Part 4 of 9 – Bigger Than… Series
How Do We Fight Our Battles? We seldom consider that question. Generally, we just endure the circumstances we face. Sometimes we feel the world is against us, but usually, we settle into the idea that life is just tough and we need to “cowboy up”. At other times though, we would rather ignore a problem until it goes away. The nation of Israel was doing some aggressive problem avoidance when a giant named Goliath arrived one day to challenge them. Well, actually they hid.
1 Samuel 17:24 (NLT) As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright.
A Disciple’s World View Is Aggressive. We learn from a young shepherd in this story, that Disciples of Jesus do not run from a fight. This may be a shift in thinking for many “churched” minds. But a Disciple realizes two things.
First, We Live In A World At War. There has been a battle between light and darkness since the rebellion of Lucifer. The stage for that battle was established upon the earth when Adam and Eve chose to reject God and become their own authority. If We ignore that war, it is to our own peril.
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
Second, We Are Warriors In This War. There are no bystanders in this conflict. Everyone is affected. Everyone chooses a side. When people choose to avoid this conflict, they are simply choosing darkness over light. A disciple of Jesus willingly accepts the reality of the situation.
We Must Prepare for Battle…
1 Samuel 17:37 (NLT) The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Remember The Goodness Of God. We are very much like the ancient nation of Israel in that we often do not see, admit, or appreciate the Goodness of God. Gratitude makes so many possibilities available to us. David remembered God’s protection in the past and it made him far more able to trust God’s intervention in the battle with Goliath.
Ephesians 6:11 (NLT) Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
Wear The Right Armor. David tried Saul’s armor but he realized it wouldn’t work. He needed to fight this battle for God in God’s way. He realized that God WAS his armor. So, in the end, he goes into battle dressed as the shepherd he was. Often we are afraid we are insufficient for the challenges we face, and we are. But, when God presents us with an opportunity He also equips us for victory.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (NLT) We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
Carry The Right Weapons. Our shepherd boy entered a real battle with the equivalent of a slingshot. It sounds ridiculous, really. But, who won the day? A boy with a slingshot who knows God is far more dangerous than a Giant with an army. We are stronger than we know. We are God’s kids.
We Must Learn To Fight Like A Shepherd
1 Samuel 17:40 (NLT) He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
Fight For Your Heart. The shepherd boy was the only person on that battlefield who actually knew WHO he was. He knew God loved him. (Read some of his Psalms.) He knew that if your trust was in God then the battle was the Lord’s.
Do we realize who Jesus has made us through His sacrifice? We are holy, redeemed, restored, and faultless. We are kings, priests, and warriors. Do we realize that our God is also our Father, that He REALLY loves us, and is VERY generous to us? We often fear our enemies never realizing that our enemies are terrified of us.
Fight For Your Flock. David went into this battle to fight for his family and nation. He marched onto that battlefield ready to fight Goliath and anyone else who came at him. When he did, he changed the entire attitude of this war. Before David, Israel’s army hid in fear, but after…
1 Samuel 17:52 (NLT) Then the men of Israel and Judah gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines
We never know when our courage to stand with God might release others into their own victory.
God is Commander, You can be a Warrior or stay a Captive.
Where are we in the battle we face each day? Are we spending our time wishing it wasn’t so hard? Are we hoping the difficulties will go away? Thinking like that will keep us captive and we will never be free to win any battles.
God is the Commander. We are the Warriors. It doesn’t take very much research in the Bible to discover that God is AWESOME at winning battles. It never seems to matter how strong or skilled the warriors, only that God is the commander.