1 CHRONICLES 14:8-17: “When the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David, but David heard of it and went out before them. Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of God, asking, “Should I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them over into my hand?” Then ADONAI said to him, “Go up! I will give them over into your hand.” So they came up to Baal-perazim, where David defeated them. David said, “God burst out against my enemies by my hand, like waters burst out!” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim. They abandoned their gods there, so David ordered and they were burned with fire. But the Philistines again raided the valley. So David again inquired of God, and God said to him, “Do not go up after them, but circle around behind them and come against them in front of the baca trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baca trees, then go out to battle. For God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” David did just as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. So the fame of David spread throughout every land, and ADONAI brought the fear of him upon all nations.” TLV
OBSERVATION: Do you need a breakthrough in your life? Do you feel like your are in a battle and you are losing the fight? Then you need to discover the secret of David’s success and how he encountered – “The Lord of the Breakthrough!”
David had just been acknowledged as King of Israel by all of Israel. When the Philistines heard of this they felt threatened and assembled their armies to attack David and the army of Israel. David had faced the Philistines before. He had conquered their great champion Goliath single handed. He had gone to battle and returned victoriously time after time. It would have been easy for David to simply fall back on his past experiences and victories. Yet, David did not do this. What did David do? David sought the Lord in prayer!
When David inquired of the Lord, the Lord gave him direction. The victory was his, for the Lord went before him. When they faced the Philistines they overcame them. David was so moved by the victory that the Lord provided him that he named the place of battle “Baal-perazim”, which interpreted means “Lord of the breakthrough.” Yet, it also could mean – “Lord who overcame the idols of the Philistines.” For the very next verses read,
- “Therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim. They abandoned their gods there, so David ordered and they were burned with fire.”
The false idols that the Philistines worshipped were no match for the living God. And David, knowing the history of his people, was not going to allow any temptation to fall into the hands of Israel. David ordered all of the idols to be burned with fire. In every victory that the Lord gives us there is an element of the miraculous and the acts of ordinary obedience. When the Lord breaks through in our lives, we must follow this provision of grace with the adequate response. We must employ his grace in obedience to His Word. No breakthrough is complete without this final step.
David was called a man after God’s own heart. Why was this? The evidence is shown in the very next portion of this Scriptural account. The Philistines regrouped and once again came to attack David and Israel. The enemy of our souls continually regroups to attack our walk of faith and obedience. It does not take long to learn that one cannot rest on the laurels of victory without preparing for the next battle! When David was aware of this attack, so close to his breakthrough victory, he could have simply charged out with confidence that he would be victorious again! Yet, David did not do this. David once again committed himself to prayer and inquired of the Lord.
This was the key to David’s success. He knew that it was the Lord who brought his breakthroughs in life. It was the Lord who fought his battles. Someone has wisely said – “Prayer is striking the winning blow, service is simply gathering up the results of prayer.” This was true for David and Israel. The Lord gave David a completely different strategy for this battle and said,
- “…God said to him, “Do not go up after them, but circle around behind them and come against them in front of the baca trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baca trees, then go out to battle. For God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”
There are two important things to note. First, the conventional wisdom from the previous battle would not have brought the needed breakthrough in this battle. The Lord sees our past, our present, and our future. Only the Lord knows the pathway for our lives that will bring the breakthrough that we need. Second, the Lord was going before David to bring the victory. If David rushed ahead of God’s timing, David would have encountered defeat. Yet, if David obeyed the Lord, he simply would be entering into the breakthrough that the Lord had already provided.
As I ponder these truths, I am facing new unchartered territories in my life. My wife and I are completing 15 years of pastoral ministry in a church that we dearly love, and entering into a new unchartered ministry that is completely new and unknown. We have to sell our home, move to a new area where we once again do not know anyone, and trust the Lord to bring each and every breakthrough along the way. Naturally, in my mind, I had a script on how I would have wanted the breakthroughs to come. Yet, as I write this, I am faced with the reality that the script must be placed on the altar, and like David, I must humble myself before the Lord and pray! Only as I receive God’s clear direction will we receive God’s breakthrough in our lives!
Lord, I humble myself before you and lay down all of my plans, scripts, and presuppositions. I recognize that I don’t even know the next step to take at this very moment. Lord, we need a breakthrough. Let us hear Your voice, and hearing, let us be quick to obey. Like David, lead us into our breakthrough.
Be the Lord of the breakthrough we pray!
In Jesus Name!