The list of David’s mighty warriors in 1 Chronicles 11:22 introduces us to Benaiah, whose exploits included overcoming two of Moab’s best men. He also killed a lion in a snowy, slippery pit. Perhaps most amazingly, he took on an Egyptian tall enough to be a starting forward for the Chicago Bulls. This seven-and-a-half-foot giant wielded a spear with a shaft as sturdy as a lead pipe while Benaiah had only a wooden club.
Even so, Benaiah “snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and
killed him with his own spear. Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of
Jehoiada. . . . He was held in greater honor than the Thirty” (1 Chronicles 11:23-25).
It was not a Ph.D. degree that brought honor to a person in those
days. Honor did not necessarily flow to the person with money or
leverage or media access. Honor came as a result of doing exploits for
Who is doing exploits for God today? Where is the enemy being driven
back? That is the great yearning of all spiritually minded people. They
are not enchanted with polished sermons and slick organizational
technique. Where are the mighty men and women anointed by God to truly
make a difference?
I think I know at least one of God’s mighty people. Rina Gatdula, a
Filipino lady, is like a sister to my wife, Carol, and me. God sent her
in the early days of the Brooklyn Tabernacle with a valiant spirit that
proved to be a tremendous blessing. When our ushers were intimidated by
the occasional drunk or hostile person who wandered in, Rina would
confront them with a head-on fearlessness granted by the Holy Spirit.
Although not especially gifted as a public speaker, she had a
ministry of prayer and intercession that helped to carry us through many
battles. Whether it is the need for a larger building or the need for a
backslider to return to the Lord, she has the spirit of Benaiah. She
will not let go of God when needy people come to the altar seeking help.
She knows the fine art of “praying through” with people; many have
found deliverance in Christ because she has stood with them at the
throne of grace.
Today Rina travels among the churches the Brooklyn Tabernacle has
begun, both in this country and overseas, reminding them of the exploits
they can do through God. She always seems to spark a spirit of prayer.
Whether in Harlem, San Francisco, or Lima, Peru, she is a living example
of a heroine of faith.
Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn
Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in
a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime
friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson and a frequent speaker at the
Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge
throughout the world.