I Samuel 23 part 1–Stay in the Fray

David could have simply laid low.  He was being pursued by the King and accused of treason. He and his small band were given no protection or provision. But he heard his people were in danger.  So, he did the wisest thing he could have done—He asked God what to do. God directed and protected him from what was before him. He was not out of danger, his circumstance had not really improved—but, he knew God was with him and was guiding him to the truth.

We often face similar choices.  We encounter trials and want simply to lay low and et life pass. But as we seek the Lord, He directs us to stay in the fray and trust him for protection and provision. When he then provides, he does not promise all will be well—but he meets our needs for that day and that event. When we choose to seek him, we must be prepared to do so in all circumstance. We must also listen for his direction as he leads us through what many would call “the valley of the shadow of death”.

We must remember that he who calls us is faithful and he will do it. In 1st Peter 5, he tells us to be alert and encouraged.  We are under attack, but in his time he will restore and bless us—simply because we are his.

God Bless You

One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?”

“Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him.

But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!”

So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.”

So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him.

Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” So Saul mobilized his entire army to march to Keilah and besiege David and his men.

I Samuel 17 part 3–What to Wear When Facing a Giant

Growing up in the country has a tendency to make one look at life more simply. When one has a task to complete you do not take courses, read books, hire consultants and buy a bunch of equipment.  Instead you assess the situation, take what’s near and trust your instincts and proceed.  That was David’s approach to defending Israel.  When he was commissioned by the King, he was Armed with the Kings finest armor, given the Kings very sword and helmet and coached by the King to use the equipment.  But David knew he was not used to that stuff so he set it aside, picked up some rocks and faced the giant with the one thing he knew would affect the outcome—God.

When life seems filled with Giants, we often prepare for battle by employing the newest tools, latest theories and counsel from the best and brightest.  We try methods and theories that for our purposes simply do not seem to fit and are extremely uncomfortable.  What we should prepare for battle is a few simple tools—a Shield of faith, the sword of the spirit—(God’s word) and the helmet of salvation.  Like David, we walk into battle armed with the one thing that assures victory—God. 

It is great to read and grow knowledgeable in theology and life tools. The clear truth is, however, that without the Lord being in charge, all other tools become obsolete! Help me Lord to trust you and follow your leadership.

God Bless You

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 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. 46 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. 47 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.”

Matthew 10 Part 1–Buiding an Army

christain SoldierWell you have to start somewhere…once Jesus had established his ministry, he then began to build his disciples.  He chose men from the groups that were around him. He chose a variety of men from a variety of backgrounds—But the mission was simple—There is a harvest-I need harvesters.  The passage is amazing because he does not send these men out with the authority to preach and pray!! He sends them out with the authority to heal, to free and to save those lost and enslaved.  They were sent out to do what he was already doing.

In our churches and in our culture, Jesus does not call us simply to be friendly and mention his name on the streets; instead he calls us to continue what he was doing.  We are to pray and seek those whose lives have been crushed and entangled and provide them the message of hope, healing and provision.  We are not figureheads that wear a label and to look pretty—We are battle trained warriors called to harvest and heal a broken and Godless world.  We can never relent.  We can never give up.  We are called to press on to the end—shields up, swords in hand ready to fight to the death for the cause of freedom.  Help me Lord to humbly follow with my heart and head focused on the battle that lies before me!

God Bless You

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Matthew 4 part 1–The Battle Begins

Jesus did not take lightly the task before him. He was led by the spirit into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days. What an enormous burden—as a human, stripped of his power and Godly authority, Jesus now faced the enemy for a full on battle. There is so much to grab. First- Jesus fasted for 40 days—what a commitment and sacrifice. But it was also a time of clarity– Jesus did not underestimate the enemy, instead he prepared.
Next, The actual battle was not significantly different than ours. Satan tempted Jesus with the lust of flesh—turn the stone to bread; the lust of the eyes—I will give you all this if you will simply bow down; and the pride of life—Jump, God won’t allow anything happen to YOU, you are the chosen one. We, like the Lord, have the tools to walk away, prayer, scripture and the knowledge that the enemy will never provide anything that God has not already prepared for us. We simply need to be patient and submit to his leadership.
Finally, Jesus had the word so engrained in his thought, that battling was easy—Jesus had answered the questions well prior to Satan’s test. We have to know and commit to the right direction well prior to being tempted. We do this through his word and prayer. We build accountability and fellowship in our lives so we need not face the battle alone. Then we cling to the promise of his provision and protection and simply employ the word as a weapon and a shield in our lives—The battle is clearly not an easy one. It requires preparation, recognition and fortification. Help me Lord to employ those in my life.
God Bless You
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him