Monday, June 9, 2014

There’s a Goliath in Your Future

There is a special grace here tonight.  I’m ready to share with you what God is saying.  Two Wednesdays ago, I preached out of Ruth.  We learned about redemption and how to be redeemed.  We can’t let another person’s bitterness rob us of the kingdom of heaven that God has for us both here and to come.  Redemption requires us to ask.  We also realized that there is greatness in all of us.  For Ruth, it would be a grandson named David, for Orpah it was in a grandson named Goliath.  This is where we will pick up tonight as I tell you what God is saying in the title of this message…

There’s a Goliath in Your Future
What are you going to do about it?

For some of you, there is a Goliath in your present.  At first glance, you’re probably saying, “That’s not a good thing.” But to God and others around you in this life, it can be a great thing. If you follow tonight’s message and apply this truth, you will defeat your “Goliath”.
If you have your bibles, turn to 1 Samuel 17.  We will begin in verse 32, Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

This is where we see a glimpse into David’s heart.  In the previous chapter this young man is anointed to be king.  His anointing and calling are as such that even at this age his first concern is for the people he would one day rule.  God describes David later on as “a man after my own heart”.  This is shown to be true in his first statement to King Saul, and is our first point tonight.

Don’t Lose Heart.

When I was a boy my dad would always tell about the wisdom that comes with being a man.  He would often tell me that when there’s an emergency it’s not the time to freak out.  If I want to freak out, wait until things are ok and safe. 
When life is bad and doesn’t look like anything can fix it, it is not the time to lose heart.  We don’t have to be afraid of our giants.  They may be big, ugly, and mean, but they won’t be as big if you don’t let them grow in your mind.  They are big enough without making them bigger.  When your relationship is bad, that’s not the time to point out every hopeless detail of a seemingly doomed circumstance.

Let’s keep reading to see what happens next.
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

Oh my, it’s just like other people to come in and size us up to the problem we are facing.  I can just hear it now… “Well you know your dad was an alcoholic and so was his dad.  You’re just doing what you know”.  What a deceitful statement that many of us have heard or even worse, God forbid, have uttered to someone before.  The truth is that when we are born again, we are set free from the wages of sin and it has no hold over us anymore.  It goes from we struggle with sin to sin struggles for us.  It’s this type of thinking that leads many of us to stay behind the lines afraid to face our Goliaths. 

We should rise to the level of God’s declaration about us instead of others’ expectations. 

You see, what made David special is that he didn’t need his king to tell him who he was, because  the King of Kings and Lord of Lords already showed him who he would be.  I’m here to tell you that God has declared the end from the beginning.  You are the head and not the tail, you are above and not beneath.  Greater is He that is in you, then he that is in the world.  You are more than an over-comer.  You are a son and daughter of the new covenant, and heir of the eternal.  This is what David saw in himself.  He saw what God saw in him.  David didn’t need the encouragement of others; he drew his encouragement from the word.  David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:11.  Later on, when his men wanted to kill David, the word says, that David encouraged himself.  Don’t you get it?  The word was in him so that when nothing else encouraged him, the word of God inside of him did. 

Have you put the word in your heart or the voice of Saul in your head?

The distrust of the king didn’t dissuade David from pursuing his God-given role. 
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

It’s interesting what the word of God can reveal to us if we will read in context, with an open heart to the Holy Spirit, and having taken the time to understand the culture of the people groups who wrote the Bible. 

In verse forty, it says, “Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook”. You might be saying to yourself, “so?”  To most everyone, this little excerpt has little meaning, but if we take the time to understand what the Sheppard’s staff was for back then, we might be able to get a better picture of the previous verses we just read. 

A staff had multiple purposes for a young Sheppard.  It was used to guide the sheep, divide them, help the Sheppard traverse rugged terrain, etc.  We could spend a whole series unpacking all the meanings behind just those few uses, but the staff was also used by the person to remember or better yet prove to others about things that the Sheppard would face and overcome in the wild.  At night the Sheppard would carve on their staff the different stories of their times of bravery and courage in defending their flocks.  Oh, this is going to be good when you get it.  Let’s reread David’s response to Saul’s argument against David’s qualifications to defend Israel in a more dramatically accurate context.

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 

Wow!  The scriptures really do come alive when we read them with understanding.  The New Testament reveals the same concept with the Armor of God.  What about the here and now?  What do we have to rise up and show that we can handle the Goliath in front of us?

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

Your testimony is your staff to show this world that you have and will defeat the attacks of the enemy.  David says that he overcame a lion and a bear; we too have our lions and bears to overcome.  We have the:
Lion of Pride

The word says that Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking who he can devour.  His first sin was pride.  It is the mother of all sin and it dwells in the hearts and minds of everyone.  Pride must be overthrown in our lives if we are going to live in the Kingdom of God during this life.  God resists the proud.  We have to realize that pride is a door that swings both ways.

Pride says:
·         I alone can
·         I can not
Bear of Lusts

It was John who said: For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

Lusts Says:
·         I Desire it More Than My Relationship with God

Lusts are deceptive in nature.  We see that just like the bears at the national parks today robbing campers of there provisions, the bears of lust will come and rob you of joy, peace, contentment, and relationships with both God and man…  Eve saw the fruit and thought it was good to eat.  It cost them everything!  We shouldn’t look with our eyes but with our spirit.  Not every open door is meant to be walked through in life. 

David met his match looking down on Bathsheba.  2 Samuel 11:1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.
He lost that battle and it cost him dearly.  The bear of lust will cost you everything.  He was alone- a place where no one should find themselves.  The word says, Proverbs18:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
For the sake of time let’s move on and look at 1 Samuel 17 one more time to see how he handled this giant in his life.
1 Samuel 17:46 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This is the most powerful thing you can say and do when you face your Goliath!  This shows us David knew that even though he had defeated the lion and the bear, it was not by his natural abilities or strength.  It was humility that would bring down this giant.  This enemy is never meant to be faced alone.  David knew this, but the others had let Goliath set the terms.  Let’s read it together.
1 Samuel 17:8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”
The giants of this world will try to get you alone.  They realize that without you getting help, they will be able to overtake you.  David tricked his cousin Goliath into thinking that David was alone, but David was never alone.  The word says in Romans that those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  We don’t have to be alone.  We have the weapon of weapons and He is the King of kings.  His name is Jesus!

On a side note, this was not the only giant that David faced.  If we look in 2 Samuel 21:15  When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him.

David was in his prime, but grew tired.  We all are going to get tired and if we are not careful the giants we face will find us alone and try to overtake us.  David had a safe-guard in place, he had trusted friends that stayed close enough to him to know when he got tired and see when he was about to get into trouble and would come to his aid.
There is a Goliath in your future; what you do about it will determine the outcome of your future, your family, and your finances.  The secret to overtaking these giants is to:
·         Don’t Isolate Yourself
·         Have Accountability
·         Be Humble

David understood the key to winning was in humility which made him a man after God’s own heart.  His mind was a different story.  Paul says we have to renew our minds to line up with Christ.  That’s the battle all of us must face, but we don’t have to face it alone.  We have Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Godly friends to fight for us against the strongholds we face in our mind.  In closing, we need to:

Have the Heart of David, but the Mind of Christ