Lessons Learned from David By: Kathleen Dew

I have been reading about the life of David in 1 Samuel and I’m learning SO much! I think David’s whole life, before and after he became king, is a very accurate description of what following Jesus looks like.

David was a humble, shepherd boy. The youngest of 7 brothers. The least likely to become king. Yet God didn’t look at his appearance or height, but rather his heart. He was chosen and anointed to be king over Israel. But it didn’t happen immediately. In fact, right after his anointing, Saul hired him as an armor bearer. He SERVED the king instead of BECOMING king. He did everything with humility and excellence. He didn’t assume his role as king or proudly deny serving the king.

After his anointing, you would think his life would be pretty awesome from then on out. Instead, Saul became jealous of him and tried to kill him multiple times. He had to flee, hide in caves, and literally run for his life. Men betrayed him and tried to turn him into Saul. 1 Samuel 23:14 says, “Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.” If I were David, I would be thinking, “What in the world God? Did you call be to be king or to be killed BY the king?” But NONE of this changed his calling or the anointing on his life. Sure, opposition came. But that didn’t defeat or discourage him from what God had called him to.

A few takeaways from the life of David:

  1. Be excellent in everything - In the in-between season, after he was called to be king and before he actually became king, David did everything with excellence. From playing the harp for Saul, to being his armor bearer, to leading his army, to following God, he did everything well. Because he stewarded the small things well, God could trust him to steward a kingdom well. Don’t just be excellent in your calling, but in EVERYTHING you do.

2. Sometimes, God’s calling on our lives doesn’t happen right away - In the meantime, humbly serve. David’s greatness began as a servant. Be humble, no matter your calling or status.

3. Don’t forsake your calling in the face of opposition - David had to fight the Philistines, lead his men into battles, and run for his life from Saul. Yet 1 Samuel 18:14 says, “David continued to succeed in every thing he did, for the Lord was with him.” Opposition WILL come, but God WILL not forsake you. He will provide and protect you.

4. Surround yourself with good friends in the faith - Jonathan and David’s friendship was a huge blessing, especially during times of opposition. We need people who can speak life and encouragement into our lives. 1 Samuel 23:16 says, “Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” He reminded him of his calling and encouraged him to stay faithful to the Lord.

Following Jesus won’t always be easy. There will be opposition and hard days. Yet, we can rest assured that He’s with us always, and that if He’s called us to something, He will be faithful to see it though. Be patient, humble, and hard working in the process. Trust Him in the hard times and praise Him in the good. He loves you, has a calling on your life, and will see it through.

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Too often, I rush through life, failing to acknowledge the Artisan in anything. My mind becomes conformed to the pattern of our rushed culture. We look right past the Sistine Chapel to scroll for hours through social media. The world is trying to conform us to its image, cynical and unimpressed. Our senses are deadened. Our ears are deafened. We rush past God’s beautiful creation and we rob ourselves of joy and we rob Him of the glory. God wants to awaken us to see Him in His creation, and make our hearts leap for joy, glorifying Him in everything.

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God wants us to pray, plan, and bear fruit. The new year is a great time to evaluate our plans and make new plans for this next year. We should hold these plans with open hands, trusting that God’s plan trumps our plans every time; but this doesn’t mean that we don’t make plans. Godly plans honor God and advance His Kingdom.

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In a few moments, your identity changes completely, but you must now learn how to think and live out of this new identity. Learning this is the essence of true freedom. Here are a few of the foundational truths that we must know and adopt if we are going to think and live in the freedom that God has freely given us in the Gospel.

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Life and ministry are sometimes very difficult. The internal and external pressure and stress sometimes leaves us feeling depleted and discouraged. When we feel this way for an extended amount of time, we all feel the God-given need to retreat. We are like an athlete in the NCAA tournament who has played a great game and needs to get his body and mind ready for the next game two days later. We are like a NASCAR driver who needs to come in for fuel to be able to finish the race. God made us all dependent beings and has made us with the need to retreat and hide out. The question we must answer is where are we hiding? Where do we run when we are running on E?

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It’s not enough to get the bad out; we must also fill the empty space with something, or really Someone. True lasting freedom is not found in the absence of something, but in the presence of Someone. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17). If we are going to experience lasting freedom, we must not only clean our spiritual house, but also we must be filled with the Spirit of God.

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Once a drug addict places their faith in Jesus, they are completely forgiven and have been made into a brand new creation, but now comes the long journey of learning how to walk in the freedom they’ve been given. The reason why so many people feel the joy of the Lord on Sundays at church but then bogged down and hopeless the rest of the week is because they are carrying around what feels like thousands of pounds of garbage from their past.

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What if our problem wasn’t that we are seeking our pleasure too much, but that the stuff we are seeking our pleasure in isn’t working? What if the problem isn’t that we are addicted to pleasure, but that the object of our addiction isn’t good enough? What if the drugs aren’t a strong enough pleasure to satisfy our souls? What if we were made for a Greater Pleasure.

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There is something special and energizing about finishing one season and starting another—this is especially true with regards to a new year. There seems to be organic momentum and fresh anticipation regardless of what we experienced in the last year. How can we pour gasoline on this to maximize the momentum? Here are four of the things I’ve seen produce the most fruit in my life.

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Do you want to stay faithful to your calling for the rest of your life? Do you want to stay faithful to your wife until death do you part? Do you want to stay faithful to Jesus until He takes you home?

Over the past few years, many Christian leaders who I look up to have “fallen away.” Some have burned out and others have had a complete moral failure. With these leaders heavy on my heart, I have been searching the Scriptures trying to learn how to prevent this in my own life and the lives of my friends who are in ministry.

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To be effective in ministry, the gospel must be central in everything we do: every sermon we preach, every devotional we write, all of our small group curriculum, and in every aspect of the life of our churches. If the gospel is not central, our churches will be built on sand and will eventually collapse into a religious relic or a glorified version of a self-help pep rally. If we’re not preaching the gospel, we are preaching a cubic zirconia version of the divine diamond of the universe- the gospel.

What in The World is Chris Dew Ministries?

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On Christmas Eve 2010, I heard the gospel and Jesus saved me. From that point on, nothing was the same. I had a taste of the pleasure I had been looking for my whole life. The hopelessness I once felt was filled with unshakeable hope. Shortly after that, I felt a call to preach the gospel. Over the next 4 years, Jesus began to heal my speech and open up opportunities to love people, share my story, and preach the gospel.

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This one thing has been behind EVERY spiritual leader who has ever been disqualified. This one thing is behind EVERY moral failure in a person’s life. This one thing is behind EVERY broken marriage. This one thing will either ruin or fuel our lives, marriages, and ministries. This one thing is: the Secret Places of our lives and hearts.

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I literally got arrested coming back from my honeymoon…

Kathleen and I got married on January 7th. The wedding was incredible. The honeymoon in Punta Cana was even better... until we got back into the US and had to go through customs. Kathleen and I were flagged and put in a room with less than 10 other people (not a good sign). The room eventually cleared, and it was just us (really not a good sign)...