Read 1 Samuel 20:1-42.

David had gone to Jonathan drowning in self-pity. He knew Saul was trying to kill him, and David was anxious and afraid, feeling sorry for himself. He had forgotten about God’s past faithfulness. In fact, just consider how focused on himself he was in this encounter: “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” (1 Samuel 20:1, emphasis added). And how many times while talking to Jonathan did he testify to the power, favor, and will of God in his life? Not one time.

Rather than trusting God for the destiny He had promised him when Samuel anointed him the next king of Israel, David went into full retreat mode. He was backing away, scared that Saul would kill him. So, instead of relying on the Lord, David decided he needed to make a plan of his own. He went to Jonathan in secret and asked his best friend to lie for him.

That’s right—David forgot his testimony, and before long he was running headlong into sin in a feeble attempt to protect himself. Sad as that is, we must remember that David was never a perfect person. He stumbled and fell from time to time. However, when the conviction of God came upon him, he turned back in repentance and wept before the Lord. That was his greatness. Never forget that.

Here was David’s plan: He wouldn’t show up at the king’s table for two nights. When Saul inevitably asked where he was, Jonathan would lie and say David had asked permission to return to Bethlehem for a sacrifice. Saul’s reaction would tell him whether Saul was truly serious about murdering him.

Saul did indeed blow up at the news, so the morning after the two nights of feasting, Jonathan returned to the field where David was hiding to shoot arrows. And in accordance with their planned signals, Jonathan shot an arrow and sent his servant to retrieve it, calling out, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” (v. 37). And David began his life on the run.

Like David, you may be experiencing life circumstances totally out of your control. The moment you start feeling sorry for yourself, I want you to look outside of yourself. Look up. Go back to your testimony. If it’s rusted, ask the Holy Spirit to polish it afresh. Remember, just as it was with David, God is leading you onward and upward.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the example of David, a man after Your own heart. Even he stumbled from time to time, but You did not give up on him. You are always faithful even when we are faithless. May I remember this Truth and stand firm on Your promise to never leave me nor forsake me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth” (1 Samuel 20:14-15).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series A Heart for God: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

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About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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