It is easy to believe that the “Big Iron” wins wars. It does, but not by itself. There are many factors contributing to battlefield success. One of the most important weapons is information. Information on your enemy. The best weapons and trained forces are nullified without proper guidance. Good intelligence is a force multiplier. This is also true for the Lord’s servants.
I was reminded of the Lord’s intelligence to help His people overcome the battles in their lives. 2 Samuel provides one account that took place after the death of King Saul in battle. David’s 10 year as fugitive on the run from the King had come to a close. And it was during these early days of David’s reign that he was challenge by Israel’s formidable enemy, the Philistines. We read in 2 Samuel, “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David.” (2 Samuel 5:17) It was not a congratulation party, but a massive military operation to dominate the new king.
David’s response was to seek the Lord’s wisdom for this situation. “And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”” (2 Samuel 5:19) It is easy to read or talk about the enlisting the Lord’s help in our lives. To our detriment it is rarely practiced. When faced with the uncertainty of the outcome, David’s first response was to turn to the Lord. The Lord strengthens the heart of the questioning servant with a promise to goes before them in victory. The Biblical pattern for Jesus’ followers is to turn to the Lord first. We get a glimpse into David mindset from one of his psalms, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” (Psalm 20:7–8) The Lord would give David the glorious victory.
But it was not long before the Philistines returned to settle the score. There is a hidden gem in this account that many may overlook. It is how God works in situations by providing His servants with the “intelligence” needed to respond. “And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”” (2 Samuel 5:23–24) David would again be victorious with the divine battle plan designed around the adversary’s weakness that multiplied his army’s effectiveness.
Today, we find ourselves continually saber rattling with our adversary’s forces, the relentless pressure of the culture and the treachery from our own sin nature. Where do Jesus’ people turn when surrounded and also compromised within? We turn to the Lord. The multipliers that He provides for his servants provide the needed direction. For instance, Jesus’s step brother, James, instructs us to seeks God’s intelligence for our crisis. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) The Lord has also provided His Word, His field manual, where we find instruction for just about any challenge we face. And let us not neglect our direct link to our Creator through prayer.
Just like David’s example, success in the battles of life, is found by first turning to the Lord, seeking His direction and assistance!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson