Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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David grew steadily more powerful...

David grew steadily more powerful, for the Lord of hosts was with him. (2 Samuel 5:10)

Have you ever watched the Olympic sport of pole-vaulting? An athlete sprints down a runway with a long pole, wedges the pole into a holder, and uses his momentum and strength to catapult himself up in the air toward a very high bar. Letting go of the pole, he soars over the bar, falls to earth, and lands on a big cushion.

That moment of letting go of the pole can seem to ordinary observers

like a death-defying act. But a lot goes into that ďleap of faith.Ē The athlete has worked hard to build on his natural gifts, develop the right technical skills, and follow the advice of his coach.

This is not a bad image for the way David grew into a successful military leader and king. His rise to power might look like a miraculous feat, but the truth is that David grew by habit and practice. He took his natural talent for strategizing, his natural charm, and his strong faith, and he worked with God to develop them.

Think about Davidís military successes and the years he spent avoiding Saulís pursuit. He survived and grew stronger because he listened to the Lord and followed through with the Lordís instructions. Each small step of faith was supported by trust in Godís power and grace.

Small, consistent steps will bring you forward too. Daily prayer, whether itís five or fifty-five minutes long, will teach you how to sense Godís presence. Regular reading and meditating on scripture will teach you how to hear his guidance. A nightly examination of your day will train you to recognize Godís often hidden grace in your life. Small, modest attempts to share your faith will show you how hungry for God people really are.

Itís a simple formula, but then most training regimens are simple as well. All successful athletes, respected musicians, and accomplished businesspeople will tell you that they owe their success to being faithful, day in, day out, to practicing and practicing and practicing. King David would say the same thing. So will every saint. Can it be any different for us?

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