For thousands of years they have proven to be both man and mammal’s most natural hiding place. Whether an injured hiker who is seeking shelter from a raging storm or a frightened rabbit hiding from a hungry’ mountain lion – caves are a refuge for the hunted and the hurting. They are a place we run and hide. We don’t choose caves – we are chased into them. While you may feel lonely, you are not alone. Most of Scripture’s mightiest men lived in a cave at one time or an- other. It’s where Elijah hid from Siebel and David hid from Saul. Caves are a momentary refuge for the fearful.

Isn’t it ironic that after having demonstrated God’s power in marvelous ways, some of God’s most anointed vessels still succumbed to fear and sought refuge in a cave. We don’t choose caves -? we are chased into them. Elijah had just been standing on the top of Mount Carmela and calling down fire from heaven. David had most recently slain a larger than life giant with nothing more than a shepherd’s slingshot. These were men of faith! Some people say that fear is the opposite of faith. Wrong! Fear is faith – faith in the enemy. More often than not, we find that the life of God’s anointed is a journey of peaks and valleys.

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Do you know what it is like to live one moment in victory and the next running from defeat? Depression and condemnation stand nearby whispering doubt and discouragement. A different voice in each ear can cause you to question if the anointing of God on your life is real, or just a figment of your hopeful imagination. How can I be anointed and be living in a cave? There is nothing about a cave that screams destiny. Scripture tells the story Of five evil kings whom Joshua was chasing. They were running for their lives. Fear chased them to the same place it chases everyone and they find themselves hiding in a cave. Caves are not always evil.

Caves can be a place where we regain our breath and recalibrate the compass of our minds. Caves can often be the dark room in which God allows us to ell from hurts and develops our character for the destiny that lies ahead of us. The difference between a cave and a dark room is the amount of time we spend there. Strictly speaking, dark rooms are meant to be a short part Of the process. Caves are not always evil. Caves can be a place where we A baby is conceived and developed within the dark room of the womb. Imagine the tragedy of a child who would refuse to submit and surrender to the pushing pangs of a birthing mother.

A child who refused to the leave the dark room of the womb and become the living, breathing human it was intended to be. The baby is nurtured with food, comfort and security in the womb and yet that is not where it is intended to stay. It is absolutely imperative that it leave the cave and venture into the unknown world of what lies beyond. Yes, it will find the world to be an uncertain place, but it will also discover it has greater siftings than it did before. A world of sight, simple pleasures of smell and taste, a symphony of sounds. How often do we become comfortable in our caves?

Comforted in the moment by a false sense of safety and security. We learn to deal with the isolation, and in doing so we resolve ourselves to a one-dimensional existence. No longer do we chase the aspirations, dreams and hopes we had before whatever has us hiding in a cave. Cave-dwellers never discover the victories of purpose. The five kings whom Joshua chased made this same fatal mistake. They choose to make the cave their residence rather than a resting place. Inevitably Joshua corners these men in their cave and commands his armies to roll a stone in front of its entrance.

No longer do the men live in a cave, they now live in a prison. There is nothing Satan would love more than to trap you in a cave. Remember the Apostle Peter calls him a “roaring lion seeking whom e may devour”. This is probably one Of the most profound statements in Scripture because it reveals the character, nature and tactics of Satan. A lion’s greatest hunting weapon is not its large claws or merciless fangs, rather it is the lion’s roar that proves to be most deadly. While chasing a herd of antelope, the lion studies the group and searches for one that looks weakened or injured.

As it gives pursuit it will let out a ferocious sounding roar. While the sound itself does no damage to the hunted, it causes a moment of paralyzing panic and indecision. The antelope freezes in a moment of fear. There is nothing Satan would love more than to trap you in a cave. Remember the Apostle Peter calls him a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. ” One split second is all the lion needs to position himself between that solitary animal and the rest of the herd. Fear – not fangs, prove to be the lion’s weapon of choice. It was fear that drove both Elijah and David into their perspective caves.

There is another tactic at work in the story of the lion and the antelope. Notice that a lion always finds a way to separate its prey from the rest of the herd. It targets one who is vulnerable or already injured and uses its’ scare static to somehow divert the lone animal’s path in a different direction. The lion realizes there is strength in isolation and numbers. Do you think it’s an accident that the first instinct we have during tragedy is to withdrawal ourselves? No, it’s a strategy of the enemy. That is why Paul encourages us to “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together”.

Life was never meant to be lived in isolation. In fact, God looked down at the first man Adam and declared, “It is not good for man to be alone”. Even though Adam was living in a lush garden and paradise of perfection, God knew that he would to find happiness without the communion of community. It’s important to not relegate caves to a mere physical location. Caves are a state of mind. State of mind. It’s possible to be surrounded by people and still be alone. There are plenty of stories of people who have died of dehydration while waiting for the Coast Guard to rescue them from a shipwreck.

They were in the water and yet had no water in them. How often do we find ourselves in crowds with no connection? Know men and women who have been married for thirty years and still feel alone. They are in something that isn’t in them. Hurt often mimes cause us to build fortified walls around our heart. We isolate ourselves out of fear and end up living in a prison we have built. Walls that were built to keep something out end up trapping us inside. Years and still feel alone. The most dangerous mistake we can make during the process of healing is growing acclimated to the cave.

Our eyes become accustomed to the dim light. Our nose loses its memory of the daffodil’s smell and become accustomed to the musty stench of our new darkened home. Recently watched the sad story of a cave dweller play out in front of my very eyes. This man had taken a truck river hostage at gunpoint, and when the police arrived he quietly surrendered as if it were his plan all along. Turns out, it was his plan. He was a previously convicted felon who had spent nearly two decades in prison. He had grown accustomed to his cave and couldn’t operate in the freedom of society.

It was foreign to him – it was too uncertain. He had been searching for a job and had been turned down by a couple of potential employers. He never intended to kill his hostage, he just wanted to return to his cave. Although he was a free man, his mind was trapped. Many psychologists agree that the rampant return rate of rebelliously convicted felons to prison is not because of their propensity towards crime but instead it is their fear of living outside of the cave they have grown accustomed to. Although this may seem ridiculous and illogical to us, we often do the same thing.

We just choose to live in the security and comfort of an imprisoned mind. Have grown accustomed to. The story of the five kings does not end in the impound of imprisonment. Joshua commanded his soldiers to kill the prisoners by hanging, and then instructed the soldiers to bury their bodies in the same cave in which they had been hiding. Many times we experience the same thing. What begins as a cave, becomes a prison, and then eventually becomes our grave. One of my favorite Bible characters is a man by the name of David. David is mostly known for his showdown with a giant named Goliath.

However, he was a young man with many victorious moments which are memorized in Scripture. As a young shepherd boy he killed both a lion and a bear with his bare hands. Imagine doing these feats before you were twenty years of age. David knew what it was like to be famous and celebrated in the streets. He had experienced the mountaintops of being victorious and el of the wonderful benefits of celebrity. However, Davit’s father figure Saul was extremely jealous of him. He couldn’t stand to see everyone singing Davit’s praises while he, Saul, was actually the king.

He began plotting Davit’s destruction and tried on several occasions to murder him. Imagine the rejection that David must have felt. As a result, he was forced to run away from home, leave his family, friends, country, and flee into the desert – alone. Remember, a cave is not relegated to a location, but it can be a state of mind. It can simply be a dry and deserted state of mind in which we hose to live. Often we choose deserts because no one else lives there. Human relationships scare us because it presents the possibility Of being hurt again.

We have been hurt, rejected, abused and abandoned before, and we don’t want to experience that feeling again. Thus, we are chased into a desert cave of isolation. Out of necessity we may interact with people at our job, in our family and in public, but we are nonetheless living in a cave because we refuse to allow anyone to delve past our exterior. We know how to fake a smile, shake a hand, even laugh – all of this while we are dying inside. David is in this place and he makes what could have been a fatal mistake. He builds a house. Allow me to reiterate, caves are temporary and never meant to be a destination.

You should not allow yourself to get comfortable in a cave! David lives in the desert for several years. He actually functions enough to get married, make a few friends, build a house, have children and survive. But was life given to us by God with the purpose of merely surviving? Would guess that many of you reading this book have had a similar experience. Over time you have learned how to manage your pain and emptiness and go through the motions Of life. But life was never meant to be lived like this! God placed inside of each one of us a divine destiny and prosperous plan. He has a strategy for you to succeed.

Now this is where the story becomes interesting! David is comfortable living in his cave, when all of a sudden he leaves for a couple of days to return to absolute destruction and tragedy. The enemy came while he was gone and burned down his house, stolen his wife, children, gold, cattle and left him with absolutely nothing! There might be times that you feel like you are walking through hell but allow me to share a secret. God has His and on the thermostat and God has promised that His plans for us are good and not evil and that all things work together for the good of those who love God.

Imagine you are David. You had already lived in this hilarious desert but just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did! Have you ever been there? Have you ever experienced that kind of bad luck? It wasn’t bad luck. It was actually the greatest thing that ever could have happened to David. God had actually used the plans of those who hated David to drive him out of his cave and into his destiny. In the same way those who persecuted Christ and crucified Him on he cross played into heaven’s eternal plan, Davit’s enemies fell into the trap.

What they meant for evil, God used for good! As history records, David pursued the enemy, destroyed them and took back everything that was stolen from him. Actually, he not only recovered what was stolen from him but also the spoils from the wars they had waged against others. In all, he recovered seven times more! What seemed on the surface to be a tragic situation, God used to drive David out of his cave and into his destiny! Now wealthy, he still has no place to go home to. But little did he know, that God had been planning this all along.

He returns to his homeland only to find that Saul has died and that the throne is waiting on him. What seemed on the surface to be a tragic situation, God used to drive David out of his cave and into his destiny! Is it possible that God has your destiny waiting right outside the door to your cave? I know from my own bout with depression and my two years in a cave, that when I decided to come out – the scenery had drastically changed. Had no idea that the loneliest guy on the planet would in six months after exiting my cave, have over 350,000 Faceable friends and a viral video blob reaching millions of people.

I had no clue that my story of losing my fiance’, losing the church I pastured, losing my television ministry, losing my radio ministry and losing my sanity would somehow translate into a testimony that would affect millions of people. Had no idea that the loneliest guy on the planet would in six months after exiting my cave, have over 350,000 Faceable friends and a viral video blob reaching millions of people. My life goal was to have a fruitful ministry and introduce millions of hurting people to the hope and healing of Jesus Christ. Hough that when no longer had a church, TV show or radio program, that my life, ministry and future ere over. Walked into a cave and lived for two years thinking the best part of my life was done. Little did I know, it had not even started. If there is one thing wish I could shout into the darkened caverns of peoples’ depression it is simply “Come out of your cave, ifs time to live! ” This is where our story meets the story of Jesus. Imagine Christ who has experienced the most painful rejection the human mind could ever imagine. The same mankind He created in the beginning had just mocked, humiliated, tortured and crucified Him.

This same Jesus, who endured the physical pain of 39 lashes by a Roman’s whip and a shifted crown of inch-long thorns pushed down upon His head. This innocent man whose body was hung on a cross by virtue of hands and feet that had given way to spikes, and whose side bore the open wound of having been driven through with a spear. This is where our story meets the story of Jesus. Hurt and humiliation is an understatement when describing the cross. It was so painful that in His last few minutes we hear the cry Of His humanity when He sobs, “Father, Father why has thou forsaken mere He dies. They remove Him from the cross and carry Him to a cave. Eave always had an issue with the fact the Jesus was ride in a borrowed tomb. It never sat well with me that the King of kings and Lord of lords would not have enough gold to buy His own resting place but rather had to resort to being buried in someone else’s grave. Does it make sense to you? Shouldn’t He have been buried In a marble mausoleum, or golden shrine? Here is the King of the Universe. It never made sense to me until I realized that, much like me, Jesus came from a long lineage of Jews. Having experienced it firsthand all of my life I can tell you that Jews will never pay for anything that they only plan on using for three days.