I gave a little 20 minute lesson recently on this subject. Thought I'd share it here.
Summary: Being a Man after God's Own Heart Takes Enormous Faith
The story of David and Goliath, abridged.
The people of Israel have come out to do war against the Philistines, and the Philistines send out one single challenger, Goliath, who says that this should all be decided in single combat.
Just send one man out to face Goliath, that's all. Let the whole battle be decided without unnecessary loss of life.
Every man of Israel looks at him, and their heart withers within them. "You want me to go up against that giant? Alone? No backup? Who will come with me? Who will save me?"
Not a man stood up to him.
A youth arrives, just a boy, and declares immediately that this is shameful. Why? Because victory is the Lord's, and would never be decided by weapons or strength of arms. He confidently strides out to meet the giant with a sling, and when the giant steps forward... he runs to meet him.
Faith in God; not just believing vaguely, at the back of his head, but being willing to put himself in a situation where if God was NOT on his side, then certain death is the only possible outcome.
Not saying 'who will come with me,' but screaming 'God will decide!'
When the Bible lists David's mighty men, three stand out, head and shoulders above the others. Of two of them, it says that they were standing with the armies when the children of Israel retreated.
But they did not.
They stood their ground, and fought. Alone againt the enemy.
And they won the day.
Scripture says 'the LORD worked a mighty victory.'
When their faith was so strong that they threw themselves into doing His will without hesitation.... He gave them the victory.
Those who ran had no part in the Lord's victory.
They could have.
But they wanted to know 'who will come with me?' They wanted assurances. They wanted a majority. They DIDN'T WANT TO STAND ALONE.
Once, Joab, David's nephew and general over his armies, was attacking a city. But the people of the city had hired Syrian mercenaries, and when he arrived, he found himself surrounded. Ammonites in front of him, Syrians behind him.
Did he surrender? Knowing he had no tactical advantage, and that they were outnumbered? Did he run?
He turned to his brother, giving him half the men, and said "If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.
Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good."
I love that. Let us play the men, and the Lord do that which seems good to him.
The Syrians run away, and when they run away, the Ammonites lose all hope and THEY run away.
Rather than a terrible loss, or a difficult battle, BECAUSE Joab and his brother STAND AS MEN for the Lord, because they say 'Let the Lord decide,' the victory falls EASILY into their hand.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Paul told us.
The lesson for us?
1) When thing seem their worst, and we find ourselves standing alone, abandoned on every side, the battle IS NOT LOST. Maybe we were outnumbered two to one, and now everybody has run away. But if it be eight hundred to one, God can still give us the victory.
2) If we run away and leave one man standing alone, God can still turn it to victory without us. And the only one missing out on the victory will be us.