Month: May 2021

Not Every Battle

The truth is, you don’t have to fight every battle!  Let that be a continual source of relief and peace in your life.  But there are some battles you have been appointed to by God.  That means you don’t have to enter into every debate, or confront every opinion or position you don’t agree with.  That’s good news, because we tend to hear things and see things and swiftly jump into the middle of it.  You can “turn the other cheek.”  You can practice holding your tongue.  You can become a person of self-control, even when you know what’s right.  You don’t have to fight every battle, but only those you have been appointed to by God.

Israel’s army was at a stand-still in the battle against Goliath and the Philistines.  Not one solder was moving or volunteering to go against Goliath, but when David heard and saw what was taking place, he knew he was appointed to this battle.  David said to King Saul,

“The LORD, 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 was not only appointed to fight against Goliath, David had been prepared by God for this fight.  David had killed a lion and bear while protecting his flock as a shepherd, but that wasn’t the extent or essence of his preparations.  God had prepared David to trust in Him.  Did you hear that?  That’s the essence of our trials and challenges in life.  Our trials are moments and seasons of preparation to trust God in a greater way.  David was not only prepared to go against Goliath, but David was permitted to fight against Goliath,  Saul said, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”  

If you try to fight a battle you haven’t been appointed to or prepared for, you will not have the resources of heaven available to you.  If you try to fight a battle you haven’t been appointed to, you may damage your witness for God and you may sever relationships unintentionally.  When you fight a battle you were not appointed to, you may get yourself hurt mentally and emotionally.  Learn spiritual discernment and live with the understanding that you don’t have to fight in every battle.

Is There Not a Cause?

Most people live with some kind of a cause.  It’s their passion and drive and what gets them up every morning to go do what they do.  But sadly, life can run over us and cause us to be so busy we completely forget our cause.  Sometimes it’s fear that causes us to forget or disregard our cause.  This is what happened to Israel’s army in their battle with the Philistines.  Goliath came out each day for forty days defying the army of the living God.  Goliath was the commander of the entire battlefield and he even set the rules in place.  The rules were as follows:

“Choose you a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.”  “If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants.
But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”  I Samuel 17:8-9

The shear fear of Goliath caused all of Israel’s army to forget the cause for which the challenge had been made.  Fear has a way of blinding us from our purpose in life.  Coming upon the fortieth day, Israel’s army even forgot about the challenge, all they could see and hear was the giant spewing threats morning and evening.  But David showed up willing to fight against the oversized Goliath and asked, “Is there not a cause?”  David was saying, “There’s something worth fighting for here!”  Think about it, the cause was embedded in the challenge and it’s the same thing we must fight for today—freedom.  If Israel wanted to continue to live in freedom, they needed a freedom fighter to kill the giant.  David believed the freedom of his family was worth fighting for and the freedom of his countrymen was worth fighting for. 

On March 23, 1775 It was Patrick Henry who said, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”  Many churches and followers of Christ today have forgotten our cause.  Our cause as a church is not to build big fancy churches or to have thousands attending our services.  Our cause is not to dress up and line up every Sunday morning ready for battle but never do anything.  Our cause is not to impress those who are watching.  Our cause is great and was given to us by Christ Himself.  He sacrificed and died on the cross so that we might be set free.  Our cause is helping those who are in bondage to be set free by the power and grace of God.  Our cause is in declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ by which all people can be set free.  There are those today who need to be set free from the Goliath of their sin, the power of darkness and even dead religious rituals.  

As you go out into the world today, remember you have a cause.  Jesus came to set captives free and your cause as a follower of Christ is to show captives the way to that freedom. You can be free in Jesus’s name and if you are free, do what David did, help someone else get free.  

Delivered

What a glorious thought to know you are safe and secure living under the watchful care of the Good Shepherd.  The Old Testament story of David and Goliath provides a great foreshadowing of our Savior’s watchful care. It also points out that just because you are watched over, doesn’t mean you won’t be taken and need to be delivered.  David did what Christ does today!  Can I say that again?  David did, as the shepherd over his father’s flock, what Christ does as the Good Shepherd of every child of God.  This is a mirrored image of our Savior in David’s life. It also points out that just because you are watched over, doesn’t mean you won’t be taken and need to be delivered.

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, “I went out after it and struck it, and delivered [the lamb] from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught [it] by its beard, and struck and killed it.“ I Samuel 17:34-35

The sheep David watched over were just as we are today, most often oblivious to the threat of lions and bears.  Since we live in the territory of lions and bears, we are always subject to their attacks.  The closer you walk beside the Shepherd, the less chances you have of being taken from the flock, but still many are taken today.  The apostle Peter understood exactly what being taken felt like and wrote to warn the followers of Christ.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.“ I Peter 5:8-9

David valued his father’s sheep and so when one came under attack and was taken, he went after it and delivered it.  This gives us something to think about.  Was there ever a sheep taken that David didn’t go after?  Was there ever a sheep taken that had been taken before?  Was there ever a sheep taken that David gave up on?  Was there ever a sheep taken that David would make an example out of to the other sheep?  Every child of God will see one day how many times they were taken and then delivered by God.  If God has saved you and delivered you from the power of darkness by the blood of Jesus, He will never not deliver you.

“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of My Father’s hand.“  John 10:28-29

I have said this recently, that if you are a child of God, deliverance is in your future.  You may not need it right now, but because of the nature of our enemy, you will at some point and many times throughout your life.  And so this truth should cause us to be thankful, humble, watchful, and inspired to stay close to the Father.  Being safe and secure under the watchful care of the Savior doesn’t mean you can be careless in your walk with God.  It means you will be delivered when you need to be delivered.  Praise God!

A History of Victories

Before David was allowed to go against Goliath in the valley of Elah, he provided King Saul his track record of victories.  David didn’t just show up one day on the battle field to fight against the giant who had paralyzed the army of God without first getting some victories that no one really knew about.  Here is what David said to King Saul to convince him he could win the championship match against Goliath.

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 “I went out after it and struck it, and delivered [the lamb] from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught [it] by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 “Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”  I Samuel 17:34-36

Because David fought and killed both the lion and the bear, he saw Goliath as nothing more than one of them.  David had not lived a sheltered life from danger.  Compared to Goliath, the victory over the lion and bear were insignificant, but equally dangerous, yet the consequences were much greater.

Everyone reading this needs to get a track record of victories with God against the enemy.  What you are facing today may be preparation for what you will face tomorrow.  Spiritual victories in our lives builds our confidence to trust in God more and more.  David went after Goliath just like he went after the lion and the bear.  David struck down Goliath just like he struck down the lion and the bear.  Goliath was an imposing threat against the flock of God that David removed and it was all because he had a history with God and completely trusted in God.  It’s time for you to start getting a history of victories with God.  David never mentioned to the King how skilled he was with a sling and stones, he only said, “The LORD will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”  V. 37. 

Get a victory today in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Pray to God and trust in God and then watch God deliver.  Bring your history of victories with God to every battle you face and they will always serve to strengthen your confidence in God.

Hidden Abilities

We all have our limitations, but you really don’t know what all you can do until you place your complete trust in Almighty God.  Most likely you have had a few people in your life who know you better than you know yourself and don’t mind telling you what you can’t do.  I’m certain you don’t like people telling you what you can and cannot do, just like King Saul told David.

“And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”     I Samuel 17:33

”You are not able.”  How do you like that word of discouragement?  What Saul did was what many will do today, they will “size you up.”  When those around you try to calculate your abilities, they look on the externals of your life.  King Saul figured in David’s age and experience to determine David’s abilities.  David’s physical size was no match for this 9 foot 6 inch tall giant of a man.  David had no prior military experience, but fighting was all that Goliath knew from the time he was a young man.  Saul didn’t see what gave David the edge against Goliath.  He only saw what he could see with his eyes, but David had hidden abilities just like every child of God.

Hidden abilities are always hidden until a step of faith comes and displays not what you can do, but the power of God in your life.  Your hidden abilities are not under the restriction of your age, experience, intellect, or education.  Your hidden abilities are tied to your one ability to trust God.  When you trust God, then God’s abilities are revealed through your life.  Did you get that?  All you have to do is completely trust and focus on God and then God will supply what you need to take down giants!

God gives us the ability to walk on water and to heal the sick.  God gives his children abilities to sing in the midst of suffering and to love instead of hate.  If all you ever do is live in your own abilities, you will never know or really talk much about the greatness of God.  But when you build your faith in God and then approach moments like David to put faith in action, then you will see what God can do through you.  The apostle Paul was the one who said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

Fear Stops Here!

In the epic story of David and Goliath, there is a very important lesson for every child of God to learn and live by.  The lesson is that what makes everyone else fearful and afraid, doesn’t have to effect you the same way.  David teaches us that fear should stop here, with you and me.  It should not transfer from us to those around us.  While the hearts of the men in Israel’s army melted at the presence of Goliath, and fear was passed from one man to the next like a viral disease, hear what David said,

“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   

While fear spread through Israel’s ranks for 40 straight days, when fear came to David, it didn’t phase him nor pass through him.  Goliath was a monster of a man, but David knew about the greatness of the living God.  David’s courage was not out of ignorance or self-determined arrogance, but it was out of complete reliance on the power and presence of Almighty God.  When you know God is with you, you have the power to stop fear in its tracks.  When you walk with God in a daily walk and experience Him in your life, you are much more able to keep your focus on God when fear comes knocking.

This may be exactly what you need in your life right now, to declare in faith and by the power of God, “Fear stops here!”  It should, you don’t have to receive it or spread it no matter what the source of that fear happens to be.  This only happens when you keep your focus on who God is, just like David did.  This only happens when you right-size what is coming against you with the living God who walks with you.  Fear stops here for those who are anointed by God to live different and to believe different than the rest of the world.  That means you believe God can win any battle and stop any opponent.  David believed God could stop Goliath because he had already experienced God in his encounters with the lion and the bear.  God is ready to be victorious in your life if you will keep your focus on Him and keep believing in Him.  Don’t transfer fear onto those around you, but transfer courage and faith in the living God.

Prayer for the Nation

“Holy Father, we come before You in faith this morning giving you praise for Your love for us.  We declare that there is none like You, O God.  You have created all things and You hold all things together.  We thank You for being intimately involved in our lives and in Your nation.  We thank You for allowing us this privilege to grow up in a place of freedom.  Father we thank You for giving us our greatest freedom through Your son, Jesus Christ.  Today we come to lift up the United States of America to You.  Father, You know the condition we are in and You see the strife, division, anger, and corruption.  Father, as the church, Christians have not been the light and salt You have called us to be.  We pray for mercy.  God have mercy on us for our children and grandchildren’s sake.  Father, have mercy on us and show us the way back to a greater devotion to You and Your ways.  Lord, we know that our lives and this country are ultimately in Your sovereign hands, but we ask for revival among Your people.  We ask that You step in and make right those things that are wrong.  We ask Lord that You stir the hearts of every man, woman, boy and girl who have been born again and who live with Your Spirit.  Stir us so we can stand for truth again.  Stir us so we can love others who don’t agree with us.  Stir us so we can mend the brokenness in our society and especially the brokenness in our homes.

And now, Father, we ask that You be with those in leadership positions over our nation.  We pray for President Biden and Vice President Harris and we ask that You rule in their hearts and give them power over those who try to influence them in the wrong direction.  We ask You to touch their hearts and minds and reveal Yourself to them so they will call on Your name as their own source of strength and wisdom.  Give them courage to do the right things.  Give them wisdom to know what to do, and give them vision to see what are the greatest needs in our nation.  God help them love our nation and to foster a healing spirit in our country.

Father, we confess our sins before You, for our sins are many, and we ask for forgiveness.  We confess that we have been going down the wrong pathway for too many years and we know that only You can turn us back now.  We confess that we have tolerated darkness, and we are in need of missionaries to come to our country.  Lord, save us!  Lord, work out Your plan for our lives and for our nation.  And Lord, give me the power and the will to be Your ambassador to my own country.  I love You and I love this country.  Be our Shepherd and show us the way.  We ask this in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.”

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin

and heal their land.“.

2 Chronicles 7:14

A World Full of Eliabs

 

Beware of fear, jealousy and pride that will cause you to be angry at the wrong people. From the story of David and Goliath, David became angry at the oversized, arrogant giant for making a mockery of Israel’s army. But when he spoke to the soldiers asking who was the uncircumcised Philistine making threats in the valley, his own brother, Eliab, became angry with him.

 “Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” I Samuel 17:28
Instead of Eliab being angry with the enemy, he was angry with the one who would deliver him from the enemy.  Eliab was angry with the wrong person.  He could have been angry with himself for not rising up again Goliath, but in his own fear, he spoke, and from a jealous heart he mocked and belittled David.
You should know the world we live in is full of people like Eliab, unwilling to take action, but upset when others decide to.  The Eliabs of the world feel big and powerful when they talk down to others. The Eliabs of the world attack those who should be on the same side and should have the same goal in mind. The Eliabs of the world are confused and jealous. They live with fear in their hearts so they come against even those in their own family.  You very well may know an Eliab, but just like David didn’t let his older brother stop him, make sure no one stops you from your mission in life. In response to Eliab, David said, “Is there not a cause?”  No matter what is said about you and no matter how small some may want you to feel, keeping pressing on!

Fighting Words

Many people have been provoked into a fight just by a few words that hit them the wrong way.  If you want to start something with someone, start talking about their children or say something negative about their mother, and see what happens.  When David was on the battle field in the company of Israel’s army, he heard Goliath defying the armies of Israel, words that provoked him to go against Goliath, the Philistine.

And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, thePhilistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of thePhilistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard [them]. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fledfrom him, and were sore afraid.” I Samuel 17:23-24

Think about it, David’s reaction to the mocking, defying, arrogant words of Goliath was completely the opposite of all of Israel’s army.  When Israel’s army saw and heard Goliath, they fled with hearts full of fear.  When David heard Goliath, his response was, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God.”  V. 26

Something rose up in David when he heard Goliath that didn’t rise up in the other men.  David heard fighting words!  David couldn’t stand by and do nothing while Goliath spewed out insults against God.  Because of the anointing on David’s life, he couldn’t walk away or cower down as the other men.

And as disciple’s of Christ, our hearts and ears should be tuned in and sensitive to what others are saying around us.  We should never go out looking to start a debate with anyone, but when the opportunity presents itself, be provoked in the name of Jesus.  We never want to have an argumentative spirit, but we can object and we can be a voice of truth. We can stand for what is right and we can stand for others who may not have the power or ability to stand for themselves.  David didn’t speak words of rebuke to Israel’s army, he just did what they were not able to do, fight against Goliath.  David reminds us of Jesus Christ, who was a defender of the weak and timid.  He was a defender against the religious bullies of His day, just like David was against Goliath.

As a disciple of Christ, you have something in you that causes you to react differently than others.  Live in your powerful anointing of God.

Fighting in the Valley

What some call fighting, may not be fighting at all.  When David came to the Valley of Elah, Israel’s army and the Philistine army had been lining up in battle array for 40 straight days preparing to engage in a battle.  Up until the 40th day, no swords had been drawn, no blood had been spilt, and who would be victorious was still to be determined.  Even on the 40th day, Israel’s army marched to their positions acting as though they were going to fight, but there was no fighting in the battle.

“Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel [were] in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 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.“ I Samuel 17:19-20

Israel was prepared to fight with each man armored up and lined up, but no one took a step towards the enemy.  They went out to the battlefield pumping each other up, “shouting for the battle,” but still there was no action.  What Israel’s army was doing is what many churches and Christians do today.  We get in our worship services and shout and get all worked up preparing for battle with the enemy.  We lift our hands and shout and we talk about the armor and how the battle belongs to the Lord, but we learn to live with the Goliaths.  We might wonder how long the stalemate would have gone on before David showed up.  The real fighting against the enemy only began when David showed up.  And as disciples of Christ, we must know that we are no match for the enemy.  We must also know that fighting against the enemy begins when Jesus shows up in our prayers and praise and He gives us the victory over our enemy.  He knows how the enemy stops us in our tracks and how we can’t move forward in life until He shows up.  So if you are in a battle today and find yourself lining up, dressed in your armor, invite Jesus to come.  Stand and wait on Jesus to come.  Give Him praise for the victory!  Spiritual fighting only begins when the King of Kings shows up.  Don’t go out against your enemy no matter how spiritually charged you are, only Jesus can defeat him.

%d bloggers like this: