USEFUL ARMOR-part 1
David was a young man, yet full of faith. He came to the army of Israel who was encamped on a hillside overlooking the Valley of Elah. He saw the situation clearly, seeing with the Lord's eyes, he heard the voice of Goliath rise up from the valley floor. His faith was stirred and he turned to his older brother and asked the question that has been burning in me for the past several years, "Is There Not A Cause?" David's brother spurned him and proceeded to mock him; but David was not deterred by his brother’s scorn. Family dynamics did not rob David of his faith. He continued to ask the question; one after the other he asked the same thing, “Is There Not A Cause?” His persistence stirred the crowd of soldiers who stood on the sidelines in battle array. These soldiers of Saul were on the hillside in battle array and order, each day looking at the enemy taunt them and their God. They were dressed for battle and looked battle-ready, but there was no heart.
Today, Christians are doing the same thing; they are sitting on the sidelines praying for help and deliverance, which often times reflects more wishing than praying. They want the enemy to simply go away, so they can get back to their own lives and concerns. Many of these believers are dressed for war, but are too fearful to engage in battle. They look at the enemy’s presence, and hear the mocking tongues rise from the valley where their crops grow and the water flows. All that the Lord God gave them is occupied by the enemy, yet no one is making a move. They eat and drink in the comfort and safety of the camp, and watch the enemy each day. Yet no one is confronting the enemy that devours souls, steals their provisions, reviles their God, and occupies their land. Christians seem willing to reside on the hillside and talk about the terrible times and ferocious enemy in their land. Today’s Christian are not even asking David's question anymore. Why? They do not want anyone stirring their own hidden fears; they wish it would all just go away. They fear losing their present conveniences and comforts; they do not want their day or life disrupted, and sadly, many do not arise because it assaults their own sense of dignity. They possess a superficial trust in the Lord that gets exposed at every interval; each time the enemy jeers at them, they get aggravated and wish God would do something about it. I have often witnessed believers call upon God to take a stand against the devils, to deliver them or someone else, to fight for them; however, they will not do the same thing on this side of the battle. They simply cower. They do not fight for the Lord, yet they pray, "Whatever it takes Lord do it." These believers can be strong, battle ready Christians on Sunday morning rebuking devils, praying, calling upon God, and they encourage one another with various flatteries. They give their tithe, read their Bible, take notes during the sermon, and plead the blood; yet the next hour they are at the restaurant being careful they offend no one with prayer. They are hyper-sensitive to any look of disdain, and consider this as suffering for the Lord. Once home, they are ready for relaxation, and tread lightly around the so-called "unsaved loved ones," fearing they would lose their beloveds if they take a stand for the Lord in their own homes. Really? Is this the trust that wins souls? Where is the victorious trust?
Today’s believers are all about discussing the battle and the war; books are written, preachers address it, and we tell each other about trusting in the armor of God. However, all is done within the camp set up on the hillside, standing and sitting on the sidelines, ready to flee the scene if the enemy charged. Many have the armor of God in their mouth and encourage one another to put their armor on before they go out into the world. But their daily activity reflects little of a battle scene. It is all about getting through the day, hanging in there, and surviving another day, and try to be happy with their lives. Have we forgotten John’s statement of truth, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)?
Believers must start asking the same question that David did so many years ago, to be stirred in order to stir others. We must listen and look for others who are of like-spirit, of like precious faith. The Apostle Peter wrote to the Church and addressed the church this way: "Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1). There are others who have been stirred or want to be stirred for the cause of Christ; where His concerns take precedence over all others. This is to whom I am writing! ----- ITNAC!
The victory that David gained over this beast of a man began with a simple question, “Is There Not A Cause?” Though rebuked, he persisted. This led to a stirred crowd, which landed David in the king’s presence, seeing him face-to-face. Then what? The next message will be forthcoming!
Stir others to subscribe to these newsletters and discuss its content with them; there is a great need for sound teaching and admonishment in the Church and this is the place to start.
Blessings to you!
Your Friend in Christ,
Dr. Gary H. Cote