Chosen by God…that’s you and me.
We remember the day we were anointed to become kings and priests before our God (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6).
That we were chosen had nothing to do with skills, talents, gifts, abilities, looks, but was based on our heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
Despite being chosen, some of us may not yet be “installed” into the place to which we were called – like David who was anointed to be king of Israel, but was not crowned until many years later.
What do we do in the meantime? Let’s drop in on David in 1 Samuel 17 to see what David did.
We find three of his older brothers with Saul’s army at the Valley of Elah. Across the valley was the Philistine army, along with their champion, Goliath.
Saul had already been rejected by God as king, and David already anointed to take his place.
However, David was at home, tending sheep! Not for long.
Dad called on David to run an errand. He was to take grain, bread, and cheese to the army.
In essence, this anointed one was dispatched as a pizza delivery guy!
It is interesting that David didn’t tell his dad, “What? Are you kidding me? I’m the king! Get one of my other brothers to be your errand boy. That’s not my calling!”
Instead, he obeyed his father and set out for the battle.
As he drew near to the place, he could hear the big mouth of Goliath. Every boast and taunt rankled.
He left the supplies with the supply keeper, then went in search of his brothers.
After he asked what was going on, his oldest brother turned on David and accused him of being a rubbernecker. Undaunted, he went and talked to some of the other men.
Everyone told him how big and mean Goliath was.
On the other hand, David’s question was this: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
The men saw a big problem…David saw his big God.
Saul got word that there was someone willing to take on the giant. He was just a kid, though. What to do?
David was summoned, and the king insisted that the fellow put on his armor.
I think David went along with it just so he could tell his buds back home, “I got to wear Saul’s armor!”
The results were laughable. Saul stood head and shoulders above grown men, and David was just a youth.
It didn’t take much intelligence to realize that this would not go well. He took it off again and deferred to his own weapons – a staff and a sling.
He told of killing a lion and a bear with nothing more than these…and his Lord.
Besides, this guy was bad-mouthing the army of the living God – and it ticked him off. Someone needed to shut him up. If no one else was willing to do the thing, then he’d see to it.
Wearing someone else’s “armor” is awkward.
David knew God could use what this shepherd brought to the table.
He stopped on the way to the valley and selected five smooth stones.
Then came the moment of truth.
Once he stepped into that valley, there was no turning back. Could he do it?
Are you kidding?
He was there to defend the honor of the living God.
Without the first irrevocable step,
all David had said would be just a lot of hot air…
No different than Goliath!
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
“This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
Then, in classic Aragorn fashion (Lord of the Rings), David ran toward Goliath.
True to his word, he felled the giant with a single stone, then took Goliath’s sword and severed his head from his body. (Ladies say, “Eew!”)
He took that head with him to Jerusalem. (Double Eew!)
As you see above, there are three things we want to take away from this story:
1. The men saw a big problem…David saw his big God.
When we are faced with difficulties we choose what we will focus on. Will it be the size of the matter before us? Or will it be the size of our living God?
2. Wearing someone else’s “armor” is awkward.
Each one of us has been given, by God’s divine power, all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3).
In other words, God knew what armor you have before He invited you into this ordeal.
We get ourselves into great trouble when we compare our equipment (anointing, skills, abilities, talents, or gifts) to those around us.
“Oh, if only I could teach like So-and-so.” “Oh, if only I was a prayer warrior like _________.” “If I had leadership skills like Whats-his-face…”
“THEN I could _________________.”
Um…wrong-o! First Corinthians 1:27 reads, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”
Feeling too weak or foolish to see the thing through? Perfect! You’re exactly the person God wants to use!
Not only that, but we look downright silly trying to “wear” what someone else has when we step into the arena.
3. Without the first irrevocable step, we will be no different than many other people who sit in church on a Sunday singing about how brave they are…
…then go home and do nothing out of fear: fear of failure, of looking foolish, of not doing it right, of what others might think.
Life will come to a close. They’ll draw the sheet up over our heads, and we will have done nothing noteworthy to demonstrate the power of the living God.
Today I want you to know this:
You are enough for anything God wants to do through you!
Get your sling, and I’ll meet you at the edge of the valley, for nothing is impossible…
(This was Sunday’s sermon…bits of it, anyway. It was so good that I went back in the evening to hear it again!)