“So Saul clothed David with his armor…And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So he took them off…and he chose for himself five smooth stones…”
1 Samuel 17: 38-40
And the rest, as they say, is history. David goes out to slay the giant with his weapon of choice. David’s refusal of Saul’s armor is not a poor reflection on the quality of the king’s helmet, his coat of mail, or his sword. David, all dressed up like the king, knew that adorned in that armor was not how the Lord taught him to face his enemies.
Most of what people “know” is information taken on authority. All those people admonishing their neighbors to “follow the science” as opposed to what they call faith, or the authority of scripture, are the blindest of the blind.
Christians employ the scriptures based on authority. That is, they believe it to be true based on their acceptance of the trustworthiness of the biblical record. However, Christians admit it whereas all our scientific friends suppose they do differently and that is patently not true (and the subject of a past blog).
Scriptural authority is much like Saul’s armor. It’s good to have, but until you really test it and prove its worth for yourself, it cannot kill giants. Many Christians are satisfied with that much. I don’t believe God is and that is why trials and tests come our way.
Knowledge based on authority has its place. If you think about the command, thou shalt not steal. You really don’t have to go out and steal a car to know the soundness of the authority behind it. Thinking about it in the context of your life and relationship with God is most often enough experimentation because in doing so you are studying to find out for yourself.
What does the scripture say? Taste and see, the Lord is good. Vicarious eating is so unsatisfying.
Preaching and teaching are good, not as an end-all, but as a springboard for living out your faith.
Jesus is the foundation of the temple that is your body, soul, and spirit, not because someone told you so, not even because you can quote 1 Corinthians 6:19, but because you have become acquainted with the Spirit of God that lives in you. You have tried on the shoes and walked around in them.
“…try me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts.”
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.”
Do not try to wear someone else’s Christianity or judge it without experience. Don’t go to battle in Saul’s armor when you may have your own.