When Christians Grow Faint

I THINK MOST believers who journey into Christ, and seekers, strong men of God, and long-time pastors and teachers, and even those men and women of goodwill–seeking to find Christ will grow faint amid life’s battles.

This message is from 2 Samuel 21:15   I pray that in our brief time on earth we would be born of God and not of self. I pray God to increase the strength and the encouragement of all who have grown faint in the battle and sense they have reached a plateau or a time the things of God for them have become stagnant.

I believe I have a vital message today that I want to share with anyone who will listen and it is located in second Samuel chapter 21 beginning in verse 15.  Let’s turn there, and let’s go ahead and pray.

Father in Jesus name we pray that this message brings honor to you and you alone.  Let your word, not mine proceed here. Let your spirit bring life into us your servants everywhere, in whatever state we may be in–or wherever we are–rich in grace–needy and poor, I pray we may proceed forward rejoicing and living more fully for you and for your glory alone.  In Jesus name, amen.

Bible says in 2 Sam 21:15 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint.

16 And Ish-bi-be-nob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.

17 But Ab-is-hai the son of Zer-u-iah succoured (helped) him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.

AS WE SET A BACKGROUND:

Land of the Philistines. … The area containing the five cities (called the Pent-a-po-lis) of the Philistine confederacy consisting of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron all known as Phil-is-tia, or the Land of the Philistines. It was from this designation that the whole of the country was called Palestine first by the Greeks.

LETS GET A BACKGROUND HERE The Greeks first conquered Palestine in late 330 BC. when Alexander the Great conquered the region in his six-year Macedonian conquest AND GRABBED the empire FROM Darius III of Persia.

So, Alexander’s armies took Palestine without MUCH complication while HE WAS fighting and expanding toward Egypt after the Siege of Tyre WHICH YOU REMEMBER WAS SET ON COAST.

For us, who would later study THE NEW TESTAMENT, ITS IMPORTANT TO SEE… this began an important period of Greek influence– Greek influence, also called the Hellen-istic period. (And this of course after their own Greek legend of Helen of Troy.  Helen, the beautiful face that launched a thousand ships. And a very common hollywood movie plot. But Judea in Israel was under Greek influence for almost 400 years. WHAT’S THAT MEAN?

MEANS for us who study the NEW TESTAMENT, we learn that Jesus himself spoke Greek as well as Aramaic and Hebrew. GREEK AND ARAMAIC  was the language of common folks. A second language.

The Hebrew language, however, was spoken mostly by the Rabbis and upper-class folks and of course spoke in the synagog.

BUT WE WANT TO SEE SOMETHING HERE, SO LETS Turn to 2nd Samuel Chapter 21, and BEGIN READING at verse 15.

2 Sam 21:15 Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint.

16 And Ish-bi-be-nob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, (7lbs) he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.

17 But Ab-ish-ai the son of Zer-uiah succoured (HELPED) him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.

NOW David who had once EARLY ON gained Fame as a hero of Israel BY SLAYING THE GIANT GOLIATH OF THE PHILLISTINES, THE CHAMPION OF THE ENEMY, –AND IT GIVES US, the message I’m going to TRY TO share TODAY AND  it’s a good lesson for everyone, CERTAINLY every Christian who grows faint in the war with Satan the devil.

Because we know the enemy’s just as persistent as he can be and keeps coming back and keeps fighting again and again and although we know: As we see here. Everybody gets a turn, even David the king.  Our promise is:

1st John 4:4: Greater is he that is in US then he that is in the world  yet God has us in the fight constantly as salt and light defeating the sin that besets us.

Always knowing no matter how confident we are,  the devil will come back and contend, again and again, and here are these Giants, the sons and relatives of Goliath who each have their champions, and their nobles who have revenge MOTIVATING THEM.  And like the devil, they’re not EVER done, and won’t be done til, LIKE all enemies of God THEY are cast into the lake of fire.

SOMEBODY SAYS…HEY MAN I DON’T BELIEVE EVER WAS GIANTS IN THE EARTH.

Now an interesting side note is the validity of the race of Giants that once lived on the earth. The interesting accounts you can follow up and research ON YOUR OWN is the RECENT DISCOVERY OF AN agenda put forth by the Smithsonian Institute.

HISTORICAL FACT IS THAT THEY made it their mission to visit every archeological site DISCOVERED, and take possession of every piece of skeletal evidence, which workers UNEARTHED AND gladly surrendered, and which were never seen again. (THAT’S ALL i’LL SAY, FOR THE SAKE OF GETTING THRU THIS WHOLE MESSAGE. GOOGLE IT, RESEARCH IT.  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU FIND.

SO, Continue on….

Here it is, 40 years AND A GENERATION THAT the Israelites had fought over these years and now the enemy of the Israelites the Philistines are coming back— in a different form.  

The Bible says that they persisted they never gave up and the sons of the Philistines were just like their father.  They were out to kill David THE KING.

David was famous as this legend and the hero BECAUSE the account of David THE SHEPHERD BOY AND GOLIATH THE GIANT, spread throughout the regions of Judea AND BEYOND.  So NOW you HAVE these sons of Goliath who David had defeated long ago. BUT TWO THINGS.

And two things were going on. They had built up.  And they had waxed strong. Kind of like young guys that now Flex their muscles and OF COURSE want to make a name for themselves.

But at the same time we learn about the aging David, who’s out there STILL fighting with his men, keeping the faith alive as a leader, AS A LIGHT battling the Philistines.  But he was growing faint — THE BIBLE SAYS, and we can read that right there.

So here’s David maybe about 60 years old in this battle getting weaker while in the meantime 40 years have passed and the Philistines young boys are strong in the prime of their life

But God is showing us something:… that as we grow older in physical strength, God at the same time puts into us WHAT I WANT TO CALL–DIVINE MATURITY.  THAT IS SPECIAL maturity IN THE LORD and IN the benefit of experience.

And THAT IS if we are FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE OBSERVANT OF GOD’S LESSONS…HE GIVES LIBERALLY SAYS James 1:5

ONE GOLD LESSON TO PUT IN OUR ACCOUNT, is that as time goes on we CAN DECIDE to maintain our connection to our source WHO IS Jesus Christ. Or we can cut off Christ who is our source.

We can draw from that source and realize that we must make adjustments in some hard attitudes that need UPDATING.

YOU GOT A FAMILY MINISTRY TO THE ONES YOU LOVE.  AND YOU got a ministry THAT God laid on you. Its hard but you can’t run away.

Maybe its reaching out to the Lost.  And in that, or anything else we have to realize our stamina can grow weak and we make mature adjustments in the fight and its called WISDOM AND GODLY STRATEGY

LESSONS are FOUND in scripture, and IF WE are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, then we know, God will bring our lives into a consistency AND A MATURITY.  

David, being a YOUNG man of Courage in the beginning.  A legendary guy who to slayed Goliath. One guy who years ago stood up for his family–HIS GOD.  COURAGE When everybody was hiding.

DAVID STANDS UP.  He said, HEY didn’t somebody teach that we serve the LIVING ONE THE GOD OF ISRAEL?? When everyone else was listening to a lot of defeatist garbage. GOD USED THIS LITTLE GUY.

And it was proving to all that were faint of heart–that Victory belongs to the Lord. AND ITS LIKE:  HEY THIS GOLIATH IS JUST A WINDBAG. LET’S GET HIM!! But nobody would MOVE. WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE. SOMEBODY HAD TO BELIEVE.

So here was this little guy, David who stepped out in faith and prevailed it gave all the solid influence that they would never stand alone.  Most of us fight alone, weep alone. Man we don’t share nothing. We’re ALL tough GUYS . WE Got a STUPID IMAGE–A reputation to keep. BUT ITS FEAR AND ITS PRIDE.

AND ITS SIN.  AND guaranteed ITS SECRET.  ITS kept locked in the safe, the cellar, what I call “the castle keep” THAT’S THE inner belly of the DEFENSIVE WALLS OF OUR castle, hidden behind a lot of walls.

But we gotta know that God WANTS TO rush in and fight for US. EVEN THAT LITTLE MUSTARD SEED, THAT LITTLE GUY DAVID WAS ALL GOD COULD FIND.

There was a man there in verse 16. Ish-bye-be-nob Who was one of the Sons of the Giants– this race of giants. And his name means “one of the mountains.

It was because in these mountains was where the RACE OF Giants lived and set up their surprise attacks. And so it was this race of giant men who lived in seclusion.  

These guys had their own methods and were waiting to Prey Upon the Israelites which were their natural enemies–ENEMIES generation after generation..

And in a surprise ambush, these guys could sneak up.  AND In our day, EVEN Down in OUR DEFENSES, we may have something STILL living in us that sneaks up.  WE Don’t know when IT WILL APPEAR…. A GIANT in us that’s deadly.

ITS THERE, lurking hiding.  A Secret giant that nobody knows about and yet Jesus Christ who loves us, breaks through, and it’s like you know… today’s the day we gotta face this THING.

It’s the sin that so easily besets us.  We wait, we pray. And you can’t SEEM TO get it.  And neither can I. But that’s when the provision of grace comes.  THAT’S WHEN God’s HAND OF mercy comes. YOU NEED THAT HAND. AND I NEED A HAND.

Bible says IN verse 17, Abish-shy jumped in, held David’s back and saved him, killing the Philistine.

In Christ, His design, His will, is that every battle be shared.  Every work of God SEEMS TO be corporate. That’s corpus, corpse, the body, the church, so if our brother is struggling our sister is struggling God will speak to you and say: “Step up. Come along side, GIVE HIM A HAND,  and FIGHT AND interceed.

God’s is building a NEW defense around you.  WE CAN’T HIDE IN THAT TOXIC SIN. It’s GOD’S plan and a design called  the church and there Comes A Time when all that ran to the world for comfort see something.  It’s simply this: THE WORLD FALLS SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.

And the world quits you— when the doctors quit you when the pills quit —don’t work. All the self-help in the world seems to bounce off and exposed as worthless.  Listen to me. As a Christian, you are not designed to fight alone, straggling behind THE army, eating THE crumbs. SO TIME TO JUMP IN.

For 40 years this giant had waited for a good opportunity to ATTACK  David and kill Him. He GREW FAINT, and he was vulnerable. And that’s why you can never build on yourself alone. (Say that again?)

SOLDIERS AROUND HIM jumped in and had his back.  ITS LIKE DAVID, you may have been SOME big shot LONE RANGER once UPON A TIME.

YEAH you defeated GOLIATH but there’s always somebody bigger, waiting in the mountains in the silence.  And you see him some sleepless night and while you are feeling weaker and weaker he is getting stronger.

So verse 17 Bible says Abish-shy the son of Zoo-riah suckered him. and that good old King James word suckered MEANING simply that he jumped in.  HE helped save him and SMACKED the Philistine and killed him

THEN CAME THE OATH. THE men of David swore unto him saying thou shall go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel. And it came to pass after that, there was again a battle with the Philistines

But Abish-shy wouldn’t let him get to David. FOR ABISHSHY, THE FIGHT WASN’T HIMSELF.  THE SAME WITH US TODAY. ALL AROUND US IS THE MISREPRESENTATION OF Jesus CHRIST STARING YOU IN THE FACE.

ATTACKS OF LIES AND MISREPRESENTATION ABOUT your pastor or your elders or your parents OR YOUR GRANDDAD OR GRANDMA–YOUR CHURCH FAMILY., YOU SEE, YOU WITNESS THAT GOD ALWAYS FINDS ONE.  But in Ezekiel 22:30 Bible says He sought for one, and he found nobody. Nobody to stand in the gap that he should not destroy the nation. But nobody

In that day, there was no David to jump in.  All men cuddled up to their sin. Comfortable; silent.  And nobody to bring back the seed of revival in the land. Nobody.

THE PROMISE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is proof that all have sinned, nobody stands up EXCEPT CHRIST BE IN HIM. AND THAT NO MAN BOAST OF HIMSELF, BUT INSTEAD LET HIS LIFE BURN UP, LET IT SHINE FOR CHRIST, THAT MEN MAY LOOK AND WONDER, AND GIVE HONOR AND GLORY TO THE AUTHOR AND THE FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.

HE WILL PUT COURAGE WITHIN YOU to stand in the gap TO CONTEND  IN A BATTLE WHERE YOU KNOW YOU’RE OUTNUMBERED. YET YOU ARE WILLING TO GO JUMP IN WITH NOTHING BUT A PROMISE

That’s why we teach ISAIAH 59:19 that says:  “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him.”

YOU CAN DO IT IN CHRIST.  BUT NOT OUTSIDE OF HIM. (SO LETS GO BACK TO 2 SAMUEL 21:15

BIBLE SAYS:  The men of David swore–THEY SWORE. SWORE AN OATH, MADE A VOW, MADE A COVENANT WITH DAVID.

VERY FEW WILL PREACH THIS TODAY. DON’T DARE. FEAR RULES THEM.  FEAR THE CROWD GETS UP AND WALKS OUT. THAT’S BY DESIGN, BY THE WAY.

BECAUSE IN CHRIST, YOU’VE HAD THE HOLY SPIRIT, CALLED THE EARNEST OF GOD, CHRIST GAVE YOU THE DOWN PAYMENT, EARNEST MONEY AFTER YOU GOT SAVED….THEN ITS “TIL DEATH DO YOU PART,  YOU THINK YOU CAN QUIT AND WALK OUT, BUT YOU CAN’T DO IT AND STILL LIVE IN PEACE.

IN YOUR OLD CHURCH DAYS, YOU entered into a covenant.  A MINISTRY TO Stand by your pastor and to stand for Jesus Christ IN YOUR PARTICULAR MINISTRY.  

NOW that is impossible to do alone. you need good Elders around you that will jump in.  AND WORKERS WHO KNOW HOW TO FIGHT, USING the whole armor of God.

BACK IN 2 SAMUEL, I can ALMOST hear the men of David say: HEY David you have fought many battles with the Philistines, MAN,  year after year THESE BIG SHOTS AND CHAMPIONS came at you but now GOD WANTS YOU TO STAY PUT. stand still AND LEAN ON THE YOUNG MEN.

THEY’RE SAYING,  David stay put in the office where you should be—AND leave us alone and we’LL slay the giant for you.

We will not let this giant touch you but we are going to slay him. we’ve marked HIM, this SO-CALLED giant of the mountain AND THE KILL BELONGS TO US NOW.

SO, come what may, WE HAVE NOW SWORN AN OATH.  THAT IS, WE made our covenant with YOU TO FIGHT TO THE DEATH.

WE HAVE GIVEN OUR OATH that you are NOW going to stand still and we are going to fight THIS battle and kill THIS giant

AND THEY said… he started it and we’re going to finish it and we know we have the confidence NOW. WE ARE ARMED.  ARMED WITH THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. OUR Savior and our Christ has given us the Blessed assurance, the earnest of THE spirit, the down payment of Eternity, The INFILLING, THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.

HEY WE watched you David… and we have this confidence that we can bring the giant down.  WE’RE READY TO DEPLOY.

WE’RE PSYCHED.  AND WE don’t care how big he is—We don’t care HOW FAR HE RUNS.  WE don’t care how much money he’s got. WE DON’T WHAT HE THINKS.—FOR  if God be for us who can be against us.

THEY CAN TRUST IN TANKS AND GUNS, BUT OUR confidence is in the Lord, the Almighty, THE MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. MY COMPANY COMMANDER.

Let’s look again at verse 22 It says that the four remaining Giants in the land fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants so David slew one giant AND HIS SERVANTS slew four.

As king David in his time  was like THIS living legend, BUT LEGENDS DIE.  BUT CHRIST’ SAID: HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY BUT MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY.

For sure God wants TO WIN all of our battles INCLUDING giants STILL HIDING.  STILL PLANNING AN AMBUSH. AND THESE LIVE in our secret struggles. THE ONES NOBODY SEES.

We learn THAT this account relates to us.

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AND SAY I used to do this or I used to do that.  YOU SAY, LIKE DAVID, THAT WHERE THERE USED TO BE one giant in my life now THERE ARE MANY.  

And this proved true with David whose kingdom was divided, and to borrow the words of Nathan the prophet when he confronted King David: “God forgives you David, but the Sword shall never depart from your house.”

And so it was David had let murder into his house in his sin with Bathsheba and it never departed. Blood and murder never left the house.  Absalom rebelled, and following David, Solomon, even the wisest king was fooled in his marriages and alliances with pagan kings, and his heart was turned away from the Lord in the end.

There is a lesson that human strength and wisdom will fail.  But they that trust in the Lord will be sustained. Why? Because the very classic and tragic delusion THAT LIFE IS only ABOUT US.

In The Fray of battle, when THESE GIANTS will often flood you—YOU CAN grow faint as David had grown faint.

The enemy Moves In For The Kill.  BUT GOD SENDS somebody to stand. SOMEBODY STOOD UP between David and the  giant.

IN THE FRAY OF BATTLE, You look around David AND there were men that had taken an oath.  MEN WHO WERE NOT GOING TO RUN FROM THE HORROR.

MEN WHO STOOD STRONG IN COURAGE to the death if necessary.  SO THAT if the enemy came in any area there was a man STANDING up TO SAY HOLD IT.  NO MORE.you’re not going to get in! YOU’RE not going to get him.

AND THAT’S WHAT happens IN THE OATH, IN THE COVENANT VOW when you get on God’s side.

GOD MOVES WHEN I get off MY high horse as a Lone Ranger BECAUSE WE need DISCIPLES who will stand to the death. AND NOBODY CAN DO THAT WITHOUT A TOUCH FROM GOD. Pray for God’s empowerment and provision. (Read John 14:15-21)

JESUS IS ALIVE AND REAL.  The objective for everyone who is going to fight in the gospel is that they COME TO A vow and a covenant. THAT IS an announcement BEFORE THE WORLD AND YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU BELONG TO JESUS. AND IT PUTS THE ENEMY ON NOTICE.

IT IS YOUR Covenant and vow to put down the enemy AT ALL COSTS–ALL the Giants in your life finally and completely.  THIS is signified, MEMORIALIZED AND MADE FINAL by your descent into the death REPRESENTED IN BAPTISM. DEATH TO THE OLD LIFE is represented in baptism

THE WORLD AROUND US can play Church all THEY WANT.  BUT HISTORICALLY THE DISCIPLES OF Jesus HAVE NEVER BEEN LUKE WARM. I knew one who stayed on fire for 50 years.

DOWN THROUGH HISTORY THEY PRAYED: “LORD LET THE HOLY GHOST FALL ON US.”  AND HE DOES.

REALLY IT IS LIKE ACTS 19.  Where they say to Paul “We have not heard that there be any Holy Ghost”

This shows us, that WE DON’T REALIZE A LOT WHEN WE FIRST GET SAVED.  But surely WE KNOW REALLY, GOD WANTS OUR WHOLE LIFE.

Jesus said to all who were willing to hear:  “go forth and teach all nation (And the verb ‘to teach’ here is mathēteúō, math-ayt-tay-yo’; from strongs G3101; (math-ayt-tais) thinking through intently, to become a pupil of; transitively, to disciple, i.e. enroll as a scholar:—be discipled, to instruct, to teach.

To make disciples and surely a disciple of Christ is one who knows Christ personally which is not really the norm for many are called and few are chosen as Jesus said.

But the manifestation of Christ in your heart is called the assurance.  Blessed assurance. And you can have that assurance with your simple prayer involving repentance which is a decisive turning. It is an awakening whereby the pupil turns away from the values of the world system/kingdom and its promise of temporal amusement and at the same time, asking Jesus to manifest his special/holy life in you. (I define holy as special/set apart and unique)

THE CONCLUSION,

The solution and the conclusion is that we express the prayer of our hearts to Christ Alone. And after that, confession to one another thus having the benefit of common Bond.

Inn a unified Body of Christ as disciples as men of God and agree as Christ has said

That if you two or more shall agree on Earth as touching anything they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father Matthew chapter 18:19

There is power in agreement and in Covenant with one another standing together and there is strength in that Unity which is on earth now in Christ as it is in heaven.

The design concerning this Promise it’s not only for individuals sitting alone in their room or laying in it easy chair somewhere but it is also for the combatants who enter as teachers and publishers.  Those who make Christ public and contend as teachers and warriors.

When we make a covenant between each other it means you can turn your back to me and I can turn my back to you and for example, I am watching for the enemy from the south and you can also watch for the enemy from the north.

We are vigilant, accountable, back to back arm to arm and we need our brother in back of us.

The Bible says these men stood all around David and had every area covered when the enemy came that’s what the church prays for and she needs.

For sure we need mature people who have the whole armor on as shown inn Ephesians 6:11.  We all need to present the teaching on the whole armor, and if we have that Covenant we can and will defeat the Giants in our lives and have victory amen.  May God bless you and love you. May he keep you strong in the Lord, to keep going in Jesus Christ amen, amen, amen.