Sunday, July 1, 2018

Learn Manhood from David #4 Conquering Fear With Faith (or How to Fight Daily Battle as a Man)

"You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven's Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied… everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord's battle, and he will give you to us!"
(Young David to Goliath the Giant and the Palestine soldiers, 1 Samuel 17:45, 47, NLT)

King Saul, tormented and raging, found a music therapist in a shepherd boy and hide him as one of his servants (read 1 Samuel 16:14-23). Just like that, David went from pasture to palace, suddenly landing in the halls of power and position. By God's design, he was able to see his own destiny begin to unfold before him. While balancing two jobs – serving as Saul's personal harpist (and armor bearer) and tending his father's sheep – David was sent on a mission by his father. He was told to take food to his brothers at the battlefront. This task changed the course of David's life and forever affected the nation of Israel.

In fact, David's mission still inspires courage in the hearts of men who feel overwhelmed, overmatched, or paralyzed by fear. The story of David and Goliath is one of the most-recounted stories in the Bible because it displays a faith and courage we all aspire to have in our own lives. Just as one man long ago conquered his fears by faith and won against all odds, we can do the same. With God all things are possible. To the world, this talk about faith is unreasonable, but as Malcolm Gladwell, author of David and Goliath (non-Christian book), writes, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

If you're struggling with bad relationships, addictions, poor self-image, discouragements, and even fear of the future (I thought about it quite often lately), ask yourself: “How big is my God? If in your mind and faith your God is not bigger than your problem, then your problem is your god. If you see your problem as completely overwhelming, and you focus on it rather than on God, it will paralyze you. You need to put your problem in perspective by getting a new perspective on God. He is bigger than any problem you face today (it’s true either you believe it or not). Choose to focus on Him instead of your problem. That's what David did. Tim Young, the author of Heartstone, points out: "God's anointing had fallen on David, who was just a young simple shepherd boy but was mighty in spirit. David did not tremble at the size or shouts of Goliath – he saw Goliath through God's eyes. David had righteous anger for the disrespect shown to the armies of the living God. David did not weigh the risk of failure because his faith was resting totally in God. Learning that these are merely the tactics of the enemy designed to instill fear will allow us to stand firm in God's power to overcome anything that comes against us."

The challenge of taking on Goliath revealed that David was completely focused on the right thing: God's presence and power. In stark contrast, we see the army of Israel standing on the other hillside opposite to the enemy, paralyzed with fear. You know the end of this story, right? "…Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. Then David ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head" (1 Samuel 17:49-51). Yes, he used a sling. Yes, his bullet is a stone. Yes, as a man, he was pretty strong (pulled Goliath's sword? How big and heavy was it?). But his manliness is not centered on his strength, it is centered on God. He fights with his faith in God, in "the name of the LORD." His perspective is clear: This is the Lord's battle!

Manhood proverb:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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