David finds smooth stones in the valley. He carries none with him in the shepherd’s bag. Perhaps he didn’t anticipate the valley – it appears that he didn’t even know whole giant-defies-Israel scenario was going on when his father sent him to feed his critical brothers. He carried what a shepherd would carry but didn’t bring ammo.
Much of what a champion is prepared to release awaits the time and place of his next step. I believe it was Tommy Tenney who said that when God wishes to give you a promotion He gives you a bigger enemy. The stuff a champion needs for the valley of giants awaits him in the valley. He runs into the valley and finds that 5 smooth stones.
Many leaders are waiting for smooth stones that they will only discover when they get to the valley of giants. Waiting to go to the valley until the smooth stones arrive is a mistake. Ordering 5 smooth stones from SmoothStones.com will only make your wife or husband say, “What in the world were you thinking?” Carrying 5 smooth stones around in your backpack will only help you develop strong muscles in your neck or force you to buy a new backpack every six months.
Keep in mind what we learned in “God doesn’t Prepare You to Face Giants by Having You Face Giants.” David has never seen a giant. David has probably never even heard of a giant. David has never faced a giant or heard the roar of a giant. Carrying around a giant-killing stone isn’t part of his preparation. He’s ready for the valley of giants, but he isn’t carrying that ammo around in his shepherd’s bag.
God isn’t afraid of risk. In fact, what is risk to us isn’t actually “risk” at all with God! Or, perhaps it is better said that the risk isn’t about the availability of necessary ammunition when it comes to killing giants. The risk is the obedience and submission of God’s leaders to the preparation process that produces men and women with passion for principle and purpose.
Five Smooth Stones
The smooth stone supply is pretty much abundant, right? I mean, there are many more giant-killing stones available than will be needed to take down Goliath. The shortage here isn’t ammo but leaders. David walks into the valley of giants and immediately recognizes that God has left him an abundant supply of ammo – he chooses five smooth stones when he needs only one giant-killing rock.
What is obvious to champions isn’t obivious to others. What is obvious to leaders isn’t obvious to others.
Others could stare at the brook, stones, giant, and valley for months and see only the inevitability of evil. They wouldn’t see one giant-killing smooth stone. They would see the brook only as a place to get a drink. on dusty desert days. They would see the giant-killing rock – if they even heard the term – as a giant boulder to be rolled off a precipous onto Goliath’s head.
God prepares more than leaders, but the reality remains that much of what God has prepared for leaders must be revealed to them when their submission and obedience positions them for the revelation.
I used to read 1 Corinthians 2 at funerals as if the words of comfort were for there to describe “heaven.”
“Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the imagination of man’s heart what God has prepared for those who love Him…” And, I would stop reading right there and wax eloquent in comfort of the mystery of God’s care for those who die in faith. Of course, this does great injustice to the Scripture because the phrasing doesn’t stop there at all.
It continues without a break: “But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit.”
What God has prepared is revealed by His Spirit to the mature prepared for what God makes obvious to prepared leaders. Taken in the whole context of Paul’s discussion, we must be aware that God isn’t revealing everything – mystery remains hidden – but revealing strategically to the mature what He has prepared for those who love Him. To isolate the “those who love Him” words would be as dishonest as ignoring the “God has revealed them unto us.” Paul isn’t talking about revealing heaven since that mystery shouldn’t distract us from living the life before graduating through death.
Paul is not talking about revealing what God has prepared for those He loves to everyone. He is discussing the strategy of God to reveal mature things to mature people. God makes prepared things obvious to prepared people. “When we are among the fully-grown, the mature, we impart strategic wisdom…” Paul doesn’t reveal spiritual wisdom to unprepared, out-of-position people because what is obvious to the mature can’t be obvious to them.
The point is that we do err assuming that the full restoration of kingdom fullness will be available to any generation by any other means than the fuller preparation of mature leaders. When we expect the immature to properly handle the things reserved for the mature, we frustrate the revealed strategy of God to function in kingdom with kingdom leadership. At the same time Paul tramples the concept of spiritual elitism into the dirt with his discussion of revelation: no amount of natural preparation of ability figures into the preparation of kingdom champions.
Some would say, “I am called.” Jesus would say, “Many called.” Some would say, “I am anointed.” I would remind them: Saul and David had the same anointing. Some would say, “I can do the stuff. Let me tell you about the time I was laid out for hours speaking in tongues.” I would remind them that Saul had the same experiences, but he hid in the tent when the giant roared. Saul didn’t see one giant-killing stone in the valley of the giant; he measured the ability of a warrior to win by the same preparation strategy of the Philistines: “David, you can’t fight the giant; he’s been trained in battle for years and you are just a shepherd.”
Only David’s preparation, to function in passion for principle and purpose, positioned David to see five smooth stones.