CHAPTER 21

JUST A SLING AND FIVE SMOOTH STONES

    Samuel 17:32-50 says, ““And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go
    and fight with this Philistine.” Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with
    him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant
    was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion and a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him
    and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and
    struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will
    be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered
    me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And
    Saul said to David, “Go and may the Lord be with you.” Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a
    bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. And David girded his sword over his armor and tried
    to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.”
    And David took them off. And he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the
    brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and
    he approached the Philistine. Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield bearer in front
    of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a
    handsome appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” And the
    Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me and I will give your flesh to
    the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword,
    a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom
    you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike down and remove your
    head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and
    the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may
    know that the Lord does not deliver by the sword or by the spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you
    into our hands.” Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David
    ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a
    stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead so that he fell
    on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the
    Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.”

When we look carefully at this familiar portion of Scripture we can see how God and His chosen people will fight the
enemy. At this point in Israel’s history Saul is still the visible ruler but he has lost the anointing and an evil spirit has
been sent from the Lord to torment him. The Philistines have challenged God’s people to a battle, pitting their
champion Goliath of Gath against Israel’s champion to decide which nation will serve the other. Goliath, their nine foot
warrior, is taunting the Jews. Saul, even though he is older, is the logical choice to fight Goliath. Saul is also a very
large man, standing a full head taller than the other Jews. He is a warrior of great experience, but he has lost the
anointing of God. As this challenge is hurled at him, he realizes perhaps for the first time, how fearful it is to meet a
monstrous enemy with only his own natural strength and without God’s help. He knows that he is hopelessly over
matched and thus he is “dismayed and greatly afraid.” The only volunteer to fight the giant is a young man who by
natural appearances has no possible chance of success. David is apparently too young, too small and too
inexperienced; but he is the only one who will try, so he is allowed to attempt to do battle against Goliath. David
explains to Saul that he does have experience in fighting enemies who have had an overwhelming advantage; he has
fought and single-handedly destroyed both a lion and a bear. This experience proved to him that God would protect
him and enable him to slay any enemy that would threaten him or his charges. He cites the fact that Goliath has
taunted and dishonored the armies of the living God. David’s main reason for fighting Goliath was because God’s
honor was besmirched by the Philistine. The main issue for David was the honor and the glory of God. Regarding his
chances of success, David reasoned that if God has protected him from wild beasts because he was protecting his
father’s sheep, it makes perfect spiritual sense that God will also protect him against this one who so brazenly makes
fools of the Israelites and their God.

After Saul agrees to let David fight he tries to outfit David in his own armor and offers his sword, but David is not
comfortable with it and decides not to use it because he has not tested it. David is not at all concerned that he is going
to battle Goliath without armor or a sword because HE KNOWS that armor and a sword is not the issue. He is
confident that the Lord God Jehovah will be his protection and his strength. The weapon that the Lord tells David to
use is a very simple weapon. It is a sling. The ammunition is similarly simple: five smooth stones.

The angry reaction of Goliath to young David and his sling is predictable; he disdains, mocks, curses, and threatens
him. He even calls forth the terms of his own judgment, as he tells David what he will do to him. In actuality what
Goliath predicted was exactly what happened to him and his people. He is judged and condemned according to the
words of his own mouth. David’s response is righteous anger and confidence in God without any hint of fear. He tells
Goliath that he himself will be used by God to kill and humiliate him and his men for the purpose of showing “all the
earth that there is a God in Israel”, and that “the Lord DOES NOT deliver by sword or by spear; for THE BATTLE IS
THE LORD’S and HE will give you into our hands.” David has complete confidence and faith that God will bring the
victory to him for His glory. David proves this by stepping out in FAITH PLUS virtually NOTHING. He has no sword, no
helmet, and no armor. All he has is a sling and five smooth stones. But the weapon that David wielded was the Word
of God which the Lord had spoken in his heart regarding the demise of Goliath. The Bible emphasizes the lack of
David’s weaponry by repeating in verse 50 the fact that “there was no sword in his hand.”

We see this much smaller, younger, less experienced, virtually weaponless but faith-filled David defeat Goliath so
quickly that Goliath has no time to even put up a fight. We see how God alone is glorified since the arm of flesh is not
bared. We see God using the natural weakness of man as a launching pad for a great victory that brings to Him and
His people much glory and causes the Philistines to run in fear and have a new respect for the Jews and especially for
their God.

If the Church of Jesus Christ is ever going to regain the fear and the respect of the Philistine world, not to mention the
approval of God, we are going to have to emulate David. We must return to the simplicity of David and the simplicity of
the Early Church. We must become inexperienced in the ways of the world but experienced in moving in real faith. We
must get close enough to Him so we can KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt His ways and how to bring Him glory. If
we are to be the David Church we must allow God to prepare us even as He prepared David. Before we can go out
and fight Goliaths we must know, as a principle in our own lives, God’s protection and power. We must WALK in the
knowledge of the fact that He wants to and is able to take care of every part of our life. We must, as we truly walk in
love and obedience, trust God to be our Rock, our Fortress and our Deliverer. David LIVED the principle in Matt 6:24:
“seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”, and we must
do so too. Instead, we typically have arranged our lives to protect ourselves. We make decisions based on money,
“benefits” and comfort. We Christians in the Saul Church always see to it that we are well taken care of materially
before we “move out in faith spiritually.” Often we will “put out a fleece.” A typical fleece is “if we can make a certain
amount of money, then that would be God confirming our desire to move.” As Saul Church Christians we often make
our major decisions based on how much money or comfort we will get. The kingdom of God is not our priority; it is
secondary to our material priorities. Most relocation moves are made not on the basis of spiritual opportunity, but for
material opportunity. We make sure that our material needs (Mammon) are well taken care of, and then we “trust God
for a good church.” We seek first a good job with good benefits (life insurance, health insurance, retirement plan and
financial security) and only then do we expect God to meet our spiritual needs by providing a good church for us. We
DO NOT seek for spiritual food and opportunities to bless others. We do not seek first for God’s will concerning our
spiritual well-being; instead we seek FIRST for earthly security and then expect God to give us spiritual security. David
placed spiritual matters first and then was able to trust God for his material needs, just as Matthew 6:24 dictates. He
sought to obey the desires of the King and the King took care of him. We need to seek first the Kingdom of God and
His righteousness and THEN we can expect Him to take care of our material needs. Before we can trust God to slay
our Goliaths, we must learn to seek and obey His will, and trust Him in everyday practical things such as health and
material provision. This is NOT meant to be an argument that says we must not go to doctors. Remember, one of Paul’
s good friends and ministry partners was Luke, the blessed PHYSICIAN.

Scripture says that Goliath disdained David when he came to battle him without armor, sword or spear. The world will
certainly disdain the Church when the Church comes without the world’s weapons and the protection those weapons
provide, but we must realize that before Goliath disdained David, he had already mocked Saul and all the Israelites.
We must realize that WHATEVER and HOWEVER we minister the world is going to mock and disdain us. If we
minister using their methods they will mock us for trying to copy them. If we minister in the simplicity of the Holy Spirit
they will accuse us of being old-fashioned or merely stupid. We cannot win the approval of the enemy and his people
and when we try to do so, we WILL lose God’s approval.

Unlike Saul, David did not care if anyone was impressed with him. All he wanted was to silence this mocker of God
and His people. The only approval David wanted was to be a man approved by God. As we walk in integrity and
concern for God’s honor, we’ll see His protection, deliverance, victory and approval.

The armor of Saul, for various reasons, proved to be a hindrance to David. The fact that David didn’t use any armor or
sword brought great glory to God. If the Church of Jesus Christ is ever to function with the world-shattering, Goliath-
slaying power of David WE MUST TAKE OFF AND PUT DOWN SAUL’S ARMOR. We must understand that IT IS
THE LORD’S BATTLE. He will wage battle miraculously in the Spirit when we stop waging it in the flesh. We don’t
need the trappings of Saul. The early Church did not rely upon philosophies of men, entertainment personalities,
education, or EVEN (I know it’s hard to believe Church, but it is true), the New Testament Church did not rely upon
MONEY!

The David Church will function in the mighty delivering power of God because it will take off Saul’s armor. It will realize
that it is not only unnecessary, but that this armor actually gets in the way of doing battle by the Spirit of God. Also,
when we wear this armor, God does not get the glory and, as we are sadly finding out, God will no longer provide His
anointing for power to people who depend upon Saul’s armor. In the last days the David Church, whether it comes into
being in a year, a decade, or a century, will defeat the enemies of God without the armor of money, fashion,
personality and without the sword of religious psychology, or higher education. It will not even need the world-pleasing
testimony of an athlete or entertainer. The David Church will not be involved in television ministry as the Saul Church
is today. Ministries will not be dominated by men who depend upon their business acumen or worldly means to build
the kingdom of God. The leadership of the REAL Church will no longer strive to raise money and build large churches
with extravagant facilities. The youth will need places to pray more than they will need gymnasiums. Quite possibly
true Christians will not even be allowed to minister on television or the radio. But they WILL have the Holy Scriptures,
the fullness of the Holy Spirit, a sling and five smooth stones.

What is the sling that will be used and what are the five smooth stones? The sling will be the local church lifted to its
highest point in history wielded by our David, the Lord Jesus Christ. The five smooth stones that He will use in these
last days to slay the monstrous enemy we face will be Living Stones, which will include the teacher, the pastor, the
evangelist, the prophet and the apostle.

The days of the Saul Church fighting our battles are drawing to a close. Even as the Children of Israel asked for a king
to “go out before us and fight our battles” (I Samuel 8:20), so the Saul Church has prayed for and received leaders
who have stood head and shoulders above everyone else. These attractive and clever men have gone out before us
and raised up powerful ministries to fight for us. They did not really even require us to put our bodies on the line. They
did not expect or make much of an appeal for us to join the battle ourselves. All they asked from us was to keep
sending them our money, help them enlarge their kingdoms, and they would do the fighting for us. They were a small
but apparently effective mercenary army that God has used for a season. But they were exactly what we wanted. We
did not really want to fight anyway. We wanted to pay others to do our fighting for us. Much of the fighting that we
have done has been mere tokenism. Because we gave these men and their ministries so much power, the influence of
the local church has waned. It has became so weak that we literally can not function without these Saul ministries. We
began to depend upon the rock bands and the summer camps to take care of our children. We need and depend upon
the headline speakers to revitalize us. We lost our ability to help people with “problems” so we sent them to “experts”
with training in religious and secular psychology. But those days are passing away. God will begin to strengthen the
local church so it will once again be an autonomous entity in the sense that is not DEPENDENT, in a lazy way, on
outside help but is still an integral part of the Body of Christ which will both RECEIVE and GIVE ministry when called to
do so.

God will soon dispense with the battle plan devised by the people of the Saul Church. Their plan is to buy big guns
and pay big men big bucks to fight for us. God will dismantle this Saul army and, when all looks totally hopeless, we
will see our David, Jesus Christ, stride onto the battle field and, as was mentioned earlier, He will use the sling of the
local church. In the early days of Christianity the local church was the sling that hurled the living stones—Paul, John,
Phillip, Peter and Stephen - in the face of the Roman Empire. In these last days God’s people will again meet an
enemy that more television stations, bigger rock and roll concerts, the cleverest of programs and greater sums of
money cannot defeat. But the local church will be resurrected and used as God has intended. Many large and
cumbersome ministries will fall as the money runs out. Then, just when things look very dark for God’s people, we will
see the local church, the sling of God, begin to raise up true teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets and apostles--
men and women to enter any battle and be thrown anywhere their David, Jesus Christ, throws them one stone at a
time, choosing each ministry as is needed. These living stones will find His mark because they will trust Him
completely and not resist His guiding hand. The local church may be “the church that meets at Fred’s house” or it may
meet in a warehouse or even in a church building. It may be large or small. It may periodically join with other churches,
but it will be a church where the Word, the whole Word and nothing but the Word is taught. It will be a Spirit-filled
church that bears the anointing of God and loves the Lord purely and passionately.

God has always hurled only men and women who completely love Him directly into the face of the enemy, guided on
the narrow path of the true Gospel. In the face of religious slavery in Germany, God hurled Martin Luther. In the face
of spiritual deadness and possible anarchy in England, God hurled George Whitefield and the Wesleys and others.
And in these last days, in the midst of the Laodicean deception, He will hurl men and women with hearts of David, men
and women who represent a kingdom that is FOR HIMSELF and for His Glory.

Our loins will be girded with truth. We will wear the breastplate of righteousness. Our feet will be shod with the
preparation of the Gospel of peace. We will take up the shield of faith. Our minds and our heads will be protected by
the helmet of salvation. Then, we will take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and then, after we
have done this, we will, with all prayer and petition, pray at all times IN THE SPIRIT with perseverance and petition for
all the saints!

We will depend upon God because we truly know Him, and He will be able to use us as He wills because we will be a
people after His own heart. We will trust His Word to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
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