Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Test


Glory to God to be here this morning, this is a blessing for all of us to see another day.  Every morning I look at myself and think, I was younger than this two years ago.  When I look at what I used to wear two years ago, I wonder how I wore it because now it is old fashioned.  Life goes on and everyday there is something new and what you saw yesterday as being flash and perfect, is now useless. 


I found a Bible here that belongs to Tyrone.  If someone tells you to pay $40 for the Bible, you will say no because it is old but the words inside the Bible are not old, they have the same power as a new Bible.  Why do we prefer something new?


Today’s message is titled the test.  When a test is in front of you, what do you do?  Do you quit, endure, surrender or say, I don’t know what to do?


1 Sam 17

This is a story we know very well, the story of Goliath and David.  David was born in a family of boys.  His brothers were stronger physically, they were taller, bigger and more handsome and more attractive.  Awkwardly, David is there as a tiny little boy and some theologians wonder if he was really the descendant of Jesse because he looked different to his other brothers.  Even David wrote that his father he did not know.


Everybody in the family looked down on David, he didn’t deserve to be there because he was different from the rest.  The father wondered what kind of boy is this, shame on me to have a son like you who can’t act like a man so he sent him to look after the sheep, a job normally given to slaves and workers and those not really strong for a battle.  A shepherd is looked down upon in that society and whenever a shepherd looked for a wife, they would be ashamed to tell the woman that they are a shepherd.


When it was time to anoint a new king of Israel, God sent Samuel to go to the house of this man Jesse and bless the one He has chosen to become a king.  Samuel asked the father, who among your children should become the king and he took the first born because for the past several years he had been serving the army and knew all the strategies of the war so Jesse believed that son will become a very good king but God said, “no, not him”.  Then Jesse chose the second son but God put him aside also, and then the next son until there were no sons left except David. 


Samuel must have looked at David, a skinny, sickly looking boy, “This is the one? God are you joking” but God said, “Yes that is the one, the weakest one, the one that you believe is not like others”.  Maybe the brothers started to say, “We are not even sure who his father is, he is not even one of us”.


Samuel put the oil on his head but he didn’t become king straight away.  Receiving anointing is like a ring when you get married and you say, “look this is my ring I give to you and from now on me and you are one, during hard times and joy, we will be together”.  If you take the ring off and put it on another finger, it will change the interpretation and whoever will see the ring is on a different finger will not believe you are married.  The same ring can go through different fingers.


This alliance God did with David, He said keep it there, the anointment is on you, now start to work.  Whenever God anoints you with oil on your head, how long will you keep that on your head?  Will you not take a shower?  Will you be afraid to if you shower, you will lose it? 


Samuel 17:17, David’s father requested that David take food to his brothers at the army camp and to check on how they are.  The next morning, David started the journey.  He took only the meal to his brothers and no one else and his only mission was to find out how they were doing.  He didn’t leave home without any other purpose or idea that he will face a big challenge in front of him.  He came with his food only.


When he arrived, the anointing started to play a role in David’s life and that is when God made the anointment to take up action and it started to shake David.  Goliath showed up and he was a giant.  The Bible tells us how tall he was, he was three times the height of me.  His arm circumference of his arm was almost the size of my chest and when he walked, the ground would shake because of his size and looking at him, you see death.  Imagine the army of Saul who were trained and were good soldiers and their role was to fight and kill the enemy but when Goliath turned up, the whole battalion feared.


Why couldn’t they put together their entire strength and defeat him.  He would abuse God and Israel.  Saul said, “If you fight I will give you everything you want, even my own daughter,” without asking permission from the daughter.  Who doesn’t want to become rich?  That day, people were running away from wealth and believed it is better to die poor.  The little weakest David, was there.  Whoever will fight Goliath would get power and wealth.


David, a shepherd found this mission in front of him.  David has zero training of how to fight or even put on the military clothes. He doesn’t know because he is not a soldier.  Goliath started to abuse God and David wasn’t happy.  Abuse someone else but not God.


The battle was not David’s battle, he is not a soldier or here to fight the enemy but God put him in that position to allow David to join in.  I remember when I was a child and my young sister on our way to school said, “See that person, he beats me up every day”.  I was around 9 and he was the same age.  I didn’t stop to think and I jumped on him and started to fight.  As a child, I had a terrible way of living and whenever I fought someone, I would never give up until I had won the battle.  If I lost the fight, I would come back the next day to fight and I would keep coming back until I finally won.


People separated us and I told them that he beats up my sister and my sister said, “No, not him the other one”.  I jumped into a situation and fought the wrong person.  What should I do?  Whenever we have strength from God and His alliance and we have life and talent, we sometimes misuse that talent.  Who chose you to be born how you are?  Did you choose your mother/father or choose to be clever/not or short/tall?  God has put you in a position where you face the realities of the world and you have no choice.


You might be born in a broken family or in a family where your father has no time for you or your mother is a witch and someone comes to you and says, “Odon what do you want to tell us, your mother is a prostitute,” and I get abused for what God had chosen.  Why this battle Lord that I don’t even know? Some people will hate themselves or others because God has put them in a terrible situation.


Now David is here, “I have to go and fight against the giant”.  “Hey David, what are you saying?”  Then his brothers became angry, “No, you didn’t come to fight but you came to bring food and now it’s time to go back to look after the sheep.  You don’t’ deserve to be here”.  How often do people come into your life and tell you that you don’t deserve this, “We know you are weak,” and they stress you and push you down and you start to doubt who you are.


“Your sheep are in the desert waiting for you, they will get lost and your place is there”.  How often do you feel you are not good in this area and others tell you, “You are not good at this, you are better at something else?”  E.g. “Odon you are not good in English, don’t preach here in New Zealand, just wait until you go back to your country so you can speak in your own language”. 


You may start to convince yourself that you are weak but we sing, “Let the weak be strong”.  David remembered he had the anointment, “I was anointed and chosen to become a king”.  Although it was impossible for someone who had not joined the army to become king but David held unto God’s promise.  The Bible clearly said, the first born became angry.


Imagine, if you Peter go to see your older brother Ken and he becomes angry at you because you won’t listen to him.  You know how brothers can fight.  David tried to reason with his brother which means he started to become afraid of him.  Someone told Saul that they had found someone who is ready to give up his life to save the kingdom.


Imagine being Saul and no one accepts your order to fight.  “Go forward,” and they move back.  If you are the king, you will maybe kill all them yourself because they are not good soldiers, they are running away.  When the Prime-minister is there, the rugby team of that country will play stronger and accept to break all their bones because their leader is present.  Here, the presence of Saul did not stop those people from running away.


Saul asked David, “What is your size?”  He gave David the clothes from the king, clothes that not every person can touch.  The brothers of David started the first war against David while he hasn’t even faced Goliath yet.  Instead of unifying themselves to attack the enemy, they attack their brother.  In the Christian community, those that are with you will be the first to let you down and tell you, “I know your weaknesses”.


The next battle David faced was to put on the king’s clothes that didn’t fit and try to use the king’s weapons.  David tried to wear it but he decided, “No, I won’t use what you have given to me because this doesn’t belong to me.  I have the oil on me.”  The anointing God has given you, is on you and the world can’t see it but God can always see His hand upon you.  How many stones did David have?  Five.  He picked up the first stone.  I’m sure his brothers thought he would die.


David didn’t remember he was a simple shepherd but remembered, “Whenever the enemy attacked my sheep, I would use my slingshot”.  The enemy here is abusing God.  What will you use?  Remember what you have is sufficient.  Your life is sufficient to defeat those who others used to run from.  If you have $2, it is enough.  If you have a message to preach, it is enough.


Goliath, “Are you joking, look at me, little man, are you joking?”  David, “In the name of the Lord, today, your day is finished”.  Goliath, “You are coming to me like someone who is attacking a dog,” and he became angry.  David wondered, should I go back?  If you see a tree 600 metres away from you, the tree looks small but coming closer, it gets bigger.  David coming closer realised Goliath was bigger.  David said, “I’ve given my life for the sheep, let me try”.  Others cheered him on, like parents at a rugby match.  When he scores, we take the glory of our son.


Goliath was killed and he couldn’t be killed without David’s effort.  God gave David the skills, the anointment and the right time to be at the battle field.  Although the purpose was to bring food, God changed the plan and he became a hero.  You can think your life is this but in one second, you can become someone else.


Maybe his brothers cheered and said, “Glory to our family”.  Now he is part of the family and maybe they start to think about money, “It’s because of us that you came here to bring food”.  What would be your reaction against your brothers, maybe you will take revenge.  


After killing Goliath, the Philistines ran away.  David knew how to use a sling shot but he had to use his physical effort to make the stone to move from one point to another.  Most of us Christians fail when it’s time to use our effort, “God help me,” “Oh, He knows my weaknesses”, “Please God, I can’t do it, forgive me God”.  Why not?  “Because I’m weak”.  Who told you are weak? What about My anointing I gave to you? 


There is no small or weak anointing but we try to bring ourselves down because we are weak but you are not weak, it’s just a matter of making a decision.  When you want to buy shoes, you will make a decision.  It’s up to you to know where to go from here.


David made that effort.  He had four stones left to kill.  What you have is more than sufficient.  God will tell you, “You still have four left if you use one”.  What excuse can I give to God?  If you are a sinner, yes, ask for forgiveness and move forward but we start to try to forget the number of stones we have.  We want to prove to God, I only have one stone, and I can’t talk because I stutter like Moses.


How many Goliaths do you have in your life, in your workplace, in your home?  Sometimes even your brain will challenge you.  I was born as the only boy in my family, I needed a brother so we could play.  Maybe Colleen is the only daughter and her brothers put her aside.  You feel it.  Whenever they are doing their own things, you can’t take part.  Those challenges will continue day after day but it is time now to defeat those challenges and remember we have the anointing and the role we used to play to look after the sheep is finished and our role now is a warrior and we have to fight. 


The warrior will not use a sword but a slingshot.  A sword means you have to come close but a slingshot can be from a distance.  Try to cut the stone with a sword.  No matter how weak you are, with your slingshot, you can defeat it in Jesus’ name.  Leave the problem, take distance and the problem will collapse.  Although Goliath was taller, it didn’t take long to fall down.  The strongest man was killed by the weakest person of the entire nation of Israel.  We are all stronger than David, physically, spiritually, mentally.  The anointment came once.


God gives you the anointing every single day in the Holy Spirit to teach you, guide you and He is living in you.  It is not like David who had two drops of oil on his head.  Who is that Goliath that will resist you?  Only if you refuse to take control or make a decision or effort. 


The son of David is Jesus.  David didn’t give birth to Jesus.  Jesus came down to save Israel and then He brought food for us (bread and wine which is His body and blood) and He told us to take it and eat but we are in a battle field, “I’m coming to see how you are doing down here, it’s not your battle, it belongs to me”.  Your sickness, worries, money problems, just say in Jesus’ name and it will be won.


We go to our friends and ask for help while God is looking at you and says, “You have enough, you don’t need a sword or to wear what Saul is wearing before you fight”.


Pray and tell God, “Make me a warrior, change my status, I don’t want to be a shepherd taking care of useless things, I should take care of Your nation and take care of Your work because you anointed me to be a part of your family and your work”.

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