Its been a while since I have posted something to my blog, my apologies. I have recently been reflecting on David in the cave of Adullam (see 1Sam 22). David escaped to the cave and was joined by family members and those who were in distress, in debt or discontented, not a group you would expect to get much encouragement from. In fact David himself was in distress (see Ps.142)and needing to hear "what God is going to do for me" (1Sam 22:3). For defense he had the sword of Goliath and a motley bunch of followers. They chose David as their leader in spite of the fact that he himself was down and not feeling too strong at the time ("my spirit grows faint within me" - Ps. 142:3 "I am in desperate need" - vs 6) but someone once said "you can trust a leader that walks with a limp". David could identify with those that gathered in the cave with him.
The Cave was their safe place, a place of refuge, a place of preparation. But in order for David to fulfill the purposes of God in his generation (Acts 13:36) he had to leave the cave. In order for some of the distressed around him to become the 'mighty men of David', they had to leave the cave. The cave was not their destination but rather a stop over on the way.
As I reflected on this, I realized how often I have wanted the safety of the cave to be the destination, I wanted the time of 'licking my wounds' in a safe place to not end... leaving the cave means facing your fears, leaving the cave means being vulnerable again, the very things that drove David and those with him to the cave could happen again... BUT they could not stay in the cave forever, in order for David to become king (fully) he had to get out and take risks again, he had to get out and face his fears, face opposition and live out the purpose God had for his life.
Living out Gods purpose for our lives is not a safe thing, it is a life of risk taking, of stepping out and 'taking a hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken a hold of me' (Phil 3:12).
As David stepped out, previously distressed, in debt, discontented people found purpose. Although you cant have one without the other, we must not confuse preparation with purpose... sometimes as believers we want to stay in preparation our whole lives, never feeling confident to step out, going from conference to conference and seminar to seminar without actually putting any of what we are prepared for into practice.
My encouragement to you is to leave the cave and like the mighty men of David, grow in your God given purpose.
God bless you in this adventure called life