Dave preached a very challenging sermon on the theme of ‘advance’ tonight, speaking from 2 Samuel 5:12-25. God is clearly interested in the advance of His people (think of the Israelites being led out of captivity and advancing into the Promised Land or of the advance of the gospel commanded in Acts 1:8, for example). On a personal level, we are commanded to ‘grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Pet 3:18). There is a need for us to move forward rather than standing still, for it is all too easy for us to become stuck in the proverbial rut.

In this passage, David has finally become king – after a period of waiting which must have seemed interminable to him – and his newly found authority is being challenged by the Philistines. The way that David dealt with this challenge can teach us a lot.

1) He went to the stronghold. In other words, he went to the place where his army was the strongest and knew that if he was to win this battle, he needed to be in a place of strength to deal with the enemy. We need to go to our stronghold, Jesus, and spend time seeking Him in prayer if we are to have the strength to overcome the enemy.

2) He enquired of the Lord. He did not presume that he knew what God wanted him to do, but asked God. We need to walk according to God’s Word. Sometimes we will be required to stand still; sometimes we will be required to wait. But when He tells us to move, we need to be ready to move.

3) He followed God immediately. He was obedient to God’s command. We need to trust and obey God. The name given to God at this point was ‘the God who breaks through’. God is able to break through our impossible impasses and move in ways we cannot fathom.

4) David did not assume that the first strategy would be the same forever. He enquired of the Lord again. We can be very guilty of assuming that a strategy that has worked in the past will continue to work, without realising that God has moved on. We can be in danger of complacency, feeling comfortable, revelling in what God has done in the past without realising that there is ‘so much more to be revealed’. We need to seek God for what He wants us to do now and not settle down into a comfortable status quo.

5) When we hear the rustling in the leaves of the trees, we need to be prepared to move. When we sense God’s Spirit nudging us, we have to be quick to obey His prompting. God is moving. Can we hear the rustling? It’s time for us to advance, to move with God, to be ready to go. We need to seek Him more than ever so that we know His will and move accordingly.