Summary: A church without vision is sitting underneath a tree, having meetings but an active church is climbing up a hill in victory.
Two Types of Churches: Which Do You Want To Be.
We are not going to read these two chapters, I will rather tell you the story.
It is once again the start of a new year, and it seems that every passing year the intensity of the prospect of a new year grows more and more. It seems like the desire for something new, something better each year is getting more and more. But I would like to ask the question: What good is a new year if you still have an old you? I believe that before we can really have a new year, there first must come a change within each and every one of us. And that change has nothing to do with the politics but everything with our desire for and relationship with God.
This part of Scripture takes place also at the start or beginning of something new. It happened just before David slain Goliath. In fact because of the events in these two chapters, Goliath mocked the people of God. If we look at the Bible we will find that from the time that God’s people entered into the Promised Land, the Philistines were there to provoke the people of God. They were always out looking for a fight with Israel. Goliath was the same. He was very big and strong with a very big sword in his hand and he knew that. That is why he had the audacity to mock the people of God.
In order to start this new year correctly, we must realise that the Philistines today is also out looking to pick a fight with you. They will try to find the smallest reason just to irritate you and to provoke you. Why? The reason is clear. If they can get you involved in a fight with them, they have managed to take your focus of from God and on them.
The moment that we are involved in a battle with the enemy, all our efforts, all our energy, all our focus is on the enemy. Paul comes and says that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and rulers and powers in heavenly places. But then he tells us how we must conduct this battle and his answer is quite stunning. He says that we must not concentrate on the enemy but rather we must pray in the Spirit. In other words, he is saying that the way to fight this battle is not to concentrate on the enemy, but to concentrate on God.
The Bible tells us that our enemy is like a roaring lion, looking to destroy people’s lives. Let me tell you, the way that he is doing it, is by roaring and that makes people so scared that they concentrate only on him and then, because we are not focusing on God anymore, our lives are destroyed.
Just like the Philistines our enemy is always trying to pick a fight.
And this is the background of this scripture.
It is important to remember that there were 3000 men with Saul. For this message I want you to understand that Saul is representing the church. That means that there are 3000 people in the church. The church is full because they have a new leader.
Jonathan, Saul son, defeated a garrison of the Philistines. Within a few moments the trumpets were sending the message, the church is victorious because of the victory of one part of the church. Suddenly more and more people come to join the church. Remember Saul is the church. All that Saul is doing, he is building on the victory of someone else. He is proclaiming that victory to be his. This is one of the biggest problems in the church of our Jesus Christ today. As long as someone else is victorious, people will come to church and will build on that person’s victory. The only testimony that they have is the victory of someone else.
Listen what is happening to the church now. The moment things do not go as well as planned, the people ran and hid in caves, holes, rocks, tombs and pits. Suddenly, when the church comes in a tight situation, the same people that were boosting and boasting about the church, ran away. The same is happening in the church today. As long as people can be comfortable, they will come to church, but the moment there is a tight situation, they stay home.
Now the church is trembling. Some even went over to the camp of the enemy. Trembling personifies a defeated church. Most of the members ran away. They are not prepared to fight for the church.