Your Test and Process - Get Ready for the Next Level!


“Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.

So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.

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. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God."

I Samuel 30:1-6

There is no doubt that we are living in the most exciting time in church history. The verse above tells us several things, but what I want to focus on is that first, you are part of a prophetic purpose that is bigger than you. The biggest battles are always fought right before the biggest breakthroughs.

To walk in cutting edge vision, you are required to have an understanding that will both promote and govern change. I have found that a crisis doesn’t make a person. It exposes them for what they are.

When faced with the battle of Ziklag, the first thing David does is “lifted up their voice and wept” until they had no more power to weep.

David always prays before he moves! But here, you still see his humanity before his spirituality.

Yes, I love God.
Yes, I am anointed.
Yes, I tithe.
BUT, THIS HURTS!!

Have you ever been there? Your heart is breaking and bleeding – the breath knocked out of your body from traumatic blows of life. “I hurt so bad.”

When you hurt, it is okay to cry. In fact, you need to cry. It’s part of the process. Who can wipe a tear that does not fall? Your tears have a language all of their own that speaks to the heart of God. Psalm 39:12 tell us, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry, hold not Thy peace at my tears…” Only God can interpret the pain that you cannot articulate. Pain has its own universal, ageless voice that speaks to us all. Like David, we all know what it is to hurt.

David is not only hurting, but his pain is provoked by a double dilemma. His city, Ziklag, is destroyed and all the wives and children were taken captive. The Bible declares, “it’s the Amalekites” that have done this.

If we back up in history a little, we see in 1 Samuel 15:3 that Saul is commanded to go and “smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not.” Saul was disobedient and now as a result, David is dealing with the fallout of Saul’s wrong decision.

If Saul would have destroyed the Amalekites as God commanded, David would not be in this dilemma – Ziklag.

Have you ever had to deal with the pain that was the consequences of other people’s choices? 

Some real-life examples are a husband had an affair. Now there’s an illegitimate child, child support, a stalker and psycho woman who have entered into the picture. Maybe someone has become a grandmother at 35 due to a fifteen-year-old son’s raging hormones. Or maybe, like the people affected by Enron, due to illegal actions, you have no retirement.

Whatever the situation, we come up against this fact: “Your decision directly affected my life.”

This type of test is monumental because the situation is out of your control. 

Yet, you are forced to deal with the bad consequences of other’s wrong actions. Do you use your strength to deal with the reality of the situation, or process your emotions toward the person who caused this thing?

THIS IS A TEST OF CHARACTER! Can you look in the face of someone who did you wrong and not be bitter? When you can, you are walking into your breakthrough.

The Amalekites were the first enemy to God’s chosen. They were a band of raiders that attacked from behind. They are eternal enemies of God who attack the feeble and the weak. The Amalekites represent a spirit that came from your past, where you were “feeble and weak. It comes to steal your future.

Agag the king of the Amalekites, lived because Saul did not kill him when God commanded him to in 1 Samuel 15:3. The name Agag means “I will overcome.” That gives me creepy chills down my spine because what Saul did not deal with came back to kill him.

David cried until he couldn’t cry anymore. Then, the Bible says he was greatly distressed. “For the people spake of stoning him because their soul was grieved.”

Grief is a process. 

You must know this process for yourself and others if you are going to be effective in life. 

There are five states to Grief:
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
You must give yourself and others a chance to transition their life. We often don’t because we are so pressured to be okay that we don’t allow people the process to heal.
David is amazing. While those around him are in Stage 2 (anger!), the Bible declares, David “…ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD.” David saw beyond their anger and didn’t let himself get down in the dumps about popular opinion! No, he learned to “preach” to himself. You must learn to do the same! You’ve got to preach to yourself.

Speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:19

The biggest battles are always fought right before the biggest breakthroughs! To possess cutting edge vision in God’s kingdom, you must have an understanding that will both promote and govern change. You must have an understanding that looks beyond the smaller picture to the larger one operating behind the circumstances. 
A crisis doesn’t make a person. It exposes them for what they are.
The trials we face give us the vision, the understanding, and the character it takes for us to succeed and do “all that God has called us to do” in your destiny! Can you see beyond the opinions of others, be delivered of what people think, and preach to your own self in times of trial? By the power of God, you can! David, in the face of all odds, refused to be moved by other’s dislike of him and encouraged himself in the Lord. In the middle of your trial, when all hell has broken loose and people don’t like you, encourage yourself in the Lord. God is using this test and this process to make you ready for the next level.

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