Don’t go into battle alone

“Jerry, what should I do?” The voice of the young man was on the edge of desperation, facing a world that has no clear path.  I offered my ear, shared advice, and encouraged him to take life one day at a time. And, I invited him to renew his faith, trusting God to guide. The conversation reminded me that whether 13, 30, or 73 … we all have battles in life. Some all-consuming warfare, life and death on the line. Others are ordinary struggles, like those persistent weeds in the lawn.  

Are you doing battle today – with the world, or the flesh, or the devil?

I learned a story in Sunday School that still speaks to my heart. A teenager’s faith is at the center of a story of conflict. Jesse of Bethlehem woke up his young son and told him to take bread and cheese down to his three older brothers in the army. He arrived just as the army was assembling on the lines. He heard voice roaring a challenge. There stood the Philistine ‘champion’ named, Goliath, on the far side of the valley, bellowing his defiance of Israel’s God and armies.

Goliath was a giant in his time, towering over others. He carried a spear that was 12 feet long with an iron tip weighing 15 lbs. He wore armor and appeared invincible! When he lumbered out each day to hurl his challenge at the army of Israel, they quaked with fear. “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)

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!

That day faith rose up in David and he started asking questions. “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26, NLT) His oldest brother, Eliab, tried to silence him, calling him an arrogant pup, a know-nothing kid. The teenager’s faith was contagious and King Saul agreed to send him out to meet Goliath. The experienced champion of Philistia, with a hundred victories in his record, mocked the shepherd boy.

To human eyes, David stood on the field of battle all alone. But, he was surrounded by the Presence of God and he knew it!  As Goliath threatened to feed his carcass to the birds, we read that “David shouted in reply, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45, NLT)   

You know the rest of the story. David did kill the champion and started his life as a leader of Israel.

Does life meet you with a challenge that taunts and tests your faith?  We are not alone. Later in his life, David wrote the beautiful Shepherd’s Psalm in which he praises God for His care. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:4-5, NIV)

Is your vision limited by the possible as natural life defines it? Pray often, “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” (Psalm 119:18, NLT)
When we live in His Presence, we are never alone in the battles of life.

Here’s a word from the Word. I pray it will bring faith to you so that you will be prepared to meet the Goliath in your life with supernatural sight!

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
(Isaiah 40:27-31, NIV)

_______________

There Was Jesus
(Zac Williams and Dolly Parton remind us of His grace!)

Every time I tried to make it on my own
Every time I tried to stand and start to fall
All those lonely roads that I have traveled on
There was Jesus

When the life I built came crashing to the ground
When the friends I had were nowhere to be found
I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now
There was Jesus

In the waiting in the searching
In the healing and the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute every moment
Of where I been or where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it
Or couldn’t see it
(There was Jesus)

For this man who needs amazing kind of grace
For forgiveness at a price I couldn’t pay
I’m not perfect so I thank God every day
There was Jesus (There was Jesus)

There was Jesus on the mountain in the valleys
(There was Jesus) in the shadows of the alleys
(There was Jesus) in the fire in the flood
(There was Jesus) always is and always was
No I never walk alone You are always there
(Never walk alone)
There was Jesus (There was Jesus)
(There was Jesus)

Casey Beathard | Jonathan Smith | Zach Williams

© Anthems of Hope (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

Be Essential Songs (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

CCLI License # 810055

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