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Footsteps Of A Righteous Man

Footstep Of A Righteous Man Is Ordered By The Lord  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread." ( ESV)
Breaking Your Will, But Never Your Spirit

29 Now the Philistines had gathered all their forces at Aphek. And the Israelites were encamped by the spring that is in Jezreel. 2 As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish, 3 the commanders of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.” 4 But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here? 5 Is not this David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,

‘Saul has struck down his thousands,

and David his ten thousands’?”

6 Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the LORD lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign. For I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, the lords do not approve of you. 7 So go back now; and go peaceably, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.” 8 And David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 10 Now then rise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who came with you, and start early in the morning, and depart as soon as you have light.” 11 So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

30 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire 2 and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. 3 And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. 5 David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 9 So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor.

11 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink, 12 and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14 We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.”

16 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. 20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.” 23 But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us. 24 Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” 25 And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day.

Now picture David in this passage. David did nothing wrong, he was ready and willing to fight, and always had good intentions, but because of his success in the past, the people in charge were always discouraged by him. In chapter 29, the lords of Philistine told King Achish that they didn't want David and his men to participate with them in the war with Israel and gave no good reason for David not to go along with them in the eyes of David. So David and his men sung songs which were written in on his way back to Ziklag. It took them three days and when they returned they found that the Amalekites destroyed their homes by fire, captured their families.
Now I want you to imagine this scene. David wanted to go fight and was told NO. Even though he is told NO, he and his men still continue to worship for threes day on their journey home to the Lord and when they arrived to their city Ziklag, they find everything they loved gone and taken from them. David was greatly distressed because his family were gone and now the men following him wanted to kill him because they chose to follow him. Now the bible say in verse six (6), that the souls of the men were broken.
These men are the same men who came to him with their spirits broken when they left Saul and David lifted them up in . This time their souls are broken and they wanted to kill David. How many times do we come across people who we help out in their time of need? You help them out, they then want to be a part of what you are doing because they believe in you. Things are going right in your life and they feel that you are good person to know. They then associate themselves with you and become a part of your core nucleus of friends. Then, like David something happens and you get told NO, and regardless of what you get told NO about, you still keep your head above water and be the leader that you strive to be in God's eyes. Like David, you walk on home and find that the people who told you NO, took everything from you. Your friends who followed you, your family who supported you, and the thing that you are good at gets destroyed and taken from you.
Like David, I've experienced this story. It started in 2005 and I thought I had a handle on my situation that year and went on in life trying to do the right thing. From 2007 I was told NO, I didn't have a handle on things with no explanation and like David, I lost just about everything I worked so hard for in 2008. From 2008 onward, I've prayed and searched for answers and got nothing. Constantly, people reminding me of what I've gone through by asking me how I am doing or is everything alright? People who had nothing to do with the scenario were willing to chip in and help but the help I really wanted was answers and only God can give me that. I always heard people say just continue to worship and pray even through your rough times and they say rejoice but I am witness that it is never easy to rejoice in the midst of a storm.
So for the past few years I just coasted by, waiting for my answer, trying not to give up. I was and I am still tired of arguing, defending my innocence, and being the victim of a unfortunate circumstance. So, I just take it because I have no other choice. I remember one day sitting in the kitchen of my parents' house and my father asking me am I mad at God. I quickly said No. But to be honest, I wasn't mad at God, I was just mad at the fact that I sought him out to find answers and I never got an explanation to the famous question, why me? I watched other people who were worst off them me now doing better than me. I've sat through church services and programs and seen people I am wit be prophesied over and pronounced a blessing in their life but no word for me. And I've seen people who were around me in my situation so easily move on while I struggle to stay afloat. So yeah, today I will admit it, I was angry.
In verse 6 of chapter 30, the surprising thing that David did was strengthened himself in the Lord. Surprisingly, towards the end of 2011, I started this slow process like David by accident. I strengthened myself in the Lord willing to accept whatever God throws my way. I am tired and my soul has been distressed for years now like David was at the point of this scripture. I slowly found that I like studying the bible. I mean, I've learned that there is a very big difference between just reading your bible and actually studying your bible. I studied before but I never really knew how to study. Without asking any questions, I just practiced studying and it became a hobby of mind as I sought to now understand scriptures that I always knew and the stories that I've always read that have more meaning to them as I study. Yes, this is very interesting to me, I wanted to learn more, and more, and more.
So as I began to feel better about myself I began to ask God again, please Lord, I beg of you, show me signs, give me an answer, show me why? I can tell you that my purpose of studying from that point was never to seek an answer from him. I just asked God those questions again and moved on. I also made a commitment that I would make a conscious effort to study and pray. Now, prayer is something I struggle with. I am not a shame to pray or have a problem doing it, but I struggle with being on my knees and praying for more than 10 minutes. I never had that much to say and to sit and be quiet just never happens. So, I ask God if he would accept me typing my prayers on my computer. This way I can add scriptures and make a consistent effort of spending more time in prayer than just my normal 10 minutes. That seemed to work better for me. This was my way of strengthening myself in the Lord.
Well, in the story David sought the Priest Abiathar and also ask God what should he do? He wanted to get the Amalekites for what they had done but he didn't want to make any moves until he sought out council and heard from God. I made it my business this time to do the same thing. I sought out lawyers for confirmation of business and I sat with my father (Pastor) and I told him what my plans were. I was actually surprised that he was in support of me going back into business with the warning to be careful, do my research, and stay out of trouble. I was cool with that as long as he was cool with my plans. Now, I just needed that confirmation from the Lord. In studying, I found that God told David something that spoke to my heart when I read it as well, I finally felt God speaking to me. He told him to Pursue, thou shall overtake and recover all.
As I read that, I needed clarity, I wanted to make sure this not me wanting it but God speaking it. Trying to train my ear to hear him clearer. However, God showed me in scripture about destiny. He showed me that it was destined for King David to become the King of Israel but before he became King Of Israel, he had to have his Ziklag before Zion. God showed me that David had to go through his greatest conflict in his life, where even his closest friends would turn on him before he would become King.
You will discover that many time when you are experiencing a very intense battle like you never gone through in your life, if you can do what says you will see things totally different.
says: "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." God showed me how in Daniel's 21 day fast, when he first started his fast, the Lord heard him and dispatch an angel. The Devil tried to stop the angel from getting to Daniel. If Daniel would have given up his fast, he would have missed out on hearing from the Lord. So, like in , If you don't give up, normally, afterwards, you can experience one of the greatest breakthroughs in your life.
Unfortunately, I gave up my will to fight on so I didn't get to experience this amazing breakthrough like I wanted to. I learned that you can judge your victories in life based on what type of hell you are going through. I also learned through my studying that destiny means God appointed destination for you. I don't think that your destiny is a one-time event where you arrived and that's just it. Destiny means that when you arrive at your God appointed destination, he gives you another destination. This may sound easy to understand but I tell you, its deeper than what you can imagine. See, like in , the steps of your destination will be ordered by the Lord only when you delight in his ways.
See, we can make our lives more easier or complicated based upon your reaction to the circumstances in your life. God always have a plan A, B and C and Gods plan is always a straight plan. Gods direction is always up and straight like climbing Jacobs ladder. What happens is, we get out of God's will by letting people influence us the wrong way or have the wrong association with people. It's not that we are going to miss our destination, but we are going to have to take a detour and if you pray and get right with God by practicing living righteously, you will end up at plan B no matter if it takes you weeks, months, or years.
Now, I am here to tell you that God spoke to me and told me that there are some misconceptions of being in God's will. I thought that being in God's will mean that everything is going to be good in your life being that you are in his will. I am here to tell you that God showed me that Jesus was in God's will all throughout his life and even he was turned on by his own people, and rejected. God showed me that being in God's will for Paul meant that he had to fight more and more battles. Paul went to Listra and was stoned until he almost died, he went to Philistia and was beaten and put in prison, and he got on a boat to Rome and ended up on a ship wreck, he even ended up being bit by a viper. Paul listed about 22 things in 2 Corinthians that he went through yet it was important for Paul to always be in the will of God. So no one can tell me that being in God's will is easy. We are not blessed because we are exempt from battles. We are blessed when we can get bit by a viper, and shake off it off and feel no harm. We are blessed when we can get stoned and left for dead, but someone is praying for us to get up and we get up and get back on our feet. You are blessed when you keep surviving everything that was intended to wreck your life. SO yes, it is me who can make my life more easier or complicated based upon my reaction to the circumstances in my life.
The most important thing God revealed to me about destiny is that there will be heart breaks on my way to my appointed destinations. The first thing he explained to me is that there has to be a point of separation in order for him to totally use me. I have to show that I can be trusted, in order to receive the favor and blessings from God continually. I knew this already but this time this was different. God showed me that in David's life, when he received the anointing, he received it amongst his brothers but it was the anointing on his life that separated him from his brothers. He told me that I have an anointing on my life, the people closest to me was the ones that would criticize me first. He said even my family had to criticize me like David's brothers did when David went in the anointing to fight Goliath. David had to be separated from Saul because of Saul's jealousy of him. David had to be separated from his wife who was Saul's daughter because of Saul's bitterness of David success. He was separated from his tribe when he went down to Ziklag to live with the Philistines. Then he was separated from his wife and children and had friends who wanted to stone him. So God showed me that David before he became King had a life of separation. God showed me that Jesus taught separation before he will return all throughout the gospels like in Matthew. So God showed me that there is a law of separation and I didn't know what or when to separate so he had to add real pressure in my life.
God told me that my answer to my initial question (WHY ME?) was that there are things in you that only pressure will work out of you.
Lastly, God showed me separation through the life of Abraham. A story that I've read over and over again but never looked at it the way he pointed it out to me.
1. God told Abraham to get up out of the country where he dwelt and go to a new place. Abrahams first separation was to get out of what he was familiar with and break the routine in which he was accustomed to. He wanted Abraham to separate himself from what he knows and who he was surrounded with. () Separate from what you are familiar with...
2. God told Abraham to get out of Egypt. Egypt meant a moment of failure in Abrahams life where he didn't totally rely on God. Abraham listened to other people and was influenced by other people to make choices he made. Leaving Egypt was Abraham leaving his failures. () The message for me was that there are people who blame everything on their past which is called the victim mentality and there are people who blame everything on destiny. Separate from my failures…...
3. God told Abraham he had to remove Lot from his presence. When God gave Abraham the instructions in , he told him to leave his family behind but Abraham took his father and Lot with him. Abraham wasted two years of his life with his father and nephew in Hebron until his father died. () The message God told me was that he needed to Separate from some people that were really close to me....
4. God told Abraham he had to separate him from his finances. Abraham had to bless the most high priest because he won the fight in saving Lot. Even though he could of been extra rich and even though the King of Sodom even objected from giving the priests a tenth of what he now owned, Abraham did it anyway. Once Abraham gave his tithe, God told him that he would bless him with what he wanted which was a son for being faithful to him. () The message God shared to me was that I have to tithe faithfully and I will receive my blessing. Separate me from my finances…...
5. God told Abraham to get rid of Ishmael. God showed me that if you birth something by your flesh, you have to sustain it by your flesh. Ishmael was the result of fleshly desires. Isaac was from God's desires. In retrospect, God is telling me get rid of any fleshly desires.... () Separate from your fleshly desires…….
6. God told Abraham to put Isaac on the altar. Sometime God tells us to separate from something that is or isn't linked to our future. Isaac was Abraham future and everything that God promised him was linked to Isaac. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. God told me that there was things in my life that had to be removed because they were not linked to my future. This is one I still don't understand clearly but nevertheless. Things and people will be removed because they are not linked to my future. () Separate from things that are not linked to my future…….
All in all, I am glad that I was given some clarity to a question asked out of desperation. The timing of the answer wasn't revealed when I wanted it to be but I understand that I wasn't ready to receive it until now and I probably wouldn't have understood it during my distress. God has revealed to me like he did David, he told me that it is over to go back and start over. He said to pursue, overtake and recover all and he will bless me only if I stay righteous and follow after what he has revealed to me.
Pursue, Overtake, and Recover All, this is my New Year's Resolution.
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