“Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:40).
When it was agreed David would face the giant alone, King Saul thought it best to provide him with armor suitable to the contest. But Saul’s equipment did not suit David, so he instead chose a weapon he was more familiar with. Using his sling and a few stones from a nearby brook, David approached the Philistine and prevailed.
Sometimes we admire “tools” or “weapons” more than we should. In fact, we should not credit David’s sling for the victory, but the One who guided the stone. From one end of the contest to the other, David exercised a deep faith in God and His ability to handle any situation. His faith in God put him on his feet, while others quaked in fear.
In conducting our lives here on earth, we need to utilize the tools best suited for the battle. Paul alludes to this in 2 Corinthians:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Of course, we cannot draw too many parallels between David’s weapons and our spiritual weapons. But we can make sure we conduct battle God’s way. Our weapons differ from worldly weapons in that they seek to honor God. Here’s a glimpse at how Paul waged his warfare:
“But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love” (2 Corinthians 6:4-6).
The battle called for him to sacrifice and suffer abuse from an inhospitable world. But he did not respond in kind. Instead he employed the kind of tactics or tools that would please God. He preached in “purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love” and other godly virtues.
Churches fall prey to using the wrong tools when they deemphasize the gospel and instead drift to other themes, such as health, wealth, and comfortable living. We need to use the right tools and take the right approach.
Let’s examine our hearts and commit to using Christ-honoring approaches to living out our lives before a needy world.
Posted on Tue, May 9, 2017
by Diane Hultgren