Gateway Blog

Filter By:
Showing items filed under “August 2016”

Devoted or Disconnected?

Today Pastor Alex York brought the message, covering I Samuel 26 and 27, titled "Devoted or Disconnected?"

There's a huge contrast in the way David acts in these two chapters.

Chapter 26 - Devoted

In chapter 25, David had listened to Abigail's counsel.  He'd seen that when he did not take revenge, God dealt with his enemies.  In chapter 26, David is more reflective.  He's absorbed the lesson.

David had faith-fueled boldness.  We often settle for less.  Are we holding back, playing it safe?

God's Perspective

Verse 19 -- He said of Saul, the Lord will strike him, or his time will come, or he'll die in battle.

He trusted God to act at the right time.

He is sure God will intervene on his behalf if he gives God room.

God's Activity

God had put all Saul's men into a deep sleep.  God was clearly acting on David's behalf.

David gave God the freedom and space to take action.

God's activity doesn't mean David sits on the sidelines.  David still needs to work in partnership with him.


David chooses integrity all along in this chapter and treats Saul respectfully.

Chapter 27 - Disconnected

On the heels of this encouraging victory, the story takes a dramatic shift.

He "thought in his heart" that Saul would kill him.  After his faith the chapter before, now he decides to take matters into his own hands and flee to the land of the Philistines.

He doesn't inquire of the Lord.

David's Perspective

We sometimes operate as if God is not in the picture.

Sometimes we don't see God working on our behalf, so we assume he isn't.

Sometimes we choose the Hybrid Model:  Ask God to bless our plans.

On the surface, David's plan works.  Saul stops pursuing him.

Desperate Pragmatism

Now David's focusing on what will keep him safe.

Be concerned not just with the outcome, but what gets us to the outcome.

Now he's living by deception -- killing everyone so they won't tell the king of the Philistines.

Achish believes David is his servant.

David's Activity

Now David has longer-term problems.

This is how it works for us, too, sometimes.  One day we're Devoted.  It's easy to switch to Disconnected.

Here's the story of the two chapters:

I Samuel 26                                         I Samuel 27

Devoted                                               Disconnected

God's Perspective                                 David's Perspective

Faith-fueled Boldness                           Desperate Pragmatism

Integrity                                              Deception

God's Activity                                      David's Activity


In our building program, there will be obstacles.  We need to respond as people devoted to God.  Will we respond with our own plans?  Will we lean in the direction of Devotion or Disconnection?

Moving from Disconnection toward Devotion:

1)  Inquire of the Lord!

Pray with your ears wide open.  Isaiah 55:3 (NLT)

2)  Look for God's perspective.

Proverbs 3:5-6

3)  Allow God time and space to work on your behalf.

4)  Seek out spiritual encouragers.

Like Samuel, Jonathan, and Abigail

5)  Reflect on God's proven faithfulness.

God has never ripped anyone off.

God often has a much better solution for us.  If we rush in to fix it ourselves, we often miss out on God's solution.

Devoted: David and Abigail

Last Sunday's service wasn't a typical sermon.

We began with three baptisms, watching inside from a videolink outside.  And first we listened to their testimonies.  I liked what Anu said -- she's a project manager and said she learned that God's timeline isn't hers to manage.  The other two who were baptized were teens Sam and Nathan.

Then the team who have been bringing the sermons on the life of David got up on stage and discussed I Samuel 25 together -- Ed, Alex, John, Bill, and Deen.

Some things they noted:

David had become a man of the sword by now.  He had just spared Saul's life in the previous chapter, but he did not inquire of the Lord before deciding how to deal with Nabal.

God had a number of teachers for David, and Abigail was one of them.

Abigail took responsibility for what Nabal did.  She recognized that God was using her as a restrainer.

Abigail reminded David of the big picture.

She spoke in view of what God would do.  She believed God's promises to David almost more than he did.

This was part of God preparing David to be a follower -- to trust God no matter what the circumstances.

David listened.

And then God struck Nabal and he died.  David was fierce, but God was fiercer.

God is not saving David from Saul here, but saving David from David.

Another lesson:  Don't worry about your enemies.  God has this.  You don't have to plot revenge.

When a voice of grace spoke to David, he listened.

Abigail stood in the middle of two people acting foolishly.  Jesus does that for us when he takes on the responsibility for what we have done.

Listen to the voice of wisdom.


After the service, we had a Community Meeting.

We got an update on the building.  Pipes are being laid now!  Target completion date is in July 2017!

We were also encouraged:  God has given us a multitude of talents -- let's not hide any of it!

How will we leverage this wonderful resource?  How will we reach people in our area for Christ?


Posted by Sondy Eklund with