Saturday, December 8, 2012

David (Faith) Vs Goliath (Fear)

Many of you know the story of David and Goliath in the Bible. Today I want to share with you and encouraging word that deals with this's about dealing with fear.

One of the statements that is in the Bible repeatedly is "Do not be afraid." Fear is something we all deal with. We could be low on money. We may be uncertain about the future. Our country is not doing so great. Many things. I also know as well, that Satan will use our fears against us. I know for myslef, he loves to take any unhealed issues I have and just provoke them to the point where what I think is happening is not happening at all.

Anyway, this is Goliath..aka fear.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

So here is what Goliath had
1. Tremendous height
2. Experience
3. Bronze scale armor
4. Bronze greaves
5. Bronze javelin
6. Spear shaft with iron tip
7. A shield bearer
8. Bronze helmet
9. His gods

Fear works the same way. When we deal with fear, we deal with somthing that is much bigger that us. It can make us shudder in terror sometimes. It makes us worry, it makes us doubt. You'll also notice that Goliath challenges the Israleites, and the big thing...he defied God's army, and God himself.

now, let's look at David

David was a mere shepherd boy, about 14 years of age. He had fought off lions and bears. When he came to Goliath, it says "Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine."

So this is what David had

1) Sling
3) Sheperd's staff
4) God

You'll notice there is quite a difference is battle gear here.

continuing on..

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 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,  the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 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.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

What did David come agasint Goliath with? God. And Goliath was defeated by a mere stone, despite all his armor, experience, and height.

The lesson here is that David faced fear with God. All he needed was a stone and a sling, and God took care of the rest. David had faith. And that is what will defeat fear. This is what will allow God to help us through whatever we are facing. This is what will help us to defeat the giants in our lives.

Check out this verse:
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The mustard seed in this case represents the stone David threw. It was all he needed to take down the giant. The mountains represent the obstacles Satan throws at us. My encouragement..all you need is a stone to take down your giants. Come agaisnt them the same way David came agaisnt goliath..An example..

“You come against me with fear and worry and sickness, but I come AGAINST YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD ALMIGHTY,  the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head."

If you come against the enemy with God , the enemy cannot win. He never will.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Eye Of The Storm

I remember a while back vacationing in Destin, FL. However, when we got there, we heard that a tropical storm was going to be coming through, with winds around 70 miles an hour. The storm hit later that night, and our condo was pounded by rain and wind. It was pretty creepy to say the least..hearing all these howling noises outside, no light, and rain slamming into the outer walls. However, an interesting thing happened. The eye of the storm passed over us. And for about an hour, there was no wind and no rain. I could see the storm clouds hugging the outer edges of the sky, and in the middle of the sky I could see stars. The temperature was perfect. It was one of the most peaceful things I've ever experienced.  Peace in the storm. The storm eventually came back however, and so we went back into the condo and rode the storm out.

When I think of this, I think of the story in the Bible where Jesus walked on the water..from Matthew 14..

...the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

So here is the picture. The disciples are out in a boat during a storm. JEsus appears on the water. He invites Peter to come to him. Peter obliges, and AS HE FOCUSES ON JESUS, he is able to walk on the water. But as soon as Peter shifts his eyes from Jesus to the winds and the waves, he become afraid..and he begins to sink.

The moral of this story is this. In Jesus, there is peace. In Jesus, there is comfort. In Jesus, we receive strength. It says in Scripture.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

When we go through trials. We have two choices. We can focus on the trials, or we can focus on Jesus. When we put our focus on Jesus, we put our faith in him that everything will be okay. We REST in him. Similar to the eye of the storm, you will be in an place of peace as the wind and the waves whip around you. You are essentially saying "Lord, there is a storm around me. But I am going to put my focus on you, because you are greater than the storm. I am going to praise you, I am going to walk with you. You are my peace through the storm. I trust that you will take care of me through this storm."  If we put our focus o the one that can calm the storm, then we will be calm as well, because our hope is in HIM..not our circumstances. Conversely, if we take our eyes of Jesus and focus on the wind and the waves, we will be hit with worry, fear, and anxiety...and we'll start to sink into it's pits. But even so, we can always ask the Lord to save us, and He will reach out his hand and grab us, hold us, and reassure us.