The Cave Can Enslave
1 Samuel 22:5 One day the prophet Gad told David, “Leave the stronghold and return to the land of Judah.” So David went to the forest of Hereth. (KJV)
Leaving the cave doesn’t always come naturally. The familiar can enslave. Once, the cave represented a place of shelter for David and his mighty men. It was necessary for survival. But now it is about to become a tomb. And so it is with us.
The time for shelter has come to an end, and the invitation has now come to begin to wander the land you will one day rule. The truth is that without the cave David would have been in grave danger. Without the cave, there would not have been a place to gather. Without the cave, the discontent, in debt and discouraged wouldn’t have found their tribe. But now, in this moment, the cave is the tribe’s most lethal adversary. The cave now represents false hope, false security and a “confined” place.
A “confined” place. Once a shelter. Now a possible prison. Once brought comfort. Now a possible distraction to the greater call. And David and his men must cast off any need for the cave. They must surrender their comfort and trade it in for great courage. Comfort will help us heal. But courage is what we need when it’s time to become King.
It can be hard to let go of comfort. Especially when you’re still waiting for a victory. The question we ultimately ask ourselves is “is it worth it?” Are we really ready to let go of the very thing that God might have even used in the last season to sooth our fears and calm our nerves? Sometimes God has moved on while we're busy camping out. We must see what He currently is inviting us to. If not, the blessing of last season will quickly transform into a curse.
Curse means “To be hemmed in”. Life will inevitably offer comfort in exchange for apathy. The enemy of our soul loves to make a “truce’ with those whose goal in life is to simply avoid pain at all costs. Then once you're finally caught in the web of self-preservation, he will slowly rob you of all dignity, purpose and strength until the comfort you once experienced doesn’t even move the needle when it comes to satisfying your deepest needs. By the time we know what has happened, the cave has become a completely different kind of stronghold. Instead of representing safety it represents bondage. Why not take a moment and imagine what it might be like leaving your cave?
All it takes is one peek outside the cave, just a moment of smelling the fresh air and seeing the land you will one day rule. It wakes up the deepest part of you and infuses courage into your heart, letting the blood flow again, reminding you of who you are and why you were born. You were born for more than survival. You were born for more than avoiding pain at all costs. You were born to fully live and fully awaken those around you.