Three Davids

The David that Went in his Strength

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and King Saul and the men of Israel were set in array against the Philistines.

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Gath.  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel — “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we might fight together.”

When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Now David, the son of Jesse, ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.  And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name.  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were sore afraid.

And they said — “Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it  shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”

And Eliab, David’s eldest brother heard him speaking to the men, and his anger was kindled against David and he said, “Why camest thou down hither?  and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?  I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. ”

And from that moment David desired to prove himself to Eliab, and to the men of Israel and to be enriched with great riches and went straightway to the King.

And David said to Saul — O King I will fight Israel’s enemy, Goliath.

And the King said to David — “Thou art not able to fight against this Philistine.  You are but a youth.”

And David once more addressed the King — “I have saved my father’s flock from both a lion and a bear, and this Philistine shall be like unto them, for I am David, the son of Jesse.”

And Saul armed David with his own armor, and girded David with his sword.  And David went before the men of Israel to show the honor of the King towards him.

And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David, and when he saw David he cursed him.

And then said David to the Philistine — “Thou comest to me with a sword, but I come to revenge Israel and to prove the strength of David, son of Jesse, and I will defy you, and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all of the earth may know the strength of an Israelite, and the valor of David!”

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and drew near that David hasted and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine, in full confidence of both himself and Saul’s sword.

And the Philistine drew his sword and prevailed against David, for David had trusted in his own strength and forgotten the Lord his God.

The David that Waited on the Lord.

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and King Saul and the men of Israel were set in array against the Philistines.

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Gath.  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel — “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we might fight together.”

When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Now David, the son of Jesse, ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.  And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name.  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were sore afraid.

And they said — “Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it  shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”

And Eliab, David’s eldest brother heard him speaking to the men, and his anger was kindled against David and he said, “Why camest thou down hither?  and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?  I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. ”

And from that moment David feared the pride of his heart and continually questioned the motive of his heart.  Nonetheless he sought audience with the King.

And David said to Saul — O King I will fight Israel’s enemy, Goliath.

And the King said to David — “Thou art not able to fight against this Philistine.  You are but a youth.”

And David once more addressed the King — “You have spoken truly oh king, but the Lord has both delivered me from a bear and a lion, and He will also deliver Israel from this Philistine.”

And Saul armed David with his own armor, and girded David with his sword.  But David said unto Saul — “I cannot go with these; I will go with no weapon so I may prove the Lord God.  I will wait on Him to defeat the enemy of Israel, for the Lord our God is stronger than man and He will fight for us.  Have no fear, but wait on the Lord God.”

And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David, and when he saw David he cursed him and his God.

And then David sat peacefully before the Philistine and said — “Thou comest to me with a sword, but I come in the rest of the Lord.  You defy me and curse God but I will wait on the Lord.”

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and drew near that David sat and prayed and the Philistine drew his sword and smote the Israelites, and the Israelites were brought under bondage to the Philistines, and Goliath of Gath gloried in his victory over God’s people.

The Real David

Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and King Saul and the men of Israel were set in array against the Philistines.

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath, of Gath.  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel — “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we might fight together.”

When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Now David, the son of Jesse, ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.  And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name.  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were sore afraid.

And they said — “Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it  shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”

And Eliab, David’s eldest brother heard him speaking to the men, and his anger was kindled against David and he said, “Why camest thou down hither?  and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?  I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. ”

And David knew the pride of his own heart, but also knew not to expect everyone to understand the true motives of his heart and said, “What have I now done?  Is there not a cause?”  And David left the apathetic and fearful brethren and sought the king.

And David said to Saul — “Let no man’s heart fail because of Goliath, thy servant will fight him.”

And the King said to David — “Thou art not able to fight against this Philistine.  You are but a youth.”

And David once more addressed the King — ” Thy servant slew both a lion and a bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”

And Saul armed David with his own armor, and girded David with his sword.  But David said unto Saul — “I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them.”  And David took his own familiar staff and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook and put them in his shepherds bag and took his sling which he had defeated the lion and bear with; for David knew the Lord God would use him and the things God had equipped him with.

And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David, and when he saw David he cursed him and his God.

And David said — “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thous has defied.  This day willl the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  And all the assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.”

And it came to pass when the Philistine arose and drew night to meet David that David hasted and ran toward the army, in full confidence that the Lord would fight through him.

And David put his hand in his bag and took thence a stone and slang it, and the small stone sunk into his forehead and he fell upon his face to the earth.  So David prevailed in the strength of the Lord over the Philistine with a mere sling and a stone.  And the Philistines fled when they saw their champion was dead.  And the men of Israel and of Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines and were victorious.  And the assembly was convinced of God’s faithfulness and strength and He was given glory.  All because one young man trusted in God and acted on it.

A Divine Appointment

Maybe this will encourage someone.

Sometimes it is a Divine appointment. Sometimes it is just being willing to listen to someone…to ask questions…to think for yourself…to put yourself out there…or just to care enough to be someone’s friend.

I don’t like Walmart. In fact, I hate that store and typically never shop there. But I found myself there after work the other night running errands with my sister. I went up to the photo counter. Just a few quick prints while I was killing time waiting. It was after hours, and so usually the photo department would have a sign that said something like “see electronics for assistance”. Well, sure enough there was that sign. But there was a young woman still working behind the counter. Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun and she was wearing a long black skirt. I smiled at her and she came over to assist me. We exchanged the usual “Hello, how are yous”. Usually only “Christians” of some flavor wear skirts anymore. There was a pause in conversation…so I asked her. “Are you a Christian?” She looked up surprised. “No. I’m agnostic. I don’t believe anything.” “Oh.” I said. She continued….”my husband and I hold a bible study once a week at our house though.” “Oh, okay.” I was surprised. “So… if you don’t believe anything, what is it that you do at your bible study?” I asked. She looked even more surprised. “Good question”. She said smiling. “We just ask questions. We try to figure things out by discussing questions with each other.” “So… have you found any answers?” She smiled again and said, “Good question!” (She had a thing for questions. :)) She nodded her head and said how that they had all decided that there would be enough room on earth to hold all the people who have ever been born when the Resurrection takes place. (Wow. That was the first time I’d heard that one.) “Oh, really? Well, why would you need space on earth if we are being resurrected?” I asked. She looked dumbfounded for a second and then said again, more emphatically… “That’s a good question! I don’t know.” She was smiling at me. She seemed both happy and surprised that some random person in Walmart would care to talk to her about her religious views…or lack thereof. “Well, I’m a Christian. Can I give you a book to read?” I said…searching my bag for the copy of the book “DONE” I had ready for such occasions. (For those who don’t know what that book is… it is basically a short read, giving the gospel of Jesus Christ and explaining how there are only really two religions in the world. Those who believe you DO something to earn God’s favor and those who trust what Jesus has already DONE on the cross. It’s an awesome tool for evangelism.) “Yes!” She said. I was so excited she would take it and that I wasn’t hauled out by a Walmart manager for “distributing christian literature”! Haha”I hope this helps you find some answers”, I said and then asked if I could give her my phone number. We exchanged names. I don’t normally give my phone number to strangers…but I’ve taken to doing it quite often lately when the appropriate occasion presents itself. “Do you text?” She asked. “Yes. And I’d love to talk to you more if you have any questions.” She was so appreciative…and I really believe sincerely seeking. I paused before leaving. “You know, I really believe that God wanted me to talk to you today…and to give you that book.” She just smiled at me. She knew I cared. She knew I was sincerely concerned for her soul. And she thanked me.

Sometimes God just throws someone in our path. Sometimes not. Jesus went to SEEK the lost…He didn’t just wait around for some special feeling of “this is my one supernatural opportunity for the week”. He went looking for sinners. In fact, He was a FRIEND to sinners. We should be careful not to be more concerned about “spiritual separation” than the souls of men. We are not to be OF the world…but we are to be IN it. But it is so exciting when you get to see a Divine Appointment play out. God gives us a free will. He gave us a choice to obey. Or to disobey. To be silent. Or to speak out. One thing I have learned with all my heart…is that God loves to use people who are willing! Any time I’ve ever asked Him to use me…He does. Any time I’ve really honestly been open…He takes me up on it. Why? Because He cares about lost souls. He loves them. Unlike us. He doesn’t waste an opportunity to reach someone with the gospel of Jesus Christ…no matter where it is or what it is or who it is….and neither should we.

Remember Them!

Please be advised…this post contains graphic images.

Hebrews 13:3 Says, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

We are commanded to REMEMBER THEM THAT ARE IN BONDS. I think the Lord had a very good reason why He told us to remember. How often we forget about other people! We get distracted and carried away with life. With work. With schedules. With entertainment. With good things. But there are people, that desperately need to be remembered. And not just to ”send a card and say I’m praying for you” (although sometimes this may be a very needed and good thing). But that our love would be put into action!

 Here is a short list I’ve compiled. (Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.) I hope it encourages you to stop and think about someone else. Of why we are here. Of the people HE loves and commands us to love also. Of how important it is that we make time to remember and put our remembrance to action!

 Other Christians, especially those in persecution

 “Brethren, pray for us.” (I Thessalonians 5:25)

 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”  (II Thessalonians 3:1)

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (II Corinthians 4:8-11)

http://www.persecution.com/

The Lost

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)

“To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79)

The Widows and Fatherless

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” (Romans 15:1-3)

The Voiceless Victims of Abortion

“Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)

A Witness

 I swiveled in my chair to watch as she stepped out the door and confidently walked down the brick steps. I watched her leave the office and my heart grieved for her lost soul and it yearned for her salvation.  I almost cried right there in the office it was so strong.  God is reaching out to her through me and it hurts.  And He isn’t reaching through me because I’m this special, usable tool, but because He lives in me and yearns for her soul, and when He is presented before her, He reaches out.  I simply am the container of the Love.  Love reaches out in pure, deliberate desire and concern and care.  It’s not me, or my love.  It’s Love Himself.  I’m the hands, the mouthpiece, the vessel.  Why does He choose to use weak fallible vessels?  I’m just the little box He resides in.  

It’s almost overwhelming when He over-powers my pitiful emotions and intellect and stretches out and grasps for someone I wouldn’t ordinarily try to reach.  There’s such a difference between me wanting to bring someone to Christ, and when God Himself is grasping.  
His is more passionate, an urgent plea.  He hurts to have her.  He is moved by her state.  It’s not a mission or a challenge, it’s a cry, a calling out, an intense yearning.  He has invested everything — it means so much to Him.  It’s not a duty, but the very dearest desire of His heart.  He rents my heart in order to stretch out His hand towards her.  And I am awed by His love.  Nothing selfish.  What does He gain but the soul of a finite being?  And yet He pines for her.  Every chance He knocks, woos, cries out, because He cares.  And He plants me in her path and uses incapable, awkward, mistake-prone me.  He must really enjoy extending lovingkindness through incapable, unthinkable, silly people.  

***

I have realized that God sees each lost person with inconceivable love and compassion. He longs for their soul. His hand is constantly extended to the wicked. Not just the drug addict, the prostitute, the stereotype that comes to mind, but the people we know – the neighbor we detest, the mean check-out lady at the grocery store, the heartless man who slandered our name. He cries out for them also.

Practically speaking, how does God “reach out” to these people He longs for? Us! God chooses to use His children as His arms and hands to reach the lost. It is my opinion that if we could see humanity through Jesus’ eyes for a moment, we would have a different heart when it comes to souls.

The love of God is supposed to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. (Romans 5:5). Not only is the Holy Spirit our comforter, He also is the power that throbs inside us to save the damned.

I think our purpose on earth is multifaceted, but certainly it cannot be argued that at least a sliver of that purpose is to reach the dying. Recently I have been convicted of how imperative it is that I personally fulfill His will in this commandment. The “Great Commission” did not exclude women.

Outside of my church and my family, what am I personally doing to reach the lost? Certainly, if it is God’s desire that we share Jesus with unbelievers, He must have a plan on how I am to do this. Have I ever thought to ask Him?

Jesus says to go out. He says the fields are white with harvest. He says He desires to be proved, to show Himself strong. He says to sow in the morning and in the evening, not to withhold our hand since we have no idea when that seed will prosper. (Ecc. 11:6). He asks that we stop looking at people but through them.

He would be glad to delay the death of the wicked if we would just ask. Christ dared to ask for the wicked – will we?

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Psalm 2:8

Bushels and Blessings

I’ve mentioned before, in previous posts, that I worked at a place called “Bushels”. (A small local Mennonite store with a deli/bakery.) In this post, I’d like to give you just a little bit of back story as to how I actually ended up there and where the Lord took me in it.

I’ve grown up a very conservative Christian girl, to which I have never once regretted. That being said, my dad has never really been supportive of “women in the workforce”. As young women, our focus should be at home. Being “keepers at home” is one of the things listed to teach young women in Titus 2:4 and 5. It is important. But it also isn’t a sin for women to work outside the home either. My dad has always been very protective of his girls, as any good father should be, and I knew as a young girl growing up, that if I would ever work outside my home someday, it would have to be a very special job that met certain requirements. A safe environment being one of them. And somewhat conservative surroundings another. Because my heart was to both obey and respect my dad’s wishes, and I assumed therefore, that I would probably never have a “real job” anytime soon (other than our local housecleaning business). With a desire to please my dad, I asked the Lord one thing- that if He ever wanted me to get a job outside my normal home environment, that He would open the door in a way that my dad would be more excited about the idea than I even would be. With that being said, I was pretty sure I’d be jobless. 🙂 But those were my requirements and I held to them.

In the spring of 2013, I found my life changing unexpectedly, and began to pray about new things. Getting a job was one of them. I mentioned it to my dad and just continued to pray about it. I remember when “Bushels” was first brought to my mind. I thought to myself, “Aw, it is perfect. Conservative and safe.” I remember conniving at one point, to maybe get my dad to have the Mennonite family (who ran the store) over for dinner. Besides we were already somewhat acquainted, and had been meaning to have them over sometime anyways. It would be the perfect way in! But, the Lord never gave me peace to push for it. In fact, He told me to leave it alone and wait for His will and timing, whether that was Bushels or not. So I waited. About 3 months.

Unannounced to me, my dad went into the store early that May and while ordering deli meats & cheeses, had a conversation with the man who would later become my boss. Apparently, the fact that he (Mr. Jeremy) needed extra work here and there came into the conversation, and my dad mentioned that his daughter (which would be me) might be interested. My dad never told me and about a week later, I got a call. “If you are still interested in working part-time, let me know in the next few days.” What? I was never so surprised. So I quickly began to pray about it and consulted my dad. Honestly, at first I was a little nervous about the idea, but my dad had full confidence. And believe it or not, my dad was more excited about it than I was!

 When the Lord told me to wait, I waited, and He dropped the perfect job into my lap.

I asked the Lord that my dad would be supportive and excited about a job that met certain specific requirements, and He answered that request.

The Lord gave me Matthew 14:27– “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” And there was peace.

So began my almost 2 year career at Bushels. And I learned so much. And more than just simple things like, how to slice the perfect thickness of a piece of Havarti cheese without it crumbling apart, or getting your pound of sliced meat down to the exact ounce on a deli scale, or how to make the perfect deli sandwich in less than 30 seconds, or how to make food labels and package cinnamon rolls efficiently. There were so many life lessons. Like, learning to be more confident in who I am as an individual person. I’ve always struggled with that. But I was no longer introduced or perceived by others as just “the youngest Bickish girl” – but instead, as “Lynea”. I could no longer hide behind my family. I didn’t have my outgoing and bold older sister leading the way! No, instead, I had to step out of my comfort zone. And while learning to be an individual outside your family circle seems a small thing, it actually made a big difference in how I carried myself as a person.

The Lord also gave me many different opportunities to witness and talk with people. It challenged what I believed and why I believed it; to be able to “give an answer for the hope that lieth within [me]” and to defend my faith for myself. I built relationships with many different people and learned how to reach out to them. It was a blessing and a joy. Although there were hard and lonely lessons too. Such as, realizing and learning to be okay with the fact that you are different than “the average Christian” or professing Mennonite and therefore rejected as the “outcast” of the group. Which, isn’t always fun. 🙂 But certainly worth it. (Please consider reading my previous post Outside the Camp.)

In the fall of 2014, the Lord began to close the door to the Bushels store. His timing, again, was perfect. I was tired and busy beyond belief, and my family was getting ready to move. It was time. And by December I gave my notice. Some things in life are only for a season, and Bushels was one of those. But it certainly was a blessing in many ways and I am thankful for everything the Lord taught me during that time and how He used it in my life.
The truth is, waiting on the Lord is a wonderful place to be. As young Christian women, let’s not settle for what the world tells us is normal! Let’s not settle for what even most “Christians” will criticize or shove down our throats! Who says you have to get a job in “the real world” by the time you are 18? Or go to a Christian or secular college? It’s okay to be different than the majority. It’s okay to stand alone, if need be. To stand against the strong tide of society. When He sets a standard for us, no matter how impossible it might seem at the time, we can trust Him to provide through it. Is it wrong to get a job as a single young girl? No. Is it wrong to go to college? No, it certainly isn’t. But when Christ sets a standard for us, it is wrong to endanger that standard by compromise. We don’t have to compromise! So many young girls I know are choosing to settle. Don’t! Whether that is a job opportunity you just can’t get peace about, or maybe a standard that has been somehow crossed in some way, or a decision that goes against your convictions, or maybe a young man that just isn’t His perfect will for your life and you know it; it isn’t worth settling for.Recently, I was asked to help fill in at Bushels again for several days during the month of April. Due to certain circumstances, they needed extra help. I was a little hesitant, and the long drive and long days certainly didn’t seem that worth it to me. But the Lord not only opened the door, but actually had to end up pushing me through it. I think He knew that He’d have to, because I wouldn’t have walked through it again willingly of my own accord. 🙂 And again, He proved faithful in regards to this little work place. He gave me one of the neatest opportunities to talk to one of the young Mennonite girls there that I used to work with. Just being able to share more of my faith with her, and actually watch her listen and consider what I had to say. It thrilled my soul and I came home smiling to myself, because I knew why He had wanted me to go back.

Psalms 27:14 says- “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” 

We can wait, because He abides faithful. We can stand against the normality of our modern culture, because He gives us the courage to. We can go on in His perfect will for our lives, because He is our strength.

This is me (on the far right) with some of the other girls there.