BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Samuel 16 & 17.
When David went to fight Goliath, he collected 5 stones, and possesed 1 sling… And he stored those stones in a pouch.
I believe these items represent the following:
THE 5 STONES:
1. Faith (in God)
THE SLING: Action
THE POUCH: Our heart
God had already prepared David for the ‘giant’ battle in his life, by allowing a lion and bear to come against him, which he defeated before he was even aware that God had chosen him for a purpose. David already knew his God, already had faith in God before going against Goliath.
It was his faith in God that gave him confidence.
As confidence rose in his spirit, so did courage.
Courage sparked off determination, that would ensure he would not back down, no matter how big and terrifying Goliath seemed, as they drew nearer to one another.
And as the aforementioned ‘stones’ grew in his heart, strength was released. But strength isn’t the end of it. Strength will do nothing but turn into pride if it is not used for what it’s meant to be used for: Works…or, “Faith in action”
Action (the sling) propels the stones. It puts faith into action.
And these ‘stones’ or, characteristics, if you will, need to be stored in our heart, to be drawn on whenever needed.
On observing this, I noted, “David only flung one stone… Which one?” to which God replied, “The first one.”
FAITH IN GOD is the weapon we throw at our enemy…
JAMES 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works… v20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead… v24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
We can have faith in self, in finances, in a leader, in the sun rising and setting once more, in friends, in a lover, in our cat returning home at the end of the day, but none of these things have the power to bring us to victory as God does. We are to have faith that God is, and will accomplish that which He has spoken – not that He will complete the tasks we want done, or fulfill our personal agendas. After all, we’re called to ‘work’ for His kingdom. He’s not here to serve ours.
I am not saying ‘works’ are that which your pastor, leader, parent, lover, guilt, or whoever, lays down before you and demands you do. Yes, we have work to do in whatever area we find ourselves, but the ‘works’ I believe is most important, is hearing God and living in a way that lines up with what He says and asks of us. Not an agenda, or duty, as such, but a lifestyle that reflects that you truly believe He is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. We are to live by faith… faith that God is, and He will accomplish His will… Faith that says “God said, therefore it will be, and I will live in a way that shows I believe this,” and it is this faith, this ‘works’ that we use against our enemy; that enables us to be still and know that God is God, and, when we let Him have the lead in our lives, He is in control. This then takes away the worry in our life, also…
EPHESIANS 6:12 tells us who our enemy is: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” And when we come face to face with such an enemy, the only thing they will fear, and respond to in a way that confesses fear and causes them to flee, is FAITH IN GOD.
A demon cares not if you have faith in yourself, your own abilities, another human, or material possessions, for it knows such things can bring him no harm. Against a demon, such things are powerless. They are useless weapons. But bring God into the picture, have God stand before you (which you do, when you place your faith IN HIM) and watch those demons scurry off back into the dark pit from which they came.
You do not need to throw the other four stones at your enemy. These are characteristics you need to keep locked in your heart.
When we stand against that which comes against us (and the battle ground is usually our own mind) faith in God and confidence join together to form courage, and that will help us stand our ground and not back down…
But where does faith in God come from? How does one get it…? (And, remember, it’s faith IN GOD, we’re talking about, not faith in faith/perception/feeling/or any such thing…)
ROMANS 10:17 tells us, “Faith comes by HEARING, and hearing by the WORD of GOD…”
In order to receive and grow faith [IN GOD] we must listen to what God is telling us, and that we do through familiarising our self with His word… the written word “Jesus said…” and the Living Word “Jesus Christ”… also through prayer, and having a one-on-one relationship with God – and that, of course, is through Christ. He came to restore our relationship with God…
While being taught this, I had to live it, so I watched my own reactions to each ‘stone’… or each step.
I would seek the Holy Spirit while reading the Bible, asking Him to bring to life that which I needed to help me walk righteously in the place I was at at the time, and as I did, faith in God would rise in my spirit. During this time, God would speak to my heart things He wanted me to know – or, as the Bible says, the Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God and makes it known to us.
When God would open my eyes to truth, and speak fresh revelation to my spirit, faith would rise and confidence would kick in. For at the same time a knowing would arise in me, that opened my eyes to who I was in Him, what He was calling me to do, and how greatly He loved me and the world.
I would then confidently take what God had placed in my heart, and opened my eyes to, and I would take it to ‘man’, saying “God said…” and man would have a very hard time with this… and I cowered before them. Due to YEARS of insecurity and holding on to a spirit of intimidation, ‘man’ just had to arch one eyebrow and I would lay down all I believed God had told me.
When man said “That couldn't be God,” I would not only lose courage, but confidence as well, and as soon as I let got of confidence, I let go of faith in God… and I would cry, “God! Why did you allow me to be lied to!” and other such things.
In order to teach me that He was speaking to me, God would use the sermon from the next church service I attended to speak the exact same message He had given to me in the privacy of my own heart… But rather than hold onto confidence, I held on to anger, not blaming me for letting go of courage and confidence, but blaming ‘the man’ GOD gave me! Basically, doing what Adam did when he and Eve were busted for eating the forbidden fruit…
Time would go by as I was led by the Spirit to live these things, and eventually (though it took a very long time) I realised that I had to stop asking ‘man’ to confirm or analyse what I believed God was saying to me. The Bible tells us that we no longer need each other to teach us, but the Holy Spirit will make all things known to us… but, such was my insecurity, I ‘needed’ man… and over the years, because I trusted man more than I placed faith in God, and did not hold onto confidence that God would speak to me, I was almost emotionally and spiritually gutted… I did NOT fling that first stone at the enemy. I did not put faith in God into action… I did not do the ‘works’ to prove my faith…
I had to take what God spoke to me ~ that which caused my faith in Him, and my confidence, to rise ~ and use courage to stand against the voices of doubt. In doing this, determination kicked in. Only by persisting (as determination does), and only by keeping all that God had spoken and given to me locked in my heart, and gritting my teeth against doubt while saying “GOD SAID”, did I grow stronger in Him, in faith, in who He has called me to be and do… I had to learn to put my faith in God into action. I had to learn to trust Him, and stand my ground…
Something else I noted in 1 Samuel 17 was:
* David was a man after God’s own heart… which is why God chose him; why he was called to the front of the fight. God didn’t look on David’s size; He looked upon the content of the man’s heart ~ a heart that knew its Maker.
* David was looked down upon by his brother… To me, this symbolised that there will be those in your life who have been ‘believers’ longer than you have, who will feel you have no right to be used by God, as David was used by Saul, to overcome the enemy… In the verse where David’s brother points a finger at him, I was thrilled to see David had the courage to do what I never could: He turned his back on the voice of accusation. He clung on to faith in God, and to confidence, which gave him the courage to turn his back on man… AND face the enemy.
* Saul tries to dress David in his armour… but Saul’s armour doesn’t fit David. It’s too big. David is just a ‘small’ guy… This told me never to take on someone else’s way of doing things. When God calls you to battle, you can trust that He’s already dressed you for it; do not seek someone else’s old armour. Go as God leads you, with the weapons He’s already placed in your heart… Get your game plan from God… especially as most of the battles we face takes place in the battlefield of our mind…
EPHESIANS 6:10-18 ~ The Whole Armor of God:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--
PERSONAL REVELATIONS that helped me know God’s voice:
I once asked God, “How do I know when a desire is of You and not of the flesh?” to which He replied, “If it is of Me, you will have to feed it daily…” through His Word, through prayer, which enables you to hear Him more clearly, and causes your faith in Him, and your confidence etc to rise… “If it is of the flesh,” He continued, “it will feed itself…” eg lust, gluttony, anger, vanity, etc…
Another time, I asked how do I know if a revelation, or a vision, is of Him and not my own imaginings… and He replied, “If it is Me, your shoulders will slump forward as you are humbled… If it is you, your shoulders draw back with pride…” Had to check my heart attitude before reaching for a vision, and saying “God said…”
Around the same time, after God had to wrestle me in order to plant certain visions in my heart (due to my insecurities at the time) I said, “God, that which I believed was of You, now feels like it’s being desired by my flesh…” and He replied, “That which is born in the spirit, must be birthed through the flesh…” In other words, what He gave me in the spirit, He planted in my heart… As His will took root and grew in my heart, His will became my desire, and soon my flesh was wanting it, too… He plants, He waters, He grows, and we bring it forth into this realm. Then what is done in Heaven can be done on earth.
Speaking of flesh, while learning these things, I realised the flesh can be mighty stupid. The spirit senses what God is saying and doing, the heart takes it on, and the flesh feels ‘something’ stirring within and wants in on the action. The flesh becomes impatient, demanding some sort of fulfilment and runs off ahead of God, wanting the result NOW! To this, God pointed out, “If you run ahead of the Light, you will stumble in the darkness.” Which told me “Be still and know that GOD IS GOD” …and that’s where stone number one comes into full force.
And remember, David didn’t run FROM the battle. He ran INTO it! Knowing that God had already made a way… knowing that God wins, and therefore we do… when we do it His way…
Also, when I grew tired of this learning stage, and the journey I was on, I reread the battle between David and Goliath, and God pointed out that David did a doubletake on the prize… And God pointed out to me that it’s ok to keep your eye on the prize, for that will help strengthen us for the battle; it will drive us on, so we don’t give up, knowing that it will be worth it in the end.
At one stage, I cried, “GOD! I DON’T WANT THE PRIZE!!!! It’s not worth all I have to go through to get it…” to which He instantly replied, “I am in the prize…” and it was the only thing He could’ve said to get me to get up and keep going… and I’m still going…
And on stepping out of depression, I can see even more clearly, that God did prepare me for the battle… but I let go of those stones, and failed to use the first one, many times… Now, I pray, I am better prepared for the next battle… and I’m clinging on to God more than ever, knowing, from experience, He brought me victory against depression, and He will bring me victory again…
SUGGESTED READING: 1 Samuel 16 and 17.
© Donna Keevers Driver