by Pastor Tim Burt
One Friday evening, my granddaughter Madeline who was six years old at the time, spent the night at our house. She’s was an early bird, full of fun and life in the morning. She wanted to play hide and seek and read a Bible story so I restructured my morning to accommodate these serious priorities.
That morning, she brought me a story book to read to her. It was about a little boy who was afraid of getting a shot at the doctor’s office. I read her the story. She then asked me to read the Bible story of the young boy named David who had the courage to fight Goliath because God had helped him defeat a lion and a bear as a boy. When you read the story of David and Goliath you can see that David was different from every other soldier. When he heard the voice of the enemy mocking God, righteous indignation rose up on the inside of him and out came the words, 1 Samuel 17:26 “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” His indignation and words led him to action. When David revealed what he wanted to do, he didn’t get a lot of support. 1 Samuel 17:33 says, “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There is no way you can go against this Philistine. You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy!”
This lack of support didn’t stop David. He had faced threatening situations his entire life. He defeated them one by one because he learned to depend and lean on the Lord in each situation. And in each situation the grace of God and His wisdom manifest in David’s life. God strengthened David in overcoming his fears so that he could defeat the enemies in his life. When he came face-to-face with Goliath, David responded, “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. 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! And everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours. The Lord will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:45-47
We have all faced fears from situations that masquerade as Goliaths in our life. They try to overwhelm our thought-life far too frequently. They try to rob us of our sleep. They try to paint ugly pictures of doom and gloom. They try to steal all our hope and faith in God. One of the gifts of the Spirit taught in 1 Corinthians 12 is the gift of faith. This isn’t just our normal faith in God. This is supernatural faith that comes as a gift from God during terrifying times and keeps you in this bubble of faith and trust. It is a gift. It comes by God’s grace as a gift of mercy. It is not always present. It’s not but that isn’t because God doesn’t want to help us. He also wants us to learn to be like David—strong in faith and trust.
Why had David’s faith and trust in God grown so strong? Experience! David learned to face his fears and lean on God again and again. His trust in God had grown deep and rock solid. David explains why to Saul before defeating Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:34-37. “David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Fears can feel complicated or we can uncomplicate them. We can simply state what they are to the Lord, lay them at His feet, ask Him to show us how to defeat them, and let the Lord speak to our heart through His Word. Then as we do what He instructs and leads us to do, trusting Him, our faith and trust over time grows stronger and stronger. We also will defeat the Goliaths—the fears that surface in our life over and over again.
Fears will always attempt to invade our life. Laying them at Jesus’ feet in faith and trust of the Lord is what will defeat them as we trust Him. And we also will grow stronger and stronger for Him!
2 Samuel 22:31-34 “As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress; He has made my way safe. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, leading me safely along the mountain heights.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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