Rocks to a Swordfight 1 Samuel 17:40

He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:40)



Reading the Word of God is so refreshing and insightful. There is so much packed in the Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth that sometimes I just am in awe when I think of those that the Holy spirit inspired to weave the pages together

The story of David has always been one of those that I was drawn to. So many principles that can be applied in our daily lives. When I reflect on the account found in this story, I feel empowered to think: little faith leads to great victory and big faith means unstoppable.

What made David so confident that he was able to defy the odds, emerging victorious in the battle with Goliath? Was it the fact that he was a skilled warrior back on Jesse’s sheep ranch? He had proven himself by killing a lion and a bear. Was that enough for him to feel qualified to defeat this enemy? Or was it something deeper that compelled him? Did he feel there was no way to allow anyone to talk about his God? Perhaps, he knew it was a testimony for the living God to be magnified.

This morning while in prayer with the Lord, this verse took on new meaning. I am usually not one to share when I am in a spiritual battle. However, I felt led to share that there has been a Goliath facing me in my mind. No, it is not a physical giant but oftentimes it can feel like one. The giant of doubt. The thoughts or feelings of inadequacy when trying completing a task because perhaps you feel too small. I want to encourage you that little things can do big things. Let me rephrase. That is partial truth. The truth is little things can do big things when God is at the forefront. David definitely proves that.

The giants we often face can create fear in the mind. If we do not know where our identity lays it can cause a devastating battle in our mind. Think about it, not only was David faced with what appeared to be overwhelming odds physically, but he also encountered doubters from his own camp.

His brother Eliab heard, when David spoke to the men of what will happen to the man that kills Goliath? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God? (1 Samuel 17:26) David had a courageous spirit. Eliab says, why have you come here. Who is taking care of the sheep? You only came down because you are trying to see the battle. (1 Samuel 17:28) In other words, his brother could only see David from his perspective in the eyes of Eliab. David was only in the way and only capable of taking care of the sheep. We can truly underestimate the power of faith when God is behind us friend. I think it is interesting Eliab believed in the Lord but missed completely that God can use any means for His will to be accomplished.  David’s brother was defining him based on natural means but did not see little things can do big things when God is there.

David was also presented with doubt from King Saul. Then Saul said to David, you are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth. (1 Samuel 17:33) Saul doubted because he was afraid of failure and could not get beyond his own thoughts of what it looked like. It looked like David was not qualified. Sometimes intentions of others can be in the right place but with the wrong motive.

We should not allow fear to be the reason that prevents us from not stepping out to trust God. Saul was not only afraid for David but he was afraid of losing the kingdom. A lot was at stake here. Think about it, David was just a little boy (teenager) and Saul’s entire army had been facing this giant daily and no one, from Israel, has stepped out to challenge him. The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand. (1 Samuel 17:16) Why? They were paralyzed by fear. And the truth is Saul wanted David to be likeminded in his approach to be afraid to fight. All Saul could see was an inexperienced and young boy that had dreams. Some people don’t have the vision to go against the norm. To remind their hearts that they don’t have to fear with God. David was not the norm. David saw beyond those in the camp and David had a disdain for anyone that tried to doubt his God. And he was about to be used to bring God glory in a big way.



Has God called you to do something that seems against the norm? Does everyone and everything seems to be against you? Circumstances, doubt, fear, finances, resources, time. It may not be as big as a Goliath but whatever it is face it. My prayer is that you don’t let any of those reasons stop you from trusting God. If the Lord is for you who can be against you. (Romans 8:31) This was not just David doing something haphazardly but it was truly about proving the might of His God. It was not David seeking bragging rights or attention.

The next verse in this text is so powerful I think we miss what David was truly saying. David said, I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. (v.34) The lifestyle of David had been one of protection before this moment. His protection was always for someone else’s interest. In this instance it was his father, Jesse and the sheep. But what David spoke to Saul had a two-fold meaning. David was saying this is nothing new to me sir. I was born for this. This is what I was called to do. Second, David was speaking his calling into the atmosphere in this very moment. I am doing the work that my father has called me to do. I have been tending the father’s business for a long time. Tending means to regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or to have a particular characteristic. You don’t have to really know what God has been preparing you for but you must be ready to respond when it presents itself.

 Now here is the hard part -the self-reflection. I know what it’s like to feel doubt in my mind. To believe that where I have been or what I have been doing up to this point has no significance. You may feel as if no one sees how you have been working because you have been in a secluded place by yourself, behind the scenes. Don’t worry friend. Just know that when God is ready to present what you have been preparing for, God will let you know. He wants to make sure that there are no traces of self in our heart before He presents what we were created to do.

Remember, no matter how minor or major, it is all for the glory of God. If David had only wanted to go to the battle because he could defeat Goliath (self-reliance) but not for God’s glory, the battle might have been lost. Because David had God’s interest in mind with rocks to a swordfight, he was victorious. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. (Ephesians 3:20)

As we face the Goliath’s of today, Covid-19 and the rising death toll, racial tension and the future of our world, we don’t have to fear. We can be confident and courageous in knowing that we are backed by an Almighty God. Not only backed but He is the Rock in the fight. He is the one that is confident and reminds us that we are able to stand. David understood that the stones that he grabbed had no power in them. But the Rock that he was standing on represented the bedrock foundation of something bigger than him. Just as Peter understood when Christ reminded him. I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18) Peter means a small stone (petros) but the word for rock (petra) means bedrock or large foundation. What Jesus foretold to Peter was parallel to what David used to fight against the giant Goliath.

Jesus was saying to Peter, and I am paraphrasing, Peter you are a small stone but I am going to build my church on something much larger than you through you. Just like the Lord was saying to David, you are a small stone but I am going to use you to accomplish something so much bigger that will bring me glory. By bringing rocks to a swordfight.

Be Encouraged,

Charles Blog Signature


The Little Foxes We Don’t See

Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom.   Song of Solomon 2:15



The last few days have been challenging to say the least. It is interesting how God will reveal Himself through teachable moments (if you will) to us in what appears as a most inopportune time. The other morning, around 2:30 am, my household was awakened by the sound of an alarm going off from downstairs. When I went downstairs, I was shocked to see water pouring from our kitchen appliances and from a vent in the ceiling. The alarm was coming from our stove letting us know there was a problem. That problem, water, was about to cause an electrical issue with the stove. I never even knew this model stove was created with a feature that if water ended up consuming the wiring, it would sound an alarm.

When I turned the light on to adjust my eyesight, there was about 3 inches of water on our hardwood floors. It was definitely not what I expected to awaken to on Monday morning. In order to give this blog context, let me go back to a few days earlier. I noticed a small spot on the ceiling in which we did not think it was a big problem. It appeared to be a minor leak in one of our pipes. My initial thought was, I would just open that small portion of ceiling up on Monday and take a look and see if I could fix it myself. I did not think it was claiming my attention at that time so I put it off. Fast forward to Monday morning and what appeared to be a small little leak ended up ruining our kitchen, kitchen appliances and our hardwood floors. Something that appeared to be minor that I decided to put off, until later to take care of, ended up creating a major crisis.

Through this experience, God had given me a sure indication, a step by step, hands on experience of how sin in our lives wreaks havoc. We see it and we don’t pay attention to the seriousness of it based on limited perception and privilege. We cannot see what is going on behind the small spot. We don’t see the raging disruption that is about to cause serious damage to our daily movement if we just ignore the warning. Or better yet, if we just say, I know it is a little problem and I can just get to it later. We can marginalize sin in the same way. I marginalized that small spot on my kitchen ceiling. If only I had taken action right away and accessed what I was seeing correctly. I saw it and in my arrogance thought I could handle it on my own. That was the problem with privilege, believing that I could handle it because of how I saw myself but with really no definitive justification. Never really taking a closer look at what was festering under the surface.

I say arrogance because in truth I did just think I could handle it and it was no biggie. Often, this is how we treat sin. We downplay it, oh it is not adultery, it’s just an “entanglement.” It is not lust it just happened because I was up surfing the television late night. Or it was just one look, all men do it. It is just a little fib not really a lie. We marginalize our sin. We marginalize what we see that can potentially grow into a deeper problem. The lesson for me is two-fold: not only pay attention but take action.

Don’t ignore the signs but take action to prevent or to repair the problem.

  • When we see a small issue deal with it right then don’t put it off.
  • When we don’t deal with the small issue other things are affected inadvertently.
  • When we don’t deal with the small issues, the effects are long lasting and even destructive to everything around us. (A domino effect)

The good news is that we had insurance to replace the mess. Insurance is what allows us to go through the process of review, removal, recovery and restoration. All of these are important after a major crisis. And all of these are important when it comes to fixing the problem of sin in our lives. It is not enough to just see the problem but we have to begin the claim process. The claim process is proclaiming that we are sinners in need of a Savior named Jesus Christ. If we confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

Once the claim has been put in for approval then we are cleared to begin the process for review. This review is where the work of the Holy Spirit begins to shine light on those dark, dampened places that are in need of replacement.  Without the review work of the Holy Spirit, the road to recovery is a back and forth process that often ends without work completed.

After the review the removal process begins. The removal of sin does not take place until the Holy Spirit is allowed to take us through repentance which literally means change of mind. The change of mind is from old habits, old attitudes and old ways of doing things. This removal of sin leads to the turning away from sin. The removal is the heavy lifting that often comes with great suffering. Removal of sin does not go without physical work having to be done to cut, break, pull and sever deep connections that have been under the surface for a long time. Remember my ceiling and all the damage that was exposed after I decided to contact my insurance about restoration. It was not a pretty sight, in fact, the work required had to be accessed and then evaluated to see how much time would be needed for removal. This is how sin is, it takes time for the Holy Spirit to work and remove us from old to new thinking but when the process has begun and we are on board. Great things will come about. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.   (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The recovery process is where we begin to see results leading to restoration. Once we have allowed the old to be replaced and begin to bring in the new mindset and new way of life. What was damaged before begins to take on new purpose and meaning. It is the first signs of the new taking root in our lives. Some decide to do the work themselves but I implore you to allow the professionals to take you through the process. The professional in this scenario is the power of the Holy Spirit that we must be willing to surrender (or relinquish control) to. This is the surest way to make sure that what is replaced is done properly. We must trust the process friend. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). The recovery process is that which is able to take a liar and make him a person of integrity. It will take an estranged spouse and make them available. It will take an impatient person and make them mild mannered. It will take our blunders and blossom beautiful moments out of them. It will take this pandemic we are in the midst of and create people more grateful for family and God. The recovery process can be good news.

Last but not least, restoration is the end result. Its good news knowing that the things that we ignore and think are destroyed opportunities can be restored. When we look back over the process of what can occur when we allow the Holy Spirit to come in and do a complete work. Its better news taking action before things get to this point so that there does not have to be restoration.

Nestled away in the Song of Solomon 2:15 is the verse giving a warning about little foxes that can destroy a vineyard.  What they do is nibble at the vines where the grapes receive nutrients from, causing the vines to wither and die. The little foxes need to be dealt at the root of the vine before they destroy the beauty of what could be produced. It was determining the problem and saying what needed to done. The same is applied with the spot on my ceiling and the same as sin in our lives. Don’t allow sin to continue so that it can be dealt with before the consequences are detrimental. Don’t allow the reading of this blog to just be another read but deal with that which is underneath.

Be encouraged


Charles Blog Signature