the way that God works. We know that eventually this rag-tag bunch will produce men who; jump into pits with lions in the snow, stand alone in a field of beans and fight when others ran, one who would slay 800 men with a spear, three who broke into enemy territory just to fetch their leader a cup of water, others killed giants, ferocious animals and preformed other amazing acts of bravery. 

We don’t always get to choose who follows us, but we do choose who we will be as a leader. Seeing these men could have broke David, it could’ve caused him to quit to surrender and eventually to forfeit his life. But David chose to lead these men. 
There are men and women today looking for a leader. If and when they find you, what kind of leader will they find?
Will you be able to minister to their brokenness? Will you be able to look beyond their distress and dysfunction and direct them towards their destiny? Will you be the catalyst that reaches into their chaos and creates champions who preform greater feats than even your own?
That’s what David did. What will you do?
-John Rosado

The Promise

THE PROMISE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

Deuteronomy 7:9 Keep in mind that the LORD your God is [the only] God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands. (GWT)

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Matthew Henry’s commentary on that scripture is… Faith and hope go together, the same things that are the object of our hope are the object of our faith. It is the firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform all that He has promised to us in Christ. And this persuasion is so strong that it gives the soul a kind of possession and present fruition of those things. 

That means, When I’m hoping or when I have that I just know for something to happen, that confidence is… FAITH! 

But what happens when an act of carelessness dashes our hopes and dreams? 

We go about our lives and we do little things that seem insignificant, we don’t know the outcome of these little things we do, but the pain and suffering they cause are enormous. 

I’ve found this story years ago. It’s about a seemingly insignificant act. 

On February 7, 1904, a man in the basement of a downtown Baltimore building discarded a lit cigarette. It was a small act of carelessness, but one with enormous consequences. The approx $0.02 cigarette started a fire that the wind whipped into a larger fire. By evening, it raged out of control burning for 31 hours and destroying 80 city blocks. About 2,500 buildings were destroyed or damaged, and property loss was estimated at $100 million. 

A $0.02 cigarette
A seemingly insignificant act. 

It happens all the time.

Seemingly Insignificant but careless acts.
How many ever had a dream and you shared it with somebody who wasn’t as excited about it as you are?

We get excited about something and share our ideas and tell someone, “I have this call on my life and I’m supposed to be doing this and this”, and they respond, “What about your BILLS?!!” 

They just speak a couple of words, or just a phrase, (their $0.02) but they might as well be doing…Inhale-Puff–FLICKKKK!!!

And if we are not careful we can do that to each other

How many have been handled CARELESSLY or UNJUSTLY? 

How many have had dreams and plans and have shared those with people you love and they have dashed them to pieces? You’ll never make it! 
Inhale-Puff–FLICKKKK!!!

They were so careless with your dream, that you have forgotten how to hope. You have lost all FAITH.

2 Samuel 4:4 (AMP) 

Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was a cripple in his feet. He was five years old when the news came out of Jezreel [of the deaths] of Saul and Jonathan. And the boy’s nurse took him up and fled; and in her haste, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.

He was DROPPED

Many times we do things with good intentions and the results are far from good. Here the nurse or nanny of this young prince upon hearing the news that the king and the prince were slain. Quickly flees with the child. 

She is trying to save him, but she drops and cripples him instead. She cripples him for life.

What she was trying to do was reasonable, a conqueror would customarily kill all the heirs of a subdued King. So what she was doing made sense, but in her haste she cripples him. She ran thinking the Philistines were in pursuit.
But what she didn’t know was; the new king, the one who was anointed to be king would have no intention of doing them harm.

How many times in our haste do we miss out on a blessing? How many times have we failed to see the benefits of waiting?

After killing Goliath, David spends a lot of time around the palace,  he eventually grows up in stature, strength and popularity. King Saul gets so jealous of David, that that it causes David to have to leave the palace and hide from the king. During one of the many times David was being chased by Saul, he had an opportunity to do things his way, He had an opportunity to take the life of the one who was causing him so much pain and suffering, but he waited and instead allowed God to do it His way. 

He didn’t know that just 7 chapters later, God was handling it and Gods hand was on it. 

God called, chose, and anointed you BUT He doesn’t need you to do His work! 

7 chapters later, this king that brought David, harm, pain and treated him carelessly was dead.

Imagine the outcome if David hadn’t waited? How different would his story be if he would have done things his way?
Perhaps that WAITING may have saved Mephibosheth if the nurse would have PAUSED before trying to hastily run with a child in her arms.

Mephibosheth whose name literally means: to blow away shame, or to exterminate shame, was now living a shameful life in Lo-debar. 

A nothing place, a dry place, a place where not much grew or survived.

How could this son of a prince and a God fearing man end up in the middle of NOWHERE with busted feet and seemingly forgotten? No hope, no promise, no future…

Isn’t this some of our stories? We had so much hope and such a bright future and somewhere in the middle of it all we were dropped! Somewhere in the middle of it all someone was careless with us, somewhere in the middle of it all we were handled foolishly and we were DROPPED. 

A broken heart or perhaps a dream that was dashed into a thousand little pieces. Now for all intents and purposes you are in your own little Lo-debar a dry nothing place. 

Limping and forgotten, or so it seems!
You see Mephibosheth grew up without hope of ever seeing the inside of a palace. He was probably too young to remember the luxuries that life had afforded him at a young age. His father was a Prince and a mighty warrior, but his grandfather the king was a man who had not only lost favor with God, he also lost his mind to a jealous rage. He was intoxicated with the thought of destroying David.

King Saul once had hope and a promise, he foolishly lets his fears and carelessness eventually lose the favor that he once had. 

God had rejected him for his lack of obedience. 

Not only did that doom Saul’s chance to continue as leader, but it also ripped away any chance for Mephibosheth’s dad, Jonathan from ever succeeding his father on the throne. 

Knowing this, Jonathan still loved David, the one who had already been anointed to succeed Saul as King.

The promise that made all the difference!

1ST Samuel 20:13b (AMP) And may the Lord be with you as He has been with my father. 14 While I am still alive you shall not only show me the loving-kindness of the Lord, so that I die not, 15 But also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever–no, not even when the Lord has cut off every enemy of David from the face of the earth. 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, and the Lord will require that this covenant be kept at the hands of David’s enemies. 17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again by his love for him, for Jonathan loved him as he loved his own life.

These guys grew up in the palace, Jonathan as a prince and David as a young warrior. They were also brother in laws. Jonathan loved David Jonathan blesses David KNOWING that the anointing meant Jonathan would never be king. 
May God have favor on you. Promise me that the way that you love me, you will love my sons! Promise me David. 

David swears it, and time passes.

Saul and Jonathan are dead. Time passes, and David is finally king, once he feels at a place of peace…

David remembers the promise that he made to his friend.

2 Samuel 9 (AMP) 1 And David said, Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake? 

This once great family now has been decimated. That’s what careless living will do to a family. 

2 And of the house of Saul there was a servant whose name was Ziba. When they had called him to David, he said to him, Are you Ziba? He said, I, your servant, am he. 3 The king said, Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the [unfailing, unsought, unlimited] mercy and kindness of God? 
David was ready to show a special kindness towards the family of this once crazy man that wanted him dead, this is the heart of David, I made a promise and I’m going to keep it. 

Ziba replied, Jonathan has yet a son who is lame in his feet. 4 And the king said, Where is he? Ziba replied, He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel in Lo-debar. 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel at Lo-debar. 6 And Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and did obeisance. Respectfully bowed, he threw himself on his face. David said, 

Mephibosheth! I would like to think that he said it in a way to tell him “You are my best friends boy get off your face! 

Mephilbosheth! You are a son of a prince and a great man. My best friend and brother! I loved him. 

Mephibosheth! He called him by his name! 

Mephibosheth! Look at me.” And he answered, Behold your servant! 7 David said to him, Fear not, (I can imagine what’s going thru Mephilbosheth’s mind, that thing that my nanny warned me about is finally going to happen.) 

Mephibosheth! Get off your face look at me! 

(I think some of you need to be grabbed by your faces and someone needs to say… Insert your name here… Look at me!) 

Fear NOT, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father [grandfather], and you shall eat at my table always. 8 And [the cripple] bowed himself and said, what is your servant that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am? 

 In their culture dogs were not mans best friends! They were often wild, running in packs eating rubbish, and dead things. They were despised! 

That’s what this guy is saying, that’s what I am, “Who am I?” I think negative statements have been told to him so long that he started to believe them.

And how many of you have heard it? 

You’re going to be just like your father, he was a player, a deadbeat and an alcoholic… He was a bum and a lowlife!
Or you’re just like your mother… She was lazy and a drug addict… She made stupid decisions and she was a whore. You will never amount to much! Why can’t you be more like______?

How many have heard it so long that you start thinking that that’s what you are????

There’s no promise there is no hope for me this isn’t real! I’m a dog, I’m a cripple there’s no hope! 

David didn’t even acknowledge that statement. 

9 Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, I have given your master’s son [grandson] all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 And you shall till the land for him, you, your sons, and your servants, and you shall bring in the produce, that your master’s heir may have food to eat; (I’m sure Ziba has taken advantage, he hasn’t served him well, he hadn’t treated him like a prince, he had amassed for himself a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ and now he is getting put in his place) but Mephibosheth, your master’s son [grandson], shall eat always at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, your servant will do according to all my lord the king commands. So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 

David kept his promise, and he restored Jonathan’s son! Now he is back in a place of favor and honor.

I started off with this scripture…

Deuteronomy 7:9 Keep in mind that the LORD your God is [the only] God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands. (GWT)

How many of you believe that? 

Do you believe that all Gods promises are yes and amen! Do you even believe that? 
Do you even know what the promises are?
So what has God promised?

In Matthew: the weary will get rest

Mark: the forgiveness of sins 

Luke: God will answer our petitions

John: Eternal Life

Acts: the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Romans: all things work for the good

Ephesians: God is able to do some pretty amazing things!

Philippians: I can do all things thru CHRIST! And he would supply all my needs.

2 Timothy: He didn’t give us a spirit of fear but of POWER, Love and a sound mind.

James: If we resist the devil he will flee, & when we come near to God, he will come near to us.

1 Peter: by his wounds we have been healed.

1 John: if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. God is a prayer answering, promise keeping God!

And if all Gods promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus, I want them!

It’s the PROMISE that makes the DIFFERENCE! 

What is it that you LACK?

Were you DROPPED? 

We’re you handled CARELESSLY? 

Is your HEART BROKEN?

Have you given up HOPE? 

Are you spiritually in a DRY and desolate place? 

Do you need REST, forgiveness or PEACE? 

Are you at the end of your ROPE?

Do you need SALVATION?

It’s NOT over! Get up!

How many times is enough?

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬ “For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.”

They say it takes approximately 21 days to develop a habit. 

Well how long does it take to believe a lie?

You can’t easily tell by just seeing that scripture, but this is the story of David and Goliath!  

This is one of my all-time favorite Bible stories. I’m sure most boys have daydreamed of fighting enemies, killing giants, rescuing princesses or slaying dragons. 

Stories like these swam in my imagination as a youngster. 

Stories like these made the Bible come alive to me. 

I remember the picture Bible we used to read from as children. I loved the full color picture illustrations of Bears, Lions, Furnaces, Giants, Shipwrecks and Battles. 

The Bible to me was a graphic novel, and in many ways it still is. 

I’m the person who you lose two paragraphs into your sermon, because I’m enthralled in the story, the daydreamer, I’ve placed myself in those situations and battlefields. I’ve felt the heat of the furnace, heard the roar of the lion, saw the dust rise as the temple pillars were toppled and I’ve heard the taunts of the Giant. 

I’ve imagined his hot breath spewing forth spittle as he yelled his taunts across the canyon. I’ve pictured the veins in his neck bulging as he grows more and more impatient with each passing day. I’ve seen his fist clenched, tight around his spear jabbing it in the air as he gestured towards the cowards across the way. I’ve even speculated him thinking, “Perhaps this will be the day that someone answers my call to battle!”

Eighty times this is what they heard…

“Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us… I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 

When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” 1 Samuel‬ ‭17:8-11 ESV

So, how many times is enough? 

If you heard that you were insufficient 80 times- twice a day for 40 days and 40 nights would you start to believe it?  
What If you heard you weren’t able… that you were lacking… that you weren’t strong enough… or that you weren’t man enough? 

When does a lie become the truth?

NEVER! 

Never!!! No matter how many times it’s repeated, no matter how many times it is reiterated, no matter how many times you are remindedA lie will always be a lie!

Goliath, told Saul’s men, that they were the Armies of Israel. David knew that they were the Armies of the Most High God. 

Goliath managed to separate the Army from its power. If only by changing a single word. 

He made them “servants of Saul”, instead of Children of God. 

Words HURT and they carry POWER. 

The King and ALL of Israel were dismayed. Goliath got them all not only to question their manhood, but also to forget about “WHO” was on their side. 

It only took David one time to hear these taunts for him to see it for what it really was. It was a direct assault against God Himself. And since David knew the battle was not his, but the Lord’s he didn’t see the enemy as invincible.

What taunts have you heard over and over that have you dismayed and greatly afraid?

What lies has the enemy repeated that have been etched in your mind or burned in your spirit?

Perhaps you have heard things like…

You will never amount to much! You are a dummy!

You’re ugly, you’re fat! 

You’re just like your mother!

You’re just like your father!

You’re worthless, or you’re lazy!

I’m here to remind you that…

You are the child of the Living God. You are a Son or Daughter of a King. You are worthy and you have value, and you are loved beyond measure. 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word, thank you for your everlasting love. And thank you for your grace and mercy towards us. Forgive us for the times where we have taken our eyes off you and focused on situations, problems and the enemy. Help is to remember that the battle is yours and we give you all the glory and honor due you. Forever and ever Amen. – Love John