The following great article is brought to you by my friend Nathan Malone ... born in Kansas but currently living in Texas.
“Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
A few days ago, God stirred my heart to study about David. I was fascinated that after God had anointed him king of Israel in 1 Samuel 16 that he faced years of struggle before he actually became king. As God was showing me the struggles that David went through, He showed me something I found interesting. When Saul wanted to kill David and David ran, there were two instances (1 Sam. 24:3-7 & 1 Sam. 26:5-10) in which David had the opportunity to kill Saul and become king. In spite of the support of David’s men, David chose not to kill Saul. As I was reading those two instances I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “No shortcuts”.
I believe that as many of us are standing on promises and plans that God has given to us, there are opportunities for us to take shortcuts. By shortcuts I mean our attempts to “take things into our own hands”. David was given two opportunities to kill Saul and thus, accelerate God’s plan through his efforts. While in the midst of these opportunities David showed an unwavering focus toward God’s agenda, even when his destiny seemed within his grasp. He knew that if it was God who had chosen him to be king, it would be God who fulfilled that promise.
The years of struggle and rejection that David experienced had God’s fingerprints all over them. If God’s only desire was to make David king, He could have struck Saul dead and installed David as king instantly. Instead, God used those years of struggle to strengthen the heart of the worshipper and warrior that would lead Israel. Through what David suffered, he experienced the power that comes from total surrender to God’s purposes. Because of his obedience, he experienced a level of protection, provision, and promotion that only God could provide.
When we take a shortcut it robs us of the experience of God’s salvation in our lives. When we miss that experience we miss the true reward: seeing God as “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). At the end of every battle that we are facing in our lives there is a promise to be fulfilled, a prayer to be answered, and a plan to be established. Our responsibility is to believe God is who He says He is and that He will do what He said He would do (Heb. 11:6). Every promise, prophecy, and plan that God has given to us, He intends to fulfill. The question is “Will we allow Him to finish what He has started?”
God is showing me that my shortcuts need to be avoided at all costs. I pray that He does the same in your life.