Recently, in a devotional I gave to a group, I discussed the story of David’s battle with Goliath. I recently heard a different perspective on a certain aspect of this, one that opened up a line of thought that I see as vital for the church today.
I asked the group this question: why could David be confident that he was going to be victorious over Goliath? The answers I received were the ones I expected. These answers mentioned God watching over him and God being with him and the like. I then asked a follow up question. I asked the group, “Where in this passage did God tell David to go out onto that battlefield, let alone that David would defeat Goliath?”
The answer is that it is nowhere to be found. David received no communication from God that this was what he was supposed to do. My common approach was that since David was doing this in the name of God that God wouldn’t allow him to die, but actually defeat Goliath against all odds.
This approach, perspective and attitude flies in contradiction to other times where someone was serving in the name of God and God allowed him/her to be killed. I think of Acts 12 where God allowed one of the apostles, James, to be beheaded by Herod but rescued Peter from prison when Herod intended to do the same to him.
For David, there had to be something else at work in order for him to have the confidence that he was walking off that field alive and victorious.
And there was.
It’s actually found in the previous chapter. In I Samuel 16, we read the story of God telling the prophet Samuel to go to the house of Jesse to anoint the man who would be the next king of Israel, that man being Jesse’s youngest son, David. So, Samuel prophesied over David, giving him the word of the Lord for him. David knew he would be king of Israel because God had said so.
Now, fast forward to chapter 17 and Goliath. David knew God’s track record in protecting him and giving him the ability to do certain things like protecting his flock from predatory and vicious animals.
David also knew what God, through Samuel, had spoken over him. David wasn’t yet king, so he knew that there wasn’t anyway that he wasn’t leaving that battlefield alive. That meant that it sucked to be named Goliath that day! David couldn’t lose!
David believed that it was proper for him to go out against Goliath because of Goliath’s boasts against God; he also had the confidence because he knew what had been spoken over him. That’s pretty strong confidence!
What about us today? What prophetic word has been spoken over you? What has the Holy Spirit said about what you will do and who you will be? I knew at age 17 that I would be doing today what I am doing for, even though he didn’t realize it (and I don’t believe he believed in prophetic words in this age), someone spoke a prophetic word over me that I would be doing what I am doing today as a pastor.
Way too many Christians today have absolutely no idea what God through the Holy Spirit has called them to do and be. They just float through life. In reality, these Christians are like everyone else around them who have no relationship with the Father. They do not stand out as different when they should stand out as being different because of God’s power flowing through and prophetic word upon them.
What is far too common today is that many followers of Jesus are actually just travelers with Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Travelers just float along with Jesus never really moving forward, whereas followers are continually trained to fulfill a specific role in and for the kingdom of God moving forward as this occurs. We are given this role through the Holy Spirit speaking it to us.
Now, that role doesn’t necessarily stay the same but changes as God, through the Spirit, continues to equip us. We are equipped for a specific role and then, as we grow, we are further equipped for the next role. All of this involves communication from the Spirit of God as He communicates what He has seen in the spiritual realm whom God has declared us to be in our identity as His children.
Inside that knowledge given to us by the Holy Spirit is confidence and inside that confidence is power and ability because it is given to us by the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:1-6)
So, what has the Spirit declared to you about what you will do and who you will be for God? If you are unsure, I would encourage you to get into some serious conversations with the Spirit. There is a prophetic word for you which the Spirit has; listen to it and then, from it, allow the confidence gleaned from that word build and the power and ability that the Spirit gives to us because of that word flow.