When Goliath taunts

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Yesterday was one of those days when my constant prayer was like that of the man who came to Jesus desperately in need of a miracle for his son. When Jesus asked him to trust Him, he said, “I believe. Help me with my doubts!”  (Mark 9:24, The Message)  Yes, the questions outran the immediate answers and a part of me was ready to pack it in and let someone else deal with it all.

What I knew for certain is that God is undaunted and not surprised by those things that appear overwhelming to me.

So, the real question was not “how can I do this?”  Rather I asked, “What is Your will?”  For, if I am living in submission, obedience, and wisdom; I can trust Him to provide all I need to assure that His purposes prevail.

Let’s consider a familiar faith story from the Bible.  David was a teenager when his father sent him with supplies for his older brothers in the Israeli army. There, the young shepherd saw Goliath of Gath. The man was called a ‘giant,’ a champion of a hundred battles. He carried a spear that looked like a beam from a house, with a tip the size of an anvil!  His huge body was encased in a leather wrap, covered with metal scales.  He lumbered to the front line of the Philistine army looking frightful. From there he roared his challenge- “When are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves!” (1 Samuel 17:8-9, NLT) Every day offered the same taunt.

The men of Israel cowered. After all, who could meet such a freak of nature on the field of battle and succeed?  It was an impossibility, or so it appeared to every reasonable man with military experience!

David had developed a love for the Lord that shaped every other thing in his life, even at his tender age. When Goliath roared, the shepherd boy saw it as a challenge to God Himself. Faith rose up in him.  “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26, NLT)

His brothers told him to “Shut up and sit down.”  The king counseled him that he just ‘could not do this’ and when he said he was determined, Saul tried to give him armor.  But, David real strength is revealed in his reply to Goliath’s mockery:  “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty.”

Moments after David’s ringing affirmation of faith, Goliath fell when a smooth stone from the teenager’s slingshot connected with his forehead.  Goliath never saw what was coming because he could not see the true power of the kid with a slingshot. God saw a mighty warrior of faith and directed that stone to the target. David saw the same giant as a thousand other men, but he saw him through eyes of faith. They saw a champion they could not defeat. David saw a mortal man throwing down a challenge to the Lord God he loved.

When temptation, loss, disappointment, confusion, or fear taunts us will we cower or conquer? Our answer largely depends on our perspective; whether it is informed by faith that flows from a daily conversation with God and truth of the Scripture or is limited by ‘conventional’ wisdom.  Pray often, “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” (Psalm 119:18, NLT)

Do you see only the probable or do you see the possible?
This is much more than just ‘positive thinking.’
The issue for those of us who are Christian is our vision –
is it formed by the natural or informed by the Spirit?
Can we see beyond this day and the challenges into eternity?

We can only see as God sees when we are willing to listen intently to the voice of the Spirit.  If we will walk with Him, faith will live in us and we will be prepared to meet the Goliath challenges with sight sharpened by faith!  Let’s be clear – that doesn’t mean we get to do whatever we want to do, nor does it mean that all the things we dream about will happen.  It does mean that we can trust Him to care for us, to provide what we need when we need it.

Here’s a word from the Word.  When I read this passage, like that father in the Gospel, I pray for increased faith to receive it as more than words. Read slowly, prayerfully. Let the amazing promise soak into your soul and mind today; then take on that giant that is terrorizing you this day!

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NLT)

________________

Good, Good Father
(listen, learn, and worship)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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