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 hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, 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.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47 (NIV)
I have had my share of those. You have had your share of what? I have had my share of giant problems and seemingly unwinnable battles. How have you responded to giant problems and unwinnable battles? Many times, maybe most times, I have responded in two very unwise and unsuccessful ways to giant problems and unwinnable battles. I’m listening. I have run away from giant problems and unwinnable battles. Why is that? I am not a huge fan of conflict. I am also not the boldest and most courageous person you will find. So, in the face of giants and unwinnable battles, I have turned to run away from them as fast as I can. How do you feel about running away from giant problems and unwinnable battles? It has never felt very satisfying. It feels more defeating than if I had stayed and fought and lost. At least staying to fight would not leave me feeling like a cowering coward. How else have you responded to giant problems and unwinnable battles? My second most common response has been to fight to the bitter end, with my own strength. How has that worked out for you? Relying on my own strength to fight losing battles has left me discouraged and defeated and depressed. So, neither of your approaches has given you any kind of victory? No, not at all.
How do you want to respond to giant problems and seemingly unwinnable battles? What would you like to do differently? I don’t want to run away. I don’t want to rely on my own strength. I have had far too much experience to know that those are both losing propositions. I know that it is not your plan for me to live in defeat. What is my plan for you? It is your plan for me to rely on you. It is your plan for me to ask for your help. It is your plan for me to allow you to fight with me and for me. And the emphasis has to be on your fighting for me. That’s right. Have I fought with and for you? Have I led you to victory over giant problems and in unwinnable battles? Yes, many times. What has happened to you when I have led you to victory? My faith in you has grown. My heart has been filled with joy and thanksgiving. My life has overflowed with praise and honor and glory to you. Why is that? You have fought with and for me. You have done in and through me only what you could do. You have allowed me to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. Would you like me to continue to lead you in victory? Yes Lord, I would. Then keep on relying on me. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I have faced giant problems and seemingly unwinnable battles. Many times, I have mistakenly and unsuccessfully tried to fight them with my own strength. Now, I know better. Now, I will rely on you to help me to face giant problems and unwinnable battles. Amen
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