“David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.”

1 Samuel 30:6 NLT

It’s an awesome feeling when you have a good team, a supportive family, and close friends. You feel like you can conquer the world. But then there are valley moments when your family is not together, your friends are quiet, and your team has turned against you. No matter how many victories you have, “every dog has his day” when it seems like you are in the fight all by yourself. As a leader you get the credit for the victory and the blame for the defeat. What do you do during defeat?

David had just been fired by the Philistines for fear that he might shift his allegiance back to his old boss, King Saul, as they were about to launch their biggest attack against Israel. This is really strategic on God’s part because David has to be released from his hiding place and move to his place of purpose as the next King of Israel. But he has to get fired to do so!

Then three days later he shows up back at his village only to find his village burned down and the wives and children of all his soldiers gone! The men were so grieved they talked about killing their own leader. Little did any of them know that God would restore everything they lost and the kingdom was on the other side of this tragedy. They saw the immediate deficit and wanted to kill their leader.

What do you do when you’ve led successful campaigns, blessed people, but now they want to get rid of you? What do you do when the people closest to you turn against you? What do you do when the people you fought side by side with now see you as the enemy?

  1. David found strength in the Lord. Looking at this I now see that God was preparing David for his next place of promotion. He had to strip him down one more time. When David defeated the biggest giant in his life, it was just him and God while the army watched him go out alone. It was never about how many soldiers he had it was about how much faith he had in God. Before God takes you to the next level he has to make sure you know where your strength really comes from. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7).
  2. David encouraged himself in the Lord. When you can’t find any cheerleaders to be in your corner you have to encourage yourself in the Lord. It’s not that your friends and family don’t love you. It’s just that their own emotions prevent them from being reliable when you need them the most. The true test of a leader is the ability to encourage yourself when you face friendly fire. Can you encourage yourself without taking their grief personally?
  3. David inquired of the Lord. He asked God if he should pursue the enemy. God said to pursue them – for he would overtake them and get everything back. Watch this! If David hadn’t got fired he would not have caught up with the people who stole his wives and children. If David would have given into the murmuring he wouldn’t have recovered his family. If David had waited for his men to get over their bitterness he wouldn’t have gotten his stuff back. He got it all back and some!

You don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. If you made a mistake, acknowledge it and move on. Make apologies and seek God’s direction. Grieve your losses and go get it back. You may not get everybody to go with you to get it because some of them will be too tired, but you even have to bless them when you get it back. Get up, encourage yourself, and inquire of the Lord. It’s time to get it back!

Dear God-

Thank you for being the source of my strength. You’ve sent me some good people and a great family, but sometimes it’s just me and you trying to figure out how to get our stuff back. I know that you have greater for me, my family, and our church. Help us to get on the other side of these challenges and losses. There’s a kingdom promotion on the other side of this! For that reason I will seek first your kingdom, your righteousness and all of these things will be added back to me. 

In Jesus’ Name,