Mike Bickle

B. Childress
Mar 19 2010 8:00AM

You may wonder how David made it through the obstacle course of opposition on the way to Zion and his destiny.  It
may seem impossible to follow that example.  But there is a truth that empowered him the entire way, and if you can
discover and hold to it even in the worst seasons, you will make it to the end too.  In fact, this truth is so powerful that it
was among the last words of Jesus.

Luke wrote in his Gospel: "Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth" (Luke 23:44).  
Jesus's broken body hung on the cross, moments before His final breath.  Darkness loomed over the soul of the God-
man as He who knew no sin became sin.  The sun was blackened, the veil of the temple was about to be torn.  Jesus felt
the agony of separation from the Father.  He knew that on the other side of the agony was the awesome promise that
God would raise Him from the dead and enthrone Him over all created order.  But before the fullness of the promise
came to pass, He experienced the greatest pressure and opposition any man has faced.  In that dark delay, what came
forth from the Son of man's heart?  What words expressed His deepest soul?  He went back to the words of King David
from Psalm 31:5, lifted His voice, and cried out, "Into Your hands I commit My Spirit"  (Luke 23:46).  Jesus decided this
was the most appropriate heart response He could have while waiting for the light and promise to break forth.  Then He
said, "It is finished!" and breathed His last (John 19:30).  And it was over.

When God gives a promise, we usually experience a time of darkness before He brings it to pass.  Often in these times,
we experience the silence of God and the opposition of man, as David did.  The prophetic promises of God seem
clouded by every kind of fear and trouble.  We have a hard time seeing what season we're in or where it's all leading.  In
the hour of the impossible situation, what should you do?  Grab hold of those seven words, and commit your spirit into
the Father's hands.  

Committing Our Spirit to God

What does it mean to commit our spirits to the Lord?  Our Spirit is the part of us that touches our deepest desires and
dreams.  It is the repository for our greatest passions and hopes for our lives.  As He hung on the cross, Jesus was
saying, "Father, I commit to You the things I treasure the most.  I surrender to Your hand what I have lived for and
believe in."  I believe Jesus was declaring the secret of how He lived His entire earthly life.  At the end of His life He knew
this spiritual principle would again prove reliable and true.  God was His source.  Committing our spirits to Him means
asking the Father to take care of those things that matter most to our hearts.  It is recognizing that we can't make God's
promises come to pass in our own strength.

In Psalm 31:4, the verse before "Into Your hand...," David said, "Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for
me."  The net can represent many things to us, like spiritual, physical, financial, or relational quagmires.  In Jesus's
experience, the net was His bearing the sin of the world before His exaltation.  He cried, "Father, pull Me out of the
impossible situation, for You are My strength."  He knew He could not deliver Himself as He hung in the dark place
between promise and fulfillment.  His confidence rested in His Father alone.  He was suffering the greatest injustice any
man has ever suffered, and He harkened back to the reality David had declared when he was dealing with his own
injustice.  "Into Your hands I commit my spirit."  In our own times of trouble and personal injustice, the Lord is looking for
that same cry to come forth from our hearts.  Beloved, in our difficult seasons of life, we must commit our deepest
passions and prophetic promises to God.  God is calling us to this place of dependence.  He is beckoning us to depend
on Him with every hope for breakthrough, every need for provision, every dream of success.  We must surrender our
deepest desires to God's keeping.  We are utterly unable to bring our prophetic promises to pass.  Only He can change
the times and seasons and bring the breakthrough we long for.

When you commit something into God's hands, the devil cannot steal it.  Just as Saul could not stop the will of God in
David's life, no outside force will stop you.  The only person who can stop the will of God in David's life was David.  And
only you can stop God's will from happening in your life by disconnecting from communion with God.  When our spirits
are hidden in Him, the enemy can't lay a finger on them.  The prophetic dream of our heart is kept alive.  The apostle
Peter talked about this when he wrote that Jesus "entrusted himself to him [God] who judges justly" (I Peter 2:23, NIV).  
He meant that Jesus looked to God to spare Him when the Pharisees were trying to kill Him before His time.

David lived this way, and it set him apart from so many others.  He had a tremendous tenacity to take what he cared
most about and thrust it into the realm of God's activity.  Time and again he pressed his very being into God's care,
transferring his entire self with all his anxieties, opinions, passions, and dreams into the hands of God.  When David
said, "I commit my spirit," he surrendered to the Lord all that went into making him a man after God's own heart.  He
said, "I want my life to be lost in the realm of God's activity and intervention." He wanted to understand his life through
God's actions, not his own.

In our fallenness, we often commit our spirits to what others say about us.  We make the mistake of seeing our values
and dreams in the hands of the people around us.  When they don't appreciate us, our dreams and sense of
importance seem jeopardized.  Some people commit their spirits into the hands of powerful leaders in the secular and
Christian worlds, thinking if they find favor with that leader, their destiny will finally be accomplished.  But when we live
this way, we live in turmoil.  Why?  Because that leader may withhold the blessing.  Or he or she might give the blessing
only to take it away later.  Any man or woman, no matter how great, is an unsure place to commit our spirits.  The key is
to commit our deepest dreams and desires to God.

In Psalm 31:15, David said, "My times are in Your hand."  It's one thing to commit our spirits into God's hands; it's quite
another thing to trust God with the timing of His breakthrough.  Each "committing" has its own challenges and anxieties  
After we commit our spirits into God's hands, the test of time comes.  One year turns into two; and two years turn into
ten.  We begin to question, "What about the breathrough?  What about the promises?" Though we have committed our
spirits to Him, the years have multiplied.  David saw there were two steps to this.  First, he committed his spirit; then he
committed the timing of those dreams.  He learned to rest in God's sovereignty.  We too must give ourselves to this two-
part progression.  First, we commit our spirits and dreams into God's hands by living lives of prayer and fasting as we
seek their fulfillment.  Second, we trust Him for the season of release.  When we stand before God in eternity, we will
realize He was never one minute late.

Spiritual Warfare: Bringing God Into Our Conflicts

Committing our spirits into God's hands is an act of aggressive spiritual warfare, not passive indifference.  David did it to
bring God into his conflicts.  He wasn't kicking back and saying, "Whatever happens, happens; I really don't care, Lord."  
No, He was using a spiritual tactic to bring God into the situation of his personal injustice.  He engaged in this kind of
spiritual warfare from his youth to the end of his life.  When he entrusted a specific situation to God, there was a
reaction and a release in the spirit realm.  God moved on David's behalf.  David became a model of how God settles the
score when we war according to His way.  

When Joseph faced his brothers after having suffered years of injustice because of their initial decision to sell him into
slavery, he could have said, "Ha! I told you I would rule over you."  But as he stood before them in his position of power
and honor, he had no desire to settle the score or have the last word.  He was lost in the kindness of God.  In the same
way, the Lord realigns our emotions and motives through our individual training process.  We learn in a thousand times
and ways to say, "Into Your hands I commit my spirit."  As we work that faith muscle, it equips our hearts to receive the
blessing and intervention of God.  He brings us into His likeness.  He beckons us to enter His heart and leave the
agenda of justice to Him.

One key characteristic in David's life was the way he processed pain, mistreatment, disappointment, and injustice, a
process recorded so richly in the Book of Psalms.  He learned to war in the spirit by giving up his right to revenge.  
Other men and women of God such as Daniel, Joseph, and the patriarchs of old operated in this principle as well.  Paul
put it this way:

    "Recompense to no man evil for evil.  Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  If it be possible, as much as
    lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:  
    for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord. Therefore IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER,
    HEAD.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."   Romans 12:17-21

Vengeance belongs in God's hands.  He settles scores perfectly.  When we place the injustice done to us in God's
hands, we allow room for His vengeance.  If we act in an angry spirit and try to vindicate ourselves, God steps back and
lets us fight alone.  His plan is that He takes revenge however He sees fit, and we bless our enemy even as He works
vengeance.  He is a God who mostly wants to bless and be merciful, and as we bless our enemies, we exhibit His
character even as He doles out justice.  That's His idea for showing mercy even when justice is needed.  Jesus said it

    "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you,
    and pray for them which despitefully use you.  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the
    other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.  Give to every man that asketh of thee;
    and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye
    also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that
    love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the
    same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to
    receive as much again.  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your
    reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the
    evil."   Luke 6:27-35

When we are kind to our enemies, we mirror the Father's kindness for evil and ungrateful men, and we come into unity
with the Ruler of the universe.  There is no form of spiritual warfare more powerful than that.  

When you want to retaliate, remember that the fundamental reality in the kingdom of God is I Corinthians 6:19-20, "Do
you not know that...you are not your own?  for you were bought at a price;...in your body and in your spirit, which are
God's."  Beloved, when you show kindness to your enemies, it declares you belong to another.  Your resources belong
to God, your reputation belongs to Him, and your time belongs to Him.  When your enemies bring pressure on you,
malign your reputation, or steal your resources or your time, the Lord invites you to make a transfer of ownership and
put your complete self into His hands.  This makes room for His vengeance and His agenda.  He is your defense and
your ally.  If He is not concerned to immediately punish the injustice done to you, then neither should you be worried -
you belong to Him.  This is the path to true liberty and true power.  Every time someone harms you, it's another divine
opportunity to shout to the world that the Lord owns you and will defend you according to His righteousness.

When David was young, Saul gave him plenty of opportunity to practice this type of spiritual warfare.  In later years,
David faced a rebellious young prince who tried to rip the kingdom away from him.  In both of these conflicts, David
responded rightly.  He learned to commit his spirit into God's hands.  Therefore, when men moved in around him to
challenge his standing or take away his position, his soul remained at peace.  But we can learn from one of his most
severe tests, which he experienced after many years as king.  After a lifetime of bringing God into his conflicts, David
found that his son had made himself David's enemy.  Let's look at a few scenes from this sad time as David tried to
choose God's way in the pit of painful testing.

The Resolve to remain in God's Hands

Saul and Absalom act almost like bookends on David's life.  Both were rebellious before God.  Both sought David's life.  
Both worked ruthlessly to make and hold a position God had not granted or had taken away.  Second Samuel 15:1-2
tells us:

    "And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.  
    And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a
    controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou?  And he
    said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel."   II Samuel 1-2

Absalom would get up early and stand beside the gate of the city.  As people came from other parts of the kingdom with
their lawsuits and complaints, Absalom called out to them to sway their hearts toward him.  He would say things like,
"Your case is good and right.  Too bad my father doesn't have enough staff to take care of it.  If I were king, I would treat
you better than that."  After speaking with them, he would kiss their hand with false affection and say, "Say hi to the wife
and kids when you go home."  He stole the hearts of Israel away from David by smooth talk and betrayal, and it worked.  
The people began to gravitate toward him.

When he was ready, Absalom lied to David and said he was going to Hebron to pay a vow to the Lord (II Samuel 15:7).  
Instead, Absalom went there to rally his men for a revolution.  He sent his recruits through Hebron with a trumpet
announcement, saying, "Absalom is king in Hebron!"  The conspiracy was born, and news came to David that "the
hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom in Hebron" (verse 13).  Though David had led this nation in the way of
godliness for so many years, a significant number in the army of Israel defected from him for the chance of a promotion
with Absalom.  They were willing to abandon the prophetic destiny of David and Israel for the chance to strike it rich
quick with a new young king.

The nation was in crisis.  Half the people were with David, and half were with Absalom.  In II Samuel 15:14, we find King
David gathering his personal servants to flee Jerusalem.  David knew that if he and his men didn't leave, Jerusalem
would be engulfed in bloodshed when Absalom arrived with his army.  All the country wept with a loud voice as David
crossed the Brook Kidron toward the way of the wilderness, not knowing even where he was going (verse 23).

As they fled, Zadok the priest approached David to help.  Zadok brought the ark of the covenant so they would win the
battle against Absalom.  I imagine he ran up breathless and said, "Good news; I have the ark of the covenant.  Now
victory is assured."

David responded, in essence, "Guys, carry the ark back.  We don't need to twist God's arm to get Him to help us.  He
owns everything, and I know He likes me and has the best in mind for me.  What I need right now is not a blessed piece
of furniture but a living connection with His heart.  If the Lord wants me to be king, then I will be king, and He will bring
me back" (verse 25).  By this time in his life, David was drawing on a lifetime of committing his spirit to God in times of
crisis.  He had exercised this faith muscle so much it was becoming second nature.  He answered Zadok, "But if He
[God] says thus: 'I have no delight in you,'
here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him" (verse 26, emphasis
added).   It was as if he threw open his arms before God and said, "I am the Lord's!  I belong to Him!  He can do what He
wants with me."

God's ability to retain David as king was not in question.  Yet with a sincere heart David welcomed the possibility that
God might not desire him to be king anymore.  He allowed that the Lord, in His mysterious administration, was saying it
was time for a new king.  God had never promised he would be king forever.  If it was his time to step down, David didn't

Still running from Absalom, David and his men came to the town of Bahurim (II Samuel 16:5).  As they neared the town,
an enemy named Shimei came out cursing him.  Shimei was a bitter  old leader from Saul's regime.  Saul was long dead,
but resentment was alive and well in Shimei's heart.  His anger flaring out of him, Shimei cursed David and threw stones
at him (verse 6).  He took full advantage of David's being on the run.  Some of David's mighty men were standing next to
David.  With one syllable, David could have commanded them to annihilate the man for his disloyalty.  Just as Jesus in
Matthew 26:53 could have called a legion of angels to wipe out His accusers, all David would have had to do was nod,
and this man would have been killed. Yet with all the resources of his loyal army in his reach, David remained silent.

Shimei sneered, "Come out of your hiding, you bloodthirsty man, you rogue!"  He brought a prophetic curse on David,
saying, "The Lord has brought all of the bloodshed of Saul on you because you are a bloodthirsty man.  You mistreated
Saul, taking the throne from him and reigning in his place.  Now you are caught in your own evil, and the Lord has
delivered the kingdom into Absalom's hand.  Thus says the Lord, He has shown me that you will die and your son will
reign." (See II Samuel 16:7-8).

Undoubtedly, David's men were saying, "That is not true.  We were with you in the days of Saul." As Shimei continued to
curse, one of the top generals, Abishai, said, "I can't take it anymore.  Why should this dead dog curse my lord the
King?  Let me take this guy's head off right now!"

David responded, "What have I to do with you?  Let him curse me.  So what?  It doesn't hurt me.  Maybe God is in it.  
Maybe the Lord is testing me with an opportunity to wait for divine intervention."

David knew this might be a divine opportunity to choose God's way over man's, to bring God into the conflict, and to
release divine power into the circumstance.  So he waited on the breakthrough.  He was not preoccupied with man's
opinions or preserving his reputation.  He wanted God and angels moving, not men wagging their tongues back and
forth.  David answered, "It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and...repay me with good for his cursing this
day" (verse 12).  David held out for the chance that God had a bigger purpose.

In II Samuel 18, the national crisis came to a climax.  It was time for David to take care of the rebellious uprising.  He
commanded his top generals, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom" (Verse 5).  Though Absalom had
stolen the hearts of the people and sought to take his own father's life and throne, David's main concern was mercy.  
Only a man who had spent a lifetime gazing upon God's mercy and kindness could react this way.  He had experienced
the Lord's mercy for years.  It had begun to permeate his soul.  One of my favorite verses about David is Psalm 18:35,
from when David was thirty years old and coming out of his own wilderness.  He wrote, "Your gentleness has made me
great."  What a great recognition of God's active mercy!  He was saying, "I blew it so many times, and You were so
gentle with me in my youth."  He knew God could have canceled his life for his many weaknesses.  Now, all these years
later, he saw another young man blowing it, and his response was, "Lord, be gentle to Absalom.  Generals, be gentle to
Absalom."  I believe he was saying, "Be gentle just as the Lord was gentle with me."  His response was of another order
and from another world.  

That same day Absalom was killed in battle, breaking his father's heart.  After the treason was stopped and the whole
kingdom restored back to David, Shimei, the man who had cursed David, came to him and repented (II Samuel 19:19-
20).  David's general Abishai responded, "Should we not put this man to death for cursing the Lord's anointed?"  He
wanted David to take vengeance into his own hands.  

    "But Abishai the son of Zerulah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed
    the LORD's anointed?  And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zerulah, that ye should this day be
    adversaries unto me?  shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel?  for do not I know that I am this day
    king over Israel?  Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die.  And the king sware unto him."   II
    Samuel 19:21-23

David essentially said, "If I receive your council and act with an angry spirit, then you will have helped me miss out on
God's blessing.  You have become like an adversary to me.  Don't you know that the whole economy of God gets short-
circuited if I enter into that revengeful spirit?  Has not the Lord Himself brought me back to Jerusalem as king?"  Having
said this, David turned to the man who cursed him and said with compassion, "You will not die.  I will keep my
commitment to be good to you."

The only way David made it through that horrible episode with Absalom was by continually committing his spirit to the
Father.  It was never his agenda to protect his throne.  "David knew the LORD had established him as king over Israel"  
(II Samuel 5:12). Beloved, when you know that God has given you a specific assignment, though it be great or small,
you have peace and confidence.  You have found the place of freedom.  Your life is about God Himself, not being king
over any kingdom or business or ministry or group of people.  You will gladly give those up to pursue the heart of God
wherever it may lead.

God wants to train us in this same spiritual warfare David excelled in, which is a significant part of becoming a people
after God's own heart and a vital aspect of contending for the fullness of God's power.  But sometimes it's more difficult
to commit your spirit into God's hands when you've failed.  


AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART, by Mike Bickle, Copyright 2009, Charisma House.