Saul sits in his tent. The squeak of the polishing cloth, his armor bearer buffing his battlefield attire, irritates him because it reminds him that he is the one a head taller than anyone else in Israel, that he is the one the people chose to fight for them, that he is the only one besides his son, Jonathan who even possesses a sword. Still he sits, unprepared to face the giant of his generation. In some ways, the Philistines may have prepared Goliath as their answer to Saul’s inauguration. Since they were both fighting a battle based upon appearances, they appeared to have a great advantage.
Goliath doesn’t even acknowledge Saul, however. He doesn’t challenge him personally; or at least by the time David arrives, the giant acts as if Israel’s leaders do not exist. Perhaps after a week or two of challenges that included Saul, it became obvious that Israel’s champion wasn’t coming out of his tent.
Saul remains there for several reasons, and the reasons all speak back to the faulty foundations of political motivations that plague Saul’s leadership.
Saul allows the enemy to set the agenda, to define the discussion, and to create the sense that evil is inevitable. In each case, these represent the present conditions of leadership in the modern church-amity. The spirit of leadership that operates in Saul and the spirit of leadership that dominates modern church-anity have startling similarities!
God always creates the opposite conditions, opposite of this situation in which Saul finds himself. God has already stopped working all things together for good for Saul’s leadership because Saul doesn’t love God – have His passion for principle and purpose nor is Saul any longer called or appointed to produce God’s purpose. God isn’t allowing Saul to represent Him on earth: the most obvious aspect of kingdom leadership is missing in Saul.
God Sets the Agenda
Even when all appearances declare something different, God always sets His own agenda. And, God can only be properly represented on earth by leaders who function to fulfill God’s agenda. God never gets anxious about the enemy’s efforts to change the subject through resetting the agenda. God never gets in a hurry because the enemy’s efforts to change the agenda and subject creates an appearance that evil is inevitable. God just continues on with His plan, operating in kingdom principles, producing kingdom purposes.
In reality, God has been setting this agenda for a while now, working with David’s passion to prepare Himself a champion who operates in His principles so he can produce God’s purposes.
Never allow the appearance of things to set your understanding of reality! The agenda of God is not available for the headlines of printed page or the lead story on the nightly news. The agenda of God remains available to those who have the blueprints and communicate the revelation: that is why apostles and prophets are foundational to kingdom leadership dynamics. They never function by appearance. They function by God’s agenda.
When church-anity fails to follow this foundational and fundamental dynamic, they become victims of appearances themselves. They begin to assume appearances are reality and miss the agenda of God altogether: the agenda of the kingdom becomes as foreign to them as it is to the world around them. They start thinking like the enemy in this regard and assume they must be better at what the enemy is doing than the enemy in order to defeat the enemy. Never works out that way…
Jesus says, “the children of this age are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” That is, kingdom leaders shouldn’t attempt to outdo evil with its own agenda and discussion because evil will begin to look inevitable to them, and kingdom people will begin to cocoon instead of confront.
Moses learned how God sets the agenda with Pharaoh. Job learned how God sets the agenda with Satan. In fact, the answers of Jesus to the temptations He encountered in the desert were all first of all about not allowing the enemy to set the agenda: “My Father already has an agenda, and I’m already sold out to Father’s agenda.”
David walks into the camp and immediately discerns the agenda of God while a whole army stands around with shovels in their hands quaking with fear. David walks into the camp and recognizes the agenda of God while the king who is a head taller than any other man sits in his tent, turning up the TV to drown out the roar of the giant. David walks into camp with a bag of cheese curds and bread with the apostolic and prophetic sense of kingdom. David discerns that God’s agenda always creates the discussion of principle and purpose: “who is this uncircumcised Philistine?”
God Always Defines the Discussion
Without God’s agenda we miss the point of God’s discussion. God seems to be talking about “something else” while we are talking about appearances.
Jesus blows the disciples’ minds sleeping through the storm. “Master, do you not…” Jesus’ answer further confuses them because they are caught up in appearances while He is discussing Father’s agenda. “Do you think for a minute that Father is gonna let us drown here in the middle of this lake when we are on our way to represent Him on the other side? Don’t you remember the miracles that just happen?”
The disciples couldn’t follow God’s discussion because they were clueless of the Father’s agenda.
Much of the modern message is muddled or mushy mostly because the Gospel of the Kingdom has been replaced with a Good News that discusses the agenda of people more than the agenda of the Father.
“What are you talking about?” the crowd asks. “I wish to talk about myself and cool stuff to which I relate.”
So, preachers become politicians and motivational speakers to accommodate the demand for a discussion that fits the wrong agenda. “Jesus loves you no matter what” becomes “Jesus couldn’t care less about agendas” or “Jesus died to help you with your agenda. Get saved so Jesus can help you get what you want. You are so awesome just like you are, and your every thought makes heaven applaud.”
In contrast to the awe of God that motivates people who understand the agenda of heaven, the discussion becomes devotionalized. The sense of prayer and grace and faith we gain is more about how to get what we want, see our dreams fulfilled, and avoid any and all discomfort or challenge. We start thinking, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Or, “let’s put a suit on that giant and call him, ‘Brother Goliath.’ Heavy aint’ heavy; he’s my brother.'” [And other stupid insanities from drug-enduced chaos.]
David arrives at camp and starts asking questions because the behavior in the kingdom is inconsistent with experience of God’s agenda, and the answers he gets are foreign to God’s discussion. He asks a second time what the person who kills the giant will receive because he is completely at a loss to comprehend why no one is running into the valley.
“OK, let me get this straight: everyone is standing around with noise-cancelling headphones on while this heathen enemy of God’s kingdom sets the agenda, defines the discussion, and creates the perception that evil is inevitable. The king says you don’t have to pay taxes. Ever! You get to marry his daughter – after months staring at sheep, David sees this as a pretty embraceable idea! – yet, still no one will face the giant.” What is up with that? David thinks.
David discusses the situation as God would, and the behavior and speech patterns of everyone else seems way off to him. The concept that we should adapt the kingdom to the roar of the giant isn’t part of his mental library; search though he may, he cannot get a Google search response to this idea in his own mind. He thinks like God because he has God’s agenda. He has God’s agenda because he has God’s heart, passion for principle and purpose.
God Sees the Inevitability of the Kingdom
The Revelation closes the Bible out with the most powerful presentation of the inevitable possible! Jesus wins so we win too! When Jesus walks among the Ecclesia, the inevitability of overcoming in on His mind, and He reiterates the promises available to overcomers. Every vision John sees in the heavenlies concerning heaven, hell, and earth tells him the kingdom of God is inevitable. Every discussion given in revelation form considers how the kingdom of God wins, how it wins, over whom it wins, and how this scenario began before Creation and ends with full redemption of All.
So, how do we get the sense of the inevitability of evil from the same treatise? Most of what Jesus says about the “ultimates” tells us that bad stuff will be happening all over the place in every era of history yet the bottom line is that God’s agenda lives, wins, and expands when His people live with kingdom priorities.
Saul sits because Saul doesn’t have God’s discussion because Saul doesn’t have God’s agenda. Saul is frozen with indecision, establishing the roar of the giant by his hesitation, and embedding the inevitability of evil through his leadership.
David walks into camp with the opposite spirit, runs into the valley, takes the sword, lifts the head, and arms the army in one day.
“Hello? Is anybody listening?”