In the Wilderness | 1 Samuel 26-27

1 Samuel 26:5-9
David slipped over to Saul’s camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors. 6 “Who will volunteer to go in there with me?” David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother. “I’ll go with you,” Abishai replied. 7 So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him. 8 “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!” 9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? 10 Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.

1 Samuel 26:17-20
Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?” And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king. 18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? 19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’ 20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the Lord? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?”

1 Samuel 27:1-4
But David kept thinking to himself, “Someday Saul is going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines. Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe.” 2 So David took his 600 men and went over and joined Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath. 3 David and his men and their families settled there with Achish at Gath. David brought his two wives along with him—Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel. 4 Word soon reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he stopped hunting for him.

1 Chronicles 22:8 - "But the LORD said to me, 'You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name.

I. We all end up in the wilderness

A. A place where we feel lost and frustrated

  • Children of Israel / Moses
  • David / Ziklag
  • Sometimes we feel the same way.

B. The wilderness is a place of trials

  • To learn faith
  • To learn trust
  • To learn to be consistent

C. A place where we wait for our manifest destiny

  • That’s big words because most of us here are not destined to be King
“We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Impact and purpose are buzzwords for this generation. I want to have a purpose and I want to make an impact.

II. What is worse having an impact and losing it or never having one?

A. David had a huge impact when he came on the scene

  • He killed Goliath
  • He had Israel’s enemies on the run, the country who begged for a King to have security now has confidence in who they are.

B. All those things are now gone

  • He is waiting in the wilderness
  • Waiting for his throne that was promised. He is not sure if he will ever see it.

C. He has someone to blame. Saul

Psalm 10:12-15 - Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. 13 Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? 14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. 15 Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.
  • Most of us have no one to blame about our lack of impact.
  • We judge our success and accomplishment with this arbitrary word that is so hard to define. Impact.

I wonder this morning how many of you judge your walk with Christ based on impact? What have I really done? What have I really accomplished?

III. The secrets about Impact

1. Impact is about others, not you

  • How do you measure impact?
  • If something is hard to measure it is hard to meet the target.

2. Impact and purpose is not the same

  • Impact is having a strong effect on someone or something. How things change for the better hopefully because of you.
  • Purpose is the reason for which something is done or for which something exists.  

3. Impact is about consistency

  • Impact is about the long haul.

IV. Life with Christ is about relationship not impact.

A. He may have an impact on you but do you really have an impact on him?

  • As we live and grow with Christ he has an impact on us
  • As we live and grow with Christ he uses us to make impacts on others.
John 15: 1-5 - “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
  • We produce fruit, we make impacts, but not because of us but because of him.
  • Our job is to remain in Him. Remain faithful. He is the one who produces the impact.

B. We are encouraged to remain faithful.

1 Peter 1:6-7 - So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
  • There is a time coming when it will all be worth it.
  • If you remain in him through these trials you will have an impact.
  • You see it’s not about how much you do or what you do. It's about continuing to do… Staying faithful.
Matthew 5:14-16 - “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
  • We want to let our good deeds shine. We have started some great things that continue to thrive. We want to start something new this year.
  • The reason is not to have an impact. Of course, we want to have an impact! We want to start something that others will join.
  • The reason is we want to remain faithful in letting our light shine.


Listen! David had this great destiny! He was to be King. Even he was put out to pasture for a while. Remain in Him. Remain faithful. Keep giving! Keep volunteering. You say I can’t I’m stuck in Philistine territory, the wilderness. Listen that is no excuse to stop doing. To stop living. To stop abiding in our Christ. He will make the impact. You remain faithful.