"And David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?' The Lord answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all'…David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives."
1 Samuel 30:8-18, Amplified Bible
"Pursue, Overtake, and Recover"
"We ought to behave ourselves everyday as though we had no dependence on any other."
If there has been a time in my life when I got off-track, did I take time like David, to go to my Father to ask for His guidance in my life?
When my heavenly Father responds to my requests for help, do I follow David's example and, "pursue," "overtake," and "recover?"
"There is no holiness without a warfare."
J. C. Ryle
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
II Corinthians 4: 16, N.I.V.
I have two old chairs that were part of my grandparent's dining room set. It's all that is left of the furniture they acquired in the early 1940's.
These two chairs are sentimental favorites of mine. As you can imagine, after years of being sat upon by hundreds of people, to say these chairs took a beating would be an understatement. The wood finish was scratched. The leather seats were frayed. And the beautiful flowers painted on the backs of the chairs had nearly worn off.
One day, a friend told me about a local furniture refinisher and so I decided to take the two chairs in for his assessment. To my delight, he offered some great ideas which he felt would not only restore the chairs but actually turn them into something better than they were.
Today, Jim and I use these chairs everyday. They sit in our small breakfast nook, a daily reminder of the art of recovery in the hands of a trained expert.
I use these simple chairs as a practical example of what God does for us and in our lives when we turn ourselves over to the hands of the "One" who promises to "restore my soul."
Having wandered into enemy territory and following his own strategic designs, David found himself overtaken by fierce warriors - the Amalekites. Defeated and despairing, in desperation he went to his Father for encouragement and strength. But David didn't just say to God, "Encourage me so I can do more of the same." David recognized that a different hand needed to be at the helm of his life so he didn't continue barreling ahead on his own. Before David made his own decisions about how to proceed against the Amalekites, he went to the priest and asked for the ephod which God used to communicate His will. We read in our texts today that when David asked God how he should proceed in his life, God gave David three distinct pieces of advice when dealing with the enemy. And I might add, this advice is sound in helping us deal with any enemy that could potentially bring us down spiritually, emotionally and physically.
God said to David, "Pursue, overtake and recover."
In our language today these three words mean:
1. Pursue: To proceed along, follow or continue with a specified course of action or a plan. To strive for, to seek after.
2. Overtake: To catch up with and pass by.
3. Recover: To get back, to regain, to restore, to procure from something unusable something valuable. To bring under observation again.
Let's take this wisdom and apply it directly to our daily lives, as David did.
When we get off track, wandering in Philistine territory, if we go to our heavenly Father and rely on His encouragement and strength and if we ask Him for His guidance in all we do, He will lead us on a specified course of action that fulfills His purpose in our lives. As we strive after our Father's goal for our lives, and seek His way, we will not only catch up with, but will pass by the "enemies" that threaten to derail us and we will be restored to the place God wants us. God will take what we think is an unusable life and turn it into just what He needs. He finds the hidden diamonds buried in each of us. And this ultimately leads us to be within the observing eye of our Father.
There is one point I want to underscore though. David appeared to believe that he could cut corners on his way to the throne of Israel. He thought he could use deception. He thought he could live and survive in enemy territory. However, as A. W. Tozer so correctly points out, "There is no short cut to sanctity." If we wish to live a life where we are pursuing God, overtaking the enemy and recovering all that was lost, we need to take the admonition of the Apostle Paul to heart, "We constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of your calling and His every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in your every particular work of faith which is that leaning of the whole personality on God in absolute trust in His confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness." (II Thessalonians 1: 11). Amplified Bible.
I've lost my vision.
I've lost my sense of vocation.
Nothing seems to have any meaning any more.
I keep on putting one foot in front of the other;
But where am I going, and why?
What's the use?
Everything used to be full of life;
Now it's all silent and empty.
Lord, if only I were somewhere else,
If only things had turned out differently,
If only I could see where it's all leading,
If only I didn't feel so depressed!
But these are the circumstances you've given me:
It's here and not somewhere else that I have to
learn to trust You in patience and humility.
Lord, help me to remember that they that wait
upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com. Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.