Lord, thank you for breaking my heart for what breaks yours. Please mobilize me. When Jesus saves us, He gives us a new heart. The brokenness of our fallen world breaks our hearts. What breaks yours? Is it orphans? Hunger? Poverty? Sex trafficking? What that offends your Father offends you to the core?
For me, my heart breaks for women. For the lies that come at them telling them they are unworthy. Unworthy for their past mistakes, unworthy because of sexual sin. Unworthy to be the beautiful bride God sees them as. Women are hard on themselves and on each other. Satan wants to get to them before they get married because he hates seeing them as a bride. He pits them against each other because can you imagine if women banded together in unity and encouraged each other instead of tore one another down what a powerful force they would be for God’s Kingdom? I have prayed for many women who have been vulnerable with me in the past week. Different stories, but same hurt and Healer. I see one word on their faces…unworthy. Hurting eyes, subtle lies. It breaks my heart. I want to hold their faces in my hands and tell them they are beautiful, loved and not dirty. That they are a princess, daughter to the most high King, washed clean and new. My friend Katie gave me a verse that summarizes it; Lam 3:51 “what I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women in my city.”
As people who love Jesus, we all have things that tear at our heart strings…and because of His great love for us, we desire to share that love, that light, that healing that can’t be contained. The question becomes, what can you do to help be His hands and feet? How can you freely give that which you’ve freely received? And somewhere between that desire and the stepping out part, we can get tripped up. This happens to me every time before I share my story of freedom publicly or walk in obedience to what I feel God has called me to do. My mind becomes a battlefield before I enter the battle itself…
I think we can learn a lot from David in this. We talk often about David’s battle with Goliath, the heroic tale of little boy and the big giant. But we often overlook the battle that takes place before the battle. As we approach the giant who offends our God, there are two voices that come at us. One says, YOU ARE UNWORTHY to fight or even be at the battlefield. The other says, YOU ARE TOO SMALL. Both of these lies are Satan’s way at taking our eyes off the giant and putting them on us. We take our eyes off what offends our God and are paralyzed by what offends us. DAVID’S EYES ARE OFF DAVID. That’s not only what helps him defeat the giant, but it’s also what guides him past the traps that are set to keep him from stepping onto God’s battlefield.
David is not even a part of the army; he is a young boy who has stayed home to attend his father’s sheep. He is not old enough to fight yet. David’s father tells him to bring food to the battlefield for his older brothers and their commanders. When he gets to the battlefield, he sees the Philistine taunting God’s people and is deeply offended. He hears Goliath shout his defiance at the Israelites and asks “who is that man that he should defy the armies of the living God?” My Bible says that “David saw the Philistine as a threat to the coming of the kingdom of God into the world through God’s ways with Israel.” He was offended at what offended His God. He saw the big picture. He saw it from God’s perspective. This was unique about David. This is the warrior God chose.
Now the battle before the battle…
David’s older brother (the oldest) sees him and says “why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert…I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is. You came down only to watch the battle.” Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. A character assault. This is downright mean. You don’t belong here. Your motives are wicked. YOU ARE UNWORTHY. This is from an older brother whose approval he probably sought. Someone who had perhaps been a lifelong bully in David’s life. Someone who would always be “bigger” in the unspoken rules of family dynamics. How many of us would have been so offended that we would have dropped off the food and gone home? We might have been so caught off guard by the meanness that we didn’t say exactly what we wanted to say and would have gone home to have imaginary battles with that older brother in our minds. Those where you say the perfect thing and throw in the zinger you’ve been wanting to throw in your entire life. And the imaginary crowd cheers! An offended David would have gone home to tend the sheep angry at his older brother. He would have lost sight of the true enemy. Satan’s bait is to get us offended. When we are offended we take our eyes off what offends our God. When we are offended, we are paralyzed warriors who lose sight of the real enemy and the God worth fighting for.
David overcomes this battle by simply turning away. He quickly deflects it without second thought. Wow. He goes onto Saul and tells him not to lose heart that he will go and fight. Saul says, “You are not able to go out and against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy.” Ouch. Saul says YOU ARE TOO SMALL. Can you imagine what it would be like to talk to a King? And have that King tell you that you are too small to fight in his battle? At David’s age I recall being very intimidated by people of authority, like my teachers, but this is his King. Wow. Would you even have the courage to say anything back? Have you ever been told you are small? You’re too little, you’re too young, you’re not equipped for this job. You can’t actually make a difference.
How many times have overwhelming statistics kept you from freely reaching out to one person in need? You’re too small to take on the cause of orphans, hunger, abortion. Your help is like a rain drop in an ocean. The problem is big, we are tiny in comparison. When our eyes are on us, yes, that is true. If David thought about how he stacked up against the giant, he would have concluded he was too small. Once again, David’s eyes are NOT ON DAVID, they are on God. We are small but we have a BIG God. A God who is always victorious and this is HIS battle, not ours!!! David’s confidence does not rest in the power of the his own prowess but in the power of the living God whose honor has been violated.
When is the last time you dreamed big? I mean REALLY big? A dream that would only be possible with God’s help? When is the last time you prayed big? Asked for the impossible? Sometimes our minds won’t even let us go there because somewhere along the way the world tells us it’s foolish, it’s hopeless. Maybe we can avoid failure if we agree to play small. Or to watch on the sidelines until that future time when we have grown.
But, the time is NOW. The giant is here. Your size doesn’t matter because this battle has nothing to do with you. You have a BIG God who is ready for someone with a big heart to trust Him. You are perfectly equipped by the finished work of the cross. The God of victory who has conquered sin and death lives in you and goes before you. You are seated with Him in heavenly realms. Do you know your position?
After David convinces Saul he can fight, Saul dresses David in his armor. The armor is heavy on the little boy and he takes it off. Jesus says “my yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Don’t fight the enemy with the armor the enemy wears. Fight with God and God alone. And, no one else’s armor will ever fit you. What an honor it would be to wear a King’s armor. David’s King is not of this world!! How foolish to the crowd it must have been for him not to wear armor. Surely some of them spoke up. I have a feeling David wasn’t listening to their voices. God tells us the only armor we need is Him. He gives us His heart for His battles and He reminds us that they are His. He just wants us to surrender and trust Him. When we get out of the way, we allow Him to be God. And when we finally get to the battlefield, we will always have victory because it’s His fight and He always wins.
David is an amazing hero on the battlefield, but he first had to overcome the battle before the battle. He had to shut down the voices that said – you’re UNWORTHY and you’re TOO SMALL. He didn’t let being OFFENDED keep him from fighting that which OFFENDED HIS GOD. An offended David would have been a paralyzed warrior. An offended Katie is a paralyzed warrior too. Fight off the bait Satan throws at you!! Get over being offended by people who may even, sadly, be on your side. There is a giant to fight if we can get over ourselves and keep our eyes on what offends our mighty God of angel armies.
There are many people who the Lord uses for His battles. There are just as many who never make it onto the field. I thank God for the ones who fought for me. For the ones who opened their homes for Bible studies, who took a stand at the lies the world has for women and moms. For my counselor at Choose Life, who gave up a bigger salary to help set women free from shame over their past. For the pastors, teachers and authors offended at the lack of truth in our current culture who had the courage to dedicate their lives to study and speak out….for Kelly Dorough, the first person I ever heard share a testimony with the courage to bring darkness to light and show me I had a story too and that it’s HIS…for Katie Wilson who lives her faith out loud and inspired me to write and not be silent. Thanks to all the Lord’s workers who fight that which offends Him. Thanks for making it to the field. You have made a difference to me and the difference is one that always moves forward to others.
To those of you on the sidelines right now (speaking to myself too), let’s learn from David. Let’s take our eyes off us and lift them up to our powerful and glorious God. God, may we band together and help bring freedom to the women of our city who are lost, who are oppressed, who are in need. May each person have courage to step into the work you have prepared for them. He’s asking us to join Him. He does the work; we just have to say yes. We’re on a winning team. We are worthy. And we have a big God.
In the words of David…(2 Sam 22, parts from MSG)
25God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
29-31 Suddenly, God, your light floods my path,
God drives out the darkness.
I smash the bands of marauders,
I vault the high fences.
What a God! His road
stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
47-51 Live, God! Blessing to my Rock,
my towering Salvation-God!
This God set things right for me
and shut up the people who talked back.
He rescued me from enemy anger.
You pulled me from the grip of upstarts,
You saved me from the bullies.
That’s why I’m thanking you, God,
all over the world.
That’s why I’m singing songs
that rhyme your name.
God’s king takes the trophy;
God’s chosen is beloved.
I mean David and all his children—