This is the last blog of this series but I broke it into two different blogs because it was way to lengthy. In this blog, I will discuss the last and most important voice we hear, – the voice of Faith!
17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket[e] of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.[f]” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him.
David Did Not Set out to Kill a Giant!
When we read the story of David and Goliath, we read just the part where David goes after the giant. However, David did not set out to kill a giant that day! He was on an errand from his father Jesse to go and make a pizza delivery for his brothers,(just joking – about the pizza part) 12 miles away on foot or donkey. The thing we must remember is that David was the youngest of all the sons. When we read this story and other passages concerning David, we find out that his father and brothers had no respect for him. When Samuel (the great Prophet of Israel) came and had all of Jesse’s family assembled, his father did not even invite David in from the fields for the gathering to meet the great Prophet of Israel. This would be equivalent to Billy Graham coming to your house for dinner and you were not told or invited. Now we see again in this passage and later on that his image with his family did not improve, even after he was anointed king. David was still just a shepherd and errand boy, while his brothers were soldiers in Saul’s army.
The point here is that David did not set out to fulfill his destiny by killing a giant that day. Rather, he was just doing his lowly chores and being obedient to his father and family. David’s greatness came from being obedient, not from going out with the intent of killing a giant. These ordinary things and others were the preparation for David. Later on, in a few verses this same truth will come to light again for David and catapult David to greatness.
In my own personal life I am learning this. I have a great call placed on my life. But right now I find myself painting elderly homes and cleaning yards while running a ministry.
Furthermore, I just had an argument about why I did not clean a toilet after I spent 9 hours painting an apartment and cleaning a kitchen. And then to hear that the toilet is dirty. This is not what I had in mind when God called me into ministry. But as I write this, God is showing me these same truths of doing the menial tasks and receiving no respect. David, the anointed, delivery boy and King found himself in the same place.
Faithless Army of Israel
24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel.
I want to remind you at this point, after rereading verse 24 that this is King Saul and the Army of Israel. They had a covenant with God, the same covenant that David had! They all had the same blessings. But Israel’s Army had no faith in who they were and who they were called to be! So this is where we will come in with David: The voice of faith!
Lessons from the Faithless Church
26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
27 And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”
28 But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!”29 “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!
As I said earlier David did not receive any respect. In verse 28, David’s oldest brother Eliab, got furious with David and started accusing him of being prideful and full of deceit. You will also find this truth in the church. When you are called and when you are operating in faith, you will find those who are suppose to support you, are against you! Start preaching healing, prosperity and the love and grace of God. You will find that many in the church and in other denominations will rise up against you. You will start to hear that you are a false prophet. You have heard what they call faith preachers, well just begin to preach the grace message and watch what other ministries call you. I have actually seen Christian websites that post that all preachers who teach grace, healing and faith are of the devil, and they are called false prophets.
When you stand in faith, you will stand alone many times, just as David did here. You will find those who you think should be on your side are in reality your greatest discouragement and hinderance to your faith walk. Once again this is true in my life. My greatest discouragement in ministry comes from those in the church not from without. David’s own family attacked him for his faith, and yet David had not done anything other than ask a simple question. In most cases, those who do not operate in faith, seem to always come against those who God called to do something great.
Faith: What it is and what happens when you use it
David Kills Goliath
32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
There are so many life principles in this chapter, that it is hard to know where to start. So many of these life changing principles can and will, if you let them, change your very existence. From David, to the army of Saul, to his brothers, we will touch on as many as we can, but I do want to major on FAITH! This is where the church needs to be.
Before we can begin to talk about “faith” we need to define and understand exactly what faith is. As in many of my blogs, I will give you Dennis’s practical approach to what faith is.
In the church when we begin to talk of faith, we begin with:
Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
This is the standard verse for faith teaching in the church. But like many other people, I also had a hard time wrapping my head around this fancy verse. So God in His goodness gave me a verse I could sink my teeth into and then have a practical use for. This verse is:
Romans 4:21: He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
I have mediated on this verse for years and also the entire 4th chapter in Romans. This is truly a faith chapter.
What is faith? Being fully convinced that what God says is true. Faith is simply taking God at His Word and not doubting it!! This is a verse I can take to the bank. Hebrews 11 is good, but how simple can you make it for the ordinary faith walk? I can take God at His Word and I am convinced He is good for it.
This following verse is taken from the story of Abram recorded in Romans chapter 4. Abraham and Sarah were very old. They never had a child but God told Abram he would have a child. This is a great promise for a 75 year old man and his elderly wife, but Abram did not doubt. God said it and it was to Abraham good as done, He did not have to see it to believe it, he had heard the Word of God and that was all that was needed to convince him, This is faith.
How to get a Word from God?
There are two ways to get a Word from God, one is the “Logos Word of God” and that is the written Word of God in the Bible. The Bible does not contain the Word of God but IS the Word of God!! The second way is the “Rhema Word of God” and this is when you hear the voice of God and it directs you and guides you. This comes from the still small voice in your spirit. You might hear it during a message at church and even though you hear your preacher’s voice, he says something that resinates in your spirit and then you know that this is a Word from God to you. One word of caution here; when God gives you a Rhema Word it never, ever violates his written Word (Logos). In my life, while training for missionary work in Guatemala, God’s Rhema Word came and told me to stay in Guatemala. At first I refused, but through God’s direction, He convinced me and then He confirmed it through many otherwise impossible situations so I could stay.
Intimacy – the first place to start
The most important way of getting a Rhema or a Logos Word from God is for some, oftentimes a huge hurdle. It is “intimacy.” God desires intimacy, and in intimacy we can draw close to God and hear His deepest desire for us.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
I find so many in the church are comfortable with a far, out in space God who is somewhere out in the cosmos. They have hoped or are even convinced there is a God, but they never sought or thought intimate contact was possible for them. How very sad!! I was surprised even in Bible college when I filled in to teach a class, that so many who had completed Bible college, had never heard the voice of God! Jesus said:
John 10;27, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
John 17:3; And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The word know, is the same word used in Genesis. Adam knew Eve and conceived a son. This is how intimate God desires a relationship with you. He wants to be as close and intimate as you would be with your spouse. This is the beginning of our faith! Where there is no intimacy and closeness, there is no faith, and therefore there can be no closeness and trust between you and God. Yes, there are some who have faith in their doctrines, in their churches and even in the Bible but it is not a true personal intimacy with God.
When it comes to God, we have silly sayings like “God works in mysterious ways” or, where faith is like “rolling dice with God, “whatever comes up, comes up.” God is not mysterious and He is not a God of chance. When we read the Bible and study His ways, we can and will get to know Him. We can see how He works and how He responds. We can learn what His promises are, to those who receive eternal life and sonship with Him.
I will continue Part V next week. As one blog it was very lengthy. I hope you are enjoying this series.
Written by Dennis Stauffer
Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)
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