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Monday 28 September 2009

The Secret to David’s Promotion

[I posted the following a few months ago - i'm still planning on blogging my notes from each chapter, so watch this space!]

I recently read a fantastic book by Bill Johnson called "Strengthen Yourself in the Lord". As I often do, I enjoyed the book so much that I raced through it only to realise I couldn't remember many of the lessons I thought i'd learnt along the way!

I'm therefore re-reading the book and summarising the key points from each chapter. I thought this would make for an interesting blog so hopefully some of you will find my notes helpful too.

I'll post my notes from each chapter as a separate blog.


The Secret to David’s Promotion (Chapter 1)

First and foremost David was a man after God’s own heart:

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' (Acts 13:22, NIV)

What did David do to be known as this? Scripture shows us two key aspects of David’s life before he was anointed king:

1) When nobody was looking, David was pouring his heart out in prayer and worship to God in the fields where he tended his father’s sheep. He was pursuing God to simply know Him. This was very unusual for his day as the entire paradigm for worship in Israel was based on animal sacrifices being used to temporarily deal with sin.

2) David’s battles with the Lion and the bear showed his heart for God - he relied completely on God for victory. This trust wasn’t dependent on circumstances.

Amazingly, David did not assume the throne until 10-13 years after Samuel had anointed him to be king! In those years David endured much persecution and rejection – more than we can imagine. There was much testing that later helped him to handle the glory and responsibility of the throne.

When did God decide David was ready to become King? David faced the deepest betrayal and rejection imaginable, he stood completely alone and yet we’re told David:

…strengthened himself in the Lord his God (1 Sam 30:6)

The Philistines wanted to fight Israel but they didn’t trust David – they thought he might turn on them to get on Saul’s good side. So David returned with his men to Ziklag, only to find it burned and looted by the Amalekites. Every wife, child, and possession was gone. Not only that but David’s men, the people he had trained over the last ten years, the people he had protected and provided for, talked about stoning him!

Scripture tells us how David felt:

Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters… (1 Samuel 30:6).

That’s how David felt, but how did he respond? Well he could have responded by running for his life, or perhaps by becoming indignant and by defending himself and reminding them that they owe him their lives. He could easily have done either but this is what he did instead:

…But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6).

Rather than looking to himself for strength he looked to God. His faith gave him the courage to essentially say, “Come on, guys! We’ve got wives and kids to bring back!”. Amazingly this was all it took to knock sense back into the men. They then went and brought back every person and possession that had been stolen!

Interestingly the very battle the Philistines had prevented David from fighting was the battle Saul and Jonathan died in. Only a short time later, Israel crowned David king. His darkest moment led him to the back door of the throne room.

Like David, we need to be able to minister to ourselves. This does not mean we should develop an independent lifestyle. We should be focused on serving, loving and leaning on the Body of Christ. However, sometimes we have to stand alone in difficulty and testing.

God has equipped you for great victory but it’s your responsibility to use the tools that will be mentioned in the next chapters to bring strength to yourself so you can stand in that victory.


  1. Thanks for posting this Phil. I think that God loved David so much because he loved God so much, as you describe, and because he was faithful with little.

  2. No problem Nigel - glad it was helpful.


  3. Worship is so essential to our daily walk.
    Praise and worship is a tool that is not taken for what is is worth.

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  6. Writting a song and needed a clearer understanding of David's mindset