Recently, in my devotions, I have been studying in first Samuel about a place called Ziklag. Metaphorically, Ziklag is a place in your life where as you are fighting one fight, there is another on the other side you are battling, parallel to the present. Ziklag is a place where you are hounded by adversity, hounded by troubles, and pushed to your breaking point. This is the condition King David was in when he was in this place called “Ziklag.” He barely came out of one battle — just to come home to face another.
Nothing comes without struggle. Nothing comes without conflict. If you can make it through Ziklag, God’s glory will come. Fighting is exhausting. Even if you win it is exhausting and you acquire some damage. Victory isn’t easy as you draw close to God in time of hardship.
We get an insight into how David did it in Psalm 103. We need to reassure ourselves of the goodness and faithfulness of God before we are able to hear from him and receive counsel for the way out. First, work on your heart before looking to God for guidance. This is what David did (verse 6). When King David came back from battle and saw that they took his wives and children, he had no one to believe in him. The Bible states that he encouraged himself.
Have you ever looked for comfort and ran into conflict? If you are not careful, you will stop looking for comfort because you don’t ever expect anything to get better. BUT again, the Bible states, “King David encouraged himself!”
There is one truth I have come to realize: “weeping may endure for a night but JOY comes in the morning.
Ziklag is a place where no one wants to go. Ziklag is a place where you have to encourage yourself. Ziklag is a place where you want to die. Everything is about to break and you feel like giving up.
But I am confident that when the Lord takes me to this place called Ziklag in my life, it is where I learn the most. It is a place where I have to encourage myself. I am forced to find my strength in the Lord. I hurt so very much that I scream out to God, “Please, God, take me out of this place! Don’t you see how much I am hurting? Can’t you see that there is no joy in this place?”
My Ziklag taught me that I cannot run from this place. I have learned that I must learn how to deal with my pain. Not only deal with it, but learn from it.
The scripture (I Samuel) goes on to say that David encouraged himself in the Lord. I could never understand how David encouraged himself with all of his people blaming him and wanting to stone him for what happened. What could David ever think about that would encourage and strengthen him to go and take back what the enemy had stolen? A seemingly impossible mission! I personally believe one scripture that David remembered was: “This is the day that the Lord has made.” And then it dawned on him. It’s the third day! Three always means divine; and anything that’s divine has supernatural power within it. If this is God’s timing for the enemy to come against us to steal, then it must be God’s timing to take back what the enemy has stolen! A parallel event. Ziklag! David went on to recover all that the enemy had taken from them and destroyed the enemy!
I sense the Lord saying. “The worst day of your life always falls on the third day on my calendar! I am always one step ahead of the enemy. That’s why I tell you, do not look back for I go before you to make the crooked things straight!”
“Encourage yourself! It’s the third day! A day of power when all things are possible! Don’t wait for someone else to encourage you for everyone is fighting their own battle. The battle on the field is won in the prayer closet. I will meet you there and speak to you, and you will no longer hear the voice of strangers or the enemy taunting you.”
It was the “third day” when the stone was rolled away and Jesus himself was raised from the dead. If God can raise the dead . . . what else can’t he do? The “third day” Jesus led the captives out of hell, taking back what the enemy thought he had stolen. On the third day, Jesus made our enemy our footstool. Take a break from your worst day and rest your feet on the devil’s neck! The devil is really not that big, he fits underneath your feet! You will recover all that the enemy has taken from you. The longer the devil keeps what belongs to you, the more interest he has to pay when you take back what he has stolen!
I hear the Lord saying: “Pursue; for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail, recover all!”
(photo source: freedigitalphotos.net, markuso)