May 20

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 11:1-54; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 15:22-23

Saul had become desperate to hear the voice of God because God had been silent. There was no prophecy and no direction. He was facing a big opponent in the Philistines and Saul needed to know what to do next. Because He could not get a word from God, he took it upon himself to search for some direction.

He went to a psychic so he could speak to Samuel’s spirit. There is such a fascination with what happens after death in our culture today. It is nothing new. To be sure, there is life after death! There is a real spirit world that lives on beyond the demise of our physical body.

The person that you are is not your body but your spirit. Your spirit is immortal and will live on in eternity. Saul compounded all of his bad decisions by going to a psychic to contact the spirit world. Don’t ever allow spiritualists, tarot card or palm readers, psychics and the like to “read” your future. It is not of the Spirit of God! It opens the door to evil. God has made the Holy Spirit available to you to tell you whatever you need to know about your future (that is one benefit you have that Saul did not have).

God knows your future and is willing to tell you. Ask Him. Wait on Him. He will speak because He loves you! If He hasn’t spoken clearly, then don’t make a move because it is dangerous to go forward without direction from God.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 29:1-31:13; John 11:55-12:19; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 15:24-26

May 19

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 10:22-42; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 15:20-21

Just because you are anointed, you cannot take advantage of others. David was in a privileged position knowing that he was anointed to be king. He could have killed the man who was pursuing his life but he knew better. You see, you cannot take liberties with the favor that God has given you.

Even though David was anointed, so was Saul! David had to respect the anointing on Saul even though David was anointed too. When David drew close to Saul, he cut his robe. As soon as he did it, he was convicted that he had stepped over a line. David repented. He approached Saul and told him that even though he could have taken his life, he respected God too much to do it.

Saul, who had previously desired to kill David, now affirmed that God was with him and had truly given David the throne of Israel. David made a vow to Saul that he would never harm his children when he ascended to the throne.

When you are anointed, you can afford to be gracious. After all, you did not anoint yourself! Your anointing comes from God. Don’t frustrate the anointing by acting in a way that dishonors the calling on your life. Regardless of the pressure or the situation, protect your anointing. It is the pathway to your destiny.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 11:1-54; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 15:22-23

May 18

1 Samuel 22:1-23:29; John 10:1-21; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 15:18-19

Nothing can stop your destiny. As we look at David’s ascension to the Throne, it was a rocky one. Samuel anointed him and you would think it would be an easy path to be King. Quite the contrary! Saul pursued David in order to kill him. Saul was so vengeful that he even killed people who helped David.

Yet, in all of Saul’s searching, he was always one step behind David! The more he searched, the more he missed him. God was ordering David’s steps. David would not take a step until he heard from The Lord as to what he should do. David was then bold enough to listen when God gave him instructions. David’s obedience is what protected his life against the assaults of Saul.

God didn’t just do this for David, He does this for all His children. God has anointed you to accomplish certain things in life and that is your assignment. Believe that nothing can stop you or even kill you before you accomplish that for which God put you on this earth. Your purpose can keep you alive.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 10:22-42; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 15:20-21

May 17

1 Samuel 20:1-21:15; John 9:1-41; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 15:15-17

God never intended for us to take this journey alone. He puts friends in our lives that will be there for us– no matter what. Jonathan and David had that kind of relationship. As great as King David became, none of it would have been possible without the friendship of Jonathan.

David had a bright future (a God-ordained future) but in order for David to get there, he needed help from some key people. David needed his warriors who fought along side him in battle. David needed the wisdom and guidance of Samuel to discern the Lord’s will and David needed Jonathan to live long enough to see God’s promise become a reality.

The strange thing is that Jonathan was the son of a man who hated David. Why did Jonathan choose his friend over his father? One word: covenant! David and Jonathan made a covenant to protect, provide for and promote each other. Covenant is easy to make when things are going well. But, when there are challenges, this is where the covenant will be tested. Jonathan stayed true to covenant. Every covenant you make whether marriage, business partnership or friendship, it will be tested.

This is the time where you show your loyalty to your covenant. If you have a covenant friend in your life, take some time to renew that covenant (like David and Jonathan did). If you have not yet identified that person, ask God to show you who they are. God has put someone in your life to serve in this role. Your destiny is tied to them.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 22:1-23:29; John 10:1-21; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 15:18-19

May 16

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24; John 8:31-59; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 15:12-14

When the favor of God is on your life, some will not celebrate it. Did you know that your success can make others mad? Yes, those who see God’s favor as limited to only special people will think that the favor on your life means that there is no favor available for their life.

That is not God’s way! God has enough favor for all of His children and He has freely given it to us. But, if we neglect it or disqualify ourselves from it, it’s no one’s fault but ours. David just did what God told him and he succeeded in everything he did. The same will happen for you.

Favor is the birthright of the Believer! Expect it to show up on your life. Expect that people will not like it. But, don’t let their resistance cause you to act in a way that would cause God’s favor to lift off of your life. In all that David endured up to this point, he never crossed the line of righteousness and went against God’s standards. You and I have to do the same thing.

Don’t deny the favor on your life. Thank God for it and let God’s favor take you where your intelligence and network cannot take you. It’s yours for the asking.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 20:1-21:15; John 9:1-41; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 15:15-17

May 15

1 Samuel 17:1-18:4; John 8:21-30; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 15:11

One way to assure success when you are facing a giant situation is to get God involved. Israel’s army was paralyzed with fear because of Goliath. He taunted them daily and they could not muster the courage to fight him.

When David came to the camp to bring his brothers some food, he heard the rants of Goliath and wondered why no one was challenging him. After all, Goliath was mocking God! David steps forward having no military experience and offered to fight a trained warrior. How could David be so confident?

It was because he had a track record of God helping him in impossible situations. When he was alone and the flock was attacked, David had to rely on God! He attributed his success to God’s intervention. Sure enough, David stood before someone who was better trained, better resourced (Goliath had state of the art weapons) and bigger in stature; yet, with one smooth stone, he brought Goliath down. What made the difference? God’s help.

God will help you defeat any giant you face. You just have to include Him and follow His directions. Your giants will fall.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 18:5-19:24; John 8:31-59; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 15:12-14

May 14

1 Samuel 15:1-16:23; John 8:1-20; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 15:8-10

Did you know it was possible to bring sorrow to God? This is exactly what Saul did. He was given specific instructions about how to handle the Amalekites. When God speaks, He speaks with clarity. He does this because if God is unclear then He cannot hold us accountable for obeying an unclear instruction. He told Saul through Samuel to “completely destroy the Amalekites….” No vagueness at all.

Saul, however, only destroyed the things that he felt were worthless and kept the best for himself! When Samuel confronted him, Saul was erecting a monument to himself! He had allowed the position that God put him in to cause him to become boastful and prideful. It made him so confident in himself that he openly disobeyed God’s instructions.

When Samuel confronted him, he blamed the people for leading him astray! Saul’s disobedience cost him everything! He lost the throne and disqualified his successive generations from sitting on the throne. Our disobedience can derail not only our lives but also the lives of those around us. In the same way that disobedience brings sorrow to God, our obedience brings joy!

Have a willing heart to obey God and there is no promotion that He will withhold from you!!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 17:1-18:4; John 8:21-30; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 15:11

May 13

1 Samuel 14:1-52; John 7:31-53; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 15:5-7

Saul’s kingship was moving forward. They were experiencing victories at the powerful hand of God. Saul had a heart to hear from God before he took any move. Saul valued hearing from God before he took any military action. (In fact, in the previous chapter, Saul was so desperate to hear from God that he set up his own altar and made sacrifices.)

There was a time when Saul inquired of the Lord but God was silent! Saul knew there was something blocking his ability to hear from God. He found out it was the sin of his own son that stopped the voice of God. Unlike Eli, Saul was ready to punish Jonathan for his disobedience. But, the people pleaded with him for mercy– which he granted.

Have you experienced a time in your life when God seemed silent? Has hearing God’s voice become dull? Search your heart and go back to the last clear instruction you received from Him. You do not want anything to block you from hearing today– or any day. God is always speaking but our lack of obedience dulls our ability to hear. It is too risky to live life without hearing God’s voice!

Tomorrow’s Reading:  1 Samuel 15:1-16:23; John 8:1-20; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 15:8-10

May 12

1 Samuel 12:1-13:23; John 7:1-30; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 15:4

Samuel is transitioning his ministry and he presents himself before the people as a way to have an integrity check!  Not every leader is willing to stand before those whom they serve and have those people confirm their integrity. Samuel asked the people to present evidence against his character.

You see the greatest asset to a leader is his or her integrity. Many people desire to be leaders but without the integrity that goes along with it, you will never see the fruit of your leadership. Integrity creates influence. No leader alive has ever made all the right decisions. What causes people to follow is that they can trust the heart of the person in charge.

One’s heart will establish him even when accusations are hurled. As a leader, you are not immune from attacks and misrepresentations of your character. What you can do is live in such a way that they are proven to be false by your lifestyle.

Samuel exercised great spiritual power because his heart was right towards God. Check your heart today. Ensure that there is no pollution in your heart that would keep you from walking in a supernatural level of leadership. People will be inspired to follow you because of the integrity of your heart.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 14:1-52; John 7:31-53; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 15:5-7

May 11

1 Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:43-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3

The power behind the throne is a man of God! Samuel, though he was getting old, was still the King’s connection to God and God’s plan. Though Saul was now the King, Samuel told him step by step what was to happen and how he was to go about being king.

The first thing Saul received was a new heart! Prior to his elevation to the throne, he was focused on his personal agenda. God gave him a heart to lead His people and to care for God’s sheep. Saul was positioned to succeed as King over God’s people. As long as Saul followed God’s mandates and directions, he prospered. When he departed from God’s ways, trouble arose.

God’s plan is the same for each of us as we rule as kings and queens on the earth. He has given you a man (or woman) of God to speak His Word into your life so that you stay on course with His purposes. Each believer needs a prophet to speak into his or her life. Respect this gift in your life because it will help guide you as you pursue God’s purposes for your life!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 12:1-13:23; John 7:1-30; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 15:4