The Shepherd's Desk
Challenges, Challenges, Challenges.
July 2nd, 2019
1 Samuel 17:32-37 CEB
32 “Don’t let anyone lose courage because of this Philistine!” David told Saul. “I, your servant, will go out and fight him!”
33 “You can’t go out and fight this Philistine,” Saul answered David. “You are still a boy. But he’s been a warrior since he was a boy!”
34 “Your servant has kept his father’s sheep,” David replied to Saul, “and if ever a lion or a bear came and carried off one of the flock, 35 I would go after it, strike it, and rescue the animal from its mouth. If it turned on me, I would grab it at its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has fought both lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them because he has insulted the army of the living God.
37 “The Lord,” David added, “who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.”
“Go!” Saul replied to David. “And may the Lord be with you!”
Have you ever had challenges? If you haven't then maybe your not human, LOL. In any case challenges in every day living are always going to be there, and we as believers are going to have to sort them out. With that in mind, lets consider two types of challenges. The ones I have chosen to undertake to reach a purpose or goal, and then the unexpected.
The first one I am somewhat in control of my destiny, and I have chosen to fight this battle recognizing the price and opportunities for success. These are calculated risks, that I believe I have the talent or resources to deal with in life. The second one is the unexpected challenges of life. The big surprises, or circumstance that seems to shatter my faith and my confidence in a profound way. This latter challenge often leaves us grasping for the Armor of God, and our response sometimes is flailing away with the Sword of The Spirit, or just taking on blows with the Shield of Faith until we can recognize what in the world we have gotten myself into. Its in these times our true Christian Character is measured, and is found solid or lacking. Here is where we find out if the Word has become a part of us, and our faith knows how to apply the gifts God has granted us so the Fruit of the Spirit is revealed. It is here we find David in this text, it is here many of us are at today. Remember it's in this time of unexpected challenges we find out who we are, how strong our faith is, and ultimately who our friends are.
Now look back at verse 32. Notice how David first approaches this unexpected challenge. He says to the King, " I your servant, will go out and fight him. " Now that is boldness, and he doesn't address the people, he instead says this to the King.
Sometimes this is the best approach. Address the situation head on, knowing you have fought battles before that have given you opportunity to prove the Lord and press on. As long as Saul the King ( like our Lord ) says its okay to take up the battle, then take up the battle. Now Saul did question him and said " but, you are still a boy. " However, notice David's response. He had a testimony! He had a proven track record with the Lord, and no matter what the problem, he knew God could solve them. That is how we have to approach these unexpected challenges. With the knowledge that I have a testimony, and that no matter how it looks, and how big the Giant is. God is still a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Do you have a testimony today? Are you bought by the blood of Jesus, saved by His Grace and have a testimony that says, HE IS ABLE! Then the scriptures tell me that you have already won the battle. For Revelation 12:11 tells me that you are an overcomer just like David. For His Word says; " They gained the victory over him on account of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness ( testimony ). Love for their own lives didn’t make them afraid to die. "
Satan wants to intimidate you, bully you, make the problem look bigger than anything you could ever imagine. Just shut Him Up! Trust the Word, " It Is Written!!! " That is what Jesus did during the temptation in the wilderness. Three times Satan tempted him with great challenges, but each time He used the Word. He was tired, he had been fasting, he was not in the best of environments. Yet, it didn't matter. He took a stand. David took a stand. We can make a stand!!!!!
I don't know what the challenges you're facing today. However, if you walk by faith and trust in the divine Grace of your Father's will. Your challenges will become great testimonies to what the Lord can do. No matter what the obstacle is His Word has a prescription for it in His amazing Book of Books. God and His Word is a covenant bond that cannot be broken unless we decide to sever the connection. Don't lose that connection with His Word, remember the testimony the Lord has given you, and as a blood washed believer trust that God will bring you through. This challenge is an opportunity for you to prove the Lord, and His miraculous Grace to be poured all over you.
I have had some challenges in my life that certainly have caught me offguard. Nevertheless, saint of God I have a testimony, I have never seen his children forsaken or His people out begging for bread. I have never seen a challenge where God can't offer a solution, and I know His will for me is peace. Capture that peace and confidence in the Lord, and just remember everything is going to be alright.
In His Love,
Rev. Patrick Vossen