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This is not what I expected!

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How to survive the making process in God

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Opening Statement:
Notes: this sermon was adapted from Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr.
1 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.
2 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.
3 Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.”
4 So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
5 Now the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go to the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
This is not what I expected!
We are getting ready to embark on another March madness and soon after that the start of the NBA playoffs. When I think about all of the madness that was associated with the power outages and whether or not we were going to be able to have services today I am reminded of the 2013-14 NBA Play-offs the Indiana Pacers the number 1 seed in the east was about to play the Atlanta Hawks the number 8 seed. I remember that the Atlanta Hawks took the number 1 seed Indiana Pacers with Reggie Miller theirs sharp shooter all the way to 7 games. During the second round of the play offs one off the players of the pacers was interviewed and asked what they thought of the play off so far cause it seemed to be rough for them in the first round, they player responded “I have to be honest, since we were the first seed and have the best record in the eastern conference we started the years determined that we would be the first seed over Miami Heat so that we would have home court advantage through out the entire playoffs.
Our plan was to go in as the number one seed, we figured that first round would be just like a scrimmage because we would be playing the 8th seed which barely made it into the playoffs. He then said that midway through we discovered that we were in the fight of our lives! He said that as we began to talk in the locker room we had to be honest with ourselves we thought that being the number one seed would give us an easy track to the championship, we thought that being the number one seed that things was going to be easy for us at least up to the conference finals, but we soon realized that there we were facing a game 7 and we had to admit to ourselves that this is not what we expected!
Because they were the number 1 seed, because they virtually already been crowned to be the ones to defeat the Miami Heat and go on to the championship round because they had been anointed if you will the new kids on the block to take the next championship and be the next dominant NBA franchise. They did not expect to have such a rough road in the process of becoming NBA’s next world champions!
As I thought about that interview and I reflected on the last series of sermons on taking down strongholds, it reminded me about the life of King David because in the 16th chapter of Samuel he was anointed the number 1 seed! He was told that he was going to be the next King of Israel. But it seemed like everything he went though from the moment he was anointed King was nothing but one challenge after another one disappointment after another and one set back after another.
Where we find David in the text that I have laid before you is that he has been on the run from the current King Saul who has very made it clear that he wants Davids head on a platter! It is very interesting to me that Saul is after David with such veracity because Saul was not there when Samuel anointed David to be King, he has no clue that David has been anointed to replace him, but he senses something about David that makes him feel intimidated in his position.
Can I tell you just very quickly one reason people don’t like you has nothing to do with your present. Cause the reality is that sometimes even you don’t like your present, so then the people that don’t like you don’t like you because of your present they don’t like you because of your potential! They sense something about you, they sense what God is up to in your life!
And so Saul is chasing David all over the place, he has been running from him all over the place, it is very strange that here David is, having been anointed the new king and every since that kingship he has been on a rollercoaster ride ups and down. He goes from being armor bearer to the king, to killing a giant that everybody was scared to fight. Now to being on the run from the man that he has protected from evil spirits.
If it wasn’t for David, Saul would be under consistent torment from evil spirits.
If it were not for David, Israel would be the bond servants to the Philistines and bowing the Philistine gods!
David has gone from the highest of highs to lowest of lows! And now he is on the run once again from Saul.
Two miles from the city of Gath is maze of hills, valleys, and honeycombs and in those hills and valleys are some caves, and one of those caves is located near the ancient city of Adullam, and David finds refugee in that cave. He finds himself alone in a cave with only his own thoughts to comfort himself. He has to be looking around at the dark, dingy, damp cave thinking back to when he was told he was going to be the king, as he looked back around to what life has presented him he’s got to be thinking somewhere in his mind! This is not what I expected!
Has life ever dealt you a hand like that, you got married and your life wasn’t just for better or worst, but it wen’t from better to worst? It was not what you expected. You took a promotion on your job it was greater benefits but more stress, it was not what you expected. You excepted to call to ministry only to find that the call came with conflicts, it was not what you expected. You went to the Dr. for a check up after being healthy and conscious with your body only to be told that there was a lump in your breast, not what you expected. You can go through situations in life when you have been faithful to the Lord, when God has given you a purpose, and God has given you a promise and you find yourself in the midst of a situation where you find yourself saying to yourself as faithful as I have been to the Lord this is not what I expected!
You need to first understand that the anointing does not give you immunity from the challenges of life! I didn’t think that you was going to say much to this kind of preaching because we live in a new day when prosperity preachers are teaching us to be selfish and seek the easy way, we don’t like to be told the purpose comes with problems and the anointing comes with challenges because we’ve been taught that if you throw enough money on the altar or speak enough tongues or go to enough conferences that somehow our life is going to be easier. We want things not only our way in the faith, we want them the comfortable and the easy way. When things don’t go our way we are ready to quit, we want the road with the best results and the easiest way. We want to come to church do the religious things and we feel that God owes us a favor. We buy into the new faith and this new preaching that makes the Gospel look like God on the demand, where you can just flip through the channels and just touch what you want as if God is just suppose to give it to you! WE buy into the line that God will make you a leader, but never require you to be a servant. That you can have greatness without humility or riches without sacrifice. We live in a day where theology has taught us short cuts and not dedication, has taught us the easy way, and not the enduring way! So you come to church, you study the Bible, you throw a seed on the altar cause the preacher told you in seven days you were gonna get your miracle so you come to the altar and put your co-pay on the altar as if you were giving God a co-pay on medicine that He gave you and now that your catching hell your looking around in your cave and you saying this is not what I expected!
Life can find you in some crazy places! When you’ve been faithful! How do you manage miserable moments on the journey to fulfilling assignments!
The first thing that I believe the text is trying to tell us is that to:
1. Make sure you don’t miss the miracle being busy looking at the misery!
One of the strategies of the enemy is to try to get us so focused on whats wrong that we don’t know how to be thankful and managers of what’s still right!
We look at everything thats is wrong, and we calculate our emotions about where we are based on what’s not right. So you spend all of that energy complaining about what’s not right, instead of thank God for the many things that are still going right in your life.
I know somebody saying where is that in the text?
Its not apparent because it does not appear to be a part of the exegetical move of the story, its just one little word.
1 David therefore departed from there and escaped…
You see it’s a generality with any particularity; what do you mean?
It tells us what he escaped to, but doesn’t tell us what he escaped from!
So we need to go back to see what he escaped from, and then discover what escape really means!
To escape is to break free of confinement or to get loose from pending danger or to for go an intended expectation. The reason the word escape is powerful to me is because it doesn’t just say that David ran…
The text says that David escaped! So then we need to back up to the last chapter to see what he escaped from!
10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?”
12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
13 So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard.
14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me?
15 Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
He fled from Saul and ran to Gath and Gath was under the leadership of a king by the name of Achish, and the servants of the king recognized David as the rival to Saul. He’s trying to find sanctuary from Saul in Gath under Achish and scholars suggest to us that the king was going to do one two things:
Either turn him over to Saul or kill him so that Saul would be indebted to Achish. So then there were two options on the table, kill him or turn him over. They had a plan to kill him or a plan to turn him over!
And the text said that David escaped!
David they had an intended expectation towards you, they would turn you over to Saul (who would then kill you) or they was going to kill you so the Saul would like them; so either way David you were about to die, and the fact that you escaped meant that God got you away from an intended expectation so they didn’t get what they thought they was going to get!
So before you get mad because of where are David you ought to be thankful that you are not still where you were. Because things could really be much worst than they are!
Am I talking to anybody in here this morning?
I realize that you don’t like where you are, but if you would take a good back at what you escaped that you could thank God that He got you out just in the knick of time! So before you beat yourself up over what didn’t go right, before you beat yourself up over what you don’t like, take a look back down memory lane and say Lord I thank you, that what could have happen didn’t happen that you have kept me from an intended expectation, I escaped!
Tell somebody I escaped! It was supposed to be worse, they had a demonic intention planned for me they were going to try to take me out, but Lord I thank you that you got me out before they got what they wanted! Thank you that you didn’t let see what they were looking for, isn’t that good news that God will sometimes let your enemies do what they want to do but then won’t give them the results they are looking for. They sitting up scratching their head wondering why you haven’t quit yet! Why you haven’t thrown in the towel, why you still coming to church, why you still smiling, why you still giving God the praise, the reason why you do this is because God help you escape! And frustrated your enemy because they did not get their intention!
I looking for some escape people, It ain’t what I want but its better than it could be!
Broke but they didn’t foreclose!
Laid off but I got some interviews!
Divorced but I got peace of mind!
Struggling but I am still making it work!
Crying all day, but I am sleeping all night!
Lost friends but I found the Lord!
I escaped…
I didn’t just run from it I escaped, I didn’t just get away, I escaped!
So then don’t let your misery cause you not to be thankful for the miracle! You might not like the cave but it is better than what the devil had planned for you!
2. Problematic predicaments do not prohibit your purpose!
Failings don’t disqualify assignment!
Just because things have failed, doesn’t mean I’m a failure!
You can only be a failure when you empower what has failed to become the definition of your Identity!
If I don’t let what has failed become the definition of who I am, then it failed but I am not a failure! It didn’t work, but I am still here!
Remember that David has been anointed and told he’s the next king of Israel! And he has not reached the manifestation of the promise! So then if I am not at the place of the promise, that means that where I am can’t be my last stop!
Cause God never comes short of His Word! So that since he is faithful, I have got to decide whether or not I am going to believe the report of my reality or whether I am going to submit my reality to the promise of Gods Word, I have got to decide if I am going to give in to what I am going through or if I am going to put my faith into the promise that God made to me! Because if where I am does not match what God said then this can’t be my last stop and I must only be here because their must be something that God wants me to learn for where he is taking me; but it can’t be my last stop!
David is the next King and he has not yet reached the throne of that promise! Which means that anything that don’t look like a throne can’t take him out!
That’s why he wasn’t scared of Goliath, because he knew he was the next king, so if Goliath defeated him then that would mean the God’s Word wasn’t true!
So what David said is that Goliath was an uncircumcised Philistine that means that Goliath don’t have covenant with my God and since David wasn’t on the thrown yet then he knew that everything that came up against him would be defeated because God made him a promise!
If you have not reached the place that you have been promised of God then don’;t you empower where you are! Just keep remembering what God said! Lay your facts at the feet of truth! What God promises is truth! Truth is what God says!
Facts are what I see, the fact is I am in a cave,
The fact is I am all alone,
The fact is I feel that God has left me,
The fact is people are trying to kill me,
The fact is I feel like I don’t have anyone on my side,
But the truth says that God told me I am the king!
And as long as God is still in charge, that means’ that His promises are always true! You must learn the difference between the facts and the truth!
The facts says that I am broke as a joke,
But the truth says that God will supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory!
The facts says that I got enemies all around me,
But the truth says, no weapon formed against me shall be able to prosper!
The fact is that sometimes family and friends walk away from you,
The truth is when my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up!
The fact is I have sickness in my body,
But the truth is by his stripes I have been healed
Is there anybody here that can say that I got some negative facts, but in spite of the facts I am standing on the Truth!
Tell your neighbor if where you are doesn’t match God’s Word then where you are, you are there only for a season! You are just where you are because God has something for you to learn, you are just where you are because God just wants to strengthen and stretch you!
Next in the cave….
3. You have got to do ministry in spite of your misery!
You and I don’t get a pass from serving cause we are going through something. You don’t get a vacation slip from servitude just because you got trouble in your life! You don’t get an excused absence just because life has gotten rough for you! You have got to learn in the midst of miserable moments in life to make serving more important that sulking!
Here is where things in the text got interesting for me. God sent some people down to the cave where David was hiding. We are not told how they knew he was there, but they found him.
Thats good news for me, because God will never let you be where you are with out somebody knowing how to find you! God always knows where you are and He will always have somebody that will know how to find you in times of trouble!
But here is the trip part:
That’s shouting stuff until I read who God let go down there.
Lets pretend that this cave is a sanctuary! So here is who joins Davids congregation:
2 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.
The dejected, disgruntle and those in debt! Depress, discarded, marginalized and broke! Thats who God sends to help him! They don’t appear to have anything to offer David in that facilitation of the assignment that God has put on his life!
Have you ever took a good look at the folk that seem to be clinging to you? And ask yourself why in the world would God surround you with folk that don’t seem to have nothing to offer you? To help you do what God has called you to do.
Lets gets some help from the Word of God. Thats why you don’t disqualify people from connecting to you based on what they look like or based on what you don’t think they have. God might have sent them you way not for you to bless them, but for them to do something for you!
Notice this they come to him not when he is on the throne, they come to him when he is in the cave!
I don’t need throne friends! I’m looking for cave friends! I am going to have plenty friends when I get to the throne, what I am looking for is some friends that will be with me when I have nothing, folk who will stand with me when I am down on my luck!
When I really need the help is when I am going through, to sit with me, pray for me when I don’t have anything! It was then it hit me, God is teaching David some leadership lessons for his kingdom assignment!
Let me show you in the text!
2 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.
The word became suggest evolving! He became leader! David is named the leader in chapter 16, and here we are in chapter 22 and he is still not the king!
But in chapter 22 he is being made what he has already been named!
Let me say it like this, just because you got the name, don’t mean that you are walking in the fulfillment of its potential! There is a process to become what you have already been named!
Inject some Personal experience
When I counsel young preachers I can tell them that just cause you been named the pastor don’t fool yourself and think that you are actually the leader/ pastor yet, you have to become what you’ve been called! The process is you have got to through some stuff, you’ve got to struggle, you’ve got to be pruned, you’ve got to be convicted in other words you’ve got to become what you been named!
He became their leader, today somebody that I am talking to is not in the blessing season, your in the becoming season! Your becoming husband and wife…
Your becoming the supervisor on your job! Your becoming the parent/grandparent that your supposed to be.
The people that I am preaching to here is where you are, you discovered your becoming not in the place where kings live, but in the cave where kings are made!
God will take you through some inconvenient detours in life to help you become what you have been named! So then the condition that you find yourself is not nessacerily a sign of the weakness of your faith or illegitimacy of your anointing, God may have you where you are because you are in the becoming season!
That’s a word for somebody today, you don’t like where you are things are not what you want them to be, don’t let the enemy plant strongholds in your mind and tell you that God is punishing you, no tell yourself the truth and the truth is that I am becoming what God’s has already called me!
That’s why you have to be thankful even though your in the becoming season!
For loving you enough that he shapes your character so that you can stay where the assignment wants to take you!
Tell somebody I am becoming!
Don’t get mad about the cave, God does His best work, in the cave… if you are in a cave thats good news because that means that you are on your way out to becoming everything that God intends you to be!
Here is another problem I find in the text. Cause you got discontented, disgruntle, dejected and broken, those are all spirits. Now debt is not a spirit it is tangible, stay with me now, everybody that had a spirit potentially got rid of their spirit in the cave, but the folk that was in debt, came out of the cave with the same problem that they went in with!
What do you do, when God brings you out the cave with same problem you went in with!
What do you do when after you do all we do in church and you walk out and your still divorced? Still had cancer, you were still broke, you were still unemployed…
Now I have excise self-control and control my anger and frustration because the people that had spirits may come out the cave better, but I am coming out the same!
What am I supposed to think when God lets me come out, but I got to come out still carrying my burdens?
Again I found the answer in the Word of God. David wrote three Psalms while he was in this cave, and I believe when he wrote them he practiced them with everybody in the cave so that everybody in the cave got in on the mentality of Psalms that he wrote.
I discovered that the order that the Psalms are in our bible is not the order that he wrote them in. The first one that he wrote was in this Psalm he is complaining to God about having to go through the cave! Then he wrote and psalm 54 is a prayer to God about being delivered out of the cave, but when he complained and God didn’t get him out, and he prayed and God didn’t get him out that’s when he wrote I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
What David is telling us is that if I can’t complain my way out, and if I can’t pray my way out I might as well bless him as long as I got to go through anyway!
That’s word of encouragement for somebody I believe that all of the people that came out in debt came out giving God the Glory anyhow!
2 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.
3 Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.”
4 So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
5 Now the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go to the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
See what change in the cave was not my situation but my attitude has changed!
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
7 The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.
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