Topic: Rely On Tested Armor
Text: 1 Samuel 17: 34-54
Key Verse: And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he attempted to go, for he had not tested it. And David said unto Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David put them off him. – 1 Samuel 17:39
In warfare, a soldier has both offensive and defensive weapons. In old times, every soldier owned and developed their weapon, but in the modern military, they are provided a range of weapons depending on their unit’s role in battle. The soldier’s responsibility is to familiarize himself with the armor before going to war.
Though we are all involved in our battles, we still have warfare that concerns us as a group; family, tribal and national issues. The army that goes to war and wins knows how to strategically manage its weapons, maintain unity in its ranks, and rely on its God.
Asa had a large army of brave soldiers: Three hundred thousand of them were from the tribe of Judah and were armed with shields and spears; two hundred eighty thousand were from Benjamin and were armed with bows and arrows. – 2 Chronicles 14:8 CEV
In Asa’s army, different tribes had different weapons and skills. Even the men of David in the wilderness had different competencies. Why do you have to clone others and pray like them, develop and get familiar with your weapons and armor?
In our text today, the King of Israel Saul and his army had already lost hope in the battle against the Philistines, but David had a different belief; he trusted in God to give him the head of the Philistine champion.
As he made to go out to battle, the King handed over his armor to him, which he tested and declined to use for obvious reasons, they didn’t fit.
Today, in spiritual warfare, we use different armor, both our assigned weapons and even borrowed ones. People copy prayer points without understanding the wisdom or the Spirit behind that prayer. The disciples of Jesus teach us a lesson on prayer we must adopt as we live intentionally in these uncertain times. The principle is to rely on the guidance of superiors in warfare rather than to borrow their weapons.
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. – Luke 11:1
Going to battle like the sons of Sceva will leave you in defeat if you rely on weapons you have not tested and are not used to.
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil Spirit answered and said, Jesus, I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. – Acts 19:13-16
The second mistake to avoid is to seek to buy the anointing rather than receive it from the Lord; Simeon tried it and failed. The same rod in the hands of Gehazi could not do the miracles like in the hands of Elisha.
“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God”. – Acts 8:18-21
“Gehazi, get ready and go to her house,” Elisha said. “Take along my walking stick, and when you get there, lay it on the boy’s face. Don’t stop to talk to anyone, even if they try to talk to you.” Gehazi ran on ahead and laid Elisha’s walking stick on the boy’s face, but the boy didn’t move or make a sound. Gehazi ran back to Elisha and said, “The boy didn’t wake up.” – 2 Kings 4:29,31
David received his weapons on the battlefield of life, he had used them time and again, and it didn’t fail, so he knew where to turn to in the face of another enemy.
…and picked up his shepherd’s stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath. – 1 Samuel 17:40
What weapon do you have today? David had a stick, a sling, and he knew the value of looking for smooth stones and where to find them
Don’t quote scriptures out of context in prayer, don’t swing a verse you do not know correctly. Stay with your tested weapons and submit yourself to learn from the commander. Joshua realized that we never fight alone, the heavenly host fights with us in battle, and our weapons are not carnal.
One day, Joshua was near Jericho when he saw a man standing some distance in front of him. The man was holding a sword, so Joshua walked up to him and asked, “Are you on our side or our enemies’ side?” Neither,” he answered. “I am here because I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” Joshua fell to his knees and bowed down to the ground. “I am your servant,” he said. “Tell me what to do.” – Joshua 5:13-14
Today, we have a helper, the Holy Spirit, who teaches us how we ought to pray and helps our weaknesses. How is your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Who supplies your prayer points? Why spend hours shooting out of range when you can fire to target?
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. – Romans 8:26-27
In this time and dispensation, believers cannot survive without reliance on the Holy Spirit, are you filled with the Holy Spirit? What is the evidence? How is your prayer life different since you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? Don’t replace the Holy Spirit with a prayer book, no matter the author, asides from the weapon, the victory belongs to God!
Father, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit; we realize how we so badly need the help of the Hol Spirit to fight and win life’s battles, oh Lord teach us how to pray, how to fight the enemies of our soul, help us to grow in the skillful use of the weapons of our warfare in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash