ODJ: the success that follows

January 9, 2015 

READ: 1 Samuel 30:1-30 

We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment (v.24).

A member of my small congregation is now in his 9th decade. His zeal for God and for serving His purposes hasn’t diminished for more than 60 years. His body, however, is finally starting to slow down. This frustrates him, for he wants to be speaking to anyone and everyone about the love of Jesus. He wants to take part in evangelistic efforts, but he can rarely leave his house these days.

God’s servant, David, had 600 men with him as he chased after some Amalekite raiders (1 Samuel 30:9). Soon, however, 200 of them were too exhausted to continue over the river to finish the battle and take back all of the goods and people that had been stolen (v.10). The remaining 400 went ahead and were given a great victory, as God had promised David (vv.7-8).

Later, some of the triumphant warriors resented that the 200 who stayed with the equipment received an equal share of the plunder, but David knew the right thing to do. He understood that each person’s role was of equal importance (vv.21-24). Had no one been exhausted, the equipment would have been left unguarded and could have been stolen. In God’s providence, a third of the men were so weary that they provided invaluable service by sitting down!

God wants our availability and our obedience, not merely our physical strengths. My elderly brother in Christ is a great man of prayer, an inspiration to many. Now he has plenty of time to fulfil God’s purpose in this area, to encourage others in their ministries and to be completely fulfilled as he obeys his Father’s will. God wants his obedience in these roles, not his zeal in another. As each of us obeys, God both promises and provides the success that follows. —Russell Fralick

365-day plan› Genesis 12:1-9; 17:1-8

Read 2 Timothy 1:5-14 and see how Paul urged Timothy to tap into the gifts given to him by the Holy Spirit. 
In what ways do you seek to do the exciting things for God at the expense of what’s necessary or what He’s called you to do? Is there someone in your church who’s been called to ‘guard the equipment’? How can you encourage and bless that person?