Joy In The Battle

Jon Burgess


“All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king...Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.” ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭12:38, 40‬


Thanks to the detail of the Chronicler we get a behind the scenes look at how God builds an army. He calls the the leader, he calls the loyal warriors from each tribe and He provides them lunch along the way. What could have and should have been a stressful time of uncertainty became a time of great joy.


How can we ensure that no matter how intense life gets our family, our employees, our team, our congregation, our staff will have joy in the battle? Build an army the way God does.

Leadership- David took God at His Word when He said through Samuel that He would turn Saul's kingdom over to him. He held on to this word and followed God's lead all the way through refusing to take the kingdom by his own strength or timing. David refused to follow the strong urging of his own leaders to kill Saul at various vulnerable opportunities. David was a leader these men wanted to follow because He followed God's lead no matter what. "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he keeps the law." (Prov 29:18). Why was there joy among the people? They had an example to follow of someone who followed God's guidance even at massive inconvenience and hardship to himself and even against the popular will of the people. A man unmoved by anything but God is a man people will move with in joy.

Loyalty- “Then the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.” So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands. (1 Chronicles‬ ‭12:18)There is joy when people are loyal to God first and then each other. This passage makes it clear it was The Holy Spirit that brought them all to this place of complete commitment to the cause. Much evil has been perpetuated in the past due to blind loyalty to bad leadership. That's not what's going on here. This is open eyed loyalty to the leadership of God through the leadership of David. Galatians 5 tells us that one of the fruits of the spirit is joy. There is no feeling in the world like being on the front lines with people who have thrown it all over the line for the cause of Christ! They aren't serving out of obligation or guilt with a begrudging spirit. No, they are serving and loving and giving out of loyalty to the One who has set us free and are filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Loyalty follows leadership.

Lunch- I love how God set up in the yearly calendar of His people multiple times to party. These feasts were not frivolous gatherings, but strategic and fruitful opportunities to unite and eat and remember all God had done. Just as God planned the Sabbath into the week, He planned feasts in to the month. When life gets really busy don't cut out the lunch. It would seem the most strategic place to start when looking at a line item budget, but it will cost you deeply in the end. Just this past week I stopped to marvel at the potluck following the water baptism on Sunday and the lunch following the quarterly vision staff meeting on Tuesday. So much joy, laughter, and deepening of relationships around food. Life and ministry is hard work. Don't stop eating together. Dinner times at the Burgess Hale are sacred for this very reason. There's a reason why Nehemiah rallied the troops to complete the building of the wall around Jerusalem with these words: "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)


I'm so thankful this morning for the army You have built called New Hope. I see the leadership, the loyalty and the laughter around this table as I journal and in and throughout all You are doing at New Hope. The enemy is a thief and will try hard to steal our joy through pressure filled situations. You are my joy. You are my strength. I pray that I would follow Your leadership closely no matter what is going on around me!

Devotions for April 28

2 Samuel 3
1 Chronicles 12
Matthew 15

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