lions, bears and giants

I am going to try to write up a summary of our S.O.P meetings, starting with today’s. Where I’ve got enough notes and can remember enough detail I’ll see if I can add some previous S.O.P.’s as well.

School of Prophesy 16 May 2020

“Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, “I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover 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.”  (1 Sam 17 3-37)

God prepared David for his battle with Israel’s enemies by teaching him to trust that God was with him at all times to deliver him “from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear.” The first question we asked ourselves today was this: “If we are currently in a time of preparation during this lockdown, what “lions and bears” are we facing, and what “Goliaths” might be round the corner? Whatever battles we face now, whether it’s health, provision, loneliness, fears and doubts, or whatever else, God wants us to know that He is “with us to deliver us;” so that we grow in faith and confidence for when we face bigger challenges. Let us be aware that God is totally in control of everything that comes or way, so that through it we can grow in faith and sanctification. He is the perfect teacher, planning our individual lessons in advance…

Saul’s armour: David couldn’t even walk in it. But equipped with God’s gifting (the sling and stones) and trusting in God’s presence with him, he actually ran towards the enemy. We must take off the armour of the past, of tradition, or our own strength, of the flesh. If we even try to walk in it, we fall over. We cannot walk in the spirit if we wear the armour of the flesh. God wants us free to run, confident in the gifting that He has equipped us with and trained us to use. We need to give the Holy Spirit permission to show us specific pieces of the “the armour of Saul” that we are particularly attached to, and we need to throw them away. We can’t wear the armour of God over any bits of the armour of Saul. More than that, it actually blocks out our ability to hear God and to be sensitive to the needs of others.

Before attacking Goliath, David prophetically proclaimed the victory that he knew God had given him: “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.” What battles are we facing? Do we believe God has given us the victory? Let’s proclaim it in faith! This faith isn’t worked up: it is God given, and has to be received in the Spirit. But when a word of that seed-faith is declared it has all the authority of Heaven behind it: the giant has to fall; the mountain has to move. The God who was with David against Goliath is the same God who is with us today.

The defeat of Goliath wasn’t just to get the Philistines off Israel’s backs: two higher purposes are revealed. One is in verse 46: “that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,” and the next one follows immediately afterwards: “”Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s” (v.47) God’s stated purpose in giving David victory over Goliath more than 3000 years ago was that we, the church, would always know that the battle, every battle, is the Lord’s.

The enemy has Goliaths waiting. How are we getting on with our lions and bears? Are we practising our gifts? Are we still clanking around in any fleshly armour?

Muyiwa gave us four scriptures to conclude: Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:2, Deuteronomy 33:27, and 1 Pe 4:12-13

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