Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

25 Alone with God Facing the Giant Part I

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1 Samuel 17:40-51

40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine. 41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. 45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” 48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.

When you stand on a hillside and see a 9-foot tall giant warrior taunting you, how do you react?  What is your view of him? Is he an insurmountable obstacle or an opportunity for the glory of God to be revealed?  Sooner or later you must face the truth that you can’t avoid Goliath, you need to recognize there will come a time when  you will have to deal with your giant, it may be an addiction, a habit, an attitude or a job layoff. How will you respond?  Are you ready to respond as David did?  “David quickly ran out to meet him”.  We need to confront our giant, not run away from it. David’s plan was not just to fight against Goliath, but to kill him. It wasn’t enough just to drop him with the stone, David went a step further; he cut off Goliath’s head with Goliath’s own sword. This may seem a little gruesome but so is sin and we need to get serious, it has to be severed. Many of us are content to try to live with the giant and even those of us who are willing to confront the giant forget why we are doing it. We become motivated by self, we make the focus us and how great life will be for us if we defeat the giant.  David set his sights on a far greater goal than just the defeat of Goliath; it was the glory of God that was his ultimate goal. For David, the battle started long before he ever stepped foot on the battlefield, before he raised his sling he was raising his voice to proclaim the glory of God. Glorifying God isn’t just something we do in the victory; it’s something we need to be doing even in the uncertainty when our giant is looming over us. When we fail to realize that motivation to confront the giant is the Glory of God, we become people that are fighting the right battles for the wrong reasons. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What is your motivation?

David had just come from tending the sheep, a job that helped him see the need for the sheep to rely on the shepherd. I believe it was this perspective that he brought to the battle field, a perspective that helped him realize two truths; first who God was – the shepherd and second who he was, a sheep in need of the shepherd. It’s this perspective that gives us the courage to face the giant but also the wisdom to face him in God’s strength, not in our own. David knew his shepherd, because he spent time alone with Him. What about you, do you know your shepherd or have you become content to just know about your shepherd?  Do you trust your shepherd to lead you? It’s your time with God before the battle that determines who you follow in the battle and that determines the outcome of the battle. It’s your time alone with God that helps adjust your focus and get you out of the picture and God into it. How do you measure your giant? David measured him against God, not himself.  As you come to the battlefield what do you see? Because what you SEE determines what you DO. The limited view of the faithless brings about fear, which results in dominance by the enemy. Fear comes when we live by sight, not by faith. The unlimited view of the faithful brings about courage, which results in total domination of the enemy.  Do you have a limited or unlimited view? Courage comes when we live by faith and not by sight. Courage comes because we have confidence in God’s unlimited power, not in our own physical limitations. The view of faith sees obstacles as potential victories because of our God.  Are your eyes on the problem or the problem solver? Any obstacle that comes our way is not just a threat to us, but a defiance and insult of our Living God and His abilities. You see, the eyes of faith see a completely different issue: it is not a threat to my security, but it is a defiance of the power, presence, and very character of the LORD of Hosts! David sees it not as the armies of Israel being run down, he sees the bigger picture–the armies of the living God! It is not my reputation at stake, but His–and for me to allow Goliath to have victory is tantamount to telling the Almighty that this is one problem He is not big enough to handle. What is your view of God? Is He BIG enough? Is it time to get alone with Him and find out?

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