Be a First Responder (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers 20.3)


Recap: Returning from battle to their home in Ziklag, David and his warriors found the city deserted and in ruins. Their enemies the Amalekites had taken their women and children captive, and then torched the city. Israel’s future king had failed the men who trusted and followed him. His warriors had lost their wives, and their sons and daughters. Their future seemed dim, their great dream lost in the ashes. Disillusioned and in deep despair, David’s men suffered an emotional meltdown at Ziklag. In fact, they wanted to stone their leader! (1 Samuel 30:6)

Fellow dreamers and creators, throughout this journey called life, as we pursue our dreams, we will face many “Ziklag” situations. If we’re going to reach our goals and fulfill our visions for the future — if we want to become “giant killers” and history-makers — we’ll need to respond to the “Ziklag”s of life the same way King David did.

A “Ziklag” (as previously discussed) is an overwhelming challenge or problem, an extreme obstacle or crisis. It’s a daunting set of circumstances, an impossible situation, or any major storm we may face in life. Depending on your emotional resilience (or lack thereof) your Ziklag could range from a life-changing problem to which you can see no possible solution, to something more common to creators and dreamers, such as another rejection, a closed door, a setback, a betrayal, or simply a lack of support and encouragement from the people you were counting on the most.

One more straw,  just one more!

A “Ziklag” is any life event that leaves you feeling abandoned, at the end of your rope, and possibly a little hopeless — as though your world is crumbling, and the bottom has suddenly dropped out beneath you. You can encounter a “Ziklag” event just around the corner and without any warning. But some “Ziklag” events are slow-burn situations that have been building for months or years — like the proverbial “last straw that breaks the camel’s back” (a dream that’s taking far too long to fulfill, a creative pursuit with far too many rejections, or a relationship or venture with one too many difficulties).

As discussed in our last session, we can respond to these events the way David did, who “encouraged himself in the Lord” and came through his “Ziklag” victorious (1 Samuel 30:6) Or we can accept defeat — and watch our dreams go up in smoke. “Ziklag” events are inevitable, but the outcomes are up to us.

Each of us essentially has only two responses to a “Ziklag” event:

Disconnect: Run away from God; get angry at Him (and those closest to us); and perhaps even blame God for our misfortunes. The end result is bitterness, emotional turmoil, and a total disconnect from the divine source of our strength and creativity. This defeatist attitude (and resultant disconnection with God) is the natural (unspiritual and unbiblical) response to adversity. This is how David’s warriors responded when their world had seemingly collapsed. Admitting defeat and abandoning all hope and reason, out of ideas and looking for a convenient target (someone at whom they could vent their anger and frustration), they wanted to stone to death their leader, David.

Quick Connect: David was just as distraught as his men. He, too, had suffered a devastating blow. But he chose the supernatural, biblical response to the events at Ziklag — and he wasted no time doing so. He immediately ran to God. And he immediately prayed. In other words, David talked to God, shared his frustrations with his Creator, and got instructions on how to handle the situation, and what to do next.

First responders make the connection.

David didn’t disconnect from God the problem-solver, the storm-stopper, the miracle worker, the God of the impossible, “who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT) As a result, God was able to give His servant a plan of action, a strategy that enabled David and his men to rescue their families and recover all they had lost — and then some! (1 Samuel 30:18-20)

Like the Psalmist, David, we too must be spiritual “first responders”: people whose first (and rapid) response to a “Ziklag” event is to run to the loving, strong and capable arms of our Heavenly Father; who automatically talk to God and utter a quick and simple prayer — Help me, Lord!; who seek His guidance and direction before doing or saying anything else — not just in times of crisis, but each and every day.

King David wrote, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee….” (Psalm 63:1 KJB) God wants us to seek His help in every matter, not just the “big stuff.” And He wants this action to be our first response to every situation: “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.” (Jeremiah 33:3 AKJV)

We can overcome any “Ziklag” event — and realize our dreams — as long as we stick to this course of action, being first responders to the Lord, because “God … always causes us to triumph in Christ….” (2 Corinthians 2:14 AKJV)

Respond to God as David did, and He will respond to you. Here’s what He’ll tell you: “I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 NLT) Of course not! “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37 NLT) “For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:37 NIV)

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2 thoughts on “Be a First Responder (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers 20.3)”

  1. So true especially pastors fall into this trap more often than they want to admit. Which goes to prove that a strong relationship with God is essential for one’s own survival!

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