David had confidence toward the Lord. This was worked into him as he was with the sheep. He learned to war in songs and prayers. The fullness of joy was restored in his failure. There are battles we cannot see. Guard your heart and mind. The Cross makes all the difference. (Ephesians 6:11-14; 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 23; John 4:20)
Speaker: Matt Roberge, Cedric Tanksley
6:30 PM on 10/1/2023
Cedric Tanksley –
Good evening. How’s everybody doing? Good? That’s good. That’s good. I’ve been going through
something, and I just want to share it with you. Again, if you judge me, I like that, because you
might go through it one day.
If you open your books up to Ephesians 6 for me. I’m going through something, and while I’m going
through something, I turn to my Father, and he said I want to give you some tools that you
could use along the way while you’re going through whatever it is; and I hope that these tools
are some tools that will help you out. I want to go to the book of Ephesians 6:11. It says put on
the full armor of God, right? It says put on the whole armor of God, vs. 12-17. (Prayer).
I say that to you because in this passage you hear what he says – let’s go back to the beginning. Vs.
11. I started to think about what I’m going through, and I said what is the wiles? It’s nothing
you’ve never heard before. It’s nothing new. It’s the methods or the strategies that the devil
uses to come in disrupt you, distract you, disturb you and triggers something that you’re going
through in your life to cause you to act out. That causes you to act in a way of rage or wrath.
Wow. If I’m going through something, I need something more.
I want to go to the next passage where it says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. And I
stopped there and started thinking to myself about wrestling, because when I was a little kid
growing up in the 80s, I loved WWF, World Wrestling Federation. They had this one wrestler. He
used to talk like this. Maybe you can identify. Yeah, macho man, Randy Savage, right. I sat back
and I thought about that, and I said wrestling, you know. To wrestle with something. In order to
wrestle with anything, you have to touch. You have to be in close proximity in order to wrestle
I started to look at myself and say what is it that I’m wrestling with, God? Cause I don’t want to
wrestle with you. If I know that I have you, I know that I am secure. And God said, the devil is
like an opposing coach. For the school year, I coach middle school basketball. And one of the
strategies that I started to look at is the fact that the devil doesn’t know what you’re thinking,
but he studies your actions. It’s just like the opposing coach. The opposing coach doesn’t know
your play book, cause every coach has a different play book, right?
But what that coach does is he studies the field and watches your weaknesses. He watches
what you do to strategize against you so that he can have victory over you. I said I can’t let this
happen to me. Hopefully, I’ll have enough time, but my time is limited, so I’m trying to rush. But
at the same time, he says, yeah. Don’t allow the devil to come in. I started to think to myself the
battle that I’m facing is not against flesh and blood, but it’s against the darkness of this world
which means I’m in spiritual warfare. I’m in a war that’s effecting me not only from something
invisible but is starting to affect me in the physical realm. Let me say that again cause you guys
are looking at me like you didn’t get that, so I want to say that one more time.
All right. There’s something that’s effecting me. Spiritual warfare is what we call it. It’s effecting
me in the invisible realm, and it’s coming over to the physical realm. See the great thing about
that he gave me is that it’s always easy to be prepared to fight something that’s visible, because
you can see it. But what about the battles that you fight that you can’t see. We talked about the
methods and the strategies and the schemes we’re trying to fight against. The schemes are
something you can’t see. You don’t know when someone steals your identity do you? You try to
prepare for that. Fraud. Those that give their information over the phone. You don’t know
where that information is going. We’re fighting a battle that’s invisible. And these tools, these
principles I gave to you…how can I win in this battle?
He said I gave you a breastplate because the Bible says to guard your heart and guard your
mind. I gave you a breastplate for the fiery darts. I want to guard my heart. He gave me a
helmet. Salvation and guard my mind. My thoughts, because I don’t know about you – maybe
you can identify with this – my thoughts is what get me to go into a cycle. And for those that
may not know what a cycle is, it’s something that keeps coming back. I keep falling. I keep
stumbling here. I keep stumbling there. I keep going…it seems like I never learn from it. I said,
well. If I got all this, all these tools that they call armor, I have one question? And maybe this
will open your mind.
If I got every armor here, did you hear anything about a back plate? Head, arms, chest, sword.
Right. I heard all these, but I don’t have anything to – do you see that? That’s my back. Why
don’t I have a back plate? And God said, you know what, maybe the reason why I don’t have a
back plate is because I know that in God he’s sufficient for me. he’s protective of me. But
maybe I don’t have a back plate, because God just wants me to keep pressing forward. He
wants me to keep moving forward.
For all of us that are parents in here. The first day of school, you want to make sure that your
children have the right uniform. You make sure that their hair is cut. For me, I have boys, right?
I want to make sure their hair is cut. They have clean clothes. They have nice shoes on. They’re
ready to prepare, right? They have book bag with school supplies in them. Doesn’t it sound like
armor that you’re preparing them for school? It sounds like you’re preparing them. But then,
when you’re making them breakfast and driving them to school, the words of wisdom that
you’re giving them. I don’t care about – let me go back to my days. I don’t know how it is but
my mom used to say I don’t care about nobody else. When you’re in that classroom and you get
to talking, you better close your mouth. All right. They say something, you turn the other way. I
don’t know what parents say nowadays, but this is something I say to my boys, and they don’t
listen. All right. They don’t listen.
However, at the same time, we are preparing them for what they are going to expect, but are
we really preparing them for what’s unexpected? The things they may face throughout the day
that’s unexpected. Are we really giving them armor to prepare them for the unexpected?
I said to myself, wow. God didn’t give me a back plate, because as a parent if one of my boys
act up in school, P. Barry or one of the staff members is going to be calling me as the father.
And this is what I’m going to do. I want everybody to take a look at this. I’m going to do this. I’m
going to step up. That’s what God says I’m going to do for you. You don’t have to worry about a
back plate because I have your back. Is that true? Did you guys get that? Right? You don’t have
to worry about your back being guarded, because I got your back. Psalm 91 says that, right? I have
your back. I have your back.
The thing that I want you to do while you’re in this world and you’re walking with me – turn to
1 Peter 5:8. Turn to 1 Peter 5:8 with me. Whom he may what? Devour. The things that I’m going
through God is saying here go the tools. Here go the armor to protection yourself, and what I
want you to understand is that I need you to put that on every day. In order for me to put that
on every day, I must be in relationship with him. I must be in relationship with God. I must have
a relationship with God, because without the relationship, the armor is useless. Let me say that
again. Without a relationship with God, the armor is ineffective. So, it’s a must that everyday
we stay in close communication with God, so that way we can have the armor, the protection
that is needed.
If you read a little bit more in that passage, it talked about praying, right? In Ephesians 6:11, if you
read a little bit more it talked about praying. Praying to me is another form of armor, cause
prayer is what gives you align with God for your life. Without the relationship, the armor is not
beneficial to you. And I know you have to be in relationship with God, because Hebrews – I
think it’s 11:6 – it says without faith it’s impossible to please God. I wanted to get quiet right
there, because without faith it’s impossible to please God. To have faith, faith comes from
hearing and hearing the Word of God.
I need a relationship, God. So, the struggle that I’m going through I have the tools already,
cause don’t think that the darkness is not in the spiritual room as well. I need the tools so that I
know I am prepared, and when anything comes my way, I can stand against it. I know this. I
have to. Do you know how quiet it is in here? It’s not because of me. This is real talk.
My time is running out, but I want to say this. The relationship that you build with God is a firm
foundation. Doesn’t it say that in the book of Mark? The two houses looked the same until the
storm came. And when the storm came, you really see which house had the right foundation.
So, I got back to him, and I said, God, that still doesn’t answer why I don’t have a back plate. He
said, yes it does. I have your back, but I don’t want you to look backwards. That’s why you don’t
have to worry. I don’t want you to look back. Everyone do me a favor and look behind you. If
you look behind you, you can’t see what’s coming ahead of you, can you? So, there’s two things
right there. You can’t drive looking backwards. You can’t drive forward looking backwards. You
can’t ride a bike forward looking backwards. And God said if you look back like Lot’s wife, you
might turn into? Salt.
Hold on. Let me give you something better. Who was Peter trusting when he was walking on
the water? But when he looked back, and he took his eyes off of – I heard it. He started to
what? Cause he put trust in himself. He leaned to his own understanding, right? Proverbs 3:5,
trust in the Lord and lean not to your own understanding. When we get into our times of
trouble, we start to lean to our own ability, but you got to understand that this is a spiritual
warfare, and your strength is not good enough. You need something much greater than
yourself. You have to have something much greater than yourself.
Look at me at my stature. You can probably handle everything, but I can’t. I’m telling you that. I
can’t. There’s things that I can’t handle mentally, emotionally. We ain’t just talking about
physically. You can be the strongest guy in the world. Body builders. You do all of that for what?
For image? What are you doing that for? Who are you hurting? What are you picking up a
truck? I don’t know what it is that you are picking up, but I want you to understand that you
have to be in relationship with God in order for this armor to be at your defense. That’s why
Paul was talking to the Ephesians about it, right? He gave it to them for a line of defense, so
that when things came up they would have tools to be able to use to defend themselves.And I
just told you that we don’t have a back plate because we don’t have to worry about that. In his
Word it says that he is sufficient for us.
Let’s go to closing. I know you guys are tired of hearing me. You’re tired of hearing me. All right.
Do me a favor and go to the book of James. In closing, I want you to answer as to how do I get
this armor. We’re going to go to the book of James 4:7. Did you hear that? Submit yourselves.
In other words, get in relationship with God, so that way when it start to rain, God can reign on
your behalf. Did you hear that? Did you heart that? When it starts to rain, r-a-i-n, God can reign,
r-e-i-g-n on your behalf. Did you guys hear that? I don’t know. You’re kind of looking at me. It
says submit yourselves to God, that way when trouble comes, the storm came. Part of the
storm was rain. Am I correct? And then the house is – am I correct? And then you notice the
foundation, right? And God is saying this is a test right here. When it rains, if you submit
yourself to me, get in relationship with me, I can reign on your behalf. But it’s only until you get
in relationship with me, do you have my protection.
Let’s read the rest. I know you guys are tired of me. He will what? You thought you had a
problem. Let me – do you think I could have one extra second? Let me – I got to say this to you.
All this time for a year, maybe a little bit longer, most of you guys know I’m a police officer and
I’ve been having problems with coworkers.
The problem, the coworker problem is I’m doing the job that I feel I should be at the next position, right? And God told me this before in the prior message that I gave, your eyes are in the wrong place. Sometimes, you ask for things and you’re not ready for them. Are you ready for that responsibility, Cedric Tanksley. See how he said that
to me? Let me say it again. He said are you really ready for that, Cedric Tanksley? Are you ready
for that? I said I’m ready for that, right? We all know that God’s timing is perfect, right? All this
time I’m sitting here and I’m mad, angry at the chief of police in my department because I feel
like he’s overlooking me.
So, he puts somebody above. I was a corporeal, right? And it goes rookie officer, private first
class, sergeant, and so forth. With that being said, I thought he overlooked me. I kept saying,
why is this guy overlooking me? My sergeant isn’t doing anything in this unit. I’m doing
everything. Putting everything together. Coordinating everything. And then God said, it’s not
your time. It’s not your time.
So, these tools can work when you think they’re only supposed to work to your benefit, but
they also work to the other benefit to hold you accountable. That battle I was going through in
my own mind, I was fighting a battle that probably wasn’t even there. But in my mind, I allowed
the devil to get on the inside and stir things up, so I could go back to those cycles. Did you hear
that? Did you hear that? Right? I started going through those cycles, but then he showed me
this as of last week on a Wednesday.
We had service that day, right? On that Wednesday, he said this to me. My chief called me, and
he said are you at work today. In my mind I thought of course I am. You hear me on the radio. I
said, of course. I said, yes, sir. I’m here. You know, what we think we don’t say, right? Yes, sir,
I’m here. I’m here. He said, don’t go home today. I said, huh? I know I’m not in trouble. That’s
the first thing. I know I’m not in trouble.
And then around 5:00, he called everybody to a certain location. And he called out, Cedric
Tanksley! He called out Cedric Tanksley, and he said as of today, you are being promoted to
sergeant. (Clap). In closing, when you submit yourself to God and you fall into relationship with
God which sounds like the armor. You hear that. When you get that relationship, it sounds like
the armor. You don’t have to worry about any other attacks going on because God has got your
back. All he wants you to do is keep moving forward. Can you guys receive that? Thank you.
That’s my time.
P. Matt Roberge –
You may stay standing and turn in your Bibles to 1 Samuel 13. Who’s got a Bible
out there? All right. Love it. love it. I thought about doing a barn burner tonight, but Cedric, he
did a good job. So you get mellow, old P. Matt. 1 Samuel 13:14, That’s interesting, isn’t it? He’s
looking. Let’s pray. (Prayer). Now, you may be seated. Thank you for standing with me.
Praise him in this place! All right. I was thinking about David’s life. He was just a unique guy,
wasn’t he? It says that God was looking. He was looking for a man after his own heart. I love
that thought that God is looking. And in John 4:24, the Father is seeking true worshippers, isn’t
he? He’s seeking. He’s looking. He’s looking for a man to stand in the gap and pray and he’s
looking, isn’t he? And the Son of man came to what? Seek and to save that which was lost. He’s
But here in 1 Samuel, he’s looking for a man who has his heartbeat, to understand what’s on
God’s heart. It’s amazing to think about. I was just thinking about David’s life. What was so
unique about him? And you know, this thought came to me. How many like to read Psalm 23?
Wow. That’s amazing, isn’t it? We grew up like in Sunday school saying it. But it’s good to take
those things and slow it down. Like Proverbs 3:5. That was like the first verse I memorized. But
there’s so much there if I’m just familiar with it, I just gloss over it. Oh, yeah. Trust in the Lord
with all your heart, you know.
Psalm 23 is amazing. In the end of it, it says that surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life. And then he says, I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. And I
thought, wow! This guy had confidence, didn’t he? He had confidence in God. What gave him
that confidence in God? He didn’t have the Pauline epistles. He didn’t have all this stuff to study
about eternal security. How many verses can you quote on it? But he had confidence in God.
Isn’t that amazing.
All right. Who’s with me here. Isn’t that amazing? Praise him in this place. All right. So, in 1 Samuel
16 I was thinking about David’s life. He had a lot really against him. He’s out in the field tending
sheep, and that’s his job. He’s not at the house with the family all the time. He’s doing that. And
then, even when Samuel goes to his house, he’s not invited. That’s crazy, isn’t it? Bring all your
sons. Oh, forget him. We gloss over that, but that could be a serious dagger to your heart,
couldn’t it? He’s – it’s not him. He’s my son but, you know. That’s amazing.
Like he went through a lot. He’s away from his family. He’s with sheep. He’s in the field. You’re in a field all
day with sheep, what are you doing? What are you doing? Practicing sling shot. How many
hours are in a day? And what are you doing? There’s no Netflix as my wife says. Stole her joke.
No Netflix. No football. No crossword puzzles. Nothing. But you have God, right?
I believe at this time in his life, he was fellowshipping with God. You see his psalms. He wrote
75 psalms. He had like a communion with God. He had confidence towards God. How do you get that? How do you get that? And then later after he’s anointed king, what happens? Back to
the sheep. It’s just – he had such a unique life.
He comes to deliver some food to his brothers, and they make fun of him. I love it. His brother,
Eliab. He says in chapter 17:28. It’s even more of a dig. It’s like a worthless job. There’s only a
few of them. Anybody can do that. But did you leave them with anybody? Like it’s nonstop.
Attacks on his character. He’s not a son. He’s not a part of the family. He’s off by himself. He’s
anointed king, but he’s not really king. He’s there amongst his brothers and they are ridiculing
But what does he say in vs. 29? In the Hebrew, that reads, “didn’t we get a word from God?”
That’s what I feel like David’s life was about. He’s tending sheep, but what is he doing? He’s
worshipping God. He has nothing else to do really. A bear comes by. The lion. The wolf. The
hobo comes walking through. He’s got his job with those few sheep. But what is he doing? He’s
learning God’s heart.
My wife brought up a good point. How do you get to know someone’s heart? You got to spend
time with them. You got to spend time with them. I get to know God’s heart by spending time
with them. God is looking for somebody that has that heartbeat and has that. But on the other
hand, I want to think about worship. Worship is an incredible gift from God for us. True
worship. Praise. It’s amazing. It resets, recalibrates our mind. It renews us. Worship. What does
it mean to worship?
I was thinking about in Daniel 6 when those guys come before King Darius and they hated Daniel.
They’re like, O King Darius, live forever. Live forever. You’re amazing. Then, by the way. That is
worship. That is worship. They bowed. They paid obeisance. And the word “worship” is literally
to bow down in the Hebrew language. To bow down. Worship. But to praise is to like clap and
make music and rejoice. But worship and praise. That’s something that David had that I believe
kept him, that gave him confidence. That when he came to Ziglag and it was burned down and
everybody was against him, and his wives and children were gone, geez. What did he do? He
knew where to go? He knew God’s heart. He knew it was for him.
In Psalm 51, after Nathan confronted him about his sin with Bathsheba, incredible sin. And how
long did he go before he repented? We don’t know but he knew where to go. “Lord, create in
me a clean heart. Renew a right spirit in me.” Restore to me what? The joy of your salvation.
The joy of your salvation. Like the presence of God in Ps. 16:11 is what? Fulness of joy. David
had to go back there and find that. Restore that to me, God. I lost it. I got side tracked…being a
king and everything. My friends wife on the roof. I got to be restored. I got to get back to
P. Schaller said something interesting. I think Wednesday night. Or Sunday night. Last Sunday
night about the tongue. It says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” And he
said that the temptation will be there to speak evil. To let evil come out of my mouth, but the
thing that will keep me from that is worship. I said, wow. That’s amazing.
I need to cultivate worship in my heart, and that’s why I love meditating on the cross. I think
maybe we should meditate on the cross every day. It’s like the most important thing in history.
P. Renaldo preached Thursday night in Owings Mills if Jesus didn’t go to the cross, he failed.
Yeah, he was a good person. Yeah, he healed people. If he didn’t go there, he failed. So, we
worship him because of the cross. That is where it all began for us.
So, let’s turn to John 4 just thinking of worship. Praise him in this place! Praise him in this place!
Wow. What Cedric was saying. The relationship with God that allows me to fight. And what
David said. I got a word from God. Of course, I can fight this guy. He had that confidence. Like
when you get the word of God and you really take hold of it, I believe that worship is an
outflowing of faith. I trust God. I trust him, so I can worship him. I can praise him cause I trust
Let’s look at John 4. He’s talking to the woman at the well. She says in vs. 20. What is she
saying? What is she saying? I really don’t know how to worship. That’s what she’s saying. I
thought it was this way. You guys are saying it’s this way. I don’t know what to do. I’m lost. And
the word worship is to kiss towards. Like I’m praising him, or I kiss the ring of a king or
something. That’s what worship is. It’s like total reverence and respect, and praise is more
rejoicing and thanking him. I’m so amazed and thankful for what he did.
But to worship, I don’t know how to worship. I thought it was this place. I came here and then it
didn’t work. Was it the place or what is it? And Jesus says to her, vs. 21-22. The more we learn
about God, the deeper our worship is. He said you worship but you don’t know what, because
you don’t know me. My people forsake me the fountains of living water. You don’t know I’m a
fountain of living water yet. So, your worship is not real. You don’t know how to worship. But
the more you learn about Christ, the more you learn who he is, the more deep your worship
becomes and more our confidence grows in God like David’s. We become a man and a woman
after God’s heart.
And then, psalm – I don’t want to get there yet. Vs. 23. He’s seeking, isn’t he? Psalm 22:3 says that
God inhabits the praises of his people. God inhabits. What does it mean that he inhabits our
praises? That he dwells there. His presence is there. He loves it. He’s looking for it. Where is
that? I want to be there. Worship becomes this communion with God.
In Romans 12:1, when it says, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” it says this which is your
reasonable service. The word “service” can be translated worship. Your logical worship.
Because what he has done and who he is towards me is so amazing, it’s just the natural
outflowing of thanksgiving and praise.
That I’m so thankful and I worship him. I worship him. How many have just, you’re by yourself and you experience the presence of God, and you worship him? Has that ever happened? It’s amazing, isn’t it? Because it’s God. It’s his presence. It’s the Almighty God. I was thinking what is it like to worship before Baal or Buddha or I don’t
even know. It’s not even worth saying their names. What is it like bowing before them. I bring
an offering for what? What’s the worship in my heart? I’m worshipping because I need
something. I’m worshipping because I have to.
I’m worshipping because it’s an obligation. I’m worshipping because of fear. I’m worshipping because something I want in the future. But we have something so much greater. We have the real living God.
Our worship is an incredible gift because it’s real and it’s genuine. The scary part about that is
he is the living God, and he knows what’s in your heart when you are worshipping. But the
beautiful part about that is he is the living God, and we can worship him because he’s the real
living God. That’s real, genuine worship and God loves real, genuine worship. He anoints that.
He puts his presence there. He teaches us things about him there.
That’s where we learn. The Spirit is teaching us all things in John 14:26. He’s leading us in worship. Sometimes, the worship doesn’t even come from me. It’s the Spirit leading me there. Don’t think you’re so amazing
because you were worshipping the other day. Maybe it’s the Spirit that led you there.
It’s amazing to be a man after God’s heart. I think David really cultivated that in his time alone.
Alone with the sheep meditating, considering God, worshipping God, communing with God.
How did he get God’s heart? He had to be fellowshipping with God. How can you know God’s
heart without hanging out with him?
I think that’s probably all I want to say. Getting to know God and learning of him really deepens
my worship. I want to praise him in the most genuine way, don’t you? I want to enjoy it. I do
enjoy it. I love worshipping. People always say you do such a great job. I don’t know what I’m
doing. You don’t know what you’re doing. We have our culture that we worship in. Fast song,
medium song, slow song. That’s our culture. And maybe somebody will step outside that
culture like this woman. I’m in Samaria. I don’t know what I’m doing. I lost the culture of
How do I worship? If you lose the culture of worship, can you still worship? That’s a question,
isn’t it? Can I worship the living God, by myself, in my room, in my car, on the roof. I work on
the roof. Can I do it? Yes, I can because he’s the living God, and his Spirit is in me. And his Spirit
guides me in all truth, and his Spirit speaks to me. And his Spirit is teaching me who God is. And
his Spirit is leading me to say, Abba, Father! Isn’t he? The Spirit is leading us in that.
It’s not really in me to do that. I don’t look at my dad here and say, daddy. I don’t do that. But it’s cause
naturally it feels awkward.
But the Spirit can lead me out of that with God, and I can praise him in a new and living way.
Isn’t that true? How many cry out, Abba, Father? Not many hands went up. It’s cause it’s a little
awkward, isn’t it? I need the Spirit to give me that. Really trust confidence in God. David can
just – so many of his psalms were laments. And he’s crying out to God. In the end he says, I’m
trusting you. I’m praising you and I’m trusting you. Father. Abba, Father. I want to learn that. I
want to learn that amazing worship. He’s my Father. I love him so much. I want that, don’t you?
I want to be a man after God’s heart, don’t you? I believe that a spirit of worship can bring us
there. Amen. Let’s say a prayer.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.