David’s introduction as a notable leader and renowned warrior began with this simplequestion. His youthful perception saw the issuesat stake for the beleaguered King Saul and his frightened army as rooted in a cause greater than their mere survival to fight another day.The stalemate in the Valley of Elah was aboutmore than real estate, bragging rights, or military conquest. David recognized this as a struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, worship of the one true God and paganism. Unlike Saul and his military advisors, this young lad—whowould come to be known as the “man afterGod’s own heart”—recognized that the cause was greater than anything else to be gained or lost that day. Everyone and everything else wasexpendable in defense of the cause.

That day was pivotal, not only in David’s life but also in Israel’s history. David’s keen perception of the importance of the cause,coupled with his recognition that not all causes are created equal (but some are of such high value that they are worth risking everything),caused him to rise to the occasion when otherscowered in fear. David’s understanding of the moment established him and charted the trajectory of his future, all the way to the throne.

In the kingdom of God, the cause is always paramount. Nothing ever supersedes the cause. The cause got Noah into the ark-building business; the cause brought Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land unknown to him; the cause called Moses to lead God’s people out of Egypt’s bondage. In Abraham’s case, the cause became a family; for Moses, the cause became a nation; for David, the cause became a kingdom. In each of the above instances, thecause was always woven intrinsically into theplan of God—God’s plan, God’s people, God’s kingdom. God’s ownership, involvement, and identity make the cause worthwhile.

We must regularly take inventory of the causesto which we commit ourselves and in which weinvest our resources to be sure they are kingdom causes. Given the selfish, self-centered nature ofour society, we must always be certain that we do not allow our commitment to the cause to be diluted or diminished by the culture around us.My grandfather, the late J. Harper Rose, stamped the most vivid imprint of my earliest memories on me. His resolute devotion to the cause was the singular, driving motivation for his whole life. He sold his business to answer the cause. He moved his family to an undesirable house in an undesirable neighborhood because there was a building there that held potential for a church.He held church services and preached when he was the only one in the building.

He fasted, prayed, and invested in thekingdom when most people would have said,“It’s not worth it.” But he didn’t know how to quit, and eventually, his devotion to the causeproduced a church that birthed evangelists, pastors, teachers, global missionaries, threeOhio District presbyters, and two Ohio Districtsuperintendents. Today Pastor Philip Spellmanpastors the church that resulted from one man’s devotion to the cause.

What’s your cause? What drives you? What motivates you? What excites your mind to dream dreams bigger than your ability and your resources? May I have the temerity to suggest to you that when you seize the cause of the kingdom and embrace it as your cause, a righteous legacy will result from everything you do?

During the days of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson used these words to encourage a Colonial population weary of the fight against the tyranny of Great Britain: “Our cause is just.Our union is perfect. Our internal resources aregreat.” If those words could stir a war-wearynation to defeat their enemy in battle, howshould we respond to a similar challenge in the Apostolic church of the twenty-first century? I am constrained by the Holy Ghost to tell this great Ohio District that our cause is righteous! Our unity is being healed and strengthened day by day! Our eternal resources are great!

No weapon formed against you can prosper.If you are part of a rural church or part of anurban church, revival is coming. The cause of sixand a half million lost souls calls to us, and thecause of the kingdom compels us to lay aside every weight and run for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is a cause!«