If Past Performance Is Any Indicator…

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Ever wonder where David got his courage to fight Goliath? Was he just a naturally brave warrior, experienced in battle, skillful in hand-to-hand combat and just spoiling for a fight with an oversized blowhard, or was there something else? There was something else! David, though just a young man, had walked with God in an unusually intimate way. That, more than anything, qualified him as a giant–slayer.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Samuel 17:32-37

David told Saul, “Don’t worry about this Philistine, I’ll go fight him!” Saul replied, “Don’t be ridiculous! There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted, “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats. When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

Ever wonder where David got his courage to fight Goliath? Was he just a naturally brave warrior, experienced in battle, skillful in hand-to-hand combat and just spoiling for a fight with an oversized blowhard, or was there something else?

There was something else! David, though he was just a young man, had walked with God in an unusually intimate way. Prior to facing the Philistine giant, David had spent countless hours in the quiet and solitude of the wilderness watching over his father’s sheep. Hour after monotonous hour of herding sheep, passing the time by plinking Coke bottles with his slingshot—well, maybe he had other targets—writing songs of worship and talking to God, were interspersed with moments of sheer danger when wild animals would attack the flock. In those heart-pounding moments, the only thing standing between the vicious animals and the decimation of his father’s livelihood was David—and God!

David’s time as a shepherd turned out to be a critical period of preparation for what was to come, because it was then that David had come to experience the continual presence and faithfulness of God. In those moments of distress and danger, the strong help of the Almighty had never failed; time and again, God stood by David, helped him, saved him, and the young shepherd had come to know in the depth of his being that the One who walked with him was a covenantly faithful God.

So why was David so courageous when he stood before Goliath? He was simply drawing upon the reservoir of God-confidence that had piled up in his heart. He just knew that he knew that the same God who delivered him from every past danger would deliver him from this present one. God’s past performance was a surefire indicator of what was about to happen. How could it be any other way?

So, have you got a Goliath in your life? I’ll bet you do—a big, hairy, intimidating problem breathing down your neck! You see, Goliath is still around, though he comes in a variety of forms: an impossible financial situation, a nasty boss or a threatening co-worker, a rebellious child or belligerent spouse, a physical problem or a helpless sick loved one. All of us face Goliaths, and the natural thing to do is what the Israelites did: shrink back in depression, cower in fear and run from the battle.

But that would be to live way beneath the level of confidence, joy and victory that God has willed for his people. So learn a lesson from David—Goliath may still be around, but so is God. He hasn’t changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And he is still a covenantly faithful God—he can’t help himself.

Has he helped you in the past? Has he provided for you? Healed you? Protected and delivered you? Has he brought you this far? Why would he not do today, and tomorrow, what he has done in the past?

He will! So put your confidence in him. Get your eye off Goliath and on to God, because the One who delivered you from the paw of the lion and the bear will deliver you from that nasty old Philistine. It’s just what God does!

Going Deeper With God: What is your current Goliath? Spend a moment reflecting how God has taken care of your past giants. Then…go find five smooth stones!

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