By Series - Facing Giants

Facing Giants

Friday

May 26, 2017

Lion or Bear, Don’t Care!

Read

I Samuel 17:37, 45-46: “The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine…  David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…  whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands.”

Think

Did you know that the first “Yo Mama” joke was found by researchers on a stone tablet dating back 3,500 years to the ancient Babylonians? Shakespeare himself penned the one most widely published in history! And since the 1990’s maternal insults are forever memorialized on TV, in music videos, movies, and now memes. Why are they offensive? Because they target those who brought us into this life. Similarly, but for a far greater purpose, David took umbrage when he heard Goliath mocking the Creator of life. He refused to stand back while this godless giant trashed talked the name of God. Therefore, with great courage he said, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty”! You see, coming in the name of the Almighty means to act with His power, presence, and authority. David’s passion for God outweighed his fear, thus he stepped forward in faith to do what others were too afraid to do.

David had three character qualities in particular that helped lead him to victory. First, he had a great spiritual perspective. The Israelites saw Goliath from a human perspective, but David didn’t. He knew no mortal could match God’s power. He also had great practical faith. He hadn’t just killed a lion and bear to defend himself—he pursued them and fought to rescue his sheep. Thus he said, “Goliath, lion, or bear I don’t care!” Why? Because, God’s deliverance in the past is always an assurance of His deliverance in the future. And finally, he was more focused on God’s glory than his own victory. He didn’t fight the 9’9”ft Behemoth to become a national hero—he did it to display God’s sovereignty. So, the next time you’re facing some seemingly insurmountable giant, realize that what God did for David He’s also willing to do for you!

Pray

Father God, today I seek to bring glory to Your name. Help me to pursue Your will before my own, and to not grow complacent in doing what’s right. I praise You in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Act

Be inspired by David’s faith, courage, and passion for God by reading I Samuel 17:1-54. Then, journal what stands out to you for future reference.

 

Thursday

May 25, 2017

Step By Step

Read

James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Think

Every cell in your body is screaming, “Stop!” Maybe it’s because you’re bored, tired, hurting, or feeling isolated. What do you do? The enemy is telling you it’s too hard, no one cares, and that God is just punishing you—but he’s a liar. People tell you you’re crazy for trekking along in such circumstances. They’ll try to dissuade you from staying the course. And their words have power—but they aren’t more powerful than the word of God. Could it be that God’s allowing you to struggle for your own well-being? Could He be preparing you today for what He’s prepared for you to do tomorrow? Yes!

Why do you think James says, “Consider it pure joy” to face trials for the production of perseverance? It is because it’s not about us—it’s about God who blesses us for obedience in fulfilling His plan. Yet we often perceive perseverance as sticking something out—but it’s not, that’s endurance. Perseverance is pursuing the perfect and authentic nature of God to produce Spiritual Fruit. So, whatever you face and with every step you take, keep looking ahead. Be faithful to finish because if God is with you, you’re in it to win it.

Pray

Father God, I trust You and thank You for Your guidance past, present, and future. Help me to crash through every quitting point for my good and Your glory. I praise You in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Act

Over the next several days read through and meditate on David’s intimate words to God in Psalm 139. Highlight words or phrases that stand out, then lift them up to God in prayer.

 

Wednesday

May 24, 2017

You Got This!

Read

Romans 8:36-37, "As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Think

David had not yet even had the opportunity to explore his giftedness in battle. He was a teenage shepherd! Yet, upon discovery of this formidable giant terrorizing the entire Israelite army, he did what no one else was willing to do—he said, "I've got this!" Was it because of his extensive combat training? No! It wasn't about his preparation—it was about where God had positioned him to be! As a shepherd, he had fended off vicious predators such as lions and bears. Was he able to face the giant with the latest and greatest tactical equipment? No, but he knew God was with him, and had prepared him in the wilderness for future battle. So regardless of how ridiculous he might have initially appeared before Goliath with simply a leather strap and a stone, he was positioned and commissioned by the Almighty God to win.

Like David, God has been preparing us to conquer various giants throughout our lives. And He never wastes any chance to refine our skillset for what we will later accomplish. Even the dullest, most mundane tasks will benefit us in the future. Only God knows what we'll face—but due to His overwhelming love and grace, we can trust in Him to equip us for what's ahead. He has positioned us exactly where He wants us to move forward in faith to do amazing things. Remember, even the impossible is possible through Christ who gives us strength! Right now, God is saying to us, "You've got this!"

Pray

Father God, thank You for working through all things for my benefit. I trust in You always to equip me with the proper ability to conquer each new giant. Use me to do great things for Your kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Act

Equip yourself for battle with the word of God. Commit Isaiah 41:10 to memory. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

 

Tuesday

May 23, 2017

Facing Giants

Read

Joshua 1:9, "“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Think

When we think about the story of David and Goliath we might be thankful we’ve never had to face off with such a formidable foe. However, it’s important to realize that giants don’t always come in the form of flesh and bones. Our 'giants' can come in the form of a health diagnosis, relational problem, financial issue, or some other huge life challenge. No matter the form, though, we have a choice to make. We can either try to run and cower in fear, or we can call on The One who has already given us the ability and the courage to stay the course and conquer whatever lies before us.

Today, pause and recognize the issue in your life for what it is – a giant to be conquered. Don’t let fear stop you from facing it. Know that you have the God of Heaven’s Armies fighting for you! And remember, your biggest problem is miniscule compared to the size of your massive God!

Pray

Talk to God about the giant that you are dealing with at this moment. Ask Him to remind you of the abilities you already have with Christ in you. And thank Him in advance for going before you into battle.

Act

Take time to assess the giant in your life. Then, after spending some time in prayer, make a list of action items in preparation to conquer it.