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« Do You Know Where Calvary Is? | Main | The Spirit of the Seven Vials »

Don’t Be Afraid to Fight!

david-goliath.jpg1 Sam 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

It is important for us to realize that God has placed a valley between the world and the church.
The church is a city, set on a hill.
The only way for you to ascend to the position of the world is to leave the mountain of God and go down into a valley.
Can we forget about the oneness of God?
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.”
Can we forget about the new birth experience?
“Except a man is born of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter…”
Can we forget about the name of Jesus?
“Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name…”
Can we forget about living a holy life?
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see…”

4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

The devil always has his champion.
Don’t mistake prominence for success. Champions of the world, or even of false doctrine, are not blessed by God.
Some people look at the size and armor of Goliath and judge him a success.
Don’t look at the world and envy their supposed success.
It is unthinkable how much people are prone to set doctrine and common sense aside when they fall under the spell of a champion.
Your flesh needs the guidance of the Holy Ghost to keep in on the straight and narrow.

8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Not Goliath. He will always be there in one form or another.
Not the fight. We will always have to fight for principles.
Not the taunting for a man. Someone will always have to step out on faith.
The problem was that Israel let Goliath frame the debate!
“If he kill me, we will serve you…”
“If I kill him, you will serve us…”
This happened in Genesis. God said, “If you eat, you will die.”
The serpent said, “You will not surely die.”

Ever listen to talk radio? Ever hear people yelling at each other?
Ever wonder why the guest just doesn’t answer the question?
The SECRET: If I answer your question, I accept your premise.
I’m not going to accept your premise, so I won’t answer your question.
The well-known example of this is “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

Goliath was trying to frame the debate with false claims.
The Philistines would never have served the Israelites, even with Goliath dead.
Israel would never have served the Philistines. They would have been slaughtered.
Don’t think you can play the devil’s game and win. He stacks the deck!
It’s a Chinese finger puzzle. Easy to get into it, impossible to get out!

11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Fear is the devil’s greatest weapon.
Israel didn’t have to feel Goliath’s spear; they feared Goliath’s voice.
I am amazed at the level of fear that exists in the people of God.
People are afraid they will lose husband, wife, family, friends, job…
The phrase “Fear not” appears 63 times in the Bible.
Fear is a spirit. “God hath not give us the spirit of fear…”

17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren; 18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge. 19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.

This is the only place where I questioned the Bible. The men of Israel were not really fighting with the Philistines. They were arrayed in battle and looked like they were fighting.

Too many of us are not really fighting the devil.
We are engaged in a staring match or a shouting match, but not much is done.
If we were truly fighting the enemy, we would be seeing a lot more victory!

25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. 26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. 28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

This is one of the saddest scenes in the Bible.
It depicts one brother berating another brother.
The strange fact is that Eliab thought he knew what was going on, but he was wrong! He judged David on outward appearances.
The worst thing in the world is for the church to criticize its own.
Back-biting, gossiping, rumor-mongering, believing false reports…it should not happen in the church!

1 John 4:16-21 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

 29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?  

This is where David stands head and shoulders above Eliab or the rest.
Eliab saw a single battle on a single day.
David saw a symbolic struggle that would decide the fate of a nation.
David would not allow his feelings to get hurt in a petty quarrel.
He kept his head and heart right because the stakes were too big.
He saw the cause.

Some people look at the First Apostolic Church and think we are making a difference over nothing. They say they are living according to standards “just because.” (Just because they are supposed to, just because they don’t want to make trouble…)

Don’t serve God just because…Serve God because you know there is a cause!

Yes, David, there is a cause!
The cause of righteousness.
The cause of worship.
The cause of truth.
The cause of the rapture.
The cause of future generations.

33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

You are a match for the devil!
Even if you are young and inexperienced, you can win.
Why the bear and the lion? Just for Jesse’s sheep? No. There is a bigger fight than just the day-to-day struggles we experience.

Two Keys:

  • David still fought the lion and the bear.
  • David gave credit to God for deliverance.

38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

We have always thought that the armor was too big for David.
David doesn’t say that. David says that he had not proved the armor.
He knew he still had something to prove.

Young people, we love you, but we want to know if you will get in the fight.
You do need to prove that you are as much in love with God as the older generation.

40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

Why five stones?
Five chances in case of four misses?

  • Prayer
  • Word
  • Faith
  • Courage
  • Name of the Lord

Goliath and his four brothers.
I just think it means that you can never get enough.

45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

Satan’s weaponry always looks twice as big and twice as numerous.
But we have the name of the Lord!
A name is a label sets one person apart from another. But in the Bible a name is much more than that. Names were formed from words that had their own meaning. People in the Bible were very conscious of the meaning of names. They believed there was a vital connection between the name and the person it identified. A name somehow represented the nature of the person.

This means that the naming of a baby was very important in the Bible. In choosing a name, the parents could reflect the circumstances of the child’s birth, their own feelings, their gratitude to God, their hopes and prayers for the child, and their commitment of the child to God.

MaKinzie Manning Jordan (meaning of my granddaughter’s name)

The name of Jesus is the number one identity of the Church!
Disease recognizes it. Satan respects it. Sin retreats from it. Angels revere it.

There is no other name. No better name. No stronger name. No greater name.

49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

I like that word, slang. David slang the stone.
Some of us keep our ammunition in the bag. We are good at setting up.
It’s like someone told me about golf…I’ve got a great practice swing.
We’re good at practicing on Sunday night.
We’re good at practicing at conferences, youth camps and camp meetings.
Now it is time to get out on the battle field.
I think what Bro. Buford was preaching about last Sunday was getting out on the battle field and getting into the fight. Praying through is getting into the fight.

Don’t forfeit the fight at home.
Don’t forfeit the fight at school.
Don’t forfeit the fight at college.
Don’t forfeit the fight when temptation comes knocking.

1 Tim 6:11-12 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Tim 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

  • You need to fight to come to church.
  • You need to fight to pray.
  • You need to fight to read the Bible.
  • You need to fight to live the holiness lifestyle.
  • You need to fight to worship.
  • You need to fight to witness.
  • You need to fight to do good works.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

Mark Horne writes, “When I was a young boy, I lived in Liberia , West Africa , where my parents were missionaries. Now, in the whole continent of Africa , I was told, there are three species of snake, in which deadly poison is lacking. Only one of those species was known to inhabit the regions of Liberia . So the reigning philosophy was hit it with a big stick first and ask questions later. I had the pleasure of seeing several serpent slayings. One thing I remember is that the fight almost always lasted longer than the life of the snake. People would stand there whacking for all they were worth at the head of the thing with a shovel or branch or cutlass or anything else that was long enough, and when they smashed it, they would keep whacking at it all the more. You see, once the head was crushed the creature would go into death throes and start violently twisting and convulsing. It’s possible it could even still strike. So the brave serpent slayer, under the influence, I think, of a great deal of adrenaline, would just keep raising the shovel over his head, and coming down on the snakes head over and over again—all the while, of course, standing on the balls of his feet and stretching as far as he could to keep himself out of reach. And even after it was obvious that the snake was no longer a threat, he might still smash it a few more times just for good measure. Overkill was not a problem with a snake.”

Let’s fight.
You can’t win the victory if you’re too afraid to fight.
We fight. God gives the victory.

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