This morning the Lord has led me to read the story of David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17. It is too long a passage to quote the whole story, so I will summarize some and quote some, but you can read it for yourself here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+17&version=NIV
Basically, the Philistines and the Israelites were at war with each other. One in the ranks of the Philistines, named Goliath, who was considered a giant, challenged the ranks of the Israelites. Goliath told them to send one of their men to come fight him, and if he wins, and kills him, that they would then be subject to the Israelites. But, if it was the other way around, and Goliath won, which is what he expected to happen, then the Israelites would be subject to the Philistines. And, King Saul and all the Israelites were afraid.
One day David’s dad, Jesse, sent David to his brothers who were fighting with Saul’s army against the Philistines. He sent him with food for them and for the commander of their unit. When David arrived there, he overheard Goliath making his usual defiance (challenge). So, David inquired about the situation, and what would be done for the man who kills Goliath.
David’s oldest brother, Eliab, burned with anger against David when he heard David ask that question. And, he accused David of being conceited and of having a wicked heart, and of coming there only to watch the battle, as though it was David’s idea to go down there, but it was his Dad’s.
So, David ended up talking with King Saul about it, and he told him that he would fight Goliath, but Saul told David he wasn’t able to do that because David was just a boy (a young man), and Goliath was a warrior. But, that didn’t discourage David. He told Saul how he had defeated a lion and a bear. And he said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Amen!
So, Saul tried putting David in his own armor, but that didn’t fit David. David, instead, chose what he knew, and what was familiar to him, and what fit him, which was a sling and five smooth stones. Then he went to face Goliath. But, Goliath said to him, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild.”
And, I love David’s response:
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Goliath moved closer to attack David, but David ran to meet him in battle, and David defeated Goliath that day with a sling and a stone, but not in his own power and strength, but in the power and strength of the Lord. Amen!
Making it Practical
Today, true spiritual Israel is the church, the body of Christ, i.e. true believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. And we, too, have an enemy who is defying God and who is threatening God’s people, and who is trying to make God’s people afraid so that they will give up and retreat.
And, his name is Satan, but he also has a giant working for him, called the “beast” in scripture, and he is the one physically threatening the children of God and is trying to make them afraid so that they will give up in defeat.
And, Satan knows our weak areas and exactly where to hit us with his weapons of warfare, but God has given us his spiritual armor with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. So, daily we need to be putting that armor on so we can fight off Satan’s lies against us, and his false accusations, and his fear tactics, in the power of God’s Spirit now living within us. For, God is fighting for those who are his today, too.
And, Satan has a whole army working for him, too, and some of them are our family members, or our neighbors, or fellow Christians (or professing Christians), or people we work with, or pastors and elders in the church, or our government leaders, etc. And, sometimes they serve his purposes unknowingly, too, although many know they are doing wrong, yet they willfully submit to Satan out of jealousy, anger and bitterness against God.
One of Satan’s biggest tactics against us is to convince us that we are defeated already and that we can’t win this one, so we might as well just give up, for the enemy is smarter than us, and he has all these tricks at his disposal, and he has turned so and so against us, and they are telling lies about us, and people are believing the lies, and so on and so forth.
While it is true that we have not much control over what other people do to us, or in particular what they say about us, it is not true that it equals defeat for us, at least not by God’s standards. For, God is still in control. He is still on the throne. He has allowed these things in our lives to test our faith, to make us holy, and to conform us to his likeness. So, we should not let them defeat us, or to make us afraid, or to feel like Satan has power over us.
Man’s Methods or God’s?
Another one of Satan’s tactics against us is to try to convince us to do it man’s way, to follow man’s methods, or to follow some formula, or to do it in such a way that is more socially acceptable and fits better with the culture, and that won’t offend people.
But, God uniquely designed each one of us for a specific purpose. He didn’t make me you, or you me, and he didn’t call you in the same way he called me, and vice versa. We are not all going to be a hand or a foot. All the body parts are necessary! And, some of us may be a big toe, or maybe a corn on a toe, but every part is necessary, and we don’t all have the same part.
So, how God uses me is not going to be the same way in which he uses you. Now, if it is God, though, who has called, and who has equipped and trained us for service, and for battle (spiritual warfare), our calling will be consistent with his Word and it will not be against God’s Word or his divine character and will for our lives. But, it may not be ‘the norm.’
So, we may get accused falsely of wrong motives, or of having evil hearts, or of being “extreme” and “crazy.” But, if we are truly following the Lord, then what he called us to do is our “Dad’s idea,” not ours, i.e. it is God’s idea, his calling, and his equipping for the part he has us to fill in his body, but also for the part he has for us to fill in his battle against the enemy of our souls. And, we are not going to be called in all the same ways.
But, we have to do what our Dad says to do. We have to go where he sends us, and to say what he commands us to say, in the way he wants us to say it, and in his timing, too. And, even if we get accused of false motives, or of being “extreme” or “crazy,” we must know we are in good company, for the prophets of old, and Jesus, and the Apostle Paul were all accused of the same, and even Jesus’ own family members wanted to put him away.
But, we are not to fear Satan or his armies, or even those he uses unknowingly to attack us and to threaten us. We are to stand strong and tall in the strength of the Lord, and face these threats, and use that armor of God, and draw out our sword of the Spirit, and use it to defeat Satan and his lies against us. And, we are to speak the truth against those lies, and believe in all God’s promises to us, and not let Satan and his hordes defeat us.
For, greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world. Amen!
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.
Friday, May 17, 2019