Memorise: “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” – Mark 13:33
Read: 1 Samuel 30:1-6 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5 And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
Bible in One Year: Leviticus 4-5, Romans 16
I have watched with pity and dismay as many children of God, particularly ministers of God, carelessly fight spiritual battles at the expense of their own lives and family. If you desire to be triumphant in every area of life, you need to pay attention to what the Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples in today’s memory verse. You need to apply caution and be strategic in all that you do. To see the big picture of the challenges confronting, you need to watch. To get direction and strength from heaven to help you confront these challenges, you need to pray. In today’s Bible text, we have the story of the careless group of warriors: David and his mighty men of valor. While they went about fighting for survival as mercenaries, they left their own camp unprotected. Before they returned from their raid, their own camp had been raided and burnt, and their wives and children were taken away as captives by the enemy. When they discovered what the enemy had done, these men of war were so distressed that they wept like babies. They didn’t just weep, they even revolted against their leader, David, and spoke of stoning him to death. However, faced with that volatile situation, David did something worthy of emulation: he encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6).
There are a good number of lessons we can learn from this story; first of which is that as you fight the Lord’s battle even the Lord of Host expects you to watch your back. Our God does not expect you to be presumptuous. The words of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning counting the cost before building a tower or fighting a foe are pointers to strategic planning in spiritual warfare (Luke 14:28-32). Secondly, there should be division of labor in spiritual warfare. We should not all be at the war front at the same time. All bases must be covered. The early church realized this truth on time, and so the apostles gave themselves to the ministry of word and prayer while they appointed others to look after the administration of corporate social responsibilities (Acts 6:1-7). Thirdly, persons in leadership positions should always be proactive. David’s proactive move to seek God’s face was what saved the day. He inquired of the Lord on how to go about recovering all that they had lost (1 Samuel 30:7-8). At the end of the day, what they should have done in the first place was what they later did. They learnt that they should always organize themselves into bands with different roles. When they pursued to recover all, not all of them pursued after the raiders, but when they shared the spoils of war, those who went to battle had the same portion as those who waited behind to look after their stuff. This principle did not go down well with some of David’s men who did not understand it (1 Samuel 30:21-24). Indeed, God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8)!
Key Point: Watch and pray as you engage in spiritual warfare.
Hymn 14: Onward Christian Soldier
1. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
2. At the name of Jesus Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, All one Body we,
One in faith and Spirit, One in charity.
4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the Church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never ’gainst that Church prevail;
We have Christ’s own promise, which can never fail.
5. Onward, then, ye people! Join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages men and angels sing.
Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.