We all have dreams, but somewhere along the way, we can become disoriented. We do not want to fight anymore because it is exhausting and difficult. Instead of fighting for our dreams, we stop. For many, we are stuck.
We have found our Ziklag and if we are not careful, our destinies can be altered because we allow ourselves to become comfortable with just enough instead of realizing there is more in us, more for us to do, more for us to become.
David is an example of when fighting can become frustrating. When David fought and killed Goliath, he received so much attention and opportunities. He went from being a shepherd to King Saul’s court.
He married the King’s daughter and his life changed. What started off as appreciation for David’s victory turned into an aversion for King Saul. His resentment for David grew resulting in attacks and attempted assassinations. David and his men sought refuge away from the repeated attempts on his life after the prophet Samuel passed away. David went to the Philistine territory to get away and met with King Achish of Gath.
“Then David said to Achish, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?’ So, on that day Achish gave him Ziklag,” 1 Samuel 27:5–6. Raiders attacked Ziklag, burned the city, took the women and children, but David and his men rescued everyone and all their belongings.
David remained in Ziklag until Saul’s death, ultimately returning to take over the kingdom God had destined for him years before.
There are several lessons we can take away from this story.
1) David mourned Saul’s death (2 Samuel 1). We cannot celebrate the downfall of those who hurt us. Forgiveness is key to our ability to move on. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,” Proverbs 24:17.
2) The amount of turmoil David endured to obtain the kingdom was tremendous. Despite the obstacles, he was committed to fulfilling his destiny. David was dismissed in his youth by his brothers. When Samuel went to David’s father, Jessie, to identify the next king, his father mentioned all his sons except David. Even Samuel thought that God was going to anoint his brother Eliab (1 Samuel 16). God did not pick what everyone expected. Just because we may not look the part or others see the power, God has placed in us cannot be the excuse for settling.
3) Samuel anointed David to be king, but he remained in the fields tending sheep until the opportunity to fight Goliath arrived. Do not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). God uses all our experiences and nothing is wasted. David’s ability to fight was a direct result of his skills as a shepherd.
4) Ziklag could have easily become a place where David stayed. He did not have to go back to reclaim the Kingdom of Judah with all its memories of pain and sacrifice. Even with the support of the people and the elders, David could have told them to move on. “All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, ‘We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler…and they anointed David king over Israel,’’” 2 Samuel 5:1-3. He could have stayed King in the smaller city of Ziklag instead of trusting God for greater.
We cannot become comfortable in our Ziklags because they are familiar spaces to hide.
Identify your Ziklag. You cannot stay there because it is easy, comfortable, familiar, and safe. Seek God for your purpose. Find your passion. Do not become discouraged because of all the setbacks because those are the set-ups for your success. God’s plan does not happen overnight, but it is worth pursuing, because God is able “…to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20.