USEFUL ARMOR, part 3
David was before King Saul with a burning question in his heart: “Is there not a cause?” David said to the king, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:32). As this statement came to Saul’s ears, something else was stirring in his heart; it was the familiar unbelief that plagued his forefathers and still influences so many today. He said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth” (1 Sam. 17:33). Saul’s first response exposed his heart; he walked by sight in all things and not by faith. Saul compared David to Goliath through the natural eyes. Saul only saw the size of the young man, not the size of his faith. He actually saw his own sense of smallness in Goliath’s awesome presence. Goliath’s taunts found their place in Saul’s heart; he was highly affected by the fearful stance that Goliath took before Saul’s entire army. There was no courage in Saul's heart; his spirit was drained. Unbelief always robs you of courage and strips you of any ability to lead rightly. Saul attempted to transfer his fears to David.
Today, we see many teaching, preaching and writing about leadership; many college courses are centered on leadership issues. However, true leaders are men of faith who step out, believing God as David was so inclined. Many Church leaders have bought into the foolishness that leaders are determined by who is following them saying, “If no one is following you, then you are simply taking a walk,” as John Maxwell has written. Disregard such humanistic thinking. David didn’t wait for a following before exhibiting leadership. When he tried to muster the troops on the hillside, no one followed him. They mocked! When he finally came to Saul’s presence, discouragement was waiting for him. Now what? Shall he go through a, “let’s try to convince them all” program? Shall he design and develop a consensus? Shall he have meetings and try to explain to everyone how it is going to work, tell them about faith and trusting God? No, he simply said “I will go,” and he had the full faith to do just that. David was a leader who followed God, that’s what makes a leader; whether people followed him or not, David followed after God. His heart sought the Lord. His eyes were on God’s plan and purposes; he didn’t look around, turning aside to see who was alongside him; nor did he turn his head back around to see who was supporting or following him. David’s eyes were on the Lord; he stepped out in battle.
David saw the situation with God’s own heart. He compared Goliath to God’s almighty power and presence; therefore he uttered, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:37). What is this beast of man, who dares to mock God Almighty? What sort of man can stand before God who displayed such contempt? He took the very breath God gave him and used it for his own glory. This giant warrior was only sustained by the breath God gave him, yet held nothing but scorn for his own Maker. His body drew breath from the pools of God’s provision, and then exhaled with a voice of defiance. Such raw ungodliness was presented before the armies of the Lord and only David saw it rightly saying, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God (1 Sam. 17:26). For forty days Israel had been kept stagnant and most paralyzed by one man who displayed tremendous arrogance, who was trained in warfare since he was a youth.
However, David experienced the Lord’s favor as he dwelled in the wilderness and fields with a few sheep (1 Sam. 17:28). Here, he learned to battle the beasts, and came to understand that the battle is the Lord’s. He also learned that someone has to step out and believe God. The sheep didn’t save themselves from the devouring, menacing beasts. The Lord did not send an angel to rescue the sheep so that David would be undisturbed, secure and happy. The bear and the lion would have had their way unless David had stepped into the gap and changed the course.
Too many believe in God, but very few simply, “BELIEVE GOD.” Every believer must trust the Lord with all their heart; it is never satisfactory to just state belief in God. Many can accomplish this sort of belief; churches are saturated with a belief system that is in agreement with the doctrine of belief, but very few are willing to step out in alignment with that faith. David believed God! Are we to sit idly? Does rest mean idleness and passivity? The Lord promised peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, but does this mean “vacation”?
“Is There Not A Cause?” -----ITNAC-----
Blessings to you!
Your Friend in Christ,
Dr. Gary H. Cote
Part 4 of USEFUL ARMOR is coming next!