I read a book recently that focused on David’s process to becoming a king, and something that stood out to me was the fact that with every step he took, every moment of obedience, every ounce of brokenness, and every song he wrote, he was a prophetic symbol of a Savior who would one day come to save us. We know the story: David begins his journey as a shepherd boy, worshiping his God and watching over his flock of sheep in his father’s fields—the fields where he would spend his early years. The fields became his “waiting room” of destiny—Heaven’s training ground—which would shape and sharpen him to one day be called a “man after God’s own heart.”
Every morning when he went to the fields, David took with him two possessions: a lyre and a slingshot. I’ve known this part of the story for years, but as I read a few weeks ago, the words jumped off the page and into my spirit. I understood that David’s daily companions were not just things to help pass the time or keep his flock in check—they were an instrument of praise and a weapon of war. I think about David getting up each morning and feeling the hand of God shaping, molding, and developing him for greatness. Or did he feel that? I wonder if David ever had an inkling, as he picked up his weapon and his instrument, that what was he was carrying was not only for himself but also for generations to come.
I like to imagine that David started each day with a little poem: “My worship paves the way for my weapon to slay.”
David had a choice to serve his father each day. David had a choice when his brothers were given the call to fight in battle, when he was told, “No, you’re too young.” David had a choice when he arrived at the army’s tents with food for his brothers, only to find Goliath mocking and threatening to destroy them all. David had a choice when his brothers ridiculed him as he tried to convince them he was the one who could slay this Philistine. David had a choice when King Saul, his leader, became jealous of him and possessed of an evil spirit. David had a choice when spears were thrown in his direction and isolation fast became his only friend. Just like you and me, David was faced with a question, an opportunity, and a choice every day.
He had to have developed a great level of understanding while watching over his father’s sheep. He had to have known that God was pressing him into a place of trust because of what would one day be entrusted to him. He had to have pushed himself into a place of strength training and fear-removing moments so that nothing of himself was left. He must have stood in those fields, releasing the sounds of Heaven, and tuning his ear to the sound of his Creator’s voice. And even as young as he was, he had to have chosen to live in a place of peace, knowing that somehow God was writing a story that would change the course of history.
You’re probably reading all of this and wondering—where is she going with this? How does the story of David apply to me? How does my place in life have anything to do with a shepherd boy?
I write this blog post because I want you to understand this truth: We’ve all been given a training ground—a “waiting room.” We have all been put in this race called “Life,” we’ve been handed a course map entitled “Trust,” and we’ve all been assigned hills and valleys labeled “Opposition” and “Discouragement.”
The question we must ask ourselves is, “What WEAPON and what INSTRUMENT do I hold in my hands?”
Will we take with us joy unspeakable, peace that surpasses all understanding, and determination that nothing can stand in our way? Or will we be bogged down with fear, self-doubt, and frustration?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”
Psalm 149:6 says, “God’s high and holy praises fill their mouths, for their shouted praises are their weapons of war!”
Our PRAISE is our WEAPON to combat and conquer anything and everything that the enemy would throw at us. God designed it that way. The Word is filled with examples of people—ordinary people just like you and me—overcoming dire and desperate circumstances just through the sound of their praise and worship. Paul. Silas. Jehoshaphat. And those are just three examples off the top of my head as I type! David said in Psalm 34, “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” It’s the way we overcome.
The life of David also gives us an example of what can happen when we lay down our weapons or forget—even temporarily—who we are in Him.
2 Samuel 11 gives us the story of David and Bathsheba, and it opens this way: “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.” You see, the whole saga of Bathsheba, her husband, adultery and murder would never have even happened if David had been in his rightful place where he belonged. You know what happens. It’s such a clear picture of what can happen when we choose to set aside our weaponry and live below our place of authority in God.
In Ephesians 6, Paul describes our battle armor for spiritual warfare. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful…”
I love to point out the fact that there is no armor for the back. That’s because we don’t retreat—run away—from the enemy! “Having done all to stand,” we STAND in His authority, using our God-given weaponry and wielding our instrument for praise, declaring who we are in Him!
Speak this over yourself today: “My worship paves the way for my weapon to slay!”