Psychologists and Sociologists tell us there are discernible and natural stages in the each persons life, from infancy to the aged. We have scientific terminology for each stage, and can identify our stage by answering some basic diagnostic questions. Each stage is marked by particular trappings and problems (i.e. Infancy, toddler, youth, puberty, early adulthood, ascendancy to full adult, rise of certain infirmities, etc.).
David, like many of us, struggled for a long time to finally find his path, and begin to live the vision God gave him years before. His first steps were good, but the days quickly began to pass as he set in motion the vision and the plans of his heart. How do you truly honor God with your life? What must you set in motion that will bring your life purpose and fulfillment? God offered five principles in this passage, each with a process attached as an example for us!
Key Principle: Fulfillment comes from doing WHAT God says the WAY God says to do it!
1. Find your chief identity in what God says about you, not in any other source. 2 Samuel 8:1a says “Now after this”… After David ascended to the role God had for him. Note, this was a process for him as it is for all of us:
- Our initial sense of our destiny is revealed by the Word of God. 1 Sam. 16:12 – God’s prophet said it,
- Those who know God and us help establish the call we have. 18:3,4 – Godly friend proclaimed it,
- Even those who don’t love us have to begin to recognize that we are different, and suited for a different work than others. 24:20-21 – an enemy affirmed it;
- Eventually, people all around us openly speak of our call as our work. 2 Sam. 2:7, 5:2,3 – widely acknowledged by others).
2. Begin to fulfill the responsibility that God has placed on you as a privilege of being His servant. 2 Samuel 8:1b-12). Note again the process revealed by the Word:
- Settle the most pressing problems first (8:1b). The Philistines were the most pressing attackers, and had taken the life of the previous king. Subduing them would quickly set David’s strength and allow people to see his call.
- Deal decisively with some of the “close” family issues that were long standing problems of his task (8:2). Failure to do so will signal people that you are not willing to do the uncomfortable!
- Secure things necessary fro vital stability of your task (8:4-6a). The vital long term water supply of the Jordan River was secured by defeating Hadadezer the Aramean in the Beqa’a.
- Grow in your experience of God successfully using you (8:6b). David KNEW God was at work, and that gave him encouragement to keep going!
3. Plan the use of the resources of the initial successes (8:7-14).
- Save what you can from the initial success, don’t immediately assume you will always have that to work with! (2 Sam. 8:7-9).
- Expect that some perks will come with recognition of your work, but don’t become over-infatuated with the perks (8:10).
- Don’t forget, it all belongs to the LORD (2 Sam. 8:11-12). David collected and saved the spoil of the wave of successes for later times.
- Secure the first successes with the spoils of those successes, don’t risk early on! (8:13-14). These spoils helped him establish a secure base to work from later.
4. Become deliberately organized about maintaining how you do what you do (8:15-18). Watch the process carefully:
- Do the job faithfully (8:15).
- Establish ways to maintain the work that you are doing (8:16-18).
5. Remember what your purpose is – use your successes to help people! (2 Samuel 9:1). Bear in mind that God has placed you where you are to accomplish something for Him in the lives of people!