Influencers Weekly Devotional
Friday, March 25, 2011
Abide with ME
Abiding Physically - Part Four
God Prepares Us Physically for the Extraordinary
SCRIPTURE: “When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, ‘Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.’ But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.’ And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’” 1 Samuel 17:31-37
THOUGHT: David was a young man who had never been to war, and yet, he had been schooled in the art of warfare during the lonely vigils he had with God. It was in those alone times with God he was prepared for the battles he would face, and it started with the humble task of caring for sheep. Later, he would be given the responsibility to watch over the Sheep of Israel, by beheading a blasphemous Philistine giant named Goliath, and then continue his work when he became the king of Israel. David’s power was not because of what a man and his genes could produce. It was because of God’s anointing that David could do spectacular and mystifying things.
APPLICATION: “Prayers spoken in our private vigil with God are most often answered publicly before mankind.” The above thought certainly applies to a Man of God, his giant challenges, and times in his prayer closet, pouring his heart out before His King. It, no doubt, applied to a teenage boy who was a simple shepherd of sheep. He was disrespected by his brothers and other family members because of his youth and position. He was seen as least in his tribe. As an example, look what his brother, Eliab, said about him in verse 28 in the above chapter. He said David wasn’t a “real warrior”, for he had only experience with attending sheep. And yet, I don’t read where the courageous warrior, Eliab, volunteered to face the giant. There were also a few thousand other real warriors who stayed a safe distance from the menacing Goliath. So the question is, “If the men on that hill were God’s people, why were they not acting like it? Where was their courage? Where was their trust in Almighty God Who told them that no force would ever prevail against them, as long as HE was their God? Was it because HE was no longer God in their hearts, but in name only? Was their lack of courage a symptom of a deeper problem, and it took the least one to show them what it was, by putting his trust in God and his life on the line? Ole King Saul, a fallen hero if there ever was one, gave David the put up or shut up nod to go down into that lonely valley to fight the giant, and the real warrior stepped on the scene. Who was the real warrior? Was it David? No, David was simply a weapon for the Real Warrior’s purpose. It was the Lord God Almighty Who went with David, and through David, defeated the behemoth in spectacular fashion. He was the Real Warrior. God allowed David to get the applause from the people, for God was pleased with him, and He wanted David’s witness to be heard loud and clear. Through this challenging event for David, God spoke loud enough that the giant, the cowards on the hill, and the brothers alike would hear it. David said to Goliath, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.” God spoke to the Christian world at the same time and told us, “I’ll never let a man down who truly puts his trust in ME. See what I did for David as an example.”
So, how will these things connect with a Man of God’s need to stay physically fit? Think about it: Although God did the heavy lifting in the death of the giant, David played his part. His part began with discovering a true faith in God that was found in his alone times with God, and this faith was then applied to real life. His faith was trained with physical challenges, such as something small like hand-to-hand combat with a few lions and bears. (Relax. I’m not suggesting that you and I have to begin there. Maybe a few light weights in the gym first?) David didn’t begin there either. His first physical training likely started with a little running after straying sheep. Weightlifting probably began with lifting sheep out of a “cast down” or dangerous position. The point being is that a little lifting and running with a man starts the process of getting stronger physically, and we must realize we are preparing our bodies for God’s service. In David’s case, he eventually became strong enough to wrestle a bear and win, and cut the head off of a Philistine giant with the giant’s own sword. Make no mistake in thinking that David did nothing physical as his part in the battle. He did a lot, but God did so much more. So it is with our efforts to become physically fit and serve God’s purposes. I believe God would want this of His men, and He will help us, if we are willing to do our part. We do our part by putting in some effort toward an objective of training our bodies along with our faith. Now, we may not have to face a giant in our road. But we may face a mountain of discouragement, and simply feeling healthy and being healthy gives us a leg up in climbing that mountain.
REPLY: Savior, I read the event in the Bible about the battle of David and Goliath and wonder if I had been facing the giant, would I have been as confident as David with the outcome? I look at this man who was anointed by You and see him do things that defy logic, while I ask, “Can I also be so anointed?” Lord, what would it take for me to become a man like this, and to be so completely Yours that You would be able to do marvelous works through my life as well? Surely You have a reason for using men who are ordinary guys, even considered by some as least of the least. These are men who are often overlooked by the world, even brothers, and considered powerless because they are just too ordinary. But You are still able to make of them mighty warriors and fearless men, men who I would want to be in a foxhole with in any war. Could it be You want to show Yourself clearly to us as being completely sufficien and this is best accomplished when we allow You to take us from being ordinary men who can do nothing to ordinary men who do extraordinary things? Father, if this is true, all I can say is that’s what You have in me ---- just an ordinary guy. But, if You are willing to take me where I am at present, and take me where You want me to be, I give my mind, body and soul to You for your purpose. Train me up into this kind of man, Lord. Honor Yourself through my life as you did with David, and I will be willing to bravely walk to my lonely valleys and fight the giants that come before me,----- and with Your help,----- We will win the battles.
To Your honor I ask these things,
Category: Influencer's Weekly Devotionals
Links & Resources
Influencers- Bakersfield, CA
Influencers-Bayside Church, Northern California
Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"
Tulsa Men of Christ
Archive By Month