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About this series
Unleashing God's Power into Impossible Situations
What do you do when a circumstance or relationship in your life is so hard, so big, so overwhelming that it truly becomes impossible? You need a divine, supernatural intervention. In this new 5-part series from Chip Ingram, you’ll discover the steps to experiencing breakthrough and how to make breakthrough a normal part of your life.More from this series
Breakthrough. It’s unleashing God’s supernatural power into your impossible situation. And we said, you know something? That’s what God wants to do.
Here’s the question: We’re praying to an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God, who says, “I want to heal, I want to bless, I want to restore.” And He basically said to His disciples then, and to us, His followers, now, “I expect you to do the impossible.” Right? He said to His disciples, “You feed the five thousand.” And they’re going, “We don’t have the resources.” He says, “Well, you bring what you have to Me. I want to use you to do the impossible.”
We pray in the name of the One who said, “All authority and all power is given to Me, and now, I send you out to make followers of every ethnic group on the face of the earth, and not just to share by your words, but by your life, and meet their deepest needs. And by the way, I will be with you one hundred percent of the time to meet every need, and help you in anything you need to do.”
And so, the question that’s come to me is, yeah, you have to step out, and it requires faith and courage. But how do we take what’s beginning to happen in many of our lives, and make it the new normal? How do you get where, next Monday, and the Monday after that, and the Monday after that, and the Monday five months from now – you wake up, it’s time to go to work, and you have this expectation that God is going to do something impossible and supernatural in you and through you in everyday life? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Sometimes I think a picture is really worth a thousand words, and we’re going to take a snapshot of a man’s life, who, all through his life, God did the impossible through him. The Scripture says, “For that which was written in earlier times” – speaking of the Old Testament – “was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.” And so, here’s the message.
I want you to picture this. We’re going to take a snapshot of a breakthrough person in the Old Testament, named David. Starts as a shepherd boy, becomes a king, and takes a nation to its pinnacle – passes it off to his son.
And then, what we’re going to do is, we’re going to peek into his personal journal. We’re going to get to hear what went on inside of his heart, what was the inside journey like, how was it that, despite his ups and downs and struggles, that God continued to do the impossible, from the time he slayed a giant, to the time that he raised millions and millions of dollars to build a temple for his great God?
So, with that, let’s do a little overview of his life. Many of you’ll be pretty familiar, but some of us didn’t grow up in church, and never opened the Bible until we were adults. So, first of all, David is an unlikely choice. The context is this: The nation has rejected God as their King. They said, “We want a king,” so, they chose their own king, named Saul, and Saul had a very good, but brief, start. And then, he became proud; he became disobedient. And pretty soon, God said, “I can’t use him anymore.”
And He said to His prophet, Samuel, “I’m going to choose My king. And I want you to go to this house; the man’s named Jesse. Get his family together, and I want you to go there, and I’ll tell you which one will be the king.”
And so, Samuel goes, and he has his boys line up – you know, one, two, three, four, five, six. And the first one is strong, big, handsome, and Samuel goes, “This must be the one.” And God says, “No, that’s not the one. Don’t look at the height of his stature, his appearance. Because God doesn’t see the way man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God weighs the heart.”
And so, each of the sons comes by, and God says, “No, no, no, no, no.” And finally, Samuel says, “Do you have any other sons?” He goes, “Well, you know, I’ve got one more, but he’s the youngest.” And, oh, by the way, this is the smallest tribe, which is the most insignificant. So, now He’s going to choose the youngest son. I mean, he’s not even important enough to make the meeting. He’s out, just tending the sheep. And Samuel says, “We’re not moving on until he comes.”
So, David comes, and he takes a flask of oil and anoints. And even the word – our word Christ means, “the Anointed One.” It means, “chosen.” And the anointing of God always has the power to do a great task for God. And so, He takes the most unlikely, the youngest, a teenage boy, and says, “He’s going to be the king.”
And you ought to have your mind swirling and realizing there seems to be a theme in this series. God keeps choosing unlikely people that no one else thinks can do anything. And I don’t know about you, but that gives me a lot of encouragement.
Well, what’s his first big breakthrough? He’s an unlikely candidate, but His first impossible thing that He does is, he’s anointed, but – like it works with us – God speaks to us, but, often, there’s a journey and a time and a process. And so, they’re at war with the Philistines – 1 Samuel 17.
And as they’re at war with the Philistines, they have this giant, named Goliath. He’s about nine feet tall. He’s huge, and he comes out every day, taunting the armies of God. And if you can picture this valley on one side of the Israelites, and on the other side are the Philistines. And he comes out and basically says, “Let’s have one big war. You bring out your best warrior, and whoever wins takes all.” And every time he comes out, the king and the warriors tremble in fear.
And David is on an errand. His dad says, “I want you to take some grain, and take some cheese, and take it to your brothers; they’re out on the front lines.” And he takes it, and as he gets there, this event happens before his eyes. And you know, he’s naïve and idealistic, and he doesn’t know much – kind of the kind of people that God tends to use.
And he hears all this, and in his mind and heart, he’s going, “How can these people stand around, when they – the things they’re saying against our great God?”
And if you know the story, he ends up volunteering; he goes to the king. And then, we find an impossible situation, where a teenage boy, without any armor, just takes what he does have – a sling and a stick – and he slings that thing and hits him right in the middle of the forehead, and he drops, and then, he grabs his sword and finishes the job. And, I mean, it’s impossible – a teenage boy slays this great giant.
And so, what we see is, okay, God chooses this improbable person. He has this amazing event that happens. Now, let’s peek into what happens after breakthrough. If you want a very, very long – this will take a pot of coffee, or all afternoon. From 1 Samuel 18, through the rest of 1 Samuel and all the book of 2 Samuel, is the journey of David’s life.
And as you read it, what you find is that, although God does impossible things in him and through him, there’s a good, and then, there’s a bad, and there’s even some ugly.
The good is, he’s exalted after he kills Goliath. He has fame. He gets position in the army. He ends up getting to marry the king’s daughter. He gets respected; there’s wealth. Out of this process, he forms maybe the deepest and best relationship of his life, with a brother named Jonathan. He has blessing, reputation, and eventually, he becomes king.
The bad is that the king, who’s carnal, gets jealous – Saul. There’s betrayal, and then, he’s persecuted. He’s running for his life, for about a ten-year period. He’s hiding in caves. He’s separated from his family. The king gives his wife to some other guy.
And so, one of the reasons I wanted to choose David is, as I’ve prayed for you all, and you give me e-mails and conversations, you take these steps of faith – and some of you’ve decided you’re going to go to counseling, and others have flown across the country to apologize, or make restitution with a parent, and multiple things are happening as you tell me you’re taking steps of faith. Here’s my concern: Sometimes we have this American notion like, once you do the right thing, then everything’s going to be rosy and wonderful. Right?
You know, “I went to counseling.” Well, actually, usually they dig up a bunch of junk before we get to the good stuff. And your mate often gets more mad at you, and stuff comes to the surface. Believe me, I’ve been there and done that. And when you go apologize to someone, and say, “You know, I was in church, and I was thinking, or I was reading the Bible, and God spoke to me, and I just want to –” You know, you’re thinking to yourself, I’m going to apologize for my ten percent. I really think it was their ninety percent. And you own your ten percent, and they go, “Yeah! Let me tell you about what you…” And you’re thinking, Wait a second, God. Or you decide you’re going to go public at work, and you get ridiculed.
All I want you to know is, when you take steps of faith, and God’s favor is poured out, it often gets more difficult before it gets better. And you need to understand is that that’s when a lot of people bail out, thinking, Oh, I must have done the wrong thing. No, you didn’t do the wrong thing. All God’s impossible grace into difficult situations are in the context of a hostile environment, and it’s very, very difficult. And part of His power and grace is enduring through Him and watching Him work.
And so, David, he’s anointed king, but for ten years, he’s dodging spears, running for his life, eating off the land. And then, he eventually becomes king. He sees God’s favor. Tremendous things happen. He takes control over all, militarily. But there’s some ugly. He’s a great man; he’s a great leader. He’s a great warrior. He’s a great psalmist, musician. But he’s at the wrong place, at the wrong time, one day, and in a moment of weakness, he takes another man’s wife, and he commits adultery.
And after he commits adultery, like many of us, his cover-up is worse than his sin. And he tries to make it look like the baby is going to be this other man’s, and he can’t get the man to fall for his plan, so he has him killed. And so, for a year, this great man of God lives with a secret: He’s committed adultery; he’s committed murder.
And then, he’s confronted. And what makes David a great man is not his history, not that he ever did everything right. I mean, those are big. But when confronted, he owned it, and he was honest, and he repented. And there were consequences. But he was restored.
And by the end of his life, he was a man that had a knowledge of God and a view of God that he sought to pass on to others, that we live with today, and many of them are in the psalms. It’s kind of his personal journey that he put to music. He wasn’t the best father in the world. He had moments where his pride got him in big trouble.
In fact, one of the things – you know, I didn’t grow up as a Christian. When I read the Bible, one of the greatest testaments that is actually the Word of God, is, if you were trying to write a book about religion, and get people to buy it, you wouldn’t include this stuff. I mean, read about other “leaders,” or, “religious movements.” I mean, they’re bigger than life. I mean, you wouldn’t say that one of the greatest men committed adultery and murder.
But God wants you to know, and I to know, that there’s a journey. And He does want to do impossible things and supernatural things, but He does it through fallen, hurting people, who often make some big mistakes. But your failure doesn’t have to define the rest of your life.
In fact, here’s David’s view, near the end of his life. He’s realized all that he’s been through. He’s asked God and the people to join with him to raise some money to build a temple, instead of this tent that God is living in, and they’re worshipping. “And so David blessed the LORD” – it’s 1 Chronicles 29 – “in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, ‘Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel’” – and then, notice his perspective of God – “our Father, forever and ever.”
And this is how he sees God: “Yours is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.” And then, he looks back on all the stuff of life, and all the demands of life: “Both riches and honor come from You. You rule over all, and it’s in Your hands is all power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.”
And that’s a picture of a man who God has used, from a shepherd boy to a king, and that’s now the view he has of God. In Acts 13:22, we get the New Testament picture of God’s view of him. Now, think of where he’s been, what he’s done – both the good, the bad, and the ugly. And when the New Testament writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, looks back: “For I have found David, a man after all My heart, who would do all My will.”
So, with that picture, I want to show you a portion of his journal. Because here’s what I can tell you: God wants to do in you – in your home, or with your roommate, in your neighborhood or apartment complex, in this city, in your job – what He did in and through David. He wants to manifest His power and His presence to heal, restore, and love, and communicate to people how real He is, and how much He loves them.
And the question we’re going to ask and answer is, how did David habitually – that’s the key word – how did David habitually unleash God’s supernatural power into impossible situations?
And it’s not the only psalm, but I think, in this little portion of his journal, we learn five things about who he is, and five specific things that he did, that I can say in my life, and you can say in yours, “You know what? I think if I do that, I think if I seek to be that kind of person, that I can have a journey for the next ten, or twenty, or fifty years” – however God gives you – “and I can habitually make breakthrough the new norm.”
Let’s pick up the story here. It’s Psalm 27: “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me and devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart – I will not fear; though a war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” And what we’re going to see is, from his personal journey, exactly who he was.
Who was he? In this first section, verses 1 through 3, he was a bold risk-taker. He was a bold risk-taker.
I want you to, if you will, circle “my light”, “my salvation”, “my stronghold”. Light is a force that automatically dispels darkness. When everyone else was afraid of the giant, light dispels the darkness. When he was hiding for his life, light dispels the darkness. When he felt like everything was overwhelming, and his family was taken away from him, and they were hijacked by a group of people, light dispelled the darkness. And notice the little word, my, my, my. This is personal. This isn’t a philosophy. It’s not a worldview. “God, Yahweh, Jesus is my light. But He’s more than just my light; He’s my salvation.”
In fact, you might write the word Deliverer. He’s not speaking of his eternal salvation, here. He’s saying, “When I’m in trouble, God rescues me. He delivers me. He saves me. He can save this marriage. He can save this relationship. He can save this business. He can save me out of this addiction.” That’s what David’s saying. “And therefore, whom shall I fear?” He’s bigger than that. He’s bigger than that. You either have a really big God and small problems, or you have really big problems and a very small God.
And then, he says, “When stuff comes – He’s my stronghold.” It’s a picture of a place where the enemy can’t get in. It’s a huge cave, with a fortress in front of it, is the idea, and no one can hurt you there. And he’s declaring something. This is why God used David. He declared by faith: “The Lord is my light. The Lord is my stronghold. The Lord is my deliverer. I won’t be afraid. I won’t be afraid.”
And then, in your notes, I want you to put a little box around a few key words, because he’s not doing this, like, you know, writing a nice song. Put a box around the word wicked, put a box around the word enemies, put a box around the word army, and put a box around the word war – wicked, enemies, army, war. Anybody have any enemies? Anybody feel like you’re going against life, and it’s really hard? Anybody feel like there are foes, visible and invisible, and circumstances, and finances, and struggles?
What’s he saying? In fact, he starts with the wicked, then he goes to some enemies, and then, it’s like, “If a whole army – I mean, a whole army. Or if an entire war comes against me.” What is he saying? “I will be confident.” Why is he going to be confident? It’s not because he thinks he’s stronger, better, wiser, or more godly. It’s because he knows who God is. And so, when you see God and know God for who He is, you’re a bold risk-taker.
Now, what did he do? He trusted God. It’s what he did. That’s how simple it is. He trusted God. He trusted God with his future. He trusted God with his wife. He trusted God with the uncertainty of, I’m anointed as king. It’s been seven years; I’m hiding in caves, running for my life. My circumstances don’t seem to line up with God’s promises. Anybody in here have that going on in your life? This is hard. This is difficult. This is painful. This is unreasonable. This doesn’t feel like God loves me. He had over a decade of that. But he trusted God.
Question for you: Are you trusting God, or paralyzed by fear? He refused to let his fears determine his life. He just refused. My fear of people, my fear of work, my fear of stepping out, my fear of what other people think. He was confident, not in his power; he was confident in God’s.
You might jot, if you would, Hebrews 11, verse 6. It keeps coming back to this: Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. And he that comes to God, or she that comes to God, must believe two things. Number one, that He exists. Not theoretically, that He exists. He – who’s the “He”? The all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign King, lover, Just One, of the universe, who created all that there is. He exists.
And here’s, then, the second part – and He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. God’s blessing – these impossible things, this supernatural power – it doesn’t happen to everybody. It happens to people who believe God to the point that they step out, even though they’re afraid. David was simply a bold risk-taker. He trusted God.
Question: Are you a bold risk-taker? Are you a bold risk-taker in your relationships? Are you a bold risk-taker at work? Are you a bold risk-taker in your neighborhood?
Second thing, in the next section, we’re going to learn that he was a passionate worshipper. That’s who he was – number two – a passionate worshipper. And you say, “Well, Chip, where do you get that?” Look at verse 4: “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” He has declared, “I’m not going to live in fear,” and now, he’s going to say, “This is my personal, number one priority in life. One thing. One thing. One thing do I seek.” And what is it? “That I may dwell in the house of the LORD.”
Well, what are you going to do? “To gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.” Well, why? “Because in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent, and He will set me high on a rock.” And the result? “Then my head will be exalted above my enemies who surround me; at His sacred tent will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.”
David was a passionate worshiper, and what did he do? He pursued God. He pursued God. Did you see the word seek, seek, seek? His passion was for a person, not for prosperity. His number one passion was for God Himself, not for what God could give him. And he arranged his time, and he arranged his energy around pursuing God.