What’s the big deal about birthdays?

Happy birthday!

No, it isn’t my birthday today. If it happens to be yours then feel free to claim that sentiment from me to you.

I don’t even know why I have birthdays on my mind right now, but it’s time to write this blog and that’s where my mind is stuck so I have to go with the muse, or the Spirit if you prefer.

Maybe it’s because my mom’s birthday was recently and dad’s is next Sunday and this is the first year neither one of them is here on earth to celebrate it with them.

I suppose since conception occurs on a microscopic level we can’t exactly pinpoint when that event takes place so we don’t wish folks a “Happy Conception Day.”

I agree. It simply doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The debate continues as to when life actually begins so laws can be written to protect people. That’s why liberal-minded types claim the birth event as that time.

The fact the kid in the womb is moving about should tip them off that he or she is alive even though we can’t see them and they can’t vote.

That’s as political as I plan on going here, so breathe easy.

Come to think of it, are people brought out of the womb surgically instead of going through the birth canal technically born. Why don’t we wish them a “Happy Cesarian Day?” I’m not even sure I spelled that right, but I’m on a deadline so there it is.

My youngest sister had four children. The first three were surgically removed before she finally figured out how to do it God’s way–and she’s not even liberally-minded.

I often wondered why they didn’t just install a zipper on her belly, or maybe ziploc, or velcro. We’re red-neck enough plain old duct tape should have worked.

I guess since those kids are pumping out kids it’s a mute point, so let’s move on.

Do you know what a birthday technically celebrates? It simply marks the occurrence of another successful orbit around the sun.

Now aren’t you glad you took the time to read my blog?

I’m proud to proclaim that I’ve accomplished the feat fifty-some-odd times now. I doubt I’ll make to 100, not because I’m taking bad care of myself but because I don’t think Jesus will hold off coming back for God’s children that long.

When Jesus does come back the way you celebrate your physical birthday, or how many of them you did, won’t be important.

The only birth that will matter then is the one Jesus tried to get Nicodemus to understand in John chapter 3. You must be born of the Spirit.

No, this time there’s one right way to do this birth, and you don’t get the say as to which way that is. Only God chooses how and who.

There are a lot of jokes floating around about what will happen when you die and stand at the pearly gate for entrance into heaven.

There will be only one question asked: “What did you do with My Son, Jesus?”

Yeah, that’s all that really matters in this life. Anything short of giving Jesus your allegiance because He died for your sins is the wrong answer.

The only way I know that’s true is because God laid it out in the Bible that way. That’s what drives this blog and my other writing.

It’s my passion to tell as many people as I can about Jesus and what He did for us.

So…what have you done with Jesus?

For a more in-depth look at what you need to do click on the tab at the top of this blog titled, “Begin your relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Accept Him as your Savior and I’ll see you on the other side of the pearly gate.

Keep smiling.   Wade

LOYALTY TEST

David heard the approaching army before he could see them. He entered the cave behind his men. “Quickly, go as far back in the cave as you can. If they look in here we don’t want them to see anything but dirt.”

They filed back and settled in.

The army stopped outside. David turned and faced his men. “I don’t want anybody to cough or sneeze. Don’t even shuffle your feet. Not a sound until they leave.”

The anger in Saul’s voice became louder. “I am perfectly capable of taking care of my own needs. I’m not a child. I’m the king of Israel. What are you going to do? Wipe me when I’m done. Just wait here. I desire some privacy. I’ll be fine.”

He continued muttering as he entered the cave and squatted down at the edge of the sun light. “Sometimes they treat me as if I’ve lost my mind. Why can’t they see the importance of the mission? Why don’t they just trust me?…”

Joab whispered in David’s ear. “The LORD has delivered your enemy into your hand. Go, and do to him as you please.”

David pulled out his knife and carefully walked up behind Saul. The king continued his tirade.  David grasped a section of Saul’s robe that was bunched up  and sliced a piece off. He backed to his men as silently as he could.

Joab’s mouth hung open when David returned. Saul was still carrying on his monologue.

David stared at the cloth in his hand. “How can I harm the king? He’s established by God to rule. It’s not my place to end his reign. Only God can set that time.”

Saul shuffled out of the cave. “He’s rumored to have 600 men. Does anybody believe that many people can fit in one of these caves. I told them I’d be all right…”

David paused before his feet pulled him to the entrance of the cave. He stopped just outside. “My Lord the king.”

Saul spun around.

David bowed to the ground, then stood. “Why do you believe those who tell you I wish to harm you? It is not in me to do such a thing to the LORD’s anointed. I am to serve you, and so I shall.”

David held up the rag in his hand. “Today the LORD delivered you into my hand. This is all I could do. This piece of your robe is proof of my guilt to the LORD and you.”

Saul grabbed his robe and saw where a wedge of material was now missing.

“I have nothing against you. You are my king by the LORD’s choosing. Why do you hunt me as a dog? As God is my witness I will not lay a hand against you. May He avenge me for anything I have done and deliver me from you.”

Saul stood still. “David, my son, is that really you?”

Sobs heaved Saul’s body. “Why? You…you are the more righteous man. How could you let me live? An enemy would have been killed just now. You will surely be the next king. Promise me you won’t end my line when you take the throne.”

David smiled. “How could I do such a thing? I will care for your offspring, my Lord.”

Saul turned away. “What are you men doing here? Let’s go home.”

David’s men filed out of the cave. “Can we go home, too?”

David shook his head. “He’ll be back. Let’s find our wives. That’s where our home is now.”

********

Talk about a test of allegiance. I’d say David passed this test with flying colors.

There had never been a better opportunity for David to end is running and begin his reign as Israel’s king than this instance.

What do you think would have happened if David had walked out of that cave carrying Saul’s head in his hand?

I think the troupes would have either bowed in allegiance to him or taken off running, probably both.

What man in his right mind wouldn’t take advantage of that moment to advance his career? A man after God’s own heart, that’s who.

This was a definite heart-check time for David. He could step in to speed God’s timetable up or continue to wait on God’s timing for his future. His character dazzled here.

[Tweet “God has a plan and a timetable. Trust Him to work it all out.”]

I see a few traits we can all try to emulate from David.

  • Patience: David knew Saul was a poor leader. Even if David didn’t feel ready for the kingship now he likely felt he could still do a better job than the man in that present position.
  • Trust: David had seen God work in his life in so many ways up to this point. He trusted God to set the time for him to become the anointed king of God’s chosen people in His time.
  • Faith: David never asked to be anointed. He knew that was God’s call. His role was to believe God knew what He was up to . David believed the throne would be his eventually.

How many things in your life do you wish God would speed up the timing of?

How often have you wished for a different leader than you have now? I’m not talking just the leader of your country. It could be the leader of your household, church or work place.

How have you tried to manipulate events, people or outcomes in your life to get things to go your way?

Remember David in this cave the next time you want to take on the role of judge.

God has a plan and a timetable. Trust Him to work it all out.

His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts.

There are a lot of things occurring in this world I don’t want God to permit, but He does.

This spiritual war is nearing the end and getting fierce.

Wait on God. Trust His heart. Believe He is in control.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Sometimes you just gotta scratch your head and say, “Huh?”

April 19 is a date that means a lot of things to various people. Some people lost a loved one from an event that happened some years ago. Other folks are maimed from a senseless deed that held meaning to the person who instigated the act of violence.

Long before Waco and Oklahoma City stole the date for infamy it held a much different memory for me and my siblings. April 19 has always been my mom’s birthday. This is the first time she hasn’t been with us to celebrate.

Joan Webster was always a challenging woman to gift. We’d heard rumors that women loved flowers. TV shows and ads backed up those hints at what to get the woman in our life to show affection.

So, when the pretty yellow flowers sprang up in the cow pasture just east of the house us poor country bumpkins would gather a fistful of these dainties and bring them inside the house for dear Mom. Her response became predictable.

“Take those back outside. Those aren’t flowers, those are mustard weeds. Don’t bring weeds in the house.”

To which we would think, “Huh? They look like pretty flowers to us.”

To make matters worse she made us pick lamb’s quarter weeds and bring them in the house. She’d boil them in water and try to feed them to us as a cheap substitute for spinach. “Huh? Why is it alright to bring these disgusting weeds in the house. They don’t even smell nice.”

A little later in the year the trilliums would bloom in the woods. There was no mistaking these as anything but flowers, so we’d bring some of them to Mom to impress her. Apparently somebody pulled one up by the roots instead of breaking it off at the stem, because Mom made us shake our young heads again.

“Don’t pick those wild flowers. If you pick them all there won’t be any left to grow back next year.”

No amount of reassurance that we definitely left some alone seemed to calm her anxiety.

“Huh? They’re still sprouting and looking just as pretty these many decades later. You see, we didn’t pick them all Mom.”

Even with her quirks we still miss Mom deeply.

young Joan Webster

young Joan Webster

My brother Mike received and interesting echo from Mom on her birthday, one that brought a tear to his eye.

Mike and his wife, Sheryl, like to stroll along the Muskegon River for exercise many days. On the 19th a van stopped near them. Mike recognized the man as someone he used to work with. The woman brought a card over to Mike for him to read. It was a card she kept since she was a girl.

Mike recognized the handwriting as he read the note inside. “God loves you and has a plan for your life.” Signed Joan Webster.

Huh? What are the chances of that happening on the April 19th after Mom’s death?

I’ve heard one definition of a coincidence as: God’s way of staying anonymous in a situation.

God didn’t hide Himself very well to members of my family. We know exactly what He’s up to. A part of Mom is living on even in non-members of her physical family. This woman is a member of the spiritual family Joan invested so much in.

My mom was living proof that you don’t need a big college degree or high paying salary to make an impact in this world.

[Tweet “One life at a time was Jesus’ method and it was Joan’s, too.”]

Let’s do our best to imitate their practice so echoes of us live on after we’re called home.

Keep smiling.   Wade

DIVINE CONTROL

David turned back and scanned the horizon past Keilah when he crested the hill south of town. No dust clouds meant no troupes coming near any time soon. Saul must still be assembling his raiding party. He’ll be here. There’s no doubt. God’s warning was too clear to think otherwise.

David’s men had fanned out in several directions per his request. They were to meet back at the last camp by sundown.

His mind was busy with ideas of where he could take so many people and still remain safe from the king. He knew of several options from his time scouting Judah for forage for the flocks of sheep in his youth.

His thoughts led him to the tabernacle of the LORD. Mobility was wise. If they stayed in one place a battle would ensue for sure. The forest would be a difficult place to move a troupe through, but not a loose band of people.

***

As David finished his last bite of breakfast one day a skirmish caught his attention. A group of men approached. A familiar voice grabbed his focus. Could it be?

The group broke up when they were in front of him. The man in the midst of them had his hands held high to show he was unarmed.

David’s smile hurt from being so wide. He ran to Jonathon and wrapped his arms around him.

David stepped back and looked into Jonathon’s eyes. “It’s so good to see you again. How did you get here?”

Jonathon placed a hand on David’s shoulder. “Nothing can keep me away from the LORD’s anointed. You know that. I snuck out while everyone was asleep. Saul is coming for you still. I can’t talk him out of it.”

David grasped Jonathon’s wrist. “I know. I heard he was coming to Keilah, so we ran. No place is safe. Is it?”

“He called that off as soon as he heard you left there. He’s scared. We all know you’re anointed to be Israel’s next king. He’s paranoid. You’ll be a great king and I will serve under you. I promise you that. Promise me you won’t cut my descendants off.”

“Don’t worry, my brother, your line will continue if I have any say in the matter.”

“Trust in the LORD for your deliverance, David. He’s your only hope.”

David nodded. “I know.”

Jonathon embraced David. “Of course you do. Why would I ever doubt that? As much as I’d love to stay with you I must get back home. Watch your back.”

David wiped tears off his cheeks. “Will I see you again?”

“At your throne, my king, at your throne.”

David watched as Jonathon blended into the trees.

***

David stopped as he led his people down a dry riverbed in the wilderness of Maon. The faint sound of armor broke through on the breeze.

He pointed to two young men. “Climb up this hill and tell me what you see.”

The two lads helped each other up the steep bank. Soon after they peered over the other side one of them slid back down.

David caught the feet of the boy and guided him to the ground. “Who is over there?”

“King Saul is leading soldiers–a lot of soldiers. We’re trapped here.”

David looked up. “The LORD will provide a way of escape. Just trust.”

They listened to some shouting from the other side of the hill. The other boy slid down the bank.

He stood and faced David. “Someone just reported the Philistines are attacking. King Saul is going to fight them now.”

David nodded. “He sets a table in front of my enemies.”

********

1 Samuel 23:14-29 is an interesting chapter in David’s life. It’s during his time of running for his life from Saul.

The last half of verse 14 is the key passage here, “Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.”

The next thing we know Jonathon pays David a visit while he’s on the run.

The first question that popped into my mind when I read that is: “How did Jonathon get to David when Saul couldn’t?”

You have to look at the back side of the coin of verse 14 for that answer. God did allow Jonathon to get to David.

Yeah, it’s the old God’s sovereignty issue again. God knew David would be encouraged by a visit from his dear friend so he was allowed in while Saul wasn’t allowed to end David’s life.

[Tweet “If your circumstances look bleak trust God’s sovereign plan.”]

The same holds true for your life, too. God is in control of what happens to you.

But–you’re thinking–why do so many bad things happen, then?”

Don’t believe David’s life was all cheery during this time. He had the responsibility of 600 men. Several of them had their family with them. Saul wouldn’t stop at just killing David if he had his way.

Read Psalm 63 to see the living conditions they endured. “A dry and thirsty land where there is no water” doesn’t sound like they had it made in the shade to me.

Even though you’re a child of God your life won’t be all good things. Bad things do happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. The rain falls on the just and the unjust.

The real question you must deal with is not what is happening to you, but how are you dealing with it?

All things are working together to make you more like Jesus. His life wasn’t all rosy, either. Remember?

The man of sorrows, acquainted with grief had his enemies, too.

David recognized Saul as being anointed by God, too. It wasn’t his place to end Saul’s reign so he could begin his.

Just as David trusted God to bring about His plan we must trust God for His timing in our lives, too.

If your circumstances look bleak trust God’s sovereign plan.

He’s up to something good. You’ll be stronger for the kingdom to come.

Just look up.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Your church will never top the service ours had this Sunday.

I attend what many would consider and old-school church. We don’t have a band making as much noise as they can to get anybody’s adrenalin pumping. This Sunday we sang hymns from a hymnal with an organ and a piano. Okay, our pipe organ is quite possibly the best one in the whole world, but that’s beside the point. We’re definitely traditional in our worship by anybody’s standard.

On a typical Sunday morning the sermon takes up the bulk of the time during our worship. But, not this past Sunday. This Sunday was special in more ways than one.

Our pastor interviewed a woman in a wheelchair instead of expositing the Word.

About now many of you are thinking I’ve lost my mind. I’m pretty sure that’s been well established many blog posts ago. Stick with me here.

How many of you would love to sit through 45 minutes of Chuck Swindoll interviewing Joni Eareckson Tada?

You see. I told you your church won’t be able to top our church service this past Sunday.

This rare opportunity has been several decades in the making because of the bond those two spiritual giants have built from meeting at several events together.

The topics they covered brought as much laughter as they did tears. At least from me because of the rough roads I’ve traversed lately.

Joni couldn’t help but talk about going to heaven someday. She says she’s going to pole vault over the pearly gates.

She also wishes she can bring her wheelchair with her. She wants to thank Jesus personally for bringing it into her life because of how much closer to Him it brought her in this life.

She said at that point she’ll point at the chair and say, “now You can send that thing to hell.”

[Tweet “I never thought I could laugh and cry at the same time. But this Sunday I did.”]

It doesn’t take a wheelchair to build a close relationship with God. But it does take commitment.

It doesn’t take constant dependence on others to build humility. But it does take vulnerability.

It doesn’t take a life-altering event to force you to look up for hope. But it does take trust.

You don’t need to have many of your freedoms taken away to experience God’s presence. But you do need time.

You don’t need to let the sting of rejection from others control your destiny. But you do need a proper destination.

You don’t need to be forced to sit in one place all day to develop focus. But you do need the proper object.

Your happiness shouldn’t be the main goal in life. God’s kingdom should be.

Your comfort shouldn’t be the focus of your prayer life. God’s plan should be.

Your desires shouldn’t rule your every waking thought. God’s will should.

If you’re struggling to make sense of your life don’t talk to your BFF. Read God’s Word.

If you’re working too hard to get everything in your life to fit together. Give it to Jesus.

If you’re crushed by life’s demands and stress on your soul. Laugh out loud.

God knows what He’s doing with your life. You don’t have to love the process. Just trust the One in charge of it all.

 

Keep smiling.   Wade

BATTLE DIVERTED

A cheer echoed from behind the walls of Keilah as the last of the Philistines ran over the horizon. David looked around. A few Philistine bodies awaited burial. Some cattle and goats roamed about.

David pointed at some men standing near the animals. “Surround those critters and head them back to the city.”

One man waved. “What ever you say, sir.”

The city gate opened as David led some men to town.

A gray haired man led the townsfolk out of the gateway. “Thank you, David. I wasn’t sure you’d come to our aid when I sent my grandson to tell you of the invasion. I knew those scoundrels would run from the giant slayer.”

David shook his head. “I wasn’t the one who killed Goliath. That was the LORD’s doing. I was just His instrument. Where do you want your cattle? We rounded all of them up we could find.”

The man smiled as he surveyed the herd. “Those were Philistine animals. Our wheat was being fed to them to fatten them up according to their leader. You can do whatever you want with them. As far as I’m concerned they now belong to you.”

David raised his eyebrows as he turned to survey the herd. He pointed to two bulls wandering away. “Catch those strays and skin them out. It’s time for a celebration.”

The cheer from everybody startled the remainder of the herd.

David turned back to the man. “We need some digging tools to bury some Philistines.”

The man folded his arms across his chest. “Let the birds have them. They’ve been hounding us for years.”

David looked into the man’s eyes. “You wouldn’t want them treating God’s children that way. Would you?”

The man stroked his beard. “I guess you’re right. We’ll get your men something to work with.”

***

Eliab breathed deeply as the smoke from the roasting fire wafted around. “There’s nothing like the sweet smell of victory over Philistine’s to fill a man before a good meal. Wouldn’t you agree, little brother?”

David shook his head. “We won this battle, but you can bet they’ll be back before too long.”

The two men watched a young man running into the city. He bent over in front of David trying to catch his breath.

David squatted down and placed a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Is it the Philistines? Where are they now?”

The man shook his head as he stood. “No. It’s King Saul. He thinks you’re trapped in these city walls. He’s calling everybody to battle just to kill you.”

David looked around until he found the priest. “Abiathar, do you have the ephod?”

Abiathar turned away from the group he was talking to. “Yes, of course.”

David stared at him. “Bring it here, quickly.”

David looked from one gem to the next when the ephod was in front of him. “Lord God I need You now. I’ve heard Saul is coming for me. Will the men of Keilah side with him or me? Is King Saul coming? God of Israel speak to me now.”

The voice was clear. “He is coming.”

Sweat trickled down David’s face. “Will the men of Keilah turn us over to him?”

“Yes.”

David climbed on the edge of the well. “I need all my men to follow me, now. It’s time to leave.”

A voice came from the crowd. “But, we haven’t eaten.”

David’s stomach rumbled when the smell of roasting beef entered his nostrils. “I know. But, the LORD’s anointed is building an army to trap us while we’re here. We need to put as much distance between this town and us as we can before it’s too late.”

********

I like David’s response that’s found in 1 Samuel 23:5-13. After the victory over the Philistines a feast would be called for. The people of Keilah would likely want to help these men who just helped them.

The fresh win could have filled them with pride. Who would be able to stand against the battalion that just beat the enemy?

We read that David’s knee-jerk reaction upon hearing that Saul is gunning for him is to turn to God for assistance.

He didn’t hold a committee meeting to discuss options. They didn’t vote on whether to stay and fight. He didn’t even consult the nice folks of Keilah to see if they’d help them.

No, the man after God’s own heart quickly turned to God. The source of truth and strength was all he needed for answers.

[Tweet “God wants to be your first source of hope, not your last one.”]

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Well yeah, if I had an ephod to get an immediate response from God I’d use it all the time, too.’

Would you really?

What did you do the last time you heard devastating news? Did you search the internet for possible answers to change your prognosis?

Who did you call when your world began to crumble? Was it your BFF, or your mom?

I’m not saying those options aren’t viable. Not at all. Wisdom would dictate searching for solutions and gaining insight from others close to you. But, if those are your first instincts your relationship with God may be out of order.

God longs for you to call Him Father for a reason. God wants to be your first source of hope, not your last one.

Your tests are designed to display your priorities and to correct your responses if necessary.

When I unexpectedly lost my job of five years I thought was secure my first thought was, ‘okay, Lord, what lessons are you teaching me now, and what course correction do I need to make?’

My relationship with God has been built around many such tests and time devoted in the Bible to learn of His provision and sovereignty.

Nothing is going to happen to me without passing through His hand. He has to approve it before it can happen. Nothing is left to chance.

The same holds true in your life.

God knows what He’s up to. Trust him.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

What I Believe

As promised to my newsletter peeps, here’s my video statement of faith, my take on how the gospel of Jesus Christ plays out, and/or my interpretation of what the Bible tells us about how we’re to live life.

[Tweet “This is six minutes of what I believe”]

This is six minutes of what I believe.

The Day In-between

The room must have felt small. Crammed with His followers, men who left everything to follow the Messiah. All their life they were taught the Messiah would reign. A new, strong Israel would be established. But,

Sabbath made them pause. They could do no work, couldn’t travel back to their lake…home.

The thoughts of what happened Thursday evening through Friday afternoon must have bounced around the room.

He changed the Passover in front of their eyes. “This bread is My body…This cup is My blood…” What was all that about?

Before they could get clarification He led them to the garden across the valley. Exhaustion pulled them away from Him. He begged them to pray with Him, but they failed. Would it have made a difference?

Judas rejoined them with soldiers. He kissed Jesus’ cheek.

Before Peter was fully awake he sliced a man’s ear off. Jesus was there to fix it. Now He was nowhere to be found. Could He ever fix anything again?

Darkness made them run even though they didn’t know where to run to. They needed Jesus to guide them, but the Romans had Him now. What did the future hold?

Peer pressure made Simon flinch at even knowing Jesus. That look from the Son of God…why was it always there when he closed his eyes? Peter stared at nothing.

John saw it all. The nails that tore through flesh, the blood that fell to earth from above, the grace, the forgiveness, the call for a drink, the casting of lots for His clothes. Why was he placed over Jesus’ earthly brothers?

They all felt the earth move. Darkness enveloped each of them for three hours. Were the rumors of the massive temple veil even true?

What drew them to this room? Was it because it was the last place they spent with their master? Eating was the farthest thing from their minds today.

All they could do was wait.

 

NECESSARY INSPIRATION

David surveyed the crowd spread across the meadow before him. “I have a city-sized group here. What do You expect me to do with all these people, LORD?”

He spun around when the sound of footsteps broke his thoughts.

A man ran to him breathing hard. “Philistines…Keilah…threshing floors…”

David grabbed his shoulders and tried to make eye contact. “What is it? Take your time. Catch your breath.”

The man took a few more deep breaths. “It’s wheat harvest in Keilah. The Philistines are attacking and taking all the grain. We’re overpowered. We need help now or the whole town will be gone.”

David turned to another man who joined them. “Go get Abiathar. Tell him to bring the ephod.”

David was on his knees with his eyes closed when he heard men coming near. He stood as Abiathar approached. He stared at the ephod. “Shall I attack the Philistines to save Keilah?”

The voice was clear. “Go. Save Keilah.”

David was glad the whole assembly had gathered around to see what the commotion was about. He stood as tall as he could.

“I need all the men of fighting age, twenty and up, to get anything that can be used as a weapon…a knife, or anything sharp, even a good rock will do the job. The nearby town of Keilah is being attacked by the Philistines. There’s no time for Saul’s men to get here. We must stand up for the LORD’s people in Keilah. Your brothers and their families are depending on you. God is with us. Are you with me?”

Nobody moved. Abiathar cleared his throat. “David, we’re all on the run here. We don’t feel safe here as a group. How do you expect us to stand a chance against the Philistines?”

David looked from the priest to the faces in the crowd. All of them looked pale. He concentrated on the ephod Abiathar wore. “LORD, shall we defend the people of Keilah from the Philistines? Will you give us victory?”

“Arise. Go to Keilah. I will hand the Philistines over to you.”

David stood and turned slowly. “Your brothers in Keilah are depending on you for help. The LORD is with us. I have His assurance on that.”

Silence and blank stares.

“Who do you think brought Goliath down in battle?”

“You did.”

David pointed at the man who spoke up. “WRONG! I was merely an instrument of the LORD. He was waiting for somebody who wanted to be used by Him. A pebble in a sling shouldn’t be able to take down a man of that stature. Those were God’s tool, too. I didn’t even have the ephod to call on the LORD then. Now I do and He says he’ll hand these worthless uncircumcised heathens over to us so they meet their eternal destinies. Don’t look at your adversary when God is on your side. Nothing can match our God’s strength. I don’t care what you face in life. When God is for you who can stand against you?”

David paused and looked at the crowd.

A voice came from the back. “I have a knife.”

Another voice from off to his left. “There’s a pile of stones near the trees.”

The crowd quickly dispersed.

Abiathar stepped forward. “I’m going with you,too.”

David placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled. “You won’t fight though. You’ll be safe with us.”

*****

The battle for Keilah isn’t one of the more popular stories associated with David, but it was a turning point for him and his followers.

The people who came to David in the wilderness were the outcasts, the outlaws and the downtrodden. They were running for their lives when they came for his leadership. They were afraid of their own king. How could they ever imagine standing a chance against the mighty Philistines?

David, on the other hand, had a passion. The Holy Spirit was indwelling him to be all God wanted him to be. His mission was to spread his passion to his followers.

The people of Keilah were in desperate need of saving. The Philistines were taking their source of food as they were harvesting it. A messenger was sent to David because he was close to them. King Saul couldn’t get there in time. They’d be wiped out.

When David’s men hesitated he turned to God a second time for assurance of victory. After God’s reassurance David knew they couldn’t lose. All he had to do was convince his men of this.

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As Christians you and I are in David’s sandals here. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us to be all God wants us to be. How much control we give Him is up to us. Sadly, too many people want to keep too much control of their own lives.

There are people near us in desperate straits. The enemy is taking their very life from them. He disguises it as pleasure and happiness. But, all along he’s laying a trap for them.

We have the source of truth in our grasp. Getting the word out is our mission and, hopefully, our passion.

Individually we can make an impact on a few. But, when we come together we can influence a greater group of people than we ever thought possible.

As David drew on his past experience for faith in God so can we.

Remember the times God changed you to overcome something you thought you’d always do. Share that experience with someone else struggling with that.

Share how a particular Bible verse spoke to you as you contemplated it. By sharing that flame another candle will light the way for a lost soul.

Invite somebody to your small group Bible study or to church. Everybody needs leadership. When they discover the source of your hope they’ll want to give their life to Jesus too.

Share your passion for God in big ways and in little ways. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.

Spread the message with your heart.

I’ll see you later.   Wade