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Monday, December 01, 2014

The Powerful Influence of Godly Character

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One of the richest and most rewarding parts of a Christian’s life is the development of godly character through the power of the Holy Spirit. Some people never develop much character because it takes hard work. The crux of it is the transformation of personal weaknesses to character strengths. It’s the building of attributes rooted in one’s heart that become the rock solid foundation of moral and ethical thinking and response based upon God’s Word. It’s the place where great hope, great faith, and great confidence and trust in God’s promises reside. It’s what turns a person from someone lost and fearful to a confident warrior of life. David was such a person.

Time and time again he would face troubles in his life and each and every time he would instinctively turn to the Lord first for help before any action was taken. Listen to his words. 1 Samuel 17:33-37 (NLT) "Don't be ridiculous!" Saul replied. "There is no way you can go against this Philistine. You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy!" But David persisted. "I have been taking care of my father's sheep," he said. "When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and take the lamb from its mouth…. The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!" This heart and attitude was the working of David’s character development.

Hardship and searching for God’s plan was a consistent factor in David’s life, but it only caused him to lean harder on the Lord. As I pointed out yesterday, David often didn’t know what to do or what the Lord wanted him to do. At times he had to take life day by day as his words reveal in 1 Samuel 22:3 (NIV) “From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you UNTIL I LEARN WHAT THE LORD WILL DO FOR ME?”

During hard times when many people would get mad at God, abandon God (because they think God has abandoned them), or just whine and complain, David didn’t yield to any of those attitudes. He pressed in. He got stronger. And because he did, they were the greatest times in David’s life. They were the times of David’s greatest influence.

At that time God sent David his new team of men that would help him and fight alongside of him. Do you want to know what they were like? They are described in 1 Samuel 22:1-2 (NIV) “David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.”

If you were the VP of Human Resources and had to hire 400 people to work in a new division of your company, is this who you’d hire? Would you hire 400 applicants that were in debt, distressed, and discontent? I think not. But that’s who God sent to David because David was the real deal. He had developed godly character and his personal leadership. God knew that David was ready to help transform these 400 men into men after God's own heart.

As you read through the continuing stories, you come to discover that these men become great warriors like David. They developed godly character and learned to trust God. They also killed a number of Goliaths—real Goliaths, relatives of the original.

David shined in the hardest of times. He mentored and developed others in the hardest of times. Because whether he was alone or with an army of mighty men, he knew where his strength and help came from. It was the core of his character. It was what He taught his distressed, in debt, and discontented men that turned them into warriors.

As you continue your day today, think about what He taught them that helped them become transformed into mighty warriors. If you aren't sure what that is, Psalm 33:16-22 will give you a glimpse!

Psalm 33:16-22  (NLT) “The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don't count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We depend on the Lord alone to save us. Only he can help us, protecting us like a shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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