“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
The key to our victory is not necessarily how well we can do what we do, or how effective we are at what we undertake, but understanding that we serve a God who is awesome, majestic and all powerful, who is ready and willing to intervene in our daily lives.
Rely on Jesus, listen for his guidance, and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). Hearing the voice of Jesus makes all the difference and yes he speaks, he will be found of those who diligently seek after him. Make Jesus your pursuit above all pursuits, this year. Walking in victory is walking in Jesus, for with them is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.
We are the only people who know the outcome of a battle before we actually engage in combat. We already have the victory, because we are on the winning side. Never rely totally on the arm of flesh because they will fail. According to Psalms 118:8; “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. (Psalm. 118:7)
Be strong in the Lord, for he is your shield and buckler. Make your daily declaration; “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid”.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).”
The same God that was with Daniel, the same God that was with Joseph, the same God that was with the three Hebrew boys and the same God that was with David, is the same God with me today. So rise up, go forth and accomplish what God has placed on your heart.
1 Samuel 17:1-48 The power of prayer and the power of the word cannot be over emphasized in the life of a believer. It is not just enough to live and exist on the earth; but living victoriously and wonderfully, making a mark in the earth, positively affecting lives for eternity, is the life God designed for his people. These do not come without their trials and testings but the victor lives on the inside of us.
The Power of God and courage faith
David was the youngest of his father’s children. He was a good shepherd whose days were spent out in the fields tending to the needs of his father’s sheep. While in the fields of Bethlehem, David discovered the God of Israel. It was during this time that God called and anointed David as king. David’s anointing did not exempt him from the troubles he was about to face in the fields. He knew who he was and what he was anointed to do. His encounter with the bears and the lions were simply stepping stones to prove God in greater ways.
Jesse sent David on his assignment to take care of his brothers, but God had a different assignment for David (the deliverance of his people). God was preparing David for an incredible task that lies ahead. 1 Samuel 17: 20 “Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed.” David was just a boy-inexperienced, full of zeal and excited about his future.
Negatives – The odds were against him
1. David had no experience like Goliath did. Goliath was known as the undefeated champion from his youth. Now he would be known as a veteran.
1 Samuel 17: 4 – 7 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels, on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
2. The people of Israel were afraid of their enemies’ threats
1Samuel 17:8 -11 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
3. Goliath defied the army of Israel for forty days morning and evening until they were pretty discouraged.
This was a fine scare tactic he used against the people of God, wearing their minds out long enough until they lost all self –confidence and God-confidence. The number forty was so significant to Israel; Moses was 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in the desert, and 40 years in the wilderness leading the children of Israel. Moses was on Mount Sinai twice with God for 40 days and 40 nights receiving the Law. Twelve spies investigated the Promised Land for 40 days (http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref). Israel knew that after forty, something was about to happen. The number forty, points to and symbolizes trial and testing, but it seems as though God always shows up and intervenes on His people’s behalf.
4. David’s brother was against him, he was upset with David’s seemingly pompous attitude.
1 Samuel 17:28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
5. Saul was not in favor of David fighting Goliath and he did not believe a boy of David’s stature could undertake such a huge task.
1 Sam 17:33. “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
6. David was no match for this strong Philistine veteran warrior – He had no physical protection, or sophisticated weaponry to conquer his opponent. David was only armed with a sling shot and some stones.
Positives- the odds were undeniably in his favor
1. David was not pompous, as it would appear to the human eye, he was rather God-confident. He knew where his strength lies.
2. David put Goliath in the same category of the bear or lion. He answered Saul with great God- confidence.
1 Samuel 17: 34- 37 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
David addressed Goliath- David had total confidence in God’s ability to bring Goliath down
1 Samuel 17: 45 – 46 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.”
3. The forty day period was not so much God stretching Israel’s faith; he could have delivered them in one day, but He wanted them to trust in His ability to save them from the Philistines. However, God always has a plan; He was positioning the young David within those forty days to believe him for victory. The exercise was effortless for David because he was relying on God’s supernatural strength, he was truly depending on God’s super power to deliver them.
Notice, David did not approach the situation in fear or with reservations in his heart, he was absolutely sure, fully persuaded, that the same God who slay the bear and the lion is the same God who is well able to slay the giant.
What giants are you facing today?
You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. David went into the battle knowing already that he was a winner. He went into the battle knowing that victory was assured. So can you and me today. Jesus has already won the battle, we can do just like David. Take the word of God as your stone and release the word in the sling of prayer and watch God move on your behalf.
Goliath with all his shield, bronze helmet, spear, javelin and all the physical protection he could possibly wear, was no defense against the power of God.
Do not take your “behind the scenes” years lightly, where no one sees or knows you. God does. Take the opportunity like David to know God even better. You will need it.
The same God who helped you destroy the bears and lions in your life is the God who will help you slay your Goliath.
Declare boldly just like David: 47 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.”
Be blessed! Advancing the Kingdom of God in the earth!
We have been dealing these past few weeks with faith and believing God as we pray daily and trust Him for our breakthrough.
How many times have you given up on praying for someone, something or a situation because you did not receive an answer, a breakthrough or see the fulfillment of what you were praying for? In many cases, it seems like the heavens were brass and nothing was happening, so you provided your own answer or came to your own conclusion.
Well, we have all been in this place before and as long as there is life, there will always be grounds of victory to cover, because we are moving from one level of life to another. So be encouraged today, you are not alone. The enemy’s plan for you is to give up, cave in and altogether quit on God’s plan, so that you never see the fulfillment of the promises in the specific areas you are believing for.
Consider Abraham, without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead and his wife Sarah’s body was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God (Rom 4:19-20). You see, this is our problem, when the facts stare us in the face, we have nothing to stare back with. So, it hits us off our feet and engulfs our minds and before we know it, we are caught in a web of unbelief and doubt so strong that we cannot cut ourselves free and this causes us to give up, cave in, and quit. The doctors might say, you have one month to live or there is cancer or some disease in your body, what will you do then? Take up the shield of faith and declare what the word says about your condition. Don’t be so quick to believe the facts that you ignore the truth. Don’t be dismayed or discouraged that you cave in and quit on the promise.
God did not put promises in the word so we could have a great historical lesson on his past supernatural abilities. He is the ancient of days but he is not ancient in ways. What he did then, he is well able to do now, with relevance and precision. Like Abraham, come into agreement with God’s word and you will never regret the results. Do not stop praying because you’ve been on it for five months, five years and nothing happened. Arm yourself with the word, get the doubt and unbelief out and get back on the word train. It may take longer, but you will get there and by the time you do, your faith would be stronger and your testimony powerful.
The greatest thing about this faith walk, is that it is not your job to figure out how everything is going to happen. As you do your daily prayer, your job is to pray, obey and say what God’s word says and leave the results to God.
Never give up on God’s promises for you, don’t cave in, in fear and never quit believing that his promises are yes and amen.
PROV 12:14. From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands bring them reward.
Those who speak life will reap life, those who speak wisely will reap a good harvest from their words, just as a farmer enjoys the harvest of his crops from the labor he put out.
The importance of speaking words of life is that those words released in the atmosphere will produce something. According to the bible, death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat the fruit thereof (Prov 18:21). You determine the destiny of those words and the words will determine the destiny of your life. The words we speak are either death or life, blessing or cursing. Don’t speak negatively to everything and expect positive things to follow. It really doesn’t work that way. Many of us really don’t believe that we have creative power in our tongues just as God spoke and created the earth. Mark 11:23 says you will have whatsoever you say. So if this is true then we need to make some changes in our prayer and our speech.
I want to challenge you to put a watch over your mouth, put a guard over your words, become responsible for what comes out of your mouth. Never allow things to be blurted out irresponsibly every time you become angry, depressed, hurt or disturbed. Eph 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your [my] mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Your words should benefit you and those who listen to you. What you say could alter the future and outcome of many things in your life. Someone said if you want to change your life first change your words. Your God given creative power is in your words, therefore, use it wisely.
What are you speaking today that could change your life forever? Let the fruit of your lips synchronize with the work of your hands to produce good things and bring you great rewards.
We all have a choice, to choose death or life. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. When we live according to the sinful nature and cater to our flesh, we cannot please God, but when we live according to the Spirit and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, then life flows to us and through us to others. As believers we allow the sinful man to rule and overtake us. We allow the thoughts of defeat, failure, revenge, bitterness, unforgiven, anger, hatred and so much more to dominate our minds. The carnal mind produces death, that’s why we cannot allow the carnal mind to control our actions. Keeping a positive outlook in the face of all troubles, adversity and disappointment, can be very difficult – our blurred visions see no way out, no possible solution. that’s what dwelling on negative or carnal things will produce.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Deut. 30:19, I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.
We quote this verse all the time to the unsaved but God was speaking to the people of Israel and He is speaking to us today too. You can choose words and thoughts of death or you can choose words and thoughts of life- producing death or life respectively. The choice is always yours.
Prov23: 7a. For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
On the contrary Philippians 4:8 (AMP) says;
8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Will you choose life and walk according to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit? Absolutely, fix your mind on something today- the word of God. Let that word flow out of your Spirit and your mouth, confessing and declaring what God said about you, not what man or any situation seems to suggest.
You can shape your future and your destiny with your words! Dwell on truth not facts.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The times are proving true to the fact that we need Steadfastness to be a virtue in our everyday lives. That after we have endured the tests and trials we are still standing, having done all we can humanly do we are still standing. The most important thing is not so much how you feel but what you know to be true and that is you draw strength from the Lord- He your ever present help in times of trouble.
The feelings of weariness and faint comes because we relinquish our post of prayer and allow the cares of this life to crowd our minds. The enemy knows that when we are disconnected from our true vine we begin to loose strength, he knows if we are loosing joy we loose strength to keep standing and to fight, but this day the Lord has already provided all that we need to triumph and overcome every temptation, trials and situations that we face. God has already planned your victory, don’t plan to your defeat.
The steadfastness that you need to endure even under tremendous pressure comes as you stay rooted and built up in the word of God and prayer. You have 24 hour access to God, therefore take full advantage of it. The enemy of our souls knows how to buffet us, but we also know how to get rid of him by speaking the word of God. I therefore encourage us all today to be steadfast in the Lord, do not quit under pressure, sickness or under any circumstance. Quitting is never an option where God is concern, he has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. He has already provided a way of escape. May you be strengthen with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Col 1:11).
Walk in the perfect love of God toward Him and toward your fellow man. If there is ever a time to stand strong its now. If there is ever a time to believe God its now, this is not the time to doubt, fear or act cowardly. You are blessed when you remain steadfast. You will be rewarded when you remain steadfast; the crown is for those who endure to the end. Having done all stand steadfast.
Can you be calm in the midst of the storm?
A raging storm is no fun to experience on sea. When the sea is raging, ships are literally tossed around violently and so is everything on the ship. Everything that is not bolted tightly will be uprooted and thrown around the rooms. If you have ever had such an experience on sea, you know how frightening and upsetting it is.
Caught off guard Luke (8:22-25) account states that the storm arose suddenly. Which means there was no warning of a storm brewing. Note also that the men Jesus was dealing with were fishermen, these men are no strangers to the signs of the sea. Surely one should be able to tell the signs, since that’s where they spend most of their days. According to Mark’s record ( Mark 4:37) a great or furious storm arose and beat into the ship, so that it was now full. Not only was the ship tossed around, it was now full of water. The disciples were caught off guard when the storms hit. Jesus is God and man. He was tired from an eventful day filled with miracles and wonder. After these encounters Jesus was tired and went right to sleep. The disciples were left to do what they were accustom doing, Mann the boat.
Why would Jesus sleep now, we’re in trouble?
The storm was very ferrous, for the survival of life on board. Would Jesus perish along with his disciples? Although the situation reached desperation point, Jesus was at complete peace. He was asleep, fast asleep on a pillow, no one could really sleep in such turbulence, but he was at complete rest. We are faced with sudden storms in our lives sometimes. A sudden bad report from the doctor, stating an evidence of cancer, diabetes, a sudden job loss, a loved one involved in a severe accident, or encountering danger at work or school. There is no life manual that tells us how to prepare for negative situations, like sudden storms. However, the Bible is our manual and God has provided us with all the necessary tools we need to overcome every situation. In fact the Bible is the book of life and tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ that loves us. These storms may come in different degrees; some are of greater intensity than others, and although they may throw us into a frenzy, how we react makes a great difference.
You might ask, why would Jesus sleep now? Why would Jesus remain silent when I need to hear from him now? Because this is the time for you to speak his word- speak to the storm.
The disciples woke Jesus up, saying “Master care not that we perish?” This statement is so familiar, “Doesn’t Jesus see what I am going through, doesn’t he care about what’s happening to me?” So what happens in this moment, do we press the panic button and out of desperation we pray prayers of fear, doubt and unbelief. We feel like God doesn’t really care, but we are still hoping that by our theatrical acts we will impress God to move. Jesus was not in any way unaware of the storm, He knew the storm was coming although there was no visible warning, but choose not to allow the storm to disturb his peace. He was counting on his disciples to exercise their faith based on what they have been exposed to all along. In fact, Jesus knew, this was an opportune moment for his disciples to flex their spiritual muscles after having been with him for so long. Many of the disciples were professional fishermen, they were already accustomed to the sea. These disciples watched Jesus perform many signs and wonders, yet they panicked when the storm came. How typical of each of us.
The known factor
Jesus and his disciples were thrust into the same situation. Jesus was calmly sleeping while his disciples were fighting for their lives. How could Jesus sleep in the midst of turmoil and how could he be totally unaffected by the storm? The difference between Jesus and his disciples is what is called the “known factor”. Jesus knew who he was and what he was capable of doing. He knew that all things were subject to his authority. He knew that because he was the Prince of peace he had the authority to speak peace to the storm and watch it obey him. Jesus was not afraid or terrified by nature’s violent elements, he was not in any way intimated by the raging storm. What is very reassuring is that he has given this same authority to his disciples and those who belongs to him. The known factor you is that Jesus Christ has given you the authority to speak to every ferocious situation that might raise its ugly head.
Speak to the storm
Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and they stood still. He also rebuked his disciples because they should have known what to do too. Jesus expects the same of us too. You might say that’s Jesus, he’s God, He knows what to do. That’s true but he lives on the inside of you. He who is in you, is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Jesus the greater one lives in you and he has already calm the storms. He wants you and I to do what he did, speak to the storm. Do not allow the storm to disrupt your peace of mind, or rob you of your joy. Jesus is the Prince, he synchronized the outer peace of the environment with his inner peace by speaking to the storm. This peace he leaves with us not as the world gives. Now you have what it takes to synchronize the peace of Christ within and the of your world without.
Knowledge is power
The greatest weapon you have is the knowledge. Knowledge is power; therefore, equip yourself with the word of God. Surround yourself with the word of God daily. Read portions of the word out loud to drown out and eventually shut off the voices speaking in your mind. Take time to communicate with God- He desires to walk and talk with you. Keep practicing it and you will find that Jesus speaks to you. If you feel like your mind is the battle field or the storm is raging in your mind then speak up, open your mouth and speak the word. Declare” I will not die but live”, declare, “God has not given to me a fear but power love and a sound mind”. Play worshipful music, listen to messages, find quiet times to mediate on Jesus and simply surround yourself with godly influences. Put the word of God in you, that’s knowledge, that’s power and you will not regret it. The difference between our knowledge and defeat is knowing that we already possess victory in Christ Jesus.