Beware of the thoughts that you entertain. It won"t be long before you fulfill them.
David has been on the run from Saul for over a decade. He still has about two years to go (though he is unaware that the end of running is in sight) before the tribe of Judah crowns him king. Fearful, negative, and suspicious thoughts have a way of laying their eggs in our minds until they hatch. That's what happens with David, "And David said in his heart, 'Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me that that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand"" (1 Sam. 27:1, emphasis added).
David combines two thoughts, one true and the other false. True-living among the Philistines will put David out of Saul's reach. False-Saul has the ability to kill him. To do so would prevent the fulfillment of God's promise to David. And God always keeps His promises!
Scrambled thoughts occur frequently. Prayer sorts them out.
David doesn"t pray about his decision. He allows his fearful and wrong thinking to lead him instead. Living among the Philistines places David out of Saul's reach, true. It might be God's will for David and his men to live temporarily among the Philistines, true. But, can Saul eventually kill him? Absolutely false!
Mixed thinking occurs frequently as opportunities and challenges provoke anxiety and shape our thinking. Paul instructs Christ-followers to tend to their thinking with prayer: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be make known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Reading about David's spiritual formation as he runs from King Saul reveals a number of truths about those who walk with God, but entertain scrambled thoughts:
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