FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS PART 8

OUR GOLIATHS SEEN NATURALLY

1 Samuel 17:4-11,  And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  (5)  And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.  (6)  And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  (7)  And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.  (8)  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.  (9)  If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.  (10)  And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.  (11)  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

 The Israelite army saw a giant, a champion. They saw a formidable foe against whom victory was impossible and against whom death and defeat were certain and imminent. No doubt, in the natural, all these things that they saw in Goliath were true. The circumstances that they were faced with were all real. They were not imaginary or make-believe. Goliath was very much real and the threat of death that he posed was very much real.

That’s the natural point of view. That’s what we see. And when we go by sight and appearances, when we’re governed by our present natural reality, we’ll cower in fear and defeat in our foxholes just like the Israelites because natural realities many times appear to be  invincible, unchangeable, unwinnable.

OUR GOLIATHS SEEN THRU FAITH

But that’s not how David saw Goliath. When David saw Goliath he never once saw the giant in terms of his size, strength, power, skill, armament, weapons, previous military experience and mighty, victorious feats or accomplishments.

All David saw was an uncircumcised Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:26,  And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? All David saw was another uncircumcised heathen. And do you know what? HIS VIEW OR PERSPECTIVE OF GOLIATH NEVER WAVERED OR CHANGED! 

1 Samuel 17:32,  And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

1 Samuel 17:36-37a,  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  (37)  David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.

All David ever saw, I am saying, was just another heathen fellow. He never saw Goliath in terms of his size or strength or power.

A PICTURE OF GOD THAT WE BEQUEATH TO THE WORLD

Israel’s army looked at the giant and trembled at what the giant could do: he  could  easily  kill anyone who dared go out and fight him. But  David  looked at the giant and saw him in terms of what the giant was doing as far as his mouth was concerned: he was defying the armies of God.

Now the word ‘defy’ in verses 26 and 36 means ‘to say sharp things’. It was a Hebrew way of saying that Goliath was taunting, teasing, dishonoring, or reproaching Israel’s army. Worse yet, Goliath was reproaching or making fun of Israel’s God, verse 45. He was telling the world that the God whom the Israelites served was a powerless God. God was no match for him. In the eyes of the world, the God of Israel is the God whom Goliath beat.

Clearly, in David’s eyes, Goliath simply couldn’t talk that way about the Israelite army and God  and not be punished for it. Goliath’s mouth had to be silenced! Why? Because under no circumstance must Goliath be allowed to bring dishonor upon the Name of Israel’s God. GOLIATH SIMPLY MUSTN’T BE ALLOWED TO GIVE THE WORLD A FALSE VIEW OR IMPRESSION OF GOD!

David, you see, was zealous for God’s glory and honor. He was consumed with one, and only one thing—that everyone in the Valley would know God for who He really was—a God of power and might.

1 Samuel 17:45-47,  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  (46)  This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  (47)  And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

David believed God for help and victory in the battle. Do you know why? Because, by beating Goliath, the world would come to see the real God. The real God is not the god who, in the natural circumstance and reality, seemed utterly powerless to fight and defeat Goliath. The real God is in the unseen reality. And, by faith, David wanted that unseen reality to be seen so that all the world would know that there is a God in Israel.  (47)  And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands, 1 Samuel 17:46-47.

THE REAL GOD, YOU SEE, IS SEEN IN OUR FAITH AND IN OUR TRIALS AND BATTLES. Our trials are a stage, a theater, where God’s glory can be seen by all. Our battles are a battleground where the God of power and might could be seen by all.

OUR BATTLES AND TRIALS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO SHOW THE WORLD WHO THE REAL GOD REALLY IS. THEY ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD TO SHOW ALL OF US HIS POWER AND LOVE WORKING MIGHTILY ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHO TRUST AND OBEY HIM.

The only thing of it is, THE WORLD’S CONCEPT OR VIEW OF GOD IS KNOWN BY WHAT WE BELIEVE AND DO. The world doesn’t read the Bible or go to church. They don’t know the first thing about God. The only God they know is the God we tell them or the God we show them. If, like the Israelites, we cower in fear in our foxholes and refuse to fight; then the world sees a god who cannot beat the Goliaths that we face in life. A god who can’t heal cancer. A god who can’t restore broken marriages and relationships. A god who can’t save our loved ones. A god who can’t prosper His people and get them out of debt. A god who can’t inspire His people with faith, hope, and courage. A god who can’t calm the storm-tossed seas. A god who can’t do anything to help us or save us. A god who can’t help a drunkard rise above the bottle. A god who can’t set a druggie free from his drugs. A god who can’t help a porno give up the cursed addiction. A god who can’t forgive our baddest, blackest sins. A god who can’t help us get rid of our resentments and unforgiveness. A god who can’t answer prayer. A god who can’t overcome or control the forces of nature. A god who can’t work miracles today. A god who can’t whop the Devil.

Brethren, is this the god you want this world to see and know? Is this the god you have? If so, I mean no disrespect, but you’ve got the wrong god! No wonder why the world doesn’t want, or need, God. If our god is no better or stronger than men; if our god can’t beat the Devil or thwart the worst things that Satan can do to us or throw at us; then I don’t want your god! And neither should you! We need a God who’s mightier than men and demons and nature. We need us a God who knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations (2 Peter 2:9). We need a God who can do the miraculous. The unscientific. The unnatural. The impossible!

Do you, like David, want the world to know who the real God is? The God of power, might, and miracles; the God of answered prayers; can be seen by your faith and by your willingness to go out there on the battlefields of life, fight the Goliaths you’re faced with, and whop them in Jesus’ Name and for Jesus’ glory.

What concept or view of God are you willing to give and bequeath to this world? What picture of God do you want to give to your children, your family, your friends, your world? Like David, be   zealous for God’s glory and honor. Let the whole world know who the real God really is! How do you do that? Get your faith out of the natural realm of sight and appearances. Place your faith in the God of miracles and wonders. Fight your Goliaths. Beat him. And by faith, let the glory of God be seen in your battlefield of life.

FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS PART 7

BEFORE YOU FIGHT, GET RID OF FEAR

If you want the Devil to flee you’ve got to fight him. Fear, however, will keep you  from  fighting.  So  in  order  to  fight  the Devil, or before you fight the Devil, you’ve got to deal with the fear that’s got you paralyzed in the foxhole. So how do you get rid of fear?

                1. QUIT LOOKING AT THE GIANT. To get rid of fear you’ve got to get your eyes off of the giant. The sight of the giant is what makes you afraid. Brethren, as long as you’re looking at the giant, at the circumstances, at the symptoms; you’ll be afraid. YOU’VE GOT TO STOP LOOKING!

Instead of looking at Goliath you’ve got to look at God. If you read the narrative of Scripture very carefully you’ll notice that, until David came along, God was nowhere found in the Valley. That is, His name wasn’t mentioned or brought up by the Israelites. No one thought to call a prayer meeting. No one looked to God for help. God wasn’t on any one’s mind. All everybody could think of, and see, was this Incredible Hulk that stood in front of them. Shame on us, I say shame on us, if God isn’t on our mind, if we don’t bring Him into our Valley of Elah. WITHOUT GOD WE’RE DOOMED! NO WONDER WE’RE AFRAID!

To get rid of our fear we’ve got to get our eyes off of Goliath and get them focused on God. We’ve been going about this fight the wrong way. We’ve compared ourself to Goliath and we’ve come out the loser because we’re smaller, he’s bigger; we’re weaker, he’s stronger. Brethren, take your Goliath and compare him to God. Set him side by side with God. Now look. Look who’s a lot smaller and who’s a lot weaker. Goliath just doesn’t seem so big now, does he? He isn’t so invincible and unbeatable, is he?

Brethren, THE GOLIATH YOU FACE ISN’T A GOLIATH TO GOD! THE NAME, SIZE, OR SEVERITY OF YOUR BATTLES AND TRIALS DO NOT MATTER TO GOD.  They’re not any harder for God to heal or remedy. Nothing is too difficult for God, Jeremiah 32:17. Nothing. That includes your Goliath. He may be a giant to you, but HE’S NO GIANT TO GOD and don’t you ever forget that. A mosquito, yes. Maybe even as big as a cockroach. But a giant? You’ve got to be kidding me! Goliath doesn’t have a chance or a prayer against God! GET GOD INTO YOUR VALLEY AND IT’LL BE THE DEVIL’S TURN TO BE AFRAID!

                2. QUIT LISTENING TO THE GIANT! Goliath’s got some of you bound up with fear because everyday for the past forty days, morning and night, you’ve been listening to him.

*Friends, YOU DON’T GET FAITH BY LISTENING TO THE DEVIL. LISTENING TO HIM LEAVES YOU FAITHLESS AND DOUBTFUL. You get faith by listening to God’s Word, Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

*YOU DON’T GET COURAGE BY LISTENING TO THE DEVIL. LISTENING TO HIM MAKES YOU A COWARD. You get courage by looking at God. Psalm 27:14, Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

*YOU DON’T GET STRONGER BY LISTENING TO THE DEVIL. LISTENING TO HIM MAKES YOU WEAKER. You get strong by going to the Lord and letting Him fill you with His strength. Ephesians 6:10, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Friends, you know what Goliath’s said. You’ve listened to the doctor, lawyer, banker, and the judge. You’ve heard what the Devil’s told you. But God has His two bits to say. Are you listening? What’s He saying? He’s saying…

                3. THIS BATTLE—YOUR BATTLE—BELONGS TO THE LORD. 1 Samuel 17:47,  And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. What does the Bible mean when it says, the battle is the Lord’s? It means  that  the  battle’s  outcome, the battle’s victory, belongs to the Lord. Not to anyone else. GOD ALONE DETERMINES WHO WILL WIN AND WHO WILL NOT. HE GIVES THE VICTORY TO WHOMSOEVER HE WILL.

Folks, stay with me. Keep focused. God’s got His bullhorn and He’s driving home a very important point here. Victory doesn’t belong to the biggest and baddest. The strongest and severest. The invincible and incurable. The inevitable and impossible. GOLIATH DOESN’T DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF YOUR BATTLE. NO GIANT OF A MAN, NO GIANT OF A DEMON, AND NO GIANT OF A TRIAL, DETERMINES WHO’S GOING TO WIN THIS FIGHT YOU’RE IN! THE VICTORY IS NOT THEIRS TO HAVE

The battle belongs to the Lord. And ONE THING’S FOR SURE: THE LORD ISN’T  GOING TO GIVE GOLIATH THE VICTORY! Goliath may be victorious for now over the cowards of Israel. But God will raise for Himself a shepherd boy of faith and God will once again prove to all that the battle is the Lord’s and He will deliver every Goliath into your hand—if you would but believe and fight. Psalm 60:12, Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is who shall tread down our enemies. Psalm 118:15, The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. Psalm 68:1, Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered. Hallelujah! Brethren, bring God into the battle and let the voice of rejoicing and salvation be heard in the tabernacles of the righteous!

                4. THE FIGHT YOU FIGHT IS WINNABLE!  In order for you to get rid of fear you’ve got to understand in your heart of hearts that the fight you fight is winnable. Lamentably, when you consider the size and strength of the Philistine giant that stands before you, there is little cause for optimism. This is how the Israelite army saw it. IT WAS THIS NOTION OF AN UNWINNABLE WAR THAT KEPT THE ARMY IN FEAR AND IN THE FOXHOLE.

But THE NOTION THAT THE ISRAELITES WERE IN AN UNWINNABLE WAR WAS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! David came along and proved them wrong. Friends, let this be a lesson. You can be so utterly convinced about how this battle or trial is going to end. As far as you’re concerned, the fight you’re in leaves no room for survival, victory, or miracle. You’re a goner. You haven’t got a hope or a prayer. You’re as good as dead. But as convinced as you are about the outcome of the fight, YOU CAN BE WRONG ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE SO SURE AND CONVINCED ABOUT. The faith and God of a shepherd boy proves you’re wrong.

Brethren, WITH GOD THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LOSING BATTLE. AS AN UNWINNABLE FIGHT. AN UNDEFEATABLE FOE. A HOPELESS CASE. GOD WINS EVERY FIGHT HE’S IN! Hallelujah! He hasn’t lost a fight yet and He isn’t going to start losing now.

                5. YOU CAN FIGHT GOLIATH AND WIN! To get rid of fear you’ve got to get rid of the notion that you can’t possibly fight your Goliath and win. That’s what every Israelite soldier in the valley thought—that’s why none of them went out to fight Goliath. He bluffed, fooled, and convinced them they couldn’t fight and win.

But David came along. And when the Philistine army saw him hold up the severed head of the giant, they fled in fear. 1 Samuel 17:52 reads,  And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

When the Israelites saw David’s awe-inspiring victory and saw the Philistines running in terror, the once-frightened Israelites were instantly invigorated with faith and courage.  They got out of the foxholes and went on the attack. And when it was all said and done, the battlefields between Elah and Ekron were littered with the dead bodies of once-invincible, once-formidable, once undefeatable, Philistine giants and warriors.

Do you see what I mean? THE ISRAELITES WHO ONCE THOUGHT THEY COULDN’T FIGHT AGAINST ONE GOLIATH AND WIN WENT OUT AND FOUGHT HUNDREDS OF OTHER GOLIATHS AND WON! THEY DID SOMETHAT THAT, FOR FORTY DAYS, THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD NEVER DO. THEY FOUGHT AGAINST GIANTS AND WON!

Learn the lesson, dear friends. YOU CAN DO WHAT GOLIATH SAYS YOU CAN’T. You can fight him and beat him. He isn’t invincible to God. Get rid of fear. Bring God into the Valley. Let faith arise. Then get out of the hole you’re in and put the giant in his. With God’s help, you can! God bless you and give you the courage and faith to fight. And win!

Coming Up On My Next Blog, the conclusion of these faith-inspiring messages. Don’t miss it!

BEST DECISION EVER: THE ERRAND

In the course of a twenty-four hour period we make gobs of decisions. Some of these we make with a serious amount of forethought and prayer. Others we make spontaneously with little or no thought as to the consequences or impact our decisions will have—not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives are intertwined with ours.

Have you ever thought much about how a single decision can change your life forever? For better or worse?

In these blog posts I’d like to look at the one good decision that some people in the Bible made that changed the course of their life for the better. By looking at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word I hope we’ll all take comfort, courage, and hope in the fact that, despite the mess we’re presently faced with, we can still turn things around. A lousy past or dismal present doesn’t have to give us the same future. By God’s grace, our future and life can be changed for the better…if we only make the right decision today. May God help us do that on a daily basis!

THE ERRAND

I’m a father of young adults. I’m a grandpa. And I’m a Christian. The heart and prayer of a father for his children is that they turn out alright in life, make the right choices, be healthy, keep safe, have a good life, and most of all, give their life to Jesus. Life will eventually disrupt the family. Once the kids leave home the family will never again be the same. Life will separate the family by miles. And death will eventually rob us of the loved ones we hold most dear in life. Jesus alone holds the key to an eternal family reunion in Heaven. And that’s why I pray fervently that my children will love the Lord as I do, even more, and serve Him faithfully to the end of days. Having given you a father’s perspective on his children, let me put this train of thought on hold and let’s take a whirlwind tour of David’s life.

We’re all familiar with the story of David. He bursts on the scene in the Valley of Elah where he kills Goliath and leads the once fearful, demoralized Israelite army to victory in the ensuing battle against the Philistines (1 Samuel 17). From this point on, David is pretty much stuck by the King’s side: King Saul isn’t letting go of this young warrior and hero. He promotes him to General of the Army and David’s valor and victories in war become the stuff of legend. David’s so successful that King Saul gets really jealous of him and tries to kill him on many occasions. One of the King’s murderous plans, however, backfires on him and, as promised, the King gives David one of his daughters to marry as a reward for a successful expedition against the Philistines. So now, David is a member of royalty and that, as you can imagine, really infuriated the jealously-demented King.

Well, David was a good man and there was no way he was going to lift sword or spear against his King. So he goes on the lam and for the next several years he lives in exile in, of all places, the land of his enemy the Philistines (1 Samuel 19-30).

King Saul gets killed in battle against the Philistines (1 Samuel 31). David returns to his homeland of Judah. And there he is crowned King by his tribe (2 Samuel 2). He’s King for 7½ years in Judah.

During this time, in the aftermath of Saul’s death, his son Ishbosheth becomes King of Israel (2 Samuel 2). Ishbosheth reigns as Israel’s King for 7½ years. He eventually gets assassinated and that’s when all Israel came together and asked David to become their next King (2 Samuel 4-5). So altogether, David is King for 40 years. Under his military prowess he enlarges Israel’s Kingdom to its greatest extent ever. His enemies fear him. And Israel is established as a regional superpower.

All this began in the Valley of Elah when David pretty much came out of obscurity and dumbfounded the cowardly Israelite army. He made quick work of beheading the giant, then just as deftly and decisively, he went on to rout the Philistines in battle. In the Valley he emerged as a national hero. Became General. Then son-in-law of the King. Eventually King. And master of a regional superpower. Imagine all the good things that happened to David and all Israel just because he came to the Valley of Elah! If David had not come to the Valley, the course of history would have been drastically different! We would not be amiss at all in saying that the course, future, and destiny of the nation of Israel were forever altered when David showed up in the Valley of Elah!

Friends, do you know how David found himself in the Valley of Elah? What brought him to Elah? Well, David was a young shepherd boy living in Bethlehem with his family. He was tending his father’s flocks of sheep when, one day, his dad sent him on an errand. 1 Samuel 17:17-19 tells the story of how it went.  One day, Jesse told David, “Hurry and take this sack of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers at the army camp.  (18)  And here are ten large chunks of cheese to take to their commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back something that shows that they’re all right.  (19)  They’re with Saul’s army, fighting the Philistines in Elah Valley.”

Dad Jesse was getting worried about his sons. They were in the army. And, being the soldiers that they were, dad was all the time worried about them. He had every right to be. The Philistines were the most feared army in the world at this time and, realistically speaking, the Israelites weren’t much of a match against them. Pictures of death and defeat are probably racing through Jesse’s mind. Are my sons alive? Did they get killed in battle? Are they coming back home safe and sound? So, being the worried father that he was, Jesse sent his son David to Elah to see how his sons were doing. You’d be totally right to say that Jesse was checking up on his sons. Unbeknownst to him, Jesse sending David to Elah would change David’s life forever and alter the course of Israelite history. A worried father’s decision to send David on a domestic errand turned out to be his best decision ever!

As a mother or father, we make all kinds of decisions that impact and affect our kids for life. It’s not always the big decisions that affect them the most. Sometimes, it’s the smallest decision we make—like sending them on an errand—that starts a chain reaction that will change their lives forever. So, parents, pray for your kids. Pray about the decisions you make. With God’s guidance and help, like Jesse, you can make the best decision ever! God bless you with Jesse’s care and success!

FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS PART 3

FEAR WILL KEEP YOU FROM FIGHTING

1 Samuel 17:11,  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid…{23} And as David talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.  (24)  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

FEAR WILL KEEP YOU FROM FIGHTING. That might not seem like such a bad thing to you. After all, it’s  a  lot  safer in the trenches than on the battlefield with the giant. At least you’re alive in the foxhole, instead of dead on the battlefield. But BATTLES ARE NOT WON IN THE FOXHOLES! Where would we be today if Jesus stayed in the foxhole? If He stayed in Heaven and refused to fight Satan on battlefield Earth?

THE DEVIL DOESN’T WANT YOU TO FIGHT HIM. Do you know why? BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE’LL LOSE IF YOU DO! Look at James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. The Bible promises us that if we submit ourselves to God and fight the Devil back, the Devil will flee from us. He’ll quit fighting. He’ll quit stealing, killing, destroying, and damning. He’ll cut it out and leave us alone.

BUT IT TAKES A FIGHT TO PUT HIM TO FLIGHT. NO FIGHT, NO FLIGHT. IF YOU WON’T FIGHT, HE WON’T RUN. IF YOU DON’T START FIGHTING, HE WON’T QUIT FIGHTING. Brethren, YOU’VE GOT TO FIGHT IF YOU WANT THE DEVIL TO STOP HASSLING YOU AND MESSING WITH YOU. And this brings me the fifth thing that I’d like for you to see from Scripture.

FEAR WILL KEEP THE DEVIL COMING BACK AND MESSING YOU UP EVEN MORE

1 Samuel 17:16,  And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. Twice a day, for over a month, Goliath came out for a fight. HE KEPT ON LOOKING FOR A FIGHT. HE KEPT ON ASKING FOR A FIGHT. AND HE DIDN’T QUIT ASKING UNTIL HE FINALLY GOT HIS FIGHT.

THE DEVIL, BRETHREN, DOESN’T GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT. HE DOESN’T GO AWAY WITHOUT A FIGHT. HE DOESN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE WITHOUT A FIGHT. HE DOESN’T QUIT MESSING YOU UP UNTIL YOU FIGHT. The Devil’s come for a fight and HE’S GOING TO KEEP ON MESSING WITH YOU, HASSLING YOU, STEALING FROM YOU, KILLING YOU, DESTROYING YOU, DAMNING YOU; UNTIL YOU DECIDE ENOUGH’S ENOUGH AND GET OUT OF THE FOXHOLE AND FIGHT.

You see, friends, THE DEVIL IS GOING TO DO WHATEVER YOU LET HIM DO TO YOU. If you don’t stop him, he’ll keep on doing what he’s doing to you. And HE’LL KEEP ON DOING IT FOR AS LONG AS YOU LET HIM DO IT. YOUR REFUSAL TO FIGHT HIM, BRETHREN, IS WHAT KEEPS HIM COMING BACK.

That’s why THINGS ALWAYS GET WORSE WHEN YOU’RE NOT FIGHTING. THE LONGER YOU STAY IN THE FOXHOLE, THE MORE THE DEVIL WILL MESS YOU AND THE MORE YOU’LL HURT. Are you tired of seeing him? Tired of letting him have his way with you? Tired of letting him mess you up? Then fight! THE ONLY WAY YOUR BATTLES AND STRUGGLES ARE GOING TO END IS IF YOU PUT THEM TO AN END.

Well, my time’s up and I’ve gotta go. I’d be back in a month with another Goliath blog and I guarantee  you’ll really get pumped full of faith and courage. It’ll be your Goliath’s turn to start shaking in his boots! Hope to see you then. God bless and keep you.

FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS PART 2

THE GOLIATHS THAT FRIGHTEN AND INTIMIDATE US

1 Samuel 17:4-10,  And there went out a champion [that’s an okay rendering of the text, but I’ll come back to it in just a moment] out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. [That’s 9’ 9” tall; and as high as 11’ 10” tall depending on which cubit is being used.] (5)  And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; [This coat of mail was made of overlapping sheets of metal. If you can envision the scales on a fish, this is what the coat of mail was like.] and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. [That’s about 200 lbs!]  (6)  And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, [The greaves were two long, fitted sheets of metal that protected the thighs and legs down to the ankles.] and a target of brass between his shoulders. [The target of brass was a javelin that he carried on his back, much the way an archer would  carry  his  quiver.]  (7)   And  the  staff  of  his spear was like a weaver’s beam; [The wooden shaft of Goliath’s spear was as thick as that found on a weaver’s loom.] and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: [That’s between 17 and 18 lbs.] and one bearing a shield went before him.

(8)  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? [Going back to verse 4, we read that Goliath was a champion. The word in the Hebrew means the middle man or man in between. The middle man stands in the middle of two opposing armies as a combatant and representative of his army. He was the army’s best soldier, hence, their champion. Anyways, the war between the armies is fought by a single duel or fight between the middle man of each army. Whichever man wins the fight, his army wins the battle.] choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.  (9)  If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.  (10)  And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

Goliath was the world’s original Incredible Hulk, just a lot taller. The mere sight of him struck fear in the hearts of the Israelites. They were instantly paralyzed with fear that they had absolutely no courage to fight.

So what is your Goliath? What strikes your heart with total fear and dread? What robs you of all the courage and faith you’ve got? Cancer? A nicotine habit that you just can’t kick? A porn problem that just won’t let you go?  Can’t  get  rid  of the bottle no matter how hard you try? Is it unforgiveness? Resentment? Anger? An unfaithful husband? A whore of a wife? Children who refuse to have anything to do with God? Death?

What battles can’t be won? What victories can’t be gotten? What obstacles can’t be overcome? What trials can’t be endured? What temptations can’t be resisted? What promises are just too good to be true? What prayers just can’t be answered? These are your Goliath.

Unless you kill him, he’ll end up killing you. So what’s it going be? You can kill him, as David shows us you can. But in order to do that you’re going to have to fight him. But before you fight him you’ve got to fight the fear that’s within you. And this brings me to the fourth thing that I’d like for you to see in the text of Scripture today. IN ORDER TO FIGHT YOU’VE GOT TO GET RID OF THE FEAR THAT KEEPS YOU FROM FIGHTING.

Coming Up On My Next Blog, Part 3. A look at the disastrous consequences of letting fear keep us entrenched in the foxholes.