Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

11 Facing your Fears – Part 3

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1 Samuel 17:34-47

34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!” 38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 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!”

Not only do we need to deal with the people pressure but we also need a:

  • Different perspective

Haddon Robinson, a pastor, professor, and theologian, once said: “In any situation, what you ARE determines what you see; what you SEE determines what you DO.” Just like the report that the ten spies brought back to Moses in Numbers 13:33: “We saw the giants there…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” While everyone else saw Goliath as too big to mess with David saw him as too big to miss. Do you have a poor perspective or a proper perspective? Do you see yourself as a victim or a victor? If you see yourself as a victim, you will react accordingly, but if you see yourself as a victor then that is how you will respond. Many of us lose the battle before it ever begins because we chose to focus on the giants and not on God. David focused on his provider and protector not on the problem. When you lose sight of God it’s not long before you give up. In 1952, a young woman named Florence Chadwick attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast, a distance of 26 miles. As she began, she was flanked by small boats that watched for sharks and were prepared to help her if she got hurt or grew tired. After about 15 hours a thick fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who was in one of the boats, that she didn’t think she could make it. She swam for another hour before asking to be pulled out, unable to see the coastline due to the fog. As she sat in the boat, she found out she had stopped swimming just one mile away from her destination. Two months later, she tried again, the same thick fog set in, but she succeeded in reaching Catalina. She said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam. She would later swim the Catalina channel on two additional occasions. The fog caused her to give up because it poisoned her perspective. She gave up the fight because she lost sight of the finish. The second time she had success despite the fact that she faced the same foggy problem, because even though she lost sight of the shore physically she never lost perspective. Don’t let problems cloud your perspective and cause you to give up. While Goliath had an armor bearer David had the Almighty. Today if you are paralyzed by fear, or feeling hopeless about the future pray and ask God to free you from the fog. Don’t let the problems poison your perspective. Not only did David have a different perspective but he also:

  • Dared to Proclaim God’s name

As David came closer and Goliath realized that he was just a boy, just like everyone else he also despised and dismissed David, saying: “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” Max Lucado captures the contrast between David and Goliath as he calls this “The toothpick versus the tornado.” Goliath doesn’t just insult David he curses him declaring that he will feed him to the birds and the beasts. David now does what no one else had thought to do he introduces God into the equation. David was the only one who was concerned about God’s name and His people’s reputation, everyone else cared only about self. He reminds the enemy of the Almighty. Saul’s solution was to try and get David to trust in his armor but David trusted in the Almighty. Today many of us are trying to put our trust in our man-made armor instead of the Almighty. We would rather rely on other people’s solutions than the Savior. Instead of trusting in God the father we want a formula on which to rely. Are you facing a giant right now, have you introduced God into the equation or are you relying on something else? Everyone, from family to foe, wanted to despise and dismiss David, but look at how he responded to being ridiculed: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” David then describes in great detail what he will do to Goliath and declares in verse 47: “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” David focused on God and what he could do not on what others said. The name of God that David used is Jehovah Sabaoth, the Commander of the Hosts of Heaven. Amos 4:13 describes the name of God in greater detail: “He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth–the LORD God Almighty (Jehovah Sabaoth) is his name.” David didn’t just face his giant he flattened the giant because he focused on the power of God not on the puny giant. What about you are you focused on the problem or His presence? When you focus on God’s power in puts your problems into perspective. Our God has unlimited power, unbridled might and untarnished glory, He is impossible to fully describe and incredible to imagine. In contrast to Goliath, God is the Creator of the world. If you want to minimize your Goliaths then start magnifying your God. David didn’t listen to Goliath’s words and worry he made Goliath aware of God. Many of us are living defeated lives because we are listening to the enemies lies and letting them define our lives. Don’t let the enemy have the last word, stop listening to Satan’s lies and start reminding him of what God has in store for him. David now describes in great detail what will happen to Goliath and who the battle really belonged to. David voiced the victory before the battle ever began because he knew who the battle belonged to. When God goes to war the battle is over before it ever begins, Goliath the giant was as good as dead. While no one else talks about God, David talks about no one but God. While everyone else focuses on fear David focuses on the Father. He sees what they don’t and refuses to look at what they do. It’s not that David doesn’t see the giant he just sees God more, look at the number of times David refers to the giant verses God. David talks about Goliath twice, but he talks about God nine times. Do your God thoughts out number your Goliath thoughts four-to-one? What if we were to focus on the Father four times more than we do fear?  How do you fillet fear, by remembering that it is God who fights for you. The only way to face your giants is through faith in God. Right now verbalize your confidence in Christ, call on His name and say His name out loud. It’s time to measure your giants against the greatness of God not yourself. You will never put your problems in their place if you keep give them power. David didn’t see the giant as an obstacle but as an opportunity to get to know God better. Do you want a different perspective, then dare to proclaim the name of God and get ready to discover just how great He is.

 

 

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