Five Smooth Stones

It was war. The Philistines were attacking and the armies of Israel were hunkered down, trembling in their boots while the giant Goliath roared his taunts and his challenge.

This was Israel’s predicament. It is also ours. We face challenges today that would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago. We live in troublesome times when good is seen as evil and evil good. Does anyone seriously doubt that there are giants in the land? And is it not obvious that what once worked no longer does? The old ways of doing battle and ruling the kingdom are ineffective for the needs of the hour.

Then David spoke to the men . . . For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17: 26 (NASB)

But we have a Good Shepherd who would be our King. We have been under His gentle care in the hidden place of the back pasture. He proved Himself our champion protector in the face of the bear and the lion. He also served faithfully in Saul’s household. Now He comes. He comes and expresses indignation and outrage at the enemy’s affront. He comes and although He is doubted by the elders He says let me loose and I will do the job!

David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” 1 Samuel 17: 39 (NASB)

David was strong and anointed but not even in his hands would the old methods and the old mindset work to bring down this new strongman. David needed something simpler, something he had tried and proven. He needed Gods’ method, not man’s failed plan. We do as well. We try to clothe ourselves in Saul’s methods (armor), but they feel uncomfortable. We put on his mindset (helmet), but it does not help. We simply need to trust the unsettled feeling in our gut and abandon the old ways that just do not witness with our spirit.

The River of Renewal

He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:40 (NASB)

Instead David found five smooth stones from the brook. For the past twenty years many of us have enjoyed life in “The River” and the Water of Life has transformed us. We have laughed, we have cried, we have celebrated. At times it has been a glorious party.

But it has not always been easy. The River has tumbled us about in relationship. Having the rough edges rubbed off, the corners and sharp points removed can be an uncomfortable grinding process. Like pebbles rolled around on a beach, we are completely worn down, but ready for something good – something very, very good. Our resistance is lowered and we are now aerodynamic. In the Good Shepherd’s hand and released from His sling, we will fly to our intended target with grace and ease, and accomplish God’s purpose for which we were sent. Many fully prepared people are sitting in the congregation, without ambition or agenda, simply loving and worshipping God, and waiting on Him, ready to be of service to the King.

The Pouch of Relationship

Among so many others David selected these Five Smooth Stones and he put them in his shepherd’s pouch. Imagine that, Five Smooth Stones in the Good Shepherd’s Pouch. As we face many giants in the land, giants unlike any other time, and while we are under attack and the old battle strategies are proving to be inadequate, the Lord’s simple solution is to stoop down, put His hand in the River and select these Fabulous Five who have been prepared in the rough and tumble of relationship, and place them in His Shepherd’s Pouch.

In His Shepherd’s Pouch they are in even closer relationship. Together, as a team, they will be used by God to shepherd His flock. Yes, they may minister one at a time, but that ministry comes out of that place of close relationship, mutual accountability, and favor. This is God’s new day.

A man clothed in Saul’s defensive mindset and in Saul’s warfare methodology will never strike Goliath in the center of his forehead. He will never use Goliath’s own sword to decapitate the giant and eliminate the strongholds, the mindsets, the ways of thinking that keep people in captivity to ungodly ways of living. Our best plans and most sincere efforts are and always will be inferior to God’s simple way.

The River of God refreshed the saints, revived the church and restored truth. It has also prepared the hearts and lives of those called by God to leadership for this day. We have been prepared by the refreshing of renewal and the rough and tumble of relationship. There are now Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers ready to be together in God’s “Shepherd’s Pouch.” The time is right. The old pastoral paradigm can be replaced with God’s Fabulous Five Fold Team who will more effectively shepherd the people of God and the move of God.

The Sling of Release

Each of the Five Smooth Stones went from the river of renewal, to the pouch of relationship, to the sling of release. That is God’s order.

1 Samuel 17: 48 - 49 Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. (NASB)

On any given Sunday the Good Shepherd of the Sheep can reach into His pouch and draw out the best gift for the moment. Pastors when the sheep need to be cared for and comforted. Teachers when we need instruction in righteousness, and truth explained. Evangelists when the net needs to be drawn in and souls saved. Prophets when they have received a clear Word from the Lord. Apostles when we need to see the broader perspective.

I believe our Shepherd King is saying, “Move over. Let me loose. I will do the job. And I will use Five Smooth Stones - Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers - leading and shepherding my church to do what the world has not seen in 2000 years.”

When the Good Shepherd releases each of the Five Fold from the sling of anointing and destiny, the strongholds will surely fall.



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