Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

12 Facing your Fears – Part 4

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1 Samuel 17:40-52

“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 the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines, chasing them as far as Gath[g] and the gates of Ekron.”

Not only did David have a different perspective and dare to proclaim God’s name but he also:

  • Determine to be proactive

When it comes to defeating your giants you have a choice, you can be proactive or you can procrastinate. For 40 days God’s army tried procrastinating but the problem never went away, in fact the more they tried to put it off the bigger the problem seemed to get. Deciding to delay is really a decision to deny. Instead of living in denial, David chose to confront the problem head on, so he picked up what he had, his staff and his slingshot, and then found five smooth stones. Many people as they read this passage end up focusing on the five stones, and asking why five when one would do? I think he wanted some in reserve just in case he missed, this wasn’t a lack of faith it was just good planning. If you are going to step onto the battle field you better be prepared. The greater lesson here and the one we often seem to miss is the simple truth that these five stones had been there all the time, they just needed to be picked up and put to use. The key to David’s success rested in a simple stone that God had prepared long before the battle ever began. The principle we need to put into practice is to use what God has provided. Augustine once said, “Without God, we cannot; without us, He will not.” David didn’t stroll onto the battle field scripture says: “he ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” If you want to be successful then you need to stop cowering and start confronting your giants. Because Christ has won the victory we should confidently and courageously engage the enemy. You can’t sit back and just hope it will get better on its own, it’s time to pick up what God has provided and get into the game. In David’s eyes, God was the giant and Goliath was the gnat. With a single stone from his sling, David slayed the giant. When it comes to confronting or cowering Max Lucado writes: “How long since you ran toward your challenge? We tend to retreat, duck behind a desk or crawl into a nightclub of distraction or a bed of forbidden love. For a moment, a day, or a year, we feel safe, insulated, anesthetized, but then the work runs out, the liquor wears off, or the lover leaves and we feel Goliath again. Booming. Bombastic. Try a different tack. Rush your giant with a God-saturated soul – ‘Giant of divorce, you aren’t entering my home! Giant of depression? It may take a lifetime, but you won’t conquer me. Giant of alcohol, bigotry…you’re going down.’ How long since you loaded your sling and took a swing at your giant? Faith is not talking about the giant, its choosing to take the first step and face your fears instead of fleeing from them. Faith dares to look the enemy in the eye and instead of running away engages. The rest of God’s army chose to flee instead of fight because they had a poor perception of God. David reminds us that we don’t have to fear because our wars serve as a witness to the power of God. One of the reasons we are afraid of the war is that all we can focus on are the possible wounds; we miss the fact that wars are just an opportunity for a watching world to witness the wonder and power of God. Why did it take 40 days for them to see the wonder of God because they chose to live in fear instead of faith. What about you, are you going to be a warrior or a worrier?

  • Declare your faith in God

In verse 4 Goliath is called a “champion” it comes from the Hebrew word meaning “a man-between” or “middle-man” a mediator. Just as Goliath was a representative for the Philistines, God’s ultimate champion is Jesus, the Son of David, who is our mediator. 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” When Jesus won the battle against Satan on the Cross, those who he represents join in that victory. When you compare David’s victory and Christ’s there are some amazing comparisons: Both were born in Bethlehem. Both were sent to the battlefield by their father. Both were rejected and scorned by their own brethren. Both disarmed the enemy and rendered him powerless. It’s time to lift your eyes to Jesus, it’s time to start seeing yourself as a giant-slayer because Jesus has already won the battle. Go down into the valley and engage the enemy, stop living in fear and start stepping out in faith. Victory depends on which voice you listen to. You can listen to the voice of your giants or you can listen to the voice of truth. Today as we close I want you to read through some of the lyrics to the song “Voice of Truth”

Oh what I would do to have

The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant

With just a Sling and a stone

Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors

Shaking in their armor

Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

 

But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me

Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed

The giant keeps on telling me

Time and time again, “Boy, you’ll never win!”

“You’ll never win”

 

But the voice of truth tells me a different story

And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”

And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”

Out of all the voices calling out to me (Calling out to me)

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

Now take a trip to a stream and gather five smooth stones, put them in those places where fear causes you to want to flee. Or put them in a pocket where these simple stones can serve as a reminder that your God is greater than the giant. Are you going to be faithful or fearful?

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