I Samuel 17:45-47 (NIV)
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. 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. 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.”
There is potential hidden in each day. Moments of purpose that open doors of destiny before us though they seem ordinary and mundane. Rich Mullins said, “David did not kill Goliath because he set out to slay giants. He set out to give sandwiches to his brothers and Goliath got in the way.” For some reason this resonates within me and ever since I read it, I cannot shake the thought that while I live this life I have been given that greater meaning is hidden within each passage of time. I have lived long enough to see the fruit of pain and perseverance as we run the race of faith. I have slayed a few giants and found myself hiding in some caves. God has called us to walk in victory. He created us to be more than conquerors. Jesus wants us to set the world on fire igniting a passion fueled by burning love and desire for the God who is greater than any giant who gets in the way of His Purpose and Plan. Do I have a giant killers out there today who like me still cannot figure out how the sword got in their hand? Is there anyone bound to a destiny far greater than human comprehension and a desire for fulfillment that just won’t go away?
David told the Philistine that day, “I come against you in the Name of the Lord Almighty.” He went on to vow that “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.” Bold statement considering the circumstances. David was not a warrior but a shepherd boy. He refused to wear armor. He did not have a weapon. He had God. He walked out to meet the giant fully confident in the Lord His God. He was absolutely certain that God is Almighty. Do you? Do I? God’s Purpose and Plan for us does not change or evolve over time. He recorded it before you and I were conceived or born. (Psalm 139:16) It is our pursuit of Him wholeheartedly that allows perception and participation in the destiny created for us and hidden in us. (Jeremiah 29:13) Though one believes that the Lord has a plan for our life containing a future and hope, it requires faithful and wholehearted pursuit of His Purpose to make it come to pass.
Psalm 84:11-12 (NIV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Before you rule yourself out with fear, regret, guilt, self-doubt and condemnation, blameless is not sinless. It does not mean that you are perfect and never make another mistake. In Philippians 1:9-11 Paul writes, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Jesus is our Righteousness or Right-Standing with God. Christ alone. We can do nothing to pay for our sins. He paid it all so that we could live a pure and blameless life. This is accomplished through repentance. The kind of repentance that is constantly turning our life over to Christ. It is a process of commitment and trust that God is Almighty and has everything under the control of His Sovereign Power. Paul said, “so that you may be able to discern…” This is the most important part. We must perceive God as Supreme in power. Bigger than any giant… tougher than any circumstance. He must increase and I must decrease. (John 3:30)
I Kings 18:10-16 (NIV)
As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth. Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!” Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.”
Are you kidding me right now? I have just paraphrased for Obadiah who although happy to see Elijah, he was terrified to go tell Ahab that the bane of his existence had arrived. Ahab scoured the country for the prophet. The drought was all his fault. God stopped the rain and Elijah given the profound privilege of announcing it to Ahab therefore becoming the cause and taking the blame. This was not a social visit. Elijah was coming to pray for rain. It was now time for Elijah to face his giant. In no way does the Elijah appear to be afraid but strong and courageous.
So Elijah comes face to face with Ahab issuing a challenge which culminates in 450 prophets of Baal coming to take on God’s One Man – Elijah. Elijah makes a mockery of them. God proves before all the people assembled around Mount Carmel that He is God Almighty. The prophets of Baal are all killed. (I Kings 18:16-40) Elijah prays for rain and storm clouds gather. (I Kings 18:41-46) God is glorified. Now one might think that Elijah would be celebrating his victory. When Ahab told his wife, Jezebel what had happened on Mount Carmel and that all her precious prophets were dead that she pledged to take Elijah’s life by the same time the next day. Elijah was afraid and ran to a cave and hid. The Lord appears to Elijah.
I Kings 19:9-11 (NIV)
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
The Lord asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?” Perhaps, you are asking yourself the same exact thing today. My life seems meaningless, purposeless, pointless and hopeless. Mundane days and ordinary moments make us think that there is no plan for us when nothing could be further from the truth. Even a great prophet like Elijah got lost in his humanity. He had just experienced miracle after miracle. He quickly recited the acts of God Almighty yet reaching the end of his faith was in a cave hiding driven there by the careless and baseless threat of an overwrought woman. God’s Response is the same for us today as it was back then. The Lord invites His Prophet and Giant Killer to come stand in His Presence again.
I love God. I am in awe of Him today. He has placed great purpose in us and ordered our steps to fulfillment. Even when we wander or runaway, He comes to us offering us entrance back into the shelter, refuge and peace of life in His Presence. Where are you today? If you are standing face to face with a foreboding giant, do not be afraid – God is with you. He prepared and ordered each step that brought you to this place. You will be victorious if you stand on His Word by faith until it comes to pass. But if you were fearful of the last giant and ran for your life, He offers you a place in His Presence once again. There will be other days and other giants.
Matthews 24:5-14 (NIV)
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Why are we surprised? Why are we afraid? Jesus told us exactly what to expect during our time on the earth. He boldly proclaimed the depravity and degradation in the world to come. Yet, when the slightest opposition comes against men and women of God – we run. I do not want to live my life running from giants. I want to live it running to God. Rich Mullins statement says that David was just trying to get sandwiches to his brothers but Goliath got in the way depicting the giant as nothing more than a insignificant obstacle. David had faith in God. David believed in the Almighty God. Do you? Do I? Those who do believe and seek Him wholeheartedly will begin to see the destiny in each day that includes little things like giants, wars and hatred. See God is bigger, stronger and mightier than all that. If we endure to the end, we will be saved. We just have be the last one standing in times of testing. We must be the overcomer by the Power of Christ in us. This is not physical fighting unless you count our flesh. It is to uphold the Name of Jesus and believe that He has the power to save.
Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 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. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What makes us powerful? God’s love for us. Nothing can separate us from the Lord and His Love for us. He makes us more than conquerors through Christ. The only time that powerlessness overtakes us is if we allow “trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger” or any other kind of opposition that challenges God’s Power and Authority over us. It puts our faith in the giant and not in the Giant Killer. Doubt makes our problems powerful. Fear makes our faith insignificant. We must put all our faith and trust in the Lord. Walking in His Ways. Spending time with Him. Learning about His Character. How He moves and breathes in us. It is our partnership with the Lord that leads us from victory to victory and glory to glory. We are not surprised or overwhelmed by giants no matter what they look like, sound like or threaten but step over them as the insignificant obstacle they are to our God.
Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
If you call it a giant, it means it is bigger than you. But when you dwell in the Shadow of the Almighty – the giants become fewer. Why? Because you have found a power greater than any adversary and stronger than any opposition you will ever face. Days of destiny are found when whatever you are facing makes you turn to the Almighty until you decide to remain in His Shadow. We all have days when we are overtaken by circumstance or situation. These are the days given to growth and empowerment as the Lord shows Himself faithful and true over and over again by His Amazing Grace. Whether you are running from the giants or standing tall? God is with you today. He is for you. He will be our champion if we simply put all our trust in Him. Read Psalm 91 today. He is our fierce Protector. Constant Provider. He is all we need to slay ever giant and make each day count for destiny.
Psalm 84:1-4 (NIV)
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.