Daily Devotional for Monday September 15, 2008
A Call for Men of God to Step Up and Fight
(1 Samuel 17)
A call for men of God to step up and fight! This past April, the Kansas Jayhawks played the Memphis Tigers for the national championship of college basketball. Memphis seemingly had the game won with less than 2 minutes to play, but Kansas never gave up and fought hard to send the game into overtime where they went on to win. The game began around 9:05 pm EDT. What would have happened if Memphis was on the court, ready for the opening tip-off, and the Kansas team didn't showed up? They weren't on the court, they weren't in the arena, they were nowhere to be found. The game would have been declared a forfeit and instead of Kansas winning, Memphis would have been awarded the national championship because their opponent didn't show up.
You almost had the very scenario in the Bible. Goliath, the champion warrior of the Philistines had challenged the army of Israel to a one-on-one battle. If the warrior for Israel defeated Goliath, then the Philistines would become the servants of Israel. However, if Goliath was victorious, than Israel would become the servants to the Philistines. As Goliath mocked and taunted the army of Israel, the Bible says, "On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified." The fact is, there was nobody in the Israeli army who was willing to accept the giant's challenge, and it was looking like he would win by default because nobody would fight him.
Of course we know that God had a warrior to face Goliath. His name was David. He wasn't a mighty man of war. As a matter of fact, he wasn't a warrior at all, he was a shepherd boy. But he knew God and was appalled that with all of the great men of war who were in the army of Israel, not one was willing to accept the challenge of the heathen Goliath. So David confidently went to King Saul and told him that he would go onto the battlefield and take on the Philistine giant. The rest of the story is well known, as David, armed with only his slingshot and a few pebbles, went out in the name and power of the God of Israel and slew Goliath.
We also have one of my favorite passages of the Bible that I have preached on many times during the years. That classical confrontation in 1 Kings 18 between the prophet of God, Elijah, and the prophets of Baal. The man of God defeated the tools of satan by confronting them, challenging them, and meeting them head on. I tell you often that the only way God is defeated is when men of God fail to step up! I've always wondered, where were the religious leaders of Israel during this confrontation with the prophets of Baal? Why was it this virtually unknown prophet who had to confront, expose, and defeat these false prophets?
I have no doubt the Jewish religious leaders were doing what most of today's Christians leaders are doing. Rather than confronting evil, going out on the battlefield in the name of the Lord to defeat the false prophets of the world, they are too busy building monuments of brick and mortar to themselves, preaching to the choir in the safety and comfort of their churches, and living a luxurious life full of the temporal pleasures of this world. They are more focused on building their own kingdom than God's. Instead of fighting the false prophets, they might actually be in bed with them if it advances their earthly goals and aspirations.
I have been sickened for the past 2 weeks, literally 24/7, as the world's largest Christian TV network has been running a non-stop beg-a-thon. With over a billion in cash, real estate, and television assets, they parade one Christian TV superstar after another, who look in the cameras and pervert the Scriptures to induce people to "sow their seed," with the implied promise that they will be wealthy if they will just write a check to the network. Despite paying millions annually for air time, these high profile preachers have to come and prostitute themselves, since their own empires are dependent on them being able to fleece those who watch that network's programs.
Sadly, this network refuses to invest any of their billions in the marketplace right here at home to reach the 99% of the people who will never once turn on their programming, many who will die and end up in hell because nobody thought they were worth preaching to since they aren't the target audience who will send in a "love offering," buy a book or CD, or pay to come to an event.
How else do you explain the fact that we have more churches in this country than ever before. We have more Christian TV, radio, publishing, and music than ever before. We have more ministries of every kind than ever before. Yet at the same time our culture and society is in spiritual freefall. We legally slaughter over 4,000 innocent babies every 24 hours in this nation. Pornography and gambling are available to anyone at any time. Sex has been abused and perverted in every way man has been able to dream up. There is no more restraint to sin. People openly worship every false god and idol the world has created.
How do you explain this paradox? The heathen giant Goliath is out on the battlefield, mocking, taunting, and cursing the followers of Christ. Those who serve satan wake up and perpetrate their evil each day virtually unopposed. Most Christian leaders are looking after their own interests behind the safety of the four walls of the church. Most of the soldiers in Christ's army are in their tents "dismayed and terrified," leaving the army of satan on the battlefield unopposed. MY FRIEND, SATAN IS WINNING BECAUSE HE IS FIGHTING VIRTUALLY UNOPPOSED!!! THE ENEMY IS WINNING BY DEFAULT!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I love what Elijah told the people of Israel on Mt. Carmel. He said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." I echo his words today. How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. I have made my stand for Christ and am not hiding behind the four walls of the church, but am on the battlefield, on the front lines battling satan for the souls of men. That is where you will find me until the Lord calls me home. Where are you today???
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller