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Craig Cooney: "It's Time to Start Book Two"

Craig Cooney, Portadown, Northern Ireland
Apr 28, 2024

Fighting the Same Battles

Recently, I was preaching from 2 Samuel 21. This is a record of a period later in David's life. He'd finally stepped into the promise and had been anointed as king over Israel and Judah. He'd experienced much blessing and success. However, look at what we read:

"Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David." (2 Samuel 21:15–16)

Look at those first words, "Once again." There was a pattern. Something kept happening. It wasn't new. What was it? David was still fighting Philistine giants, the same Philistine giants that made him famous all those years before as a shepherd boy, when he struck down Goliath. Now, many years later, he was still out fighting the same battles.

Some of us know what that is like. There are some struggles that just won't go away. Even though our circumstances and surroundings have changed, there are battles inside us and around us that are persistent.

Up until that point, David had known success in every battle. He'd fought and he'd won. But not that time. We are told that as he battled Ishbi-benob, David became exhausted. He was worn out and almost got killed. His nephew, Abishai, saw what was happening, stepped in, and killed the giant.

The Lamp of Israel

However, this was the verse that impacted me deeply:

"...Then David's men swore to him, saying, 'Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.'" (2 Samuel 21:17)

It seems that others perceived David differently than he saw himself. Even though he was king, David still saw himself as a giant killer. He felt compelled to go out to battle. That's where he had experienced success before this point. It probably gave him a sense of identity. Maybe he thought it was what others expected of him. But his men saw him as "the lamp of Israel." In other words, David illuminated the entire nation through his life and leadership, and that lamp was nearly snuffed out in a battle he no longer needed to fight.

His giant-killing days were behind him. From that day forward, David would focus on what he had been anointed to do: lead Israel as their king.

It's Time to Start Book Two

As I reflected on this passage, I sensed God say, "It's time to begin book two. You are trying to write another chapter of book one, but you're struggling and weary. That's because book one is finished. It's time to start book two. The main characters are the same. It builds upon what has gone before, but it's not simply a continuation of the same story. It's a totally new book in the series." (Photo via Flickr)

This made sense to me, because each night I've been reading through a series of books with my son that are all centered around the same main character, but each book is a completely new story. Each book has a beginning, different chapters, and an ending. Their endings are a demarcation line: This story is over; another one is beginning. Similarly for David, book one had brought him to this point. It had been a great story of a shepherd boy who killed a giant and went on the run until he was finally installed as king. But book one was over. In trying to write another chapter, David was exhausted and almost got himself killed. It was time to start book two.

I believe it could be the same for you. You're trying to write another chapter of a story that's ended, but you're getting nowhere. You're exhausted; it's draining you. Your light is in danger of going out. Maybe it's because you're trying to be the 'old you' in a new season. You're doing what used to work. It brought you success; you were effective at it; people praised you for it. It's what you think others expect from you, but it's not what you're anointed to do. You are still anointed – just not for that. The grace has lifted. You're still in book one when it's time to move on to book two.

Like David, you need to stop perceiving yourself through the lens of your history and start seeing yourself according to your destiny.

Book one was good; it got you this far, but it's finished. IT'S TIME TO START BOOK TWO.


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Craig Cooney
HOPE Church | Daily Prophetic


Craig Cooney has been in ordained ministry for over 15 years, leading churches in the north and south of Ireland. He is married to Becky, and they have a son named Elijah, as well as a labradoodle puppy named Henry. Craig is the author of four books: "The Tension of Transition," "SPIRIT SPEAK," "I Hear Yahweh," and "When the Lamb Roars." His passion is to help Believers to hear God's voice for themselves and apply God's wisdom as they navigate through the transitions of life.


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