Christian Devotionals
The Path to the Throne

The path to the throne (1)
"...I have found David...a man after My own heart..."Acts 13:22 NKJV

Anytime God describes someone as 'a man after My own heart,' study them carefully. Let's look at the life of David. He had a humble start but a great finish. David began as a shepherd and ended up as a king. The chances of that happening were slim to none. In those days shepherds were considered so low in society they couldn't testify in a court of law; their word wasn't considered reliable. Yet David ended up writing the most widely read and loved psalms of all time. When you invite God into your life He cancels the liabilities of your past and rewrites your future. But you must choose what He has chosen for you. There's an interesting contrast between Paul and David. Paul 'sowed his wild oats' before he met Christ, then went on to live an exemplary life. David became king at thirty; yet during his forty years in leadership he experienced devastating failure.

There are two lessons here: 1) Don't rush to judgment. It is not over until God says it's over. David's story is a warning to the transgressor, a rebuke to the self-righteous, a testimony to the justice of God that won't allow us to escape our consequences, and to His love that will never let go of us. 2) God can bring good out of it. He can take every experience you've been through, both positive and negative, and make it work for good, either your good or the good of others. When you seek to fulfill God's purposes in spite of your flaws, He makes "...all things work together for good..." (Rom 8:28).

The path to the throne (2)
"...I have found David...a man after My own heart..."Acts 13:22 NKJV

David was anointed to be king in his teens, but he only ascended the throne at thirty. There's a pattern here:

1) God calls the man. In spite of being unappreciated by his family and overlooked by the prophet Samuel, God picked David. He also picked Deborah to lead the nation in a male-dominated society. Stop trying to figure God out, and stop comparing yourself to others! "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" (Rom 9:21 NIV). We'd have rejected many of the people God used; which lets us know how much we don't know.

2) God decides the plan. "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it..." (Philip 1:6 NKJV). Who decides it? Who performs it? Who should your confidence be in? God! God's plan for David involved years of ducking Saul's spears, living in caves and working with 600 misfits who redefine the word 'dysfunctional.' God trains you in a small sphere so you can handle a bigger one.

3) God knows the span of time required. "...Who through faith and patience [endurance] inherit the promises..." (Col 1:11-12). Endurance means standing firm under pressure. The prize belongs to the man or woman who's committed for the long haul. Joseph refused to let go of his dream; it's what enabled him to say no to the advances of Potiphar's wife and endure unjust imprisonment. But the day came when Potiphar and his wife knelt before Joseph. So keep your eyes on the prize and don't give up!

The path to the throne (3)
"...I have found David...a man after My own heart..."Acts 13:22 NKJV

David knew Samuel was coming to his house looking for a king, and that he wasn't invited. That hurt. So how did he respond? By asking somebody to put his name in the hat? No! "...Promotion comes ...from ...God..." (Ps 75:6-7). David knew that nobody could keep God from blessing him. Listen: "Then Samuel...anointed him in the midst of his brothers..." (1 Sam 16:13 NKJV). If you remain faithful, God will lift you up in the midst of those who overlooked and put you down. Notice, when the Spirit of God left King Saul he was tormented by evil spirits and ended up consulting a witch. No wonder David prayed, "Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me" (Ps 51:11). If God has called you to do the job He will give you all the grace needed; but if He hasn't called you to it, it'll torment you day and night.

But be prepared for trouble! Like Joseph's brothers, they'll say of you, "...Let us...kill him and cast him into some pit...[and] see what will become of his dreams" (Gen 37:20 NKJV). Why would those who are supposed to love you say such a thing? Because they don't really know who you are, or recognize your God-given dream. Expect rejection in the early stages, especially when there's no evidence to validate your God-given dream. When David demonstrated the faith to take on Goliath, his oldest brother Eliab called him arrogant and resented him (1 Sam 17:28). Why did God put such stories in the Bible? "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us..." (1 Cor 10:11 NIV).

The path to the throne (4)
"...I have found David...a man after My own heart..."Acts 13:22 NKJV

Some of God's promises are fulfilled quickly. But others, like the one God gave to David telling him he'd be king, have to be fought for. The Jebusites controlled Jerusalem; they taunted David saying, "...You will not get in here..." (2 Sam 5:6 NIV). To make matters worse, Jerusalem was on an elevation hundreds of feet above David's army. The only way up was through a water cistern where they had to wade and climb through pitch-black darkness. "Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion..." (2 Sam 5:7). Understand this: if He has to, God will bring you up through the gutter to get you to the throne! Notice two words: "nevertheless" and "took." When you're up to your neck in problems and the enemy is saying, 'You won't make it,' stand on God's Word and declare 'nevertheless.' Rise up in faith and claim what God's promised you. "...The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits" (Dan 11:32 NKJV). God can show you how to profit from the situation for your good and His glory.

But don't expect everybody to celebrate your success. "...When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, [they] went up in search of David..." (2 Sam 5:17 NKJV). You'll have to fight to get to your destiny - and fight to hold on to it. You can't 'coast' on old victories. With each new battle you have to get fresh instructions. "...David inquired of the Lord, saying, 'Shall I go up against the Philistines?'...the Lord said...'Go up, for I will...deliver the Philistines into your hand'" (2 Sam 5:19 NKJV). Today, go forward knowing God is with you!

The path to the throne (5)
"...I have found David...a man after My own heart..."Acts 13:22 NKJV

The Bible says: "And David said with longing, 'Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem'...So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well...took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it..." (2 Sam 23:15-16 NKJV).

There are two important lessons here: (1) You must surround yourself with the right people. Unlike those who are only 'in it for what they can get out of it,' these men had only one thing in mind: to serve their king and promote his kingdom. No wonder David said, "I am a companion of...those who keep Your precepts" (Ps 119:63 NKJV).

(2) You must refuse to settle for less than God's best. These men risked their lives to bring David a cup of water, yet he poured it out on the ground before the Lord. David was saying: "I refuse to settle for a cup, I want the well; I must be connected to the life source." Stop treating God like a caretaker you call when you've made a mess and need someone to clean it up; or as your 'go-for' person when you need something you can't otherwise get. Don't go to God for a miracle, go for a relationship; and then you can walk in His miraculous provisions every day. "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Ps 91:1 NKJV). Note the words "dwells" and "abide." Instead of commuting in and out, stay in contact with God and all that He has will be available to you.

The path to the throne (6)
"...I have found David...a man after My own heart..."Acts 13:22 NKJV

The life of David could be captioned in these words: "I love God supremely, and there's nothing He asks of me that I won't do." Can you say that?

Everybody dies, but not everybody fully lives. The Bible says, "These are the last words of David..." (2 Sam 23:1 NLT). A man's last words are considered to be some of his most important words. During his lifetime one of David's sons raped his sister, a different son killed another, his wife turned her back on him, his best friend betrayed him, they took his kingdom, his mentor tried to kill him, his family rejected him and he spent a lot of time hiding in caves. Now he's going to speak to us one last time. What will he talk about? Goliath, Saul, Bathsheba? No, listen: "David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His words are upon my tongue. The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: 'The one who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain.' Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, He had made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success" (2 Sam 23:1-5 NLT).

These words were recorded in Scripture for those of us who are less than perfect, but whose hearts never cease to hunger for God.

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