April 19, 2022
Moreover, David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God … David inquired of the Lord. (1 Samuel 30:6,8)
Every leader has seasons of opposition. Sometimes it is a recognizable, external enemy. But the worst pain of leadership is when your own people turn against you. This is made even worse when they come against you regarding things that are not true. When you have done right, but others do not understand.
Here is David, who, along the way, has done nothing but seek to obey God the best he knew. And now, his own people want to stone him. These moments are the dark night of the soul for the leader.
But David had a secret source of strength. He knew that there was one place he could go that would help him. No human voice was enough. So, in the way he knew to find God, David went to the Lord. And David "strengthened himself in the Lord his God."
AN ACTIVE STEP
Notice the progression. David “strengthened himself.” This was a choice he made to seek strength. He was not passive but active in pursuing that which would encourage and help him and provide the needed strength for the next step.
But he found his strength “in the Lord.” David did not try to muster human ability or courage. He went to the Lord in prayer. He “inquired of the Lord” and heard God’s voice to give affirmation and direction. And, God, as He had done so many times with His servant, strengthened David.
Every leader must learn to do this in moments of darkness, or he will not survive. Human counsel will not suffice in times like these. The leader needs Divine strength. This is where many leaders fade into oblivion or compromise their way back into the crowd. But the true man of God will do whatever is necessary to meet privately with the One alone who can pour strength, wisdom, and perspective back into his weary soul and equip him for the next leg of leadership.
He must not run to cheap substitutes or fake bravado. A great leader admits his need for One beyond himself and humbly seeks God. He gladly acknowledges where his strength lies and gives God all the glory.
Father, thank You that You are strength and that we can do “all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13). Forgive me for looking anywhere else. Teach me to always run to You first and help me understand how to strengthen myself in You. And, as you provide, let me give You all the glory!
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