The last two weeks, the pastoral staff team began planning for the year 2013. We began by looking at an evaluation of 2012. With much victory to celebrate, there were also significant lessons to learn. One of the things that we will need in the year 2013 is a change of attitude, culture and even language. We are looking at a big hairy and audacious ministry next year. We want to explore new territories, expand our scope and reach significantly. We cannot afford a defeatist, lack of funds, people or resources mentality.
We are not only trusting God for the completion of our sanctuary, but also the numbers. We want to increase our attendance to 500 people, we want to graduate 300 people in the LIFE foundations, we want to begin a school next year, we want to trust God for big missions, will you join in…
Today we finish our series on Peeling Back the mask, we have been questioning our LIFE Conviction- Is God who He says He is and are we who He says we are. We began by saying that God stills calls for our worship when our masks of comfort are peeled, last week we saw that God has the final say on our worth as his people and not bahasha ya ocampo. When our masks are peeled off, God’s word is our True standard and worth. Today we finish this series by looking at COME BABY COME…The attitude for victory.
Anyway, turn with me to another dramatic story of “the boys at it again” but this is interesting. The story of David and Goliath has lost its luster over the years. Because it is not retold enough, we sometimes miss the energy and passion and excitement and gusto in this story of brevity. Now many of you may be familiar with it, but today allow me to bring out the freshness of the event but also the myriad of lessons we can learn from this true story in the bible. My goal today is to bring you to the place where you look at life, or the challenges you may be facing …Come baby come. (Slapping hands) Because of time I will read portions of it but in your free time, please read 1 Samuel 17.
Read 17: 1-11,
Exegesis- The Challenge
The two nations are at war again, the battle lines have been drawn, the army of Israel on one side and the philistine army on the other side. The perfect place for a battle is in the valley of Elah, where once in the only way out was either victorious or dead. The philistines were confident in their weaponry, leadership and strength but the Israelites on the other hand are doubtful and fearful, partly because their own King Saul was also having internal battles with demons that needed the service of a young musician to cool him down. But the challenge is also in a philistine champion named Goliath. Now allow me to paint a picture of this guy (read vs4-7)
3 meters tall about 9 feet, his armor weighed about 57 Kilograms, His spear had a head that weighed about 6kg with a shield bearer ahead of him.
The challenge was not just a physical giant, but also a spiritual giant. Goliath so confident in himself…dares the very ranks of the Israelite army. To defy the ranks of Israel- is to haul an insult to the highest authority of Israel which ultimately was God. For 40 days, twice a day Goliath bellowed this challenge to the children of Israel, No one took up this challenge because Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. While the ego of the Philistines played out the children of Israel hid in fear as no one would step up to the challenge and tell Goliath ….. Goliath in their eyes was no baby…they could not say….Come baby come.
What challenges you today? For the staff is how do we do it next year, for us here is where are the resources coming from, as a nation it could be the fear of elections next year. But as an individual we all face challenges that appear grim, dangerous and deadly.
Is the challenge a new risk venture you took, is it a difficulty in your marriage or family, some exam you fear or even risks to ask boldly for promotion, fear of failure, or simply finances, school fees or fear of lack or even fear to start that house or buy that plot ….or is it an outright fight for justice with someone at work or institution.
But here is my first Truth….The bigger your challenge, shows how God sees your faith in Him. God places these challenges your way because he has faith in you to overcome them for His glory, For God is true to his word, He will not allow a challenge that is beyond you.
But also to say a challenge is only as big as the memory of God that we have. The children of God had forgotten just earlier in chapter 5 of the same book, how Dagon the god of the philistines had been broken into pieces before the ark. Our perspective to challenges in life and hence how we respond, always questions our view of our God. We lack the confidence and boldness, which expresses our view of God. We say come baby come then run to Canada. Like the children of Israel, we hide in dismay and fear.
For forty days this was the order, a gloating philistine already in the valley and fearful bunch of soldiers on one side of the hill who can’t cross the battle field.
But today was the last of this day because just at the right time, David walked into the scene. Up until now he was merely thought of as a mere musician, or a shepherd but the time for divine introduction had come. God uses this challenge to bring out David from the obscurity of the sheep and the harp to the light of a new perspective in the eyes of the king and Israelites; He now emerges as God’s warrior.
The young man David, jostles in the battle scene from his faithful daily duties of taking care of sheep and now He has simply come to bring food and check up on his brothers. He had left his sheep well taken care of by another shepherd before coming to the battle grounds where his brothers were.
See the truth is our moment of reckoning comes not because we have been preparing for a big day, but it comes when we are doing our daily mundane tasks. Challenges don’t just appear, but as we carry out our tasks faithfully God brings challenges as an opportunity to mature us and promote us. Your Goliath moment will come in your daily life of faithful service.
David handed over the sheep to another shepherd before coming to the battle front. He sorts out the small stuff so that even his brothers had no reason to say he had left the sheep unattended when He is fighting the big stuff. Many of us are overwhelmed by big challenges because we have not learnt to sort out small challenges.
Just when he came, David overhears the gloating of the philistine, and is somewhat surprised that none of the Israelites had stepped up to fight. He inquires what would be done to the man who defeats the philistine and despite the good package of the king’s daughter for a wife and tax exemption and a lot of wealth, even this was not enough to get one of the soldiers to risk his life.
Read vs 26-29
Clearly David was angry at these insults against His God and His people. According to David, despite the size and armor of Goliath, Goliath was just a mere philistine, an uncircumcised.
I CALL THIS A balanced analysis of the situation- Goliaths size and armour can make us forget our heritage in God. Inject courage in yourself by giving yourself a balanced analysis of this situation- he is a mere philistine. We talk more on the size of our challenges but not the size of our God we instead inject fear and doubt. Learn to speak victoriously and say
Come baby come….
His enquiry caused commotion among the armies, but also envy and jealousy among his brothers probably because they had not been anointed king earlier by Samuel the prophet. And just like Job, the greatest discouragers were those close to him. I don’t need to belabor the point here, but do expect discouragers.
Eventually the word reaches the king and David is called in. Listen to his words to the king. This guy had a serious attitude of victory.
Read Vs 32-37
Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine. His words touched the root of the trouble- people’s hearts. (un belief). But His experience with God, he knew that if He did it yesterday…than God is faithful to do it today. Now even the king doubted his size…
Sometimes I look at the small fish in our political arena, and we may laugh at them and their efforts, but to stand against such giants takes a lot of courage and conviction. And such people deserve your consideration for that vote.
David drew courage from his diary and testimonies. What diary do we have of our walk with God. One of the big ones with my wife is that if God helped us do the wedding…Kwani ni jambo lipi ilo yeye asilo liweza. There is need to keep the memory of God’s doing alive, let our children hear of how God raised 1 million for us to purchase the land, let our children hear of how God helped us build the church. Instead of speaking discouragement in these hard times to our children, let’s speak God’s stories of victory in our lives.
The Attitude and Weapon
David’s word inspired Saul to let him go and fight and although he was fearing for David, He knew only God could rescue David now. So He offers his best armor to David, but David declines and instead prefers his usual smooth stones. A smooth stone not a sharp edged stone just enough to show that it is not the pointed edge of a stone, but the mere power of a stone thrown from a sling of faith.
The significant truth is that God has already given us all we need to fight our Giants. Don’t take up other people armor, use what you have seen working for you in your walk with God. The enemy will not be conquered by new untested weapons.
Is it your gifts and talents, is it networks and opportunities. Let’s not wait until we have what they have so that we can move. Sometimes we don’t have the money like some people do….but we have something in our hands.
Read vs 41- 49
This is the Attitude for Victory.
Even after Goliaths threats, David knew this is just empty talk. Empty talk frightens those who are not grounded in God but for us who know God the battle is in the right perspective, it is the Lord’s. It is not those who have the spear and the sword but the battle is the Lord’s and He will give us the victory.
But the battle will be won in the Name of the Lord Almighty. Our strength and victory lies not in us but in calling on the name that is Almighty- the Name of the Lord, because the Battle belongs to the Lord. In other words David looks at Goliath AND WITH THIS CONVICTION GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS AND WE ARE WHO HE SAYS WE ARE … and says Come…baby come
In full view of the Israelites now grasping for a good view and holding their breath to see what happens to this young man, They watched David as He drew to the battle lines, bold and ready to die for who he believed. Faith in the heart puts strength in the feet of God’s servants. He was out to win not just to survive.
Many of us fight our challenges not expecting victory, and we make do with survival mentality thinking that we shall be victorious in heaven- But victory is meant for us here, there is no battle to fight in heaven.
With Christ in my heart I can smile at the storm, with a strong faith in Christ we are assured of victory so we can look at our Goliaths and say Come baby come….
Enough said…Lets pray