BRAVE FOR GOD by Jim Cymbala

“So David went on and became great, and the Lord of hosts was with him” (1 Chronicles 11:9, NKJV).

The mighty warriors of 1 Chronicles 11 helped David conquer a new capital for his kingdom, a story told in verses 4-9. The modern nation of Israel has made a big celebration of the 3,000th birthday of this city, Jerusalem, as the center of Jewish life.

It was not an easy prize. The Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem flatly told David, “No way. This is a tough, fortified city, and you won’t get inside.” In fact, 2 Samuel 5:6 records their insult: “Even the blind and the lame can ward you off.”

So it is with every attempt to do something significant for God. It is never simple. Whenever God stirs us to establish His kingdom in a new place, the enemy is sure to taunt us. The devil always tries to convince us that we’ve tackled too much this time and we’ll soon be humiliated.

But David and his warriors pressed on. They would not be turned back. In fact, David made an unusual offer: “Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief” (1 Chronicles 11:6). This meant being the first to head uphill against well-armed soldiers perched atop thick walls, just waiting to rain down arrows and rocks. David’s young nephew Joab, however, seized the opportunity to perform this exploit. He broke into the city first, and thus he became David’s leading general for years to come.

That is not how we select leaders in the church today, is it? We go by resumes, seniority, image, education, and a half-dozen other human criteria. By contrast, David looked for bravery and boldness in the real world of battle.

If we are courageous enough to go on the spiritual attack, to be mighty men and women of prayer and faith, there is no limit to what God can accomplish through us.


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.