Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dangerous Faith: David

[God] testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do."
Acts 13:22

David has been called a man after God’s own heart.  Much has been made about this title. Many a preacher has ventured a guess as to what it means, but today I would like us to focus on the statement that directly follows that one. “…he will do everything I want him to do.” I don’t think there could be a truer definition of dangerous faith.

Dangerous faith is faith that has been put into action. It’s dangerous in the sense that it is bursting with the potential to impact the world in significant ways. What could be more dangerous than a person who is willing to do anything that God asks him/her to do? God’s divine power and wisdom working through a willing human instrument—what could be more effective or dangerous than that? The real question before us though, is how did David get faith like that and how can we get it? As always, we turn to Scripture for clues. 

Looking at the classic story of David's battle with Goliath we see how he responds when he first hears Goliath’s chant: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"  Notice David isn’t filled with anger out of national pride that Goliath would dare defy Israel. He is filled with anger that Goliath would dare defy God. This is made even clearer later when David tells Goliath that, “Today…the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”

David was passionate about God’s glory. He was jealous for the honor that was due God’s name. In fact, in the Psalms David often praises God’s name publicly. “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you” (Psalm 22:22). It is this passion for God’s glory that gives rise to the desire to obey God. He was energized and focused on bringing glory and honor to God’s name. But this desire to do God’s will wasn’t enough. He also had to be willing to act on that desire.   

Look at what David said to Goliath right before he killed him:
"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied… All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

David understood that the battle belonged to the Lord. You get the sense that David actually believed that God was fighting the battle with him. In Psalm 18:29 David says, “With your help I can advance against a troop.” This carries weight because David had actually experienced it. David stood on battle fields watching entire armies advance against him and his men and he knew militarily that he ought to be killed that day. But even in those moments when ten thousand men wanted to kill him, he trusted the Lord. The battle belonged to the Lord. He might have a sword in his hand, but his sword wasn’t going to win the battle. It was the Lord who fought on David’s behalf.

So David was willing to do anything God asked him to do because 1) he was passionate about bringing glory to God’s name and 2) he trusted in the Lord to fight his battles for him and to protect him.

Are you passionate about God’s glory? When was the last time you bragged on God? David says, “I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you” (Psalm 35:18). Are you passionate enough about bringing honor to God’s name that you are willing to praise him in front of other people? If not, pray and ask God to give you a heart for his glory. I believe that the entire purpose for our existence is to bring glory to God and that we will spend all of eternity doing just that.

Also, do you trust God to fight your battles for you? Do you believe that the battle is the Lord’s? When your spouse is diagnosed with cancer, or your mother dies, or you get laid off at work, or you feel like everyone you know is out to destroy you…do you believe that the battle belongs to the Lord? Are you willing to step out on faith to do what God has called you to do and trust God to take care of you? If not, ask God to help you trust Him with your life. This is the very foundation of the Christian faith. 

For further reading this week:

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