New Wine for New Wineskins August 2010

By , August 2, 2010 3:16 pm

Let the Weak Speak

Let the Weak SpeakPart 24 – David – Keep Your Armour On

Remember – the purpose of this series is to release the potential that is within us to build successful ministries, kingdom businesses, and to be world changers who really make a difference in this world.  That will always involve change but we don’t need to panic because all of the change God requires from us is by way of exchange.  And so we simply come to the place of exchange – the Throne of Grace – where we have the opportunity to trade our weakness for his strength!

We are no longer wearing ourselves out chasing signs and wonders – we are signs and wonders and so we are destined to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!

Isaiah 8: 18

18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the LORD of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

Joel 3: 9 – 10

9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

IT’S TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We have been going through the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” and looking at the lives of some of those listed there who although they were far from perfect were successful in overcoming the weaknesses of their flesh and fulfilling God’s purpose in their generation by faith!

In the past few sessions we continued doing what the writer of Hebrews does and began to race on through the rest of the folks that are mentioned here who all overcame their weaknesses by faith and saw the supernatural strength and power of God manifested in and through their lives!  So far we have looked at Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah.

Hebrews 11: 31 – 40

31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

What about David?  You could study his life and exploits for a year and still only scratch the surface!  He was the man after God’s heart according to the LORD’s own testimony!  He was the guy who as a young man refused the king’s armour and went out to take on the giant Goliath armed only with a sling and five stones.  He knew where his strength came from!  Although he appeared to have no armour on he actually had an armour that was impenetrable by the enemy – the armour of righteousness that comes by faith!

1 Samuel 17: 43 – 47

43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

But yet again, there were weaknesses in his life that exposed him to trouble!  When did his weakness surface?  Later on, after he had become king, he forgot that even though the battle is the LORD’s you still have to show up if you are going to experience the victory!

2 Samuel 11: 1 – 5

1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.  2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house.

David was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Just like Eve in the garden he was hanging around somewhere that he shouldn’t have been and saw what he shouldn’t have seen and saw that it looked good enough to eat.  His appetite was aroused and he yielded himself to the temptation to indulge it.  In a modern context he could have been up late surfing the ‘net or flicking through the satellite channels on TV and he stopped on something that caught his attention and lingered on it rather than running from it.  The reality is that David wasn’t attracted by Bathsheba’s pretty face and so he instantly fell in love with other.  He was a lot more interested in the full display of everything else she had on offer and he lusted after her.

Remember – there is a war going on 24/7/365!  You have to keep your armour on!  You don’t put your armour on every morning – you keep it on at all times!  David had to take his armour off before he climbed into bed with Bathsheba!

However, the question needs to be asked as to what Bathsheba was doing taking a bath in full view of anyone who happened to be looking, and in particular where the king could see her.  From what happened next it would appear that she wasn’t exactly fighting David off or discouraging his interest in her.

This wasn’t the new girl in the office who simply has a pretty face – this was the girl in the office who reveals a lot more flesh than is necessary, uses all of her physical assets to her best advantage, and who shamelessly flirts with every guy in the place oftentimes hoping to nail one in particular.

Men are visually stimulated.  Unsanctified men never say to male friends or colleagues, “Wow!  That new girl has the most amazing eyes!”  Get the message?  This is real real life we are talking about!  Wise women are aware of this and so they dress modestly in public and take full advantage of visual stimulation with their husbands only!  So how are godly men to cope with what is sometimes a virtual minefield of scantily clad females?  We need to do what Job did and make a covenant with our eyes that we will not look at a woman with lust.  He didn’t say that he wouldn’t look at a woman – but that he wouldn’t look with lust.  If you encounter a woman who is displaying more flesh than is  decent then try having some compassion for her in the sense of why she feels she needs to dress that way.  Instead of responding with lust let the love of God manifest in and through you and resist the temptation to think of her simply as a sex object or a piece of disposable flesh!

5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

Does David – the man after God’s heart – repent at this point?  No!  He tries to work his own way out of the mess he has created which will always inevitably end in a far greater mess!  David attempts to manipulate Bathsheba’s husband Uriah into sleeping with his wife so that he will assume that the child she is carrying is his.  However, Uriah was more after God’s heart than David at this point and so he refused to sleep with his wife while his fellow soldiers were still out on the battlefield, and so David’s two attempts at getting him to go home both fail.  David then wrote to Joab his general and told him to place Uriah on the front lines in a position where he would be vulnerable and be killed.  After the news of Uriah’s death David took Bathsheba to be his wife.

Scripture is clear on what God thought of all this.

2 Samuel 11: 27

27 And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

But mercifully for David the LORD wasn’t finished with him and so he sent his prophet round to David’s house to inform him that you might be able to hide things from other people for a while but you can’t hide anything from him!

However, even after his sins of adultery and murder were exposed David cried out to God to not take the Holy Spirit from him.  He confessed his sin and acknowledged his guilt but he knew that without God’s strength and supernatural ability it would be all over for him!

Psalm 51: 10 – 13

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.

We need to understand that it doesn’t matter how high and mighty you become there is never a time when you can safely neglect or forget your dependence upon the supernatural strength of the LORD or take a day off from the war!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

Do you want to stay clear of adultery?  Then stay off the slippery slope!  Identify and avoid the following steps that cause you to descend down into the murky waters of an inappropriate relationship with a member of the opposite sex.

1) Enjoying common interests (including spiritual interests)  2) Sharing personal information. 3) Anticipating time together. 4) Hiding the friendship from your spouse. 5) Flirting, including minor arousing touch. 6) Inventing excuses to call or meet. 7) Deceiving words and actions. 8) Physical inappropriateness.

Also follow these steps towards radically reducing the risk of temptation.

1) Maintain a growing relationship with the LORD  2) Get accountability  3) If at all possible, never be alone with opposite sex
4) Never talk about your marriage with the opposite sex  5) Hang around with those who have strong and faithful marriages  6) Stay out of inappropriate places.

And above all be diligent to maintain your relationship with your spouse!  Get naked and unashamed!

Proverbs 5: 18 – 20

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?

Husbands and wives can get naked with each other and enjoy the freedom of a sexual relationship  with their armour fully in place!  It was when Adam and Eve stepped outside of God’s will and into disobedience that they were ashamed of their nakedness!  Their armour was gone!

Romans 13: 11 – 13

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

The child that was born of the adulterous relationship between David and Bathsheba died.  David made a wise statement in regard to this tragedy.

2 Samuel 12: 23

23 “…now he is dead…can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

You can never go back and change your history but you can go forward in hope and fulfil your destiny!  Maybe you have blown it in marriage and suffered the consequences of your actions and experience.  Well, all is not lost if you turn everything over to God and pray the prayer that David prayed!

Psalm 51: 1 – 17

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise.

David was the most successful king that Israel ever had and yet his failure to keep his armour on and depend completely on the LORD’s strength at all times exposed the weakness of his own flesh and he ended up naked and ashamed as his sin was exposed.

We have been equipped with an armour that may be invisible to the world but it is powerful to resist and repel the enemy!

Ephesians 6: 10 – 18

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…

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

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