John 6:1 (After This)

This quote by The River Walk says it all:
“God, I will follow You. Where ever You might go, I will follow You. With all of my being, I will pursue You. And after this, I know that You have my back. Whatever it is I might need, I know You have already provided. Help me to trust You with everything I have and go where ever You might lead me. I want to be with You now and after this”
In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen …

THE RIVER WALK

After This

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. (John 6;1)

Read: 2 Samuel 5:14-16, 11:1 – 12:25, 1 Chronicles 3:5-9, 14:3-7, 20:1, Psalm 51

Relate: After this. If I were to say, “I am going to the store, and after this I am going to the movies.” What would you think? Sometime soon I am going to make a trip to Walmart/Target.etc and then, before returning home or perhaps immediately after dropping off my purchases I will head out to AMC so that I can see the new Avengers movie. Maybe if I qualified it, I could be talking about something a little further into the future. “Last week, I went to see Avengers, tomorrow I will be watching Mad Max, after this Minions will be on the top of my list.” Then you might be thinking about…

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DAVID and GOLIATH

Some Thoughts on . . .
DAVID and GOLIATH
By Rodney W. Francis
(Founder/Director: The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry)

In 1 Samuel 17 we have recorded the very well-known account of David and Goliath. It is a very interesting yet challenging story,
for it reveals how a young man of faith could defeat a wily old enemy warrior through unconventional means. It is also an example
of how the conventional ways of training men and women for war do not necessarily gain the needed results.

· We need supernatural strategies that work!

LEARN TO WALK BY FAITH

The first thing I would like to remind us of is that David was not even a part of the army! He was merely visiting his older three brothers
(taking some home cookies) who were part of Saul’s army. David had learned how to walk in faith in his secular work (a shepherd boy
out on the country hills) ~ it was out there that he learned to prove the power of God to protect his responsibilities, caring
for the sheep and the lambs. When a lion or a bear came seeking some easy food, David rose up against them and destroyed them,
thus protecting his father’s flock.

· The principles of faith that he learned by experience out there had given him a good training to fight other enemies
of the Lord. 

When David visited his brothers and heard the challenge of the giant Goliath, something inside of him stirred with righteous indignation.
It got worse when he saw the great army of Israel ~ along with his three brothers ~ cower and run into hiding at the sound of the
giant’s voice. How interesting that when David voiced his concern and offered his services to go and silence that “uncircumcised
Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:36), that the very people and brothers he was going to save and take into victory, turned on him and began to
ridicule him for his outspokenness. Yet it was David’s brothers ~ not David ~ who were trained and supposedly equipped for such a
time as they were now in. But all the conventional training in the world did nothing to allay their fears as they saw the size and stature
of the giant.

This is why it is so important that we know God and His will for our lives. Otherwise good-intentioned and well-meaning people
will try and tell us that what we are doing is “not of God” or “that’s not God’s will” for you. I doubt if I would still be in ministry today if I had listened to that kind of advice when we were asked by God to make the most important decision of our ministry lives ~ that of stepping out to live full-time by faith and not ask people to financially support us! Jesus warned us that “a man’s enemies will be those of his own household”; and I don’t think that He was referring only to natural households. It applies to spiritual Brothers and Sisters too (Matthew 10:36; John 13:18).

· God needs men and women who will dare to be different in these days!
I am so glad we stepped out into the faith-life, because it has opened our eyes to see and know God in a whole new dimension of living. To see Him provide for us and The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry day after day, week after week, etc., has been amazing. We live without any mortgages or debts; and every month every bill is paid. Yet we do not really know where our next dollar is coming from. Christians who knew what we were going to do thought we were “crazy” and that “it was not God’s will” and “you will regret doing this,” etc. But not once have we regretted doing what we did in obeying the voice of the Lord.

THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES US DIFFERENT!

So, what made David different? He was called and anointed by God! (1 Samuel 16:12-13). The Spirit of the Lord came on him
from that day forward!

· David learned to flow in and follow the Holy Spirit anointing in his life, and that made him different.

That is why the baptism in the Holy Spirit is so important in our lives today. It brings the anointing of God and sets us apart for
God to use. As we will listen to Him and obey what He says, we will find that He will use us in unconventional ways to baffle and defeat
the enemy! God knows the right strategies to be used in every situation, so it is important that we hear His voice and follow His
instructions.

David’s trained brothers did not understand the anointing of God on their younger brother. They re-acted to his request to go and face
Goliath in a very negative way! If they had been doing what they were paid for, they would not have caused David to offer his services.
As trained as they were for Israel’s army, their training did not prepare them for someone like Goliath! Tragically, most training today
in Christian circles does not prepare people for the “Goliath” called Satan who opposes the anointing of the Holy Spirit in people and
seeks to discourage us and make us fearful of him. His major weapon against Christians is fear, for he knows that when we are afraid
we do not rise up in faith and we are unable to accomplish any mighty thing in the name of Jesus Christ because that fear has bound us
within. Whatever we fear controls us! As long as we see Satan as someone bigger than God we will always be losers! And it takes
non-conventional methods to overcome and dis-arm him these days!

· Do not allow fear to rob you!

WE NEED SOME NEW DAVID’S TO RISE UP!

Which brings us to this present hour …  Do we not see a parallel to the days in which we live? We are living in unprecedented days and
the Church of Jesus Christ (God’s army of today to combat the enemy’s advance) seems unable to combat the advances of the enemy
through conventional means. We have to realize that we are living in days when we need some David’s to come along and
deliver us out of the hand of the enemy! David was not trained for the army. God trained him in experience in the work place
He had to know and prove that God was with him when the lion and the bear attacked his flock! He had grasped the
principles of faith through actual experience, and he saw God come through for him each time.

Now he is in another one of those situations where the enemy is far larger than the prey! But David was not phased or made fearful by
outward appearance. He was motivated and moved by a relationship with the Living God that he knew would stand with
him in the battle. Even the criticisms from his older brothers did not deter him! Soon it came to King Saul’s ears that David was willing
to go and accept the challenge of the enemy.
· But even King Saul tried to talk David out of it!· Neither he, nor any of his trained men were willing to go, and when
someone was, they turned it into a negative and personal attack to try and bring David down to their level of doubt
and unbelief.
· At that point David turned to his personal testimony of what the Lord had personally done for him. His faith was strong
strong enough to stay above the doubts and unbelief of his own brothers.

Finally, King Saul let David go out and face Goliath, while the army of Israel hid behind rocks and in holes, waiting (they believed) for
the inevitable slaughter of their younger brother. But David knew things they did not know. His faith was in the Living God,
not in unproven theories and a conventional training system that got them qualified into the army.

· Where were the benefits of their training right now?
· Fear was certainly controlling them, not their training expertise.

How true this Proverb is: “The fear of man brings a snare…” (Proverbs 29:25).

It seems to me that today the conventional means of training men and women for the ministry is not working as effectively as it ought to
be. The Church often seems powerless against the onslaughts of the enemy that is infiltrating on all sides. Quoting Scriptures and telling
people to “pray more” is not enough to turn the battle into a victory for God.

· Did you notice that David did not fight Goliath with conventional armor or weapons?
· His tactics caught the enemy by surprise, so much so that Goliath in absolute dismay started to “curse David by his
gods” (1 Samuel 17:43). Even Goliath was not relying on his physical stature and strength ~ he was believing and
trusting in his false gods!  What a lesson we Christians need to learn here.
· All the opposition against us is spiritually motivated!
· Therefore we have to fight our battles with spiritual strategies and weapons.
· And in each battle those strategies and weapons could be quite different.

WE NEED TO KNOW THE MIND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

For the Church to win in these last days of time we, too, need to know the mind of the Holy Spirit as we face the giants that are arrayed
against us. If we are relying on what we have been taught by man, then we are going to finish up fearful too; and we will be powerless
to rise up against the Goliath’s that are out to strip God’s people of the authority and power of God. And that means defeat!

· Notice that David’s weapon was so simple: a sling and a stone. No armor, no shield, no sword; just a sling and five
smooth stones. David knew how to use a sling, but his real confidence was in the Living God he served.

BULLS-EYE!

When Goliath tried to weaken David by his accusations and character assassination ~ and failed ~ David was undeterred and ran toward
the enemy, speaking his faith and confident that God would deliver him into his hands. One stone from David’s small sling found its
mark. Bulls-eye! Right in the forehead, and Goliath went crashing to the ground. David’s brothers and all Israel were all in stunned
amazement to see this non-uniformed farm boy doing their job for them ~ single-handedly! It was only after Goliath had fallen to the
ground that David took his (Goliath’s) sword and cut off his head, bringing a definite finality to a wonderful victory by a very young man
of faith. Hallelujah!

ARE WE GRASPING THE REAL ISSUES?

Today, dear Christian, it is not how much we have learned, or how much you know, but rather what are we doing with the faith
which comes from hearing the word of the Lord? (Romans 10:17). Are we grasping the real issues and principles of faith?
Or are we just giving head knowledge and mental assent to what God says? If we are, then there is no way that we will stand against
the Goliaths that are attacking the Church today. We could even be guilty of trying to discourage and hinder those young men and
women who have learned something in their secular occupations through proving God is with them when they stand up against the
enemy.

We have to use our faith in a practical way, otherwise it does not profit us: “For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well
as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it”
(Hebrews 4:2). Just listening to a preacher does not give faith. We have to believe what is spoken or preached enough to act upon it.
It is much more than mere mental assent or saying, “Oh, that was a nice message,” etc. (Matthew 7:21-29). Like David, we, too, have
to discover for ourselves what works and what does not. For it is no use trusting in methods and weapons that will not give us the
necessary victories required today.

· Does your faith work?
· Can you rely on it in the heat of the battle?
· How do you know it will work, unless you have tested it beforehand?

JUST ONE MAN’S FAITH!

How interesting that just one young man’s faith brought a great victory to a whole nation! Therefore, do not feel you are not qualified
enough, or experienced enough, or if you have not been trained through conventional means. You will be able to praise God that you
were not when you have a great victory through the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is why Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit are so
important in our lives today. They are God’s unconventional means of surprising, baffling and defeating the enemy
through words of knowledge, wisdom, spiritual discernment, faith, etc.

· Make very sure you know what works for you!
· That comes as a result of knowing the voice of God to us.
· That voice of God enables us to know what strategy God requires us to use in any given situation.
· The man and woman of faith does not function out of habit or natural ability, but through an up-to-date relationship
and walk with Jesus Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit ~ the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead
and NOW lives inside every Holy Spirit-filled believer! (Romans 8).

And guess what? Without any training or qualifications David became the head of Saul’s army (1 Samuel 18:5)!! And it did not stop there
. David finished up being the king over all Israel ~ no training or qualifications ~ but he walked in the anointing power of God’s Holy Spirit.

· Today that same Holy Spirit power and anointing is available to every one who dares to believe Jesus! That includes
you and it includes me. Hallelujah!!

When we follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit anointing, then we discover that God is able to open doors that can be
opened no other way; He can give us an effective and fruitful ministry that can happen no other way; He can provide the needs for that
which He has called us to, and He protects us from all the power of the enemy until our time is up on this earth and we go to be forever
with the Lord! Christian, we cannot lose for winning when we do things God’s way!

· What are you doing with God’s Holy Spirit anointing today?
· Jesus went back to the Father in Heaven so that He could personally send the Holy Spirit to YOU! (see John 16:7-15).
· The Holy Spirit and YOU working together are more than a match for the Goliaths of today ~ we can defeat them in
the mighty name of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit Who is at work in and through us!

I trust that this example from the life of David has challenged you afresh to rise up and to know that you and God are a majority
against all the power of the enemy. Jesus said: “I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over
all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). The question is: DO WE BELIEVE WHAT
JESUS SAYS?

Please take some time to read through 1 Samuel 17 again.