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Not Much To Work With

None of us are much
until Jesus molds
our Character

Up-Dated - Friday, December 06, 2013

Table of Contents
* Feeling Less than Required
* Not much to work with, no character
* God Makes the Heros

Scripture

1 Sam 22.1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him.
1 Sam 22.2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

Turn to 2 Cor 12.7

2 Cor 12:7 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
2 Cor 12:8 "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me."
2 Cor 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Cor 12:10 "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Text

2 Cor 12:10 "… when I am weak, then am I strong."

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Feel less than required?

As you reflect on the great work
that needs to be done
for the glory of God,

Do you ever feel
small and
insignificant?

Do you feel
that God cannot use you
in a great way?

Because you have been through some things that maybe make you at least in your own eyes
less equipped
to reach your world than some others that you know?

If these are some thoughts
that have plagued you, then you are not alone.

To be sure, the first requirement that must be met in order to please God is
you must be saved.

You must come to the place in your life
where you transfer your trust
from your own works and efforts
to what Christ did on the cross for you.

Heb 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please God…"

We have to come to Christ
by Faith

After having come to Christ
We must come to Him daily
by Faith

Not to be saved again

Not to stay saved

But, to live in His strength
unless we live by faith
and not in our own strength

"it is impossible to please God"

While living by Faith
it is our God given life's work
to reach others for salvation
to reach others who are backsliden

It can be a battle.
Sometimes you feel intimidated.
Sometimes you feel weak.
Sometimes you feel that you are not equipped like some other saint.
Sometimes you feel God could never make you a hero of the faith.

Satan is called the accuser of the brethren,
for a very good reason.

Many have believed him when he accuses the brethren

Many have believed the devil when he accuses us

Today I want to reflect on our text verses
and see who God decided
to draw to David.

Lets take a minute to reflect
who it was
that became a legendary band of soldiers
known as David's mighty men.

The first thing that we will see is
they were not much to work with!

The Bible says that these men were distressed.
Distressed means they were bound.
Bound by worry.
Bound by anxiety.
Bound by alcohol.
Bound by pornography.
Bound by habits.
Bound by addictions.
Bound by Stress.
Bound by sin.

To be distressed is to also be disabled.
May be not in the sense of being in a wheelchair,

but to be bound by something
is to be
held away from something else
Held back from something better

There were also some that were bound by Debt.

Years ago
we discovered what the Bible says about borrowing and lending

It is all right to borrow money to buy things.
But what ever is bought
needs to represent an investment.
Too many today,
are borrowing money
and the payments have their cash flow
choked down to a trickle.

In David's culture
when a person was bound by debt
there was no bankruptcy court to work things out.
If you could not pay up
you were made a servant
to the one you owed.

If your debtor
did not think
you could be valuable enough to work
he would send you to prison.

Either way
prison
or servitude
the person was bound.
Tied hand and foot.

There were some who were bound by discontentment

When you are never satisfied
you are a servant to discontentment.
You may have a lot of money
You may have a lot of possessions.
You may have nothing at all.

But if you are dissatisfied

Discontentment has a grip on you.
If Dissatisfaction or Discontentment grips you
you are bound
Oh, you may be running around
thinking you are calling your own shots
but you are as bound
as if you were wrapped with a butcher's string
skewed
an apple stuffed in your mouth
and hanging over an open fire.

Lisa used to raise animals for the FFA Stock Show every year.
You could watch the kids
lead calves around with a rope
or lead lambs around with just a string
but there is no way
you can't lead a hog around
they are going to do
what they want to do
never content
with what the master wants

You can't herd them alone, either
so the men at the show
built a bunch of boxes
without tops or bottoms
and had 2 handles on each end
they would lower it down over the pig
and let the pig think he was going where he wanted to go
and just walk him to the blue ribbon
or the butcher

Dissatisfaction
is an anguishness of soul.
A bitterness.

We can easily see
that the mob
that was drawn to David
was not much to work with.
But they became
David's Mighty Men.

Men who were bound.
Men who were constrained.

Men who were tied up.
They felt as if they were fighting off the world
with one arm tied behind their back.

Men who tried to read, but with blurred vision.
Men who tried to run on crutches.

Men who wanted and needed help,
but experienced
emptiness
rejection
isolation

Ever felt like you needed to work on your watch
and all you had
was a hammer?

Ever felt like you needed to fix your truck
and all you had
was a pair of pliers
and a crescent wrench?

Hindered
Impeded
Detained

You just know you could get it running
if you just had the right tools.

But you didn't have much to work with.

Let me point out something else about discontentment

Some of you remember the 1960's
there was much discontentment around.

Discontent with politics
Discontent with religion
Discontent with the military
Discontent with education
Discontent with morals
Discontent with authority
some of it for good reason

some of it for excellent reasons
but, almost always
the ones in the discontentment
were the ones
with the shaggy un-kept hair
with the sandals and dirty feet
with the un-kept beards
with the loose morals

They would always say
we are making a statement
against the establishment
established appearances
established personal hygiene
established morals

But what they didn't understand was
they were making a statement against character.

There is never an argument against character.

Lack of Character
will very soon
show itself in
personal appearances
personal morals
personal finances
personal spirituality

David's Mighty Men were not much

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Not much to work with, no character

1 Samuel 22.1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him.
1 Samuel 22.2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

They did not have much
They were not much to work with

But, give them credit
they gathered themselves unto David.

Somebody with Character
can always do something
with those
that have no character.

Being bound to addictions
Being bound to habits
Being bound to indulgence
Being bound to gluttony
Being bound to pornography
Being bound to criticisms
Being bound to lying
Being bound to debt
Being bound to filth
Being bound to just being flaky

are all signs of no character.

Oh, I know
in the North West
we call it being independent.

But in Heaven
they call it being without character.

The best help
for the person without character
is a person that has character.

This lazy, shiftless bunch of
bums
panhandlers
hippies
work during the summer
and lay off all winter

Prov 20:4 "The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing."

No character.
He needs a person that wants to work.

David knows how to work.
Taught himself to play musical instruments
Even built his own.

"Well if I had talent like that
that is what I would have done too."

I'm not too sure
David had all that talent.
I remember when Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse's boys to be king that the other 7 boys were at the feast but David was keeping the sheep.

If he had a lot going for him
I don't think the others knew about it.

If he had talent
it was not evident to the oldest brothers remember when they were at war and David came to bring them something to eat?
They asked, while you are traipsing all over the country side trying to catch a glimpse of what real men must do who is caring for those few sheep you look after?

I think David experienced a lot of rejection all his life. But instead of becoming bound by it,
he over came it
with character
with putting his hand to the work.

Eccl 9:10 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…"

He was rejected
by his brothers
by Saul
by his enemies, the Philistines.
by his sons
by his wife, Michel
by Nathan the prophet
at one point by God,
But every time,
his character brought him through.

Those without character loved him for it.
They loved to see him shrug off the slander.
They loved to see him shake off the lies.
They loved to see him scrape off the gossip
They loved to see him singe off the besetting sins in his life.

Remember when David was leaving Jerusalem
because Abasalom had revolted and as they walked the lonesome valley Shimei was on the hill side
cussing him
reviling him
provoking him

And one of the Mighty Men
asked if he could go and divide his head from his body and David said, "No."

If the Lord has bid him
to curse me, what can we do against the Lord?

David had Character

David's Might Men
were not much to work with until they could see someone who could keep himself straight.

1 Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1 Corinthians 1.27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Corinthians 1.28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1 Corithians 1.29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1 Corithians 1.30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1 Corithians 1.31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

So where does character fit in?
If everything is of God, then why bother about character?

We will never have anything of God unless we use character.

God is looking for the frail
that have the character to live by Faith to come to Him for strength.

God is looking for the ignorant
that have character enough to live by faith for the wisdom of God

God is looking for the despised and rejected
that will keep going with every fiber of their body to live by faith for God's uncommon love.

So then, who are the people of God's first choice?
It is not the mighty men!
It is not the intellects!
God uses common folks like you and me to do uncommon things!

Why does God do that?
Because, when the world looks at what you and I can do in the power of God, the only explanation is that God is with us!!

Do not dispair
because of your weakness and short comings! Embrace them!
God can use you and get the glory to Himself!

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God makes the heroes.

Look at what became of this group of misfits known as "David's Mighty Men".

2 Samuel 23:8 These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.
2 Samuel 23.9 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away:
2 Samuel 23.10 He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.
2 Samuel 23.11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.
2 Samuel 23.12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.
2 Samuel 23.13 And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim.
2 Samuel 23.14 And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.
2 Samuel 23.15 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!
2 Samuel 23.16 And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.
2 Samuel 23.17 And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.
2 Samuel 23.18 And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three.
2 Samuel 23.19 Was he not most honourable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three.
2Samuel 23.20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:
2 Samuel 23.21 And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
2 Samuel 23.22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men.
2 Samuel 23.23 He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard. David's men were not the last to be made heros by the power of God.

Look what was said in Acts 17.6

Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

Jason went with the crowd
he never defended himself.
Yet they were forced to let him go.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word,

no talent needed there
no skill needed there
no muscle needed there
simply character enough to come to Christ

in conversation,

no talent needed there
no skill needed there
no muscle needed there
simply character enough to come to Christ

in charity,

no talent needed there
no skill needed there
no muscle needed there
simply character enough to come to Christ

in spirit,

no talent needed there
no skill needed there
no muscle needed there
simply character enough to come to Christ

in faith,

no talent needed there
no skill needed there
no muscle needed there
simply character enough to come to Christ

in purity.

no talent needed there
no skill needed there
no muscle needed there
simply character enough to come to Christ

No matter what you feel
is the thing
that makes you weak
in the army of God,
it is that weakness
that will make you strong
as God works in you.

Lift up your head.
Take your stand for the King!
Remember what God used
to make up David's Mighty Men!

They were not much to work with.

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