Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday at church our pastor was preaching out of 1 Samuel 17. It is the story of David and Goliath. Most of us have read it or heard it told at some point in our lives. It’s a story that I love and have spoken from before. There are so many wonderful lessons inside this one slice of history.
During the reading, however, I had one of those moments where a verse tucked inside the chapter – that I’m not sure I had ever noticed before – got my attention. The pastor continued reading and in my mind I was thinking, “WAIT, hold on, can we go back and read that verse again and talk about that?!” Obviously, not the place to do that.
Perhaps you have read it, I Samuel 17:22 - “Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers.”
David was on the verge of one of his greatest conquests of all time. He didn’t know that. He thought he was just going to check on his brothers and take them some food. But, before he could even run toward the front lines and see his brothers, he had to let go of some things.
Often when we hear about leaving behind baggage, we think of our bad junk. We think of emotional baggage, scars, wounds, hurt, pain, bitterness, dysfunctional relationships (the list could go on). But, I have a feeling that in David’s baggage there were some things that people would consider good, even valuable. Not all baggage that we lug around with us is horrible. But sometimes, God requires us to even let go of the good, in order to run, so we can be unencumbered by anything that would keep us from experiencing all God has for us. He took with him his shepherds pouch, his sling and a stick. These were his essentials.
David faced several battles before he even got to Goliath. First, he faced sibling rivalry from his brothers. Really? Grown men? Really. They tried to lay emotional baggage on him. I get the impression he just let the comments roll off. Secondly, he faced the doubts of a previous generation. Even when he convinced Saul he was up for the task, David was girded in Saul’s armor and equipped with his weapon. However, David had the common sense and courage to reject these items. These were things that were perceived to be good and even beneficial, but they were merely baggage to David, because they weren’t the method of warfare the Lord had been teaching him on the hillsides in the backside of nowhere as he faced bears and lions.
The Lord has been preparing us for interesting days ahead - perhaps for some of the greatest spiritual conquests and adventures of our lives. But we are going to have to have the wisdom and courage to leave our baggage – the good and the bad behind – and we are going to have to resist picking up and carrying more baggage along the way. We must only take with us the essential tools and weapons that God has equipped us with and trained us to use as we have spent time with him in the backside of nowhere – otherwise known as the secret place.