New Temple; Same Market! Pt. 2

Standard

If you read Part I, proceed to paragraph 5.      To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market! John 2:16

Part one posed many thoughts about the current challenges facing our churches.  Shamingly, I writes churches, a subtle admission of the largest problem we face, while challenging us all to take a close look at ourselves with sober judgment and face a sad reality or ignore warnings and trends.  

As we continue to look at the marketplace, we find Christ encountering the temple before the Passover.  He wandered into the courts and saw up close the wickedness that had emerged in the place that was to provide a medium for healing and restoration.  He stood face to face with the place, no doubt, many had complained about the scales used to determine whether one was forgiven or in limbo with the Lord.  While many approached God with a contrite heart, they were instructed that there best wasn’t good enough for the Lord.  The system that was created to facilitate, no majored on regulating, leaving more wounded than whole.

Our Lord fashioned a whip and declared, “Stop turning my Fathers House into a Market”  reading this, I thought of today’s circumstances and wrote, “New Temple; Same Market.”

Today’s Temples are absolutely amazing.  I’m sure upon Christ return that He will visit each one and sign up for the guided tour of each of our localities.   I can imagine that He will take pictures in our pulpits, possibly baptize a few in our baptismal pools, and recline in our offices, later taking a ride in our vehicles which He blessed us with.  Nah!  We know what His return will be like, but not to let the moment pass, when Jesus encountered this Temple, he wasn’t impressed with the operation, He was angered by the misuse of His Fathers house.  It was not created to be a for profit, it was to be a non profit directed by a Prophet that was not focused on making a profit, but doing what was profitable for ones soul.  (I know the Prophet didn’t control the temple, I’m bridging to today).

New Temple; Same Market Pt. 2

With the house out of order, He paused the festivities to clean house!  I am convinced that the same would occur in many places today.  Jesus prays to God about the disciples, the church, and their role in what was to come.  Thus we too must clean house. We must focus on the Message of Christ and being like Christ; correcting un-christlike behavior.  And when abuse occurs in the ranks and pew, we must reestablish the will of Christ within our walls.

He says,

“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  John 17:23

Jesus stressed Kingdom, as in One, not Kindgoms as in many.  Though there is freedom and beauty in the variety of praise, there is nothing beautiful or freeing about the many messages from the messengers.  Confusion exists when seekers hear speakers promoting political and personal agendas.  It is as though there is no truth today.  Truth is no relative to the audience one is trying to reach it seems. Market studies reveal the perfect Message for tingling ears, and many have chosen to deliver it line by line though to fill empty seats.  These things result in a rejection of truth, a group that don’t have the truth in them, and creates a pew filled with cynics.

Each time my Grandfather and I speak, he says,  “There is a difference in a church and a congregation.  We have too many congregations!  We must be the church!” Pastor Buford Horn (#grandpahorn)  “What’s the problem you ask?” Many of our churches are congregating around ideals and values that don’t align with Christ!  And for many, they aren’t disciples, rather people who are similar and use the church as a place to congregate and do commerce.

John Maxwell said at the GROW conference, “The world is motivated by an untapped market.  Are you motivated by the unsaved?” Which brings us to our next issue in the market, competition.  It’s not the competition that is the issue, rather the ones being competed for.  Maxwell spoke to us, “If I told a business man that 60% portion of a the market was virgin, he wouldn’t hear the rest of my presentation.”  He gently scolded us, confronting us will a sad reality.  Much of our growth has been movement not salvation’s.  Some have catered Sunday mornings not for the unsaved, but have designed our worship and temples to gather the largest portion of the existing market-share possible.  We are not creating an audience, we are competing for an audience. img_2881-2

Yes, people need a place to worship.  Yes, we need to track down the one and reach those who have fallen out of fellowship. These are responsibilities placed on the Shepherd and his team, but the great commission refocuses us on our main task.  It’s to take the Message and create more Messengers that can take the Message and create more Messengers.  It seems we have fallen in love with the twelve and crowds and forgotten about the cross.  Why were we sent? To whom where we sent?

If we are anything like our Christ, we would see a shift in our target audience!  There are still poor, prisoners, blind and oppressed in the hedges and highways.   And as long as these aren’t our focus, the country club atmosphere and mentality will continue to plague or congregations, and keep us from becoming the church of Jesus Christ.
#pastorjdo3

Advertisements

Restoration Participants (Galatians 6:1)

Standard

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin,
you who live by the Spirit should
restore that person gently.
But watch yourselves,
or you also may be tempted.”
Galatians 6:1 

There are many parts of this text that bother me!  There’s that whole “caught in sin” piece and the intro of “brothers and sisters” that seems to work contrary to “those of you who are spiritual.”

This passage is such a reflection of the Body of Christ.  Paul writes to inform us that a midst our brothers and sisters, there are those who are not “living according to the Spirit.”   It would seem that Those who are Spiritual would be included in the “Brother and Sister.”  Maybe there are three groups within our walls:  1.   Those who are Saved and Not Spiritual” 2.  Those who Saved, Spiritual but Lacking Maturity”. 3.  Those who are Saved and Spiritual.”

Having said that; which group are you in? 

And how does your group affect the productivity within the church making disciples?

Groups 1 & 2, in this case, would  the individual in sin and in an an attempt to restore them would respond the opposition Spiritual; carnal or with frustration and impatience.  The carnal nature would bring in the gossip, judgment, and condemnation.  The person who is already ensnared, would now have to fight through the arrows of their fellow brothers and sisters.  The lack of maturity could cause one to mismanage the circumstances or process, causing further delays or possible offenses.

Furthermore, they individual would have to fight through brands and labels placed upon them.   Long after God has forgiven and restored, the one caught in sin would be on trial by a jury of peers whom might be struggling but not caught it in a different trap but not exposed or caught yet. This person would not be effective in the restoration process because they in flesh could further scar and embarrass the one caught.

Paul says, “those who are spiritual,” and then gives an instruction, “restore them gently“.  This is key to restoration!  Too often we are harsh, abbrupt and abrasive when dealing with those who have fallen!  Paul Reminds us to approach our brothers and sisters with love as we guide them back to a path of righteousness.

Gently also means in our approach and persuasiveness.  We must be willing to speak and pray with those ensnared, walking them through and pointing them towards that which is right and then holding them accountable not by force, but though love and support.   Gentle implies that we must restore with care, washing thouroghly with the Word, but not scarring our brother and offending them in the process.  We must be willing to reason with them in some cases, understanding that they might feel justified and also be set and comfortable in their present state.  

imageRestoration is a process!  This is why Paul calls upon those who are spiritual! These individuals will approach with wisdom and insight, being patient with their fallen brother or sister according to God’s plan.  

But I am bothered by this warning from Paul!  He says “Watch yourselves or you also may be tempted.”  This was bothersome because the implication is that the one that is spiritual is subject to fall to temptation.   It would have been more comforting if he said, be careful if this is something you struggled with in your past. Or be careful if this is a current stumbling block to you.  But he said, “you may also be tempted.”  This is too generic! It insinuates that one is subject to be tempted and can fall period!

But the ones restoring are walking by the Spirit right? Then why the warning?  How crafty our adversary is!  Even those who walk by the Spirit can be caught.  Just a slight loss of focus and one can stumble and move from restoring to being restored!  

How humbling this is!  Why should we hold back judgement and condemnation for our brother and sister?  Cause we could be next.

Last, let it be said and duly noted that it doesn’t take a Spiritual Person to catch someone in sin, but it requires a Spiritual Person to resort them.  In this, sometimes a person just has to remove themselves from the equation.  I wrote earlier, sometimes the best advice you can give someone is, “ask someone else.”  There are times and situations that are just beyond you and handling it will make things worse.

Reality; everyone can not play a role in restoration.  As we have experienced in the Kingdom, the harm done by those who are immature who revel in catching and condemning those they find.  We have suffered the scars of this who have been exposed for entertainment and cast out from the community to the delight of those operating with carnal minds.  We must in the future find some way to cancel out the harm done by those who refuse to grow and or walk by the Spirit within our walls, or we will find more that choose to stay at home and loose the benefit of being in the Body of Christ.
#pastorjdo3

I’m Just a Somebody….

Standard

“What is wrong with the church?” I was asked in a recent conversation.  Though I can be wordy, and I was, I will sum it up in this phrase, “I’m Just a Somebody…”

 

When I was a kid, one of the top songs on the Christian chart was a song called “I’m Just a Nobody” by The Williams Brothers.  The song told the story of a man who encountered a man that appeared to be an old wino that was on the streets giving his testimony.  The song sat in the belly of transition for the church.  See, the song highlights a man who lacks the finer things in life.  He doesn’t dress, live or drive fancy and places his full value and purpose in life to the spread of the Gospel.

Because of his appearance, he is teased and ridiculed.  He is ignored and assumed not to know what he professes, but they are disillusioned.   While they chase the things of the world, garnering themselves with the latest trends, this man sought to clothes mankind in righteousness by sharing the transformation God had done in his life.

Though the people feel they are insulting him,
the man embodies their judgement and declares,

“I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody,
about somebody, who can save, anybody.”

His words sounded out as a warning to the changing church.  Our seats had become full, and our parishioners garnered themselves in the latest of fashions.  Our Pastor’s moved from hubcaps to Rims from street corner to television programs.  Respect began shifting to the haves, and the have-nots became a silent Kingdom partner.  People began to think of themselves without sober judgement, wearing and hiding behind the power of titles and ministry prestige.  We forgot that it was “…grace and mercy that brought me through. Im living this moment because of you” and began to think it was our intellect and abilities that had elevated us.

People stopped thinking of themselves as “nobody” but as “somebody”.  We began to see ourselves as irreplaceable parts in the Kingdom.  As gatekeepers and card carrying members of an elite body as opposed to servants in a field that was being plowed inch by inch by the soles of blood bought witnesses canvasing the neighborhood.  We became a band of righteous men and women and ceased to be a group of men and women saved by grace.

imagesThe humility found in the body of Christ was one that identified the culture of the church.  We were a group of people gathered together via mercy and grace.  It was our knowledge that we were undeserving of God’s love, but recipients none the less of an eternal reward that would not fade or tarnish.  This understanding allowed us to serve in a manner that illustrated the true virtue of Christ that was illustrated by His decent into human flesh and earthly living.  It seasoned our tongue as we witnessed to others, ensuring that the hearer felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and not the judgement of mankind.  As undeserving recipients, our passion was to ensure that someone else received the same gift, as opposed to keeping His truth to ourself.

This is the spirit that is missing in our global church.  It the difference between a personal relationship/faith and a corporate relationship/faith that hinges on the market value of our Pastors/Clergy.  Though we as men and women of God are watchmen over the congregations souls, responsible for guiding, teaching and correcting,  we are stock options are shares to the Kingdom.   We too are simply “…nobody,tying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.

 

 

#PastorJDO3

Modern Day Pharisees

Standard

As we studied the word Wednesday, we looked at Paul, a former Pharisee addressing the church at Rome. Verses 1 through 5 of chapter 2 warn of the dangers of casting judgment and reminds those present to consider themselves first before declaring ones worth or eternal destination.
Paul’s life as a Pharisee came into play, in that He once was one. He was an interpreter and an enforcer of the law. His life was to be held to the strict observance of the law, presenting himself as a blameless follower of Gods’ word! Though important to the Kingdom, the group became corrupted, bending the law, abusing the law, interpreter the law for their benefit, and or ignoring aspects of the law for comfort and convenience while holding people to the stick observance.

Their title, Pharisee, eventually took a negative connotation,
and they were seen more as hypocrisy than righteous.

police-badge.jpgAs our conversation ensued, I asked myself: “Are our Police Officers following this same trend?”

Not that all officers are bad!

Paul himself was righteous and devote as a Pharisee. He was a true keeper of truth and one that fought to preserve what was right in God’s sight. Yet in still, he was paired with those who were abuser of the honor of holding the position, leaving a position of honor a title that eventually became synonymous with being a hypocrite.

As clergy, Pastors and Priest have faced this same challenge. The actions of a few abusers have affected the view towards the whole causing the carrying out of ones’ duties very challenging and in many cases, the product less productive and positive.  As a card carrying member, one finds themselves caught between addressing the truth of ones failing ignoring and dismissing the actions of a peer.  While we are called not to cast judgment, we are able to make judgments.  In this, one can align what should be with what appears to have happened without sentencing a person.  A Biblical perspective can be shared without condemnation and without disowning.  Because of our silence, we have all been placed in the same pot, and have suffered as it has reached its boiling point!
Jesus was clearly bothered by the Pharisees. There enforcement of the law, coupled with their taking privileged became a source of tension while He carried out His mission. They saw Him representing change, and shedding true light upon the law which was not being used to protect and serve the people, but was being used to strangle and place badgeofshameshackles upon the feet of those who were God’s children. The Pharisees, as Jesus helped us to discover, knew the letter of the law, and had taken the few laws and created an entire system of laws to promulgate prosperity and purpose. In their administering of the law, they lacked the Spirit of the laws intent, because their relationship to the law was not based upon helping the people, but protecting their own personal interest.
Whenever you are more concerned about the law and loose sight of the purpose of the law you will find yourself in trouble.  The law was for the people, not for the Pharisees.  The law was not to protect the Pharisees, it was to protect the people!  They were not created to create jobs, but rather to keep the people safe, giving them rules to abide by that would keep harmony.  The administration is there for those who break the law, so that justice can be carried out, and order restored.

Being unjust while carrying out justice does not restore order,
it causes further unrest.

The Pharisees had allowed a position of honor to become a badge of shame. They were abusive and arrogant, and the community interacted with them out of fear, not respect and admiration.  This seems to be the problem at hand today.

It’s not the whole or the majority,
but its the few who took the oath
with their fingers and toes crossed.

So what must be done?
Jesus made a whip! He raised His voice and raised His hands. He would not stand to see the Kingdom suffer at the hands of corruption and the name of the Lord made to be a laughing stock. He reached out to the community, and became a beacon of light speaking up for those who had been treated unjustly. He also took the risk. His life was on the line. He traveled from place to place, strategically of course, speaking out and sharing the light in the midst of darkness.
JesusWhipSomeAss-425x509We too must make a whip!
We must make laws and remove people from office and positions that are abusive. We must confront those few that are abusive and making shame of the temple and causing unrest and stress in God’s Kingdom. We must raise our voice and stop swallowing the whistle. We must address wrong and ignorance by raising our voice to speak up for those who are powerless or being treated unjustly. We must raise our hands to vote and too must take the position of the law makers who are foolishly causing further tension and calamity by not being people of integrity. We must come together, both Jew and Gentile, Black and White, Protestant and Atheist (yes I said it), Christian and Muslim (Yep, I said it) and must take a stand for what is right!

The Dialogue Pt. 1

Standard

I am blessed to be connected to some very powerful and true men of God.  Not perfect men, but true men, whom God has strategically placed to change the hearts of men, and to turn over the course of mankind.

I thought it beneficial to share exerts from a conversation, not identifying the speaker or speakers, but the pure sincerity and truth of the prophets God has waiting in the hills to rise up and take the stance for the Kingdom of God.  Come Holy Spirit on me

The original context of the dialogue steamed from a keen awareness that the community, not just the African American Community, but the Kingdom needing a developing and emerging wave of generals to pick up the mantle and also affect change in the course of our existence!

Speaker 1:  “We need a Prophet!”
Speaker 2:  “One that understand His call is to God first and the people second.”
Speaker 3:  “God has already sent a prophet, and a savior. We need to embrace the power  of what He’s already sent”
Speaker 1: “Yes!”
Speaker 3: “GOD said we have EVERYTHING we need to be successful in life and religion. He already gave it to us, we have to activate it.
Speaker 2: “In that, we must walk in the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat the establishment like Jesus”
Speaker 1:  “But the Holy Spirit is taboo, “mystical” at best!”
Speaker 3:  “By increasing our faith and an understanding of agape love the way God demonstrates it
Speaker 1: “activate” I say “surrender to” The Holy Spirit hasn’t been our guide for ages! We have the backpack and never call for the map (Dora)
Speaker 3: The Holy Spirit is fact. We are just scared to embrace it’s power
Speaker 1: “We want it’s power, but don’t have an appetite for righteousness!
Speaker 2: But the power lies in our faith and righteousness
Speaker 1: The Holy Spirit will give us wisdom, power and confidence to defeat the enemy, but it will also cause us to defeat and deny our flesh.
Speaker 3: We’re powerless without it
Speaker 1: It’s the combination of being selected through faith and seeking righteousness that will shine a light that is different and attractive.
Speaker 2: If the woman with the issue of blood was healed by her faith, why can’t a community with an issue of shedding blood be healed by our faith?
Speaker 1:  We have sunk into is masking and medicating problems.
Our country is not build on finding solutions, just dealing with the symptoms, and this has flowed over into our faith. We mask the problem by prescribing and taking things that make us seem healed as opposed to working to become well
Speaker 2: The symptoms cause the problems in our life but the cause (sin) is the only real cure.
Speaker 1: Wellness is faith, but it is also a decision to trust and to work towards what you believe to be true, applying the power and walking in discipline while you wait upon manifestation to occur!

(Discussion Continued)…

Join the discussion!  What are your thoughts and perceptions?  How can we Heal and Avoid Medicating?  Even more, when we will start taking what the Word prescribes, and not Self Medicating and Using Home Remedies?

 

#PastorJDO3

 

…We used to be Just as Annoying as the Jehovah’s Witnesses…

Standard

Today I was blessed to have a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness while our networking for my home church.  It was refreshing and confirming on many levels.  In the dialogue, I asked him about church home and salvation, he said he “I recently returned to being Jehovah’s Witness….”, and that he worshiped at a Kingdom Hall and gave the location.   I asked him, “Why did you return?”His answer was detailed (could write many other blogs, but chose to write just this one) but simple,

“Each Saturday, they go out to neighborhoods from 9 to 12 noon, and knock on doors just like Jesus said to do when he sent out the 70.”

I smiled!  I thought to myself, “We used to be just as annoying as the Jehovah’s Witnesses! (This is not an insult, but a tribute to one, and shame to another and a call for “soul searching“)”.

I thought about the days of our early church bodies, in which we had groups that regularly went out to knock on doors and bare personal witness about Christ and the change that He has made in our lives.  I felt convicted!  The door knockers we send, flyers we mail, media we invest in, all fall short of the power and effect of the personal testimony.  “Why did we stop?”

The last time I felt this way was in Virginia, when I purchased a Final Call and a Bean Pie from a Muslim man on the corner (Yes I PURCHASED ONE OF EACH!)  As I sat there watching him back in the 100 degree weather, I wondered how many Christian men I could get to stand outside in full black suit, a white shirt and black bow tie, and counted 2 maybe 3 (I wasn’t one of them).  I would have requested that we make a short set to wear!  I thought then, “What has happened to us?”

We used to be soldiers!  We were warriors!  We wore out the soles of our shoes fighting for souls for the Kingdom!  There was a time when we weren’t on the corner just to raise funds for our ministries!  There was a time when people heard that morning knock and thought it was us, but some where along the line, we either lost our zeal or decided that we didn’t want to be a nuisance, offensive or yes; annoying.  Or maybe we developed an intolerance or grew allergic to rejection, or didn’t feel qualified or prepared for defending our faith?  Maybe we have just become too prosperous?

I’m just not sure!  But I do know one thing, We Need to Be Just As Annoying as the Jehovah’s Witnesses!  People need to get sick and tired of us knocking on their doors, ignoring the no solicitation signs on the neighborhoods, interrupting our Saturday cartoons, College Football, Car Washing and Yard Work!!!!  People need to run inside and hide behind their couches, knowing that the People of God are going to swing through and ask them the question, “If you die tonight, do you know if you will spend eternity with God, or burn in hell’s fire?”  “Do you know Jesus Christ? “Have you believed His death accepted His blood provision for your sins?”

I know this doesn’t apply to every ministry, but it applies to some.  I am aware that times have changed, and that people are different, and that we must adjust our methods.  There are many things we can argue need to be changed about our modern ministries, but our personal witness will never be one of them!

(Knock Knock)

#PastorJDO3

Trigger Fingers Become Twitter Fingers (1 Samuel 17:3-36)

Standard

Sunday, I was honored to share the Word at the Golden Chain Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas Texas.  The message, “When Trigger Fingers Become Twitter Fingers” from 1 Samuel 17:3-36.  We looked at the story of David and Goliath, but this day, God had a different focus.

As a parallel, we looked at the earthly battle between Meek Mills and Drake.  The opening looked at the encounter or lack of encounter between Drake and Meek Mills.  A sparing session that featured 1 decent set of bars from Drake, a non response from Meek Mills, and then a second set of bars from Drake that were better than the original set of bars released, and yet another lack of response fro Meek Mills.   Even worse, Meek Mills’ little sister released a reply to Drake, dissing him and defending her brother.  Her response was followed by other Meek Mills fans, speaking up for their hometown favorite artist.  In a span of two weeks, Meek Mills went from being a non-factor, but an up and coming artist to being not just the punching bag for Drake, but the punchline of every joke.  It seemed Meek was being punched from every direction.

In this passage, we find the Army of the Lord facing the Philistines on the battle grounds, featured by their champion Goliath.  A giant of a man, he stood boldly yelling and insulting the Lord and the Army of the Lord, challenging them to stand up and fight.  He accosted them for 40 days and for 40 nights, calling for their best to step forward for battle, and yet no one stepped forward.  This my friends is the modern church.  We have become a generation of tweeters and not fighters.  Our street credibility now questionable, as we rely on the victories of those that have gone before us, to strike what used to be fear in the heart of the adversary.  Now our army post, re-tweets and sub-tweets, sharing memes, taking a stance on Facebook and other social media outlets, but not a stance in life.  We have timeline righteousness, and not a genuine walk with the Lord!

Verse 20 reveals the battle front.  It featured the Army of the Lord, postured for battle, yelling its battle cry, and then listening to the Lord being insulted and not stepping forward to defend His name!  We have become set and comfortable in our positions.  We have become used to yelling and singing, but have become dull to the fight.  Our positions have become more valuable to us than the very name of the Lord.  We have determined that our own lives, our land, our church  building and our acquisitions are more important than reputation of our God!  We have ceased to trust Him, choosing to rely upon our own skills, forgetting who has empowered us, who has gifted us, and who has one battle after battle for us!  We have become overcome with the size of the opponent and not the sanctity of the body of Christ; the House of the Lord!

As God took us closer, I saw that the battle cry of the soldiers had become mere words from a page, and not melodies from their hearts.  I envisioned our Sunday service, considered our displayed faith, and was disappointing, knowing that much of what is heard are words and not worship.  This lack of worship is why the ears of the Army of the Lord was able to listen to Goliath and not step forward to face Goliath!  Likewise, our churches have mastered the program of worship, while the heart of worship has yet to be programmed into the heart of all participants.  goliath

It stood out that Goliath referred to the army as the Army of Saul/Servants of Saul (V.8).  This is significant, because the Philistines feared the Lord.  They had suffered and felt the power of the Lord during their capture of the Ark of the Covenant.  The power had taken the lives of many in their camp so much so that they gave it back to the Israelite people.  The army was no longer fighting for the Lord, but were fighting for the honor and name of their King.  When we forget who the true King is; when the kings on earth believe they have become more important than the King of Kings, forgetting who placed them in office, we will find the church forced to listen to Goliath because the presence and power of the Lord would have left our sides!  Could it be that our army has become powerless because we are defending the honor of the wrong king?  We have become more proud of our churches and pastors, then we have become honored to defend the name of our Lord.  It is a sad reality that we can find more that will be apologist for their man of God and not for the Lord himself.

Thank God, David entered the scene!  David entered the battle front, being obedient to his father, and heard Goliath’s words.  Though Goliath disturbed him, I believe from knowing of David’s heart, that he was more bothered by the people of God.  David had to watch the Army of the Lord do nothing while a Philistine spoke ill of God the people of God.  I see our young people growing up in a church that features those who are no longer interested in fighting, but not interested in relinquishing their positions.  David was further challenged by his brother Eliab (v.28), who still bothered from seeing the oil flow Samuel’s horn onto David, sought to embarrass him in front of the older soldiers.  His words were designed to put David back in his place.  What he didn’t understand was David was already in his place.  David was more than a Shepherd; he was a warrior.

David’s brother lied upon him and then issued these famous words, “you came down ere to watch the battle.”  Need we ask “WHAT BATTLE?”  The “battle front” was a “front”!  David had witnessed the battle scene, and his questions were because no battle was taking place.  I asked the question of our churches: “Why is it that we challenge and attempt to discourage those who are willing to fight?”  Goliath had already asked for the Armies best!  Eliab had a chance to step forward!  He stepped back!  He sat down!  He had the chance to defeat the champion, and chose to sit and listen in fear as opposed to stand and fight with courage.  Yet, he still finds a moment to seek to discourage and belittle someone that is ready to fight!

Furthermore, why is it that the Eliabs of the world paint a picture of battle that is not true?  Over and over, we enter the battle and find that much of what has been described is just a false image designed to keep those under us from seeking our positions and taking our positions.  We find the constant exaggeration of what exist, just to keep our positions and ward off those who have been grown up to take our place. The reality was that Eliab and the others had accomplished as much as they could, and they knew that the battle was far beyond what they could handle.  They were correct!  This was a job for David!

The last level was Saul.  David’s assignment, to bare witness to Saul.  He encountered Saul at the battle but not in the battle.  David spoke to Saul, and spoke boldly.  He was willing to fight Goliath to defend the name of the Lord, and immediately, Saul sought to discourage him.  Saul spoke of his age, then his lack of experience.  Saul couldn’t see David as greater than he, because he saw him as his servant, not realizing that he was a servant of the Lord!  Though Saul was no Goliath, Saul had fought before, and was larger and stronger than David!  Saul had lead many successful battles, and had stood victorious over enemies, and now looked at his lyre player and a shepherd, and couldn’t imagine him to be any more than what he saw and knew of him.  The reality, God was no longer with Saul!  He had moved on to David!  God is always raising up a David!  While Saul was building a monument to further his name and legacy, God had sent Samuel!  Thought the people were unaware, Saul knew that God had moved on, but he continued enjoying the office and perks of the position despite his knowledge.  He knew God had moved on, but didn’t know who He had moved on to!

David bore witness of killing bear and lion, and how the Lord had worked through him to defend the sheep, often grabbing the culprit by the hair and ending its life.  David shared how the power of God had given him the strength and wisdom to defeat his adversary, and then declared, “this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them” (which was a far cry from Eliab’s “you just came to watch the battle”).  David would follow his words with action, and so must we!  

God is looking for some Davids!  No one knows your testimony.  People may still see you as one that is unaccomplished.  People may still have you type cast as a Shepherd, not realizing that you are a great warrior and leader.  We must look past the words of others, and see ourselves as the Lord sees us!  God’s Words Matter!   What has He said about you?  What has He declared you to be?  We must stand on His Word, and stand up to Goliath; knowing that He will fall at our hands because God is with us!

#PastorJDO3