When I miss an opportunity from my Lord, I tend to "beat myself up." This happened to me Sunday morning in church. Sometimes I trip over this..."all things are to be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40). I'm afraid I might speak out of turn. I respect our pastor and I don't want to interrupt him. So, I wonder, when do I speak up after God has given me a word?
The word my Lord gave me was this, Behold, I am the Lord of hosts, the Lord of heavenly, angelic armies. You will encounter the enemy, you will face the battle. But more there be with you than there be against you. You have the power to lead the enemy captive. I have given you the power. I have equipped you to fight. Use My word, use the power of My Spirit. Use your sword. Be still and know I am God does not mean lay down and quit. It means to prepare to see My salvation IN the battle. It means hit your knees and pray. It means trust. It means let faith arise in you. I am the Lord your God, I will fight for you IN the battle. Be strong, be of good courage. I am the Lord your God and you are victorious in Me.
I thought of Elisha in 2 Kings 6. The king of Syria sent his army to capture Elisha. But the Lord had sent His heavenly army to protect him. Therefore, Elisha and his servant led the entire enemy army captive.
This isn't what our pastor preached, but it was close. He delivered his message from 2 Samuel 23. He encouraged us to stand up against the enemy and be dedicated to the battle. God has a group of people who will fight. David was a mighty warrior who surrounded himself with like-minded men. You cannot serve the Lord and fight the battle while living in the enemy's camp. You have to separate yourself to be victorious.
I have gone back and re-read 2 Samuel 23 and God continues to reveal more to me about David's mighty men in the battle. In verse 8, we meet Adino the Eznite who "lift up his spear and slew eight hundred men at one time." In Joshua 8:18 the Lord told Joshua to "Stretch out the spear that is in your hand..." And how about in Exodus 14:13-16 when all of Israel was caught between the Red Sea and their enemy. God told Moses "...lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea and divide it..." In all these instances, God gave them victory.
So I ask, "What is in your hand? What can you lift up to the Lord in faith so that He can move on your behalf?" Little David raised a sling and a stone against a mighty giant and God have him the victory. Abraham stretched forth his hand and raised a knife, willing to sacrifice his promise from God. Just look at the results of his obedience (Genesis 22) in verses 17 and 18, blessing and multiplying and possession of the gates of his enemies. Just because he lifted up something in his hand in an act of pure faith and trust in God.
While I am on this, what has God asked you to give up that you are still holding onto? Are you afraid to lay your Isaac on the alter? Are you afraid God will not fulfill His promise to you if you just let it go? What about that job, that relationship, that church? It's easy to lay down the things we don't want or those things that we know are evil. But what about that "good thing" that has actually become your idol? Think about it!! I am.
The next of David's mighty men is Eleazar. He single-handedly attacked the Philistines that were gathered together to battle. He rose up and smote (struck and killed) the Philistines until his hand was weary and his hand clave (adhered to, clung, remained faithful...) unto the sword. The Lord gave him the victory and the people returned and gathered the spoil.
How many of us can say that we clung faithfully to our sword in the heat of the battle? There are times when others will leave us and we are alone in our battle. Our battles are fought, not by might nor by power but only by God's Spirit. And we have to stand, clothed in the armour of God, wielding our sword of the Word. Sometimes others will join us on the battlefield. Other times it's just you and God.
When we pray and persevere, fighting for the kingdom, God will bring the victory and we will gather the spoil. We will take back what the enemy has stolen, not only for ourselves but for the kingdom, for our families, and for our church.
Then we have Shammah. He also stood alone, and faced a troop of Philistines, to guard a piece of ground. It was a garden full of lentils. Did you see that? The garden was FULL! The enemy doesn't want your dirt, he wants your harvest. Not only your physical harvest, he especially desires to steal your spiritual harvest. Read Is. 61:3, 1 Cor 3:9, Is. 60:21, and Jer. 17:8. These verses declare that WE are God's garden or His tree, a planting of the Lord. Don't allow the enemy to enter into your garden.
In the Song of Solomon 4:12-16, the maiden is referred to as a garden enclosed. The only One she invites to come into her garden is her Lord. We must be careful to guard the garden of our heart otherwise "little foxes" will creep in to spoil the vines and steal the fruit (2:15). I looked up the word spoil, it means to impair, damage, or ruin something to the extent that its worth, beauty, or usefulness is diminished. It means to damage beyond repair. It means to impair the completeness, perfection, or unity of. And spoil is also plunder taken from an enemy in war or stolen from a victim in robbery. You are not a victim. You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus!!
We know that the thief (our enemy) comes not but to steal and to kill and to destroy. But Jesus came that we would have life, and that we would have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
There is one more exploit of David's mighty men that I want to expound on in 2 Samuel 23:13-17. In this account, the three men joined together. David had spoken out loud that he longed for a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate. No doubt he was thirsty and the well was deep and the water of that well of Bethlehem must have been cool and refreshing.
This reminds me of the woman at the well in John 4. She came to draw water from Jacob's well but she encountered the Well of Bethlehem. The One who is deep and contains the waters of salvation. The only One who can refresh our soul. The only One who can satisfy our longing heart. Jesus, the Well of living water that sprung forth in Bethlehem. He asked her for a drink. The Bible never tells us that she gave Him a drink but I believe He was refreshed by her faith. How often do we refresh our Lord with our faithfulness?
David is a "type" of Jesus. Here we see that David's mighty men joined forces to break through the enemy lines just to bring him a drink of water. Jesus said there is a reward for someone who gives the thirsty soul a cup of cold water. This was to the extreme. Most of us have never risked our lives to give Jesus something to refresh His heart. And the majority have never even risked their pride to give Him glory.
Think about Mary who was ridiculed as she poured out her precious oil on the head and feet of Christ. Mary, who took down her hair in public to wipe His feet. Mary, who sat at His feet and hung on His every word. What about the one leper out of ten who returned to thank Jesus for making him whole. What about worship; to cry out Hosanna unashamed. Many won't worship in church, let alone on the street. Many of God's children won't even pray in public to thank Him for His provision.
How can we refresh our Lord? How can we pour out an offering to Him? David realized the only One worthy of this kind of love and devotion was his Lord not himself. David didn't drink it, instead he poured out the precious water unto his King. Life giving water that others had risked their lives to give became an offering. What do you have to offer Him? What has He asked you to lay at His feet?
How can we bless the Giver of all blessings? We can thank Him. We can whole-heartedly worship Him. We can do what He said, "What you have done unto the least of these My brethren you have done unto Me."