Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Defining a mighty man (person) of God

1 Chronicles 11:1 Then all Israel gathered to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.

What is a mighty man of God?  1 Chronicles 11 contains within its bounds a listing of King David and his mighty men.  David himself was a mighty man of God - described in 1 Samuel 13:14 as "a man after God's own heart".  In 1 Chronicles 11 we are taken into the scene of David's coronation as King of Israel.  The people of Israel all gathered to David to not only proclaim him as thier king, but to acknowledge why it was they recognized him as their God-sent King.  Their comments and David's response in 1 Chronicles 11:1-10 will provide us three characteristics required to be mighty in God.

1. A Mighty man of God prioritizes the word of God
1 Chronicles 11:2-3 records these words of the people: “In times past, even when Saul was king, you were the one who led out and brought in Israel; and the LORD your God said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and you shall be prince over My people Israel.’” 3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD through Samuel.

These people affirmed the call of God on David's life.  They brought back to his memory and their's the words God had spoken through various people to David in his 20 year journey from the shepherd's field to the throne.  For instance, the prophet Samuel spoke in 1 Samuel 13:14 of how God had set his sights upon a "man after his own heart".  That man of course would be David.

Or how about later on in the course of David's wanderings in the desert to get away from his enemies, where in 1 Samuel 25:30 a woman named Abigail would speak a prophetic word to David - signalling that all of God's purposes for Him would be accomplished. 

David, the mighty man of God, heard and embraced these words in times of crisis and conflict.  Any person who aims to be mighty in God, will only take seriously God's Word when they have embraced the scriptures in the times of weakness and distress.  In David's life, the scriptures didn't have opportunity to gather dust.  Crisis and conflict drove him to the text, since the grace of God was propelling Him forward to be Israel's next King. 

2. A Mighty man of God prioritizes the worship of God
1 Chronicles 11:3 tells us that when the people said what they said, they anointed him "before the Lord".  Everything that they and David did was in conscious awareness of the presence of God.  A person who desires to be God-centered will do so to the degree they make conscious awareness of God and worship of God their priority. 

Worship is not just confined to a couple of hours on a Sunday morning or singing a few songs out of a hymnal or song sheet.  Worship is the Christian's life.  The Older Christians used a Latin term to describe a lifestyle devoted to worship of God - Coram Dei (Co-ram day).  It simply meant - "In the presence of God".  Thus the Christian's aim, like David and His people, was to do everything with conscious acknowledgement of God's presence. 

Worship of God recognizes His reign and rule in the realm of what we often term "secular" (from the latin "seculuum" meaning "that which is common").  Coronating a King would had been a public, commonly shared experience.  Likewise these people equally recognized God's reign in the realm of the sacred (from the Latin "sacra" meaning holy), since they evoked the word of God spoken over David. 

We are living in a culture that no longer recognizes the distinction between the sacred and the secular.  Too often Christians relegate God only to the realm of the sacred.  They come to houses of worship and sing the songs of praise, and yet throughout the rest of the week their time is viewed as "their time".  Worship is to be a 24/7 affair for the believer.  We must surely make that important distinction between sacred and secular, however we must equally affirm God's authority over both.  Anyone who aims to be mighty in the Lord must be so saturated with a mindset of worship in everything that it becomes second nature.  But notice thirdly how it is that David was a mighty man of God:

3. A Mighty man of God prioritizes Walking with God
We scan down to 1 Chronicles 11:9 and read these words in the NASB (New American Standard Bible) - "David became greater and greater, for the LORD of hosts was with him." The Bible tells us that David became "greater and greater".  In the original text we could translate: "David walked and walked more".  In other words, throughout the course of David's public and private life, his "walk", his "relationship with God" grew deeper and deeper. 

Yes there were those times where we clearly saw David's feet of clay.  There were those moments where the grossest immorality and hatred leaked into his life.  However David repented, exhibiting the chief mark of true conversion: repentance or turning away form one's sin in favor of fellowship and relationship with God.  From beginning to end, David's overall pattern of life was that of "walking greater and greater" with God.  The man with a feet of clay truly had a heart of gold beating for God. 

May you and I be a people who prioritize three things:
1. The Word of God
2. Worship of God
3. Walking with God

When we do those things, we will then become mighty people of God.   

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