Jesus is familiar with the pit, that downtrodden, lonely place. Jesus died like a sinner. He went down into the pit, the belly of the earth, the judgment of God, the absence of God. What happens when God enters hell? They hand Him the keys! He can go in and out of your situation anytime He wants. He is not far at all. He’s familiar with the pit. If you shut Him out, don’t. Let Him in.
If you make the declaration that you are in a pit right now, that honesty allows God to work a miracle in your life. You can be transformed. He is an on-time, ever-present, all-knowing God. He has been in the fire. Those three Hebrew children (they were men, really) and went into the fire of judgment because they refused to bow to another god. Not only did they not get burned, their bonds fell off and a fourth man appeared in the fire with them. Jesus is still in the fire. The flame won’t burn you.
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
When have you been honest with God and got the victory?
The thing that He wants to do for you is to bring you out of that situation a mighty man or woman of God.
Joel 3:9 “Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.’ 10 ‘Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”
2 Sam 23:9-16 “And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. 10 He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder. 11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord.”
The mighty men of David were extraordinary in all ways in terms of war, probably the greatest, strongest warriors of all time, the one thing they have in common is they all did not start that way.
They didn’t start out mighty. They were in debt, distressed, castaways, cavemen. Can you imagine a cave full of grumpy men? They had no help, no family, rejects of society. They had no hope, they were discontented, distressed. Then, a man named David went into that cave and God did a work.
They became David’s mighty men. They were credited with mighty feats that seemed almost story-tale like. Abishai killed three hundred men all by himself. Another went into a pit and killed a lion. Another man killed a leader of the Egyptians with the Egyptian’s own weapon. These men served as a special elite group. There were 37 total.
Among David’s mighty men, there were three standouts, special ops. God used these men to bless Israel. The three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines just to get a glass of water.
David thought that this act was so holy that it needed to be remembered. It was a sacrifice unto the King of kings, not just for David, the future king. So, he poured it out as a drink offering unto the Lord.
If you had a nickname for David it would be Captain Caveman. He was a king without a throne. He hung out with those rejected by society. Yet, Captain Caveman formed a band of mighty men. His followers were loyal.
Have you ever been in a cave (spiritually, emotionally, rough circumstances)? How did you handle it?
David was different from these men. He was of great character and faith. He knew that he was guided by the Lord. David understood God’s anointing.
These men in the cave weren’t hiding out of fear. It was rejection. He began to talk to those men and invited them to be a part of his kingdom. He promised to make warriors out of them. They got ahold of something and faced off gruesome enemies and won the victory.
These guys didn’t start out as winners. They started out as losers. David invited them to be part of a team. These men on their own accord went after that cup of water, not on instructions from their Captain. They wanted to please their king.
The fact that David refused to drink that water caused those men to see his character. He refused to usurp Saul. He wouldn’t let his men kill Saul. ‘If God is big enough to make him king, God is big enough to remove him as king.’ David’s character rubbed off on those other cave dwellers, in the cave, the pit, in their darkest place. Their moment came when they learned how to be warriors by watching David.
David could’ve killed Saul many times. Yet, he refused. He refused to force the will of God.
What has God promised you that you don’t see yet? Have you tried to force God’s will? How did that turn out? What has God promised you that has happened in your life?
Now, David made mistakes. This is more about a type of Christ. Jesus is in your cave. If you will listen to Him in the cave, you will emerge mighty and useful to God.
There are things you can learn while you’re suffering. Captain Caveman will teach you if you let Him.
David taught them submission through his own example.
Shammah is another of David’s mighty men. The Philistines were coming to attack. He was advised to run, but he refused because he trusted God to help him defend the land and beans that God had given him. This was God’s Promised Land and Shammah had a right to it. He held onto those promises of God.
Whatever God has given you, where do you learn to fight for what God has given you? It’s in the cave.
There is an enemy that isn’t flesh and blood. A battle is all around you right now.
Where do you learn to fight that battle? Where’s the Bootcamp? Where do you learn how to fight as a Christian? How do you build resistance? It’s in the cave!
When the battle comes, you don’t run.
Learn from Jesus, watch that King, open up for the transmission from Him. He will teach you how to war.
2 Sam 22:35 “He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
Joel 3:10 “Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”
How do you handle the cave? Knowing what you know now, has that changed your thinking and/or attitude if you’re in a cave right now? Why or why not?
There was a shift, a change, in their thinking. God is calling you to victory. Will you answer that call?
You that are in the pit feel like you’re worthless, like you have no value, not good enough, not cool, not sweet, not right. So, you refuse to trust the people in the church. Lies come at you. They weave a web that keeps you down in the pit. Understand and learn some stuff in that cave. Soon, a sword will be put in your hand and fuse to your hand. God will give you a weapon and you will have the opportunity to use it.
If you see a twelve-fingered giant, run, unless God has called you to fight him.
These mighty men were not born that way. Go to the cave and dwell there awhile so you can learn of Him.
Mat 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Elijah was a tough dude. He killed many prophets of Baal. Jezebel wrote him a note and he got scared. He ran to a cave. Nobody was there with him—except a voice. God wasn’t in the displays of power. A still, small voice came to him saying, ‘You’re not alone.’
In a cave when you go hide out, Captain Caveman is in there. You may have gotten yourself in your situation, but in the cave, the place of despair and disgust and discouragement, Jesus is there talking to you, explaining to you, that this is just basic training. When you emerge and war breaks out, you will be ready.
When you stand up on the pedestal and get the roses, you can say, ‘It’s not me, it was God who did the work.’
Zach 4:6 “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
How do you handle the victory? Do you give Jesus the glory?
The greatest testimony in the Bible is Lazarus. Jesus raised the dead. He can’t help it. It’s what He does.
There is something about the cave, the pit. He is a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Jesus knows what it’s like to deal with kids who are afraid. He knows what it’s like to be hungry, to be rejected.
Jesus doesn’t do the stuff that we can do. He does the things we can’t do.
Jesus was frustrated at Lazarus’ death because Mary and Martha had faith for healing, but not for resurrection. He told the people to roll away the stone. He could’ve rolled it away, but He wanted the people to be a part of the miracle.
If you will trust Jesus, and do whatever He asks you to do, He will give you a mighty testimony, even now!
You may be in a pit, but God is greater.
Jesus wants you to be involved in the victory. He will give you a sword, but you must learn to use it. He will take you from sin, but you must learn to walk in faith and victory and obedience.
What are you doing to grow in your pit? What have you learned so far? What do you still need to do?
You are a man or a woman of valor! You are called to be part of the Army of the End Time!
This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!