Month: May 2021

God Provides the Stones

Sometimes the most important details are missed, and that holds true in the story of David and Goliath.  After David got the go-ahead to fight against Goliath, he had to find five smooth stones.  David didn’t show up to the military standoff with stones already in his pouch, as if he somehow knew he would be engaged in a battle, but he had to take a quick moment down at the brook to gather the stones.

SCRIPTURES

“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.“ I Samuel 17:40

As soon as David received authorization to take on Goliath, he immediately took his staff and sling and went down to the brook to find the perfect stones.  David would not leave this important detail of gathering stones into anyone else’s hands, but “he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook.”  The critically relevant detail for us to understand is where David got the stones.  The stones were already on the battlefield at the brook.  We can even consider this thought, how long had those stones been there at the brook?  God in heaven already knew an epic battle would take place between the Philistines and Israel and that David would come looking for stones to attack Goliath with.   Let this speak to you today, that whatever you need for your battle is already in place.

God already knows the battlefields you will step into throughout your life and has already strategically placed all you need to get your victory.

David gathered up the stones and took them with him.  He gathered more than he needed and was well equipped to take down the giant.  You may be on a battlefield of some kind right at this moment.  If that’s you, take a moment and ask God to show you what you need to gather.  David was “more than a conqueror” and so are you!

Five Smooth Stones

Who would have thought that you can take down a giant with a stone?  Yet a sling and stones were David’s choice of weapons as he went out to fight Goliath, the Philistine giant.  The other solders in Israel’s army and the Philistine’s army were equipped with swords and shields, but not David.  David’s weapons were different in this epic battle and still highly effective.

SCRIPTURES

“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.“ I Samuel 17:40

David’s choice of weapons showed that he was trusting in God for the victory.  It gives us some great insight for the battles in our own lives.  We use weapons today, but ours should be different, just as the apostle Paul advised.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”  2 Corinthians 10:3-4

Let me suggest to you some possibilities as to why David chose five smooth stones.  This is God’s way of speaking to us today using an Old Testament story about weapons available to us.  We have mighty spiritual weapons in God.  We have the weapons of prayer and praise and the weapons of truth and God’s Word to get our victories!  The scriptures don’t come right out and tell us why David chose five smooth stones, but here are some possibilities to consider.

IT’S POSSIBLE…

1.  David gathered five smooth stones because he always carried five smooth stones in his pouch.  What appears to be strange to us, was normal for him.

2.  David gathered five smooth stones because he was practical.  He gathered what he thought he might need.  Gathering five stones was not a lack of faith on David’s part, but it showed the practical side of his faith.  Our faith today has a practical aspect to us, it’s not all left to what we can’t see.  Yes we “walk by faith and not by sight,” but we do walk, and we do ask, seek, and knock.

3.  David gathered five smooth stones because he had heard of Goliath’s brothers.  But there’s not a word in this story to suggest this, and if Goliath had four brothers, they didn’t appear to be at the battle.  And David even asked, “Who is this uncircumcized Philistine?  It doesn’t appear that David knew who Goliath was.  

3.  David gathered five smooth stones for five opportunities.  When I worked for the sheriff’s department, I carried a 9 mm Ruger that held 15 rounds.  I also had two clips on my belt that held 15 rounds each.  That’s 45 rounds total.  I always had this thought that if I can’t do the job with 45 rounds, I just need to run!  David may have gathered five stones to give himself with distance five opportunities to take Goliath down. 

4.  David gathered five smooth stones because from a child that’s what he had been taught.

5.  David gathered five smooth stones because God told him to gather five smooth stones.

There is a reason David gathered five stones, and it should speak to us about how with only one stone, he had more than what he needed.  As a child of God, you have more than what you need to take down the giants that try to stop you in life.  Be encouraged today, don’t try to fight your battles with conventional weapons of your flesh, but use the mighty weapons in God to take down every giant.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”  —2 Corinthians 9:8

Faith and Focus

When you are in a battle, you can’t afford any distractions.  When David went out to fight against Goliath, he was extremely focused so that nothing, not even the belligerent and belittling words of Goliath, drew his mind away.  David could have been distracted by the armor bearer walking in front of Goliath or by the Philistine army standing behind him glaring at him.  David could have been distracted by the noise of Israel’s army supporting him from behind. David could have been caught up in the moment emotionally, but instead he drew near in this epic battle the same way we should, with faith and focus.  Faith and focus are the key ingredients for victory when you are in a battle.

SCRIPTURES

“So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung [it] and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.“                          I Samuel 17:48-49

More than likely you are in some kind of a battle right now.  The battle may be for your highest affections or your unwavering devotion to God.  The battle may be concerning your health or something happening at your work place.  Your battle may be concerning your marriage or a relationship with your child.  Many times we forget that the battlefields are not only on foreign soil, but they come to where we live and raise our families.  We battle with temptations meant to take us captive.

No one was telling David, “You’re taking this thing too serious,” or “Just relax, because it’s all going to work out.”  You can just imagine that the chant from Israel’s army was the same, “Focus, focus, focus!”  No doubt, David’s eyes were on Goliath and every move he made, but his faith was on God who gave him strength and courage to get the victory.  Remember this, a truly victorious life is lived by those who recognize their battlefields and bring their faith and focus together.  Because of David’s faith and focus, God gave him the power to hit Goliath in the forehead with a stone and the giant fell down.  Giants still fall when they face those who have faith and focus!

The LORD

Have great confidence in the Lord today!  Many today place their confidence in every other thing except the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.  In the story of David and Goliath, David completely aligned his life with the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, so much so that when King Saul questioned David’s abilities to fight Goliath, David said, “The LORD.”   “The LORD,” was David’s answer.  Think about it!

SCRIPTURES

“Moreover David said, “The LORD (YEHOVAH), who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” I Samuel 17:37

David’s confidence and faith didn’t come from a flash of emotion, but it came from a personal relationship with God.  David had killed a lion and a bear and was proficient with a sling and stones, but ultimately David looked to God as the answer.  I can tell you that the Lord wants to be your answer.  He wants to rise above everything in your life that you place your confidence in and He wants us to trust completely in Him.  We have to trust God more than we trust our own abilities and experience.  We have to trust God more than we trust our education and what’s in our bank account.  We have to trust God more than we trust our spouse or best friends.  He must become our answer, because everything else has the possibilities of failure, but God never fails!  He has never lost a battle and He never will.

The Lord may not always do what you think He should do, but He still has never failed those who completely trust in Him.  The next time you sense the call of God on your life to take on a challenge and your abilities come into question, respond as David did, “The LORD.”

Defining Moments

Your life will be filled with big defining moments.  Many of those big moments will be characterized as positive, transitional and life-changing, but there will also be big moments that challenge you to rise to the occasion.  Recently, while attending a high school graduation, I thought about the magnitude of the moment when the life of that student and family were about to radically change.  The same things happens when someone gets married, the birth of a child, a relocation for a job, which are all positive big moments, but other big moments will be characterized as negative, adding adversity and fear.  In the story of David and Goliath, David came to an unexpected big moment in his young life when he came to the battlefield and saw Goliath standing and all of Israel’s army falling away in fear.  David  rose above his own fears in that big moment.

SCRIPTURES

“Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” I Samuel 17:32

You need to believe this if you are a child of God, that you were made for big moments, especially those that cripple the lives of others.  You have been equipped through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to rise up and stand against giants.  Many of the big moments in your life will just come, and you have no options because they are built into the path and course of your life, but other big moments come with options.  You can turn away and do nothing as many do, or you can put your mind on God and confront, stand, fight, challenge and bear witness to the power of God in your life.  David was able to stand and fight against Goliath in this big moment in his life because it was time for Goliath to fall, and it was time for Israel to move forward, and it was time for David to be known.  That big moment for David paved the way for another big moment down the road when he would sit upon the throne of Israel as their King.  Remember that big moments like this are often God’s way of moving you to His plan for your future.  Be ready for the next big moment!

Take That Off

Knowing who you are in Christ is paramount to getting the victory over giants in your life. Giants like Goliath will stop you from taking a step of faith and doing God’s will when there is an identity crisis. In the story of David and Goliath, before David stepped onto the battlefield, there was an issue concerning his identity.

SCRIPTURES

“So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested [them.] And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested [them.]” So David took them off.”  I Samuel 17:38-39
I’m certain King Saul had good intentions in giving David his armor.  After all, what solder goes into battle without armor?  However, Saul’s good intentions were going to get David killed. David couldn’t even walk in Saul’s armor, much less defeat Goliath.  But the message here is far greater than what we wear into battle, it’s a message to us about our identity.  Saul was attempting to transfer his image onto David and to look like every other solder in Israel’s army. Please listen, this is what the world tries to do to every born again child of God, to find your identity in the world.  But God’s Word teaches us our identity is found in Christ and in God’s Word! The world wants to clothe you like Saul clothed David with the armor.
If you let the world tell you who you are, there will always be giants that stop you from doing great things and overcoming great obstacles. God’s Word says you are more  than a conqueror, that you are loved, accepted, adopted, forgiven, and righteous in Christ Jesus.  People around you will clothe you by speaking things into your life.  Instead, let God’s Word speak into your life.
Are you wearing something you shouldn’t be wearing?  If so, do what David did with Saul’s armor, “So David took them off.”  When you know who you are in Christ, you can take down every giant that comes against you!

Goliath Coming Up

The arrogance of the enemy of your soul prevents him from remaining hidden.  In the story of David and Goliath, the Philistine giant came out every morning and evening to challenge any man to fight against him.  We do know that the devil is a master of disguise, but he cannot stay in the shadows because his prideful nature wont let him.  At some point he will appear just like Goliath did against Israel’s army.

SCRIPTURES

“Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard [them.] 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.“ I Samuel 17:23-24

As Goliath came up to confront Israel’s army, the fear in those solders also came up.  Our enemy will always reveal his ugly head, and because of that, we should be consciously aware of his appearance and prepare for it.  He must show himself because he revels in the fear of man.  He is addicted to fear.  It is his drug of choice, and it’s in abundant supply.  The enemy wants you to see him because he wants you to know your place.  As far as he is concerned, your place is cowering at his appearing and being paralyzed in his presence.  He wants you to shrink back and shake when you see him.  When he appears, it will not be the horned red man with green eyes, but it will be an unexpected situation preventing you from doing God’s will.  He appears at our points of obedience.  He appears when we are about to take a step of faith to let us know we can’t do what we are about to do.  He appears in visits and phone calls and texts that are filled with believable lies, but they are still lies.  He makes sure you know about the consequences of failure.  He speaks as if he knows all things concerning you, but all of this is meant to produce enough fear in you so that you never make a move.

If you are a child of God, you have an anointing on your life that empowers you to not be a supplier of fear.  You have an anointing on your life that when the enemy comes up from the ranks of the Philistines, you don’t shrink back and flee.  When Goliath came up and appeared on the 40th day, there was the anointed one who came up who took him down.  Live in your anointing of the Holy Spirit today, and when the enemy appears, because he often will, you can stand firm and move forward and be a witness to the power of God in your life!

Keepers

Are you a keeper?  I’ve been told by my wife that I am a keeper and I take that as a compliment, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  A keeper is someone critically important.  A keeper is someone who can be trusted to receive and care for the property belonging to someone else.  In the story of David and Goliath, David depends on the service of two keepers.  The first keeper was left watching the sheep and the second keeper was one who kept the supplies David brought to the battlefield.

SCRIPTURES

“So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took [the things] and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle. 21 For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army. 22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.“                    I Samuel 17:20-22

David’s mission would not have been possible had it not been for the faithful service of keepers.  Those keepers were exactly where David needed them to be and willing to step up and do what David needed them to do.  It says something about you when someone leaves what they care about in your hands.  But what does it say?  It says that you are believed to be highly responsible.  It says that you have gained someone’s personal trust.  It says that you are willing to do your part in order to free someone else to do their part.  Those two keepers had no idea how great of a mission David was on and how critical is was to be a keeper.

A keeper is a keeper because they keep and don’t lose what has been given to them.  So what has been given to you?  There’s much to consider as you look over this list, which is not an exhausted list, evaluate how well you are keeping these things:

The apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”  Are you keeping the faith?

Are you keeping in fellowship?  John writes, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  I John 1:7

Are you keeping yourself from idols?  “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”  I John 5:21

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  Jude1:21  How are you keeping yourself in the love of God?

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:3  Are you keeping yourself united in the Spirit?

Are you keeping yourself pure? “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”  I Timothy 5:22

”If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  John 14:15  Are you keeping His commandments?

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”  John 14:23  To keep God’s word means more than keeping a Bible in the house.  It means to obey His word and to hold it near to your heart like it is an absolute treasure.  To keep God’s word means to keep it like it is, without trying to make it say something it doesn’t say.

More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”  Luke 11:28

Keep your focus!  Keep the gospel!  Keep your witness!  Keep your burden for those who are lost!  Keep and don’t lose what has been freely placed into your care.  Keep it as if your life depended on it.  The amazing thing about this idea of being a keeper is that our God is a keeper Himself, and will never lose what He has bought with the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ!

Bring Back News

The assignments we often receive in life are not dramatic, exciting, or dangerous, but they are still necessary.  In the story of David and Goliath, David was sent by his father to do a simple job, go check on your brothers to see how they are doing and bring back the news.  Because of David’s age, this was David’s assignment, deliver supplies and check the welfare of his brothers.  But consider the love and concern of this father to send David on this mission.

“Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried [grain] and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18 “And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of [their] thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.”  I Samuel 17:17-18

Jesse was an elderly man, but still cared to know how his sons were doing, and I believe that is an overlooked assignment given to us by God today.  We too should be checking on our brothers and sisters and bringing back news to our heavenly Father concerning their welfare.  Even though God is omniscient and there is absolutely nothing He is not fully aware of, we have this privilege of reporting through prayer what we see and hear.  When we care as the Father cares, we will take the time to speak to the Father about the other family members.  Who does God want you to check on today?  Who does God want you to get a report on and bring back the news?  You might find that someone is not doing well and bring back news to the Father.  You might find that someone is in a place of danger and report that back to the Father.  You might find that someone is paralyzed in fear and bring back word to the Father.  This is our daily duty and we should be faithful in carrying out this business.  Bring back news and pray to the Father for the family.  Think about it, Jesse’s concern for his sons was what brought about victory to their battlefield.  David’s obedience in his necessary assignment was the answer Israel’s army was in desperate need of, and it can be that way with you as well.  Bring back news!

Giants in the Valley

As you make your way through life, you need to remember there are giants in every valley ready to take you into bondage.  That was Goliath’s intention as he confronted Israel’s army in the valley of Elah.  The enemy always seeks to take every advantage against you, and attacking you in the confined area of a valley is one of them.  The valley represents the low points in your life and the seasons when you are not at the top of your game.  We all go through valleys, and some are longer, darker, and more challenging than others.  It’s in those valleys that you should stay on high alert for the enemy’s attack.

When you are in a valley, giants appear to be bigger than they really are.  Now Goliath truly was a giant of a man and his appearance was described in detail.

And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height [was] six cubits and a span. 5 [He had] a bronze helmet on his head, and he [was] armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat [was] five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And [he had] bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear [was] like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead [weighed] six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.“ I Samuel 17:4-7

It’s true that in our valleys we tend to notice the details of our enemy and we do that because our vision is not what it is when we are on a mountain and standing tall in our faith and full of strength.  The intention of the enemy is to capture your attention before capturing your life and taking you in to bondage.  Our struggle is all the same when we are in the valley.  We struggle to see that our God is bigger than the giants towering over us.  The giants want you to feel small in the valley, but David showed us that even though valleys make giants look unstoppable, you can still believe by faith that God is greater, bigger, and stronger than any giants you’ll ever face.  I can promise you there is a giant somewhere in every valley, but we can praise God today because He is not only God on the mountain, but He is God in the valley.  Who is like our God, creator of heaven and earth?  Who is like our conquering King, slayer of giants?  Be encouraged today, even if you’re in a hard place in your life, God is bigger than whatever comes against you.  Practice saying that over and over, “God is bigger!”

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