May I ask you a question, Faith Leader? Has God every brought you through a seemingly unsurmountable problem? Has He ever paid your bills when the bank accounts were low? Has He opened doors of influence for you when you felt like your forward progress was frozen? Has He healed your body when the doctor had no answer? If God has ever done anything for you, you had victory over a problem. Guess what. God will continue to take care of you if you continue to trust in Him.
Don’t Provoke God
King David was a strong faith leader, but we all know he wasn’t perfect. Most people are aware of his sexual sin with Bathsheba and his attempted cover-up by murdering her husband, a loyal soldier. But in 1 Chronicles 21, we read about another mess up of David’s.
1 Chronicles 21:1 says, Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. The Hebrew word provoked means Satan got involved to entice and seduce David to do something God did not tell him to do. David wanted to count his troops; that sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But it grieved the Lord because it showed David’s trust in man, in numbers, and in physical force, not God. Despite all the victories God had given David in the past, David began leaning on the arm of the flesh.
A Good Wingman
Faith Leader, I hope you have a good wingman, or woman, like David did. David’s wingman was Joab; he was the one David charged with counting the troops. 1 Chronicles 21:2 says, And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
Joab was the head of all of David’s military and he had led them to victory time after time. Through Joab’s leadership, God gave David victory after victory after victory. Joab was faithful to David-faithful enough to warn him when he saw the king going against God. Here’s how it played out:
And Joab answered, The Lord make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel? Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab. (1 Chronicles 21:3-6)
Joab told King David his plan to the number their troops grieved God and was inconsequential to their success. God could make their forces a hundred times bigger or more effective if they needed. God would give them victory regardless of their numbers! When the king insisted, Joab counted the troops, leaving out Levi and Benjamin.
Joab was right. 1 Chronicles 21:7 says God was displeased with this thing; therefore, he smote Israel.
God is Not Tied to Your Ability or Numbers
It’s not wrong to know how much money is in your bank account or how many congregants or ministry partners you have if it’s purely informational. You should know those things, but if you put your trust in those things, you are violating Proverbs 3:5-6. It says, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
God can take what little you have and multiply it by 100. Remember how He has seen you through in the past, and continue to trust in Him, not your own understanding.