Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. (1 Samuel 17). Goliath, a giant in the Philistine camp, armed with bronze armor and far more likely to take down any one in his path, took on David. David, a mere shepherd boy, was small in stature and simply supposed to be supplying food to his brothers who were fighting under King Saul. Instead when he arrived at the camp he heard Goliath call out and decided to speak up: “Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Samuel 17:26 NKJV. David couldn’t believe they were just going to succumb to death by this giant without a fight. King Saul heard about this and wanted to speak to David. Saul doubted his ability to take on Goliath, but David was confident in who he was and his abilities as a shepherd, taking on bears and lions to protect his flock. And more so, he was confident in his God, who delivered him from those predators. He didn’t doubt his ability to face Goliath with God on his side.
To prepare for battle, Saul tried to cloth David in his armor; but David didn’t feel comfortable in that so instead he took it off and chose 5 smooth stones for his sling. When he arrived at battle, with out any doubt he spoke to his foe, “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45 NKJV. He then struck Goliath with one stone, that knocked him down, and used Goliath’s personal sword to decapitate him. Wow! Mic drop! No one expected that.
When reading this story, I noticed a few things. One, David’s hope wasn’t in man. His confidence wasn’t found in the opinions of others, in what they thought of Him, or even what they could give to him to “make him better”. He strictly stood on his confidence in his God. There are many times in life when we look to others for our decisions on what we should be doing with our lives. We compare where we are to where someone else is, and question our choices because those closest to us don’t approve. When God leads us to something, He gives us every ability to walk that path. We can confidently rest in Him. Despite what others may say or think, we have to align ourselves with what God says about us and move forward in all He has led us to. If David stayed back because of the doubters and threw on the heavy fancy armor Saul wanted him to wear, he wouldn’t have defeated his giant that day.
The second thing I noticed with David was that he had just 5 stones to defend himself. Five chances to defeat the giant, yet all he needed was one stone. He didn’t need all the suggestions from King Saul, his 10 closest friend’s opinions, or the person who really didn’t care about his well being all all, but still had suggestions- nope he didn’t even need that opinion. He didn’t need any of that to defeat his giant. He had exactly what God wanted him to have. He had the weapon he was familiar with, his stones, and God on his side. He may have looked weak from the outside. He may have seemed unprepared with the simple weapons that were his expertise. He wasn’t though. He was exactly where he was supposed to be, with the tools he was an expert in, and his confidence only in God. He didn’t leave his fate in the hands of everyone else. He boldly placed his well-being in God- the only one who knew him inside and out.
I aim to be more like David in 2021. When who we are is questioned because of where our confidence lies, we can boldly stand because we know Who has been there for us fighting off the lions and bears with us in years past. We won’t be paralyzed by what someone else thinks of us or question our abilities because of the doubt of others, but push forward because on our side is the One who carried us to the top many times before. We won’t throw in the towel when things look impossible, because we remember looking into the eyes of impossible many times before and stepping out boldly on the other side because the One who defeated impossible on the cross stands with us always.
Have you ever noticed that someone who has faced death either first hand (as in cancer, or war, or some kind of near death experience) or personally (like losing a child or loved one too soon) have a different attitude when it comes to life and living for eternity. They view eternity in a different light. They have been on the cusp of the eternal and realize how precious every moment of every minute is. They see the potential in every conversation and interaction with others. They cherish the love of family and friends at a deeper level bc they feel what it is like to be without that love (loss of someone unexpectedly). 2020 was like that for a lot of us. Life has thrown us not just a curve ball or wrench, but a dump truck full of broken glass and dynamite. 2020 went from a decade of new vision and beginning to a global pandemic we haven’t experienced in over 100 years. Even in all this chaos, GOD was still working. He has never left you or forsaken you. He has given you strength in the hospital rooms and the assisted living facilities. He has given you wisdom as you have homeschooled your children after working an 8 hour day. He has blanketed you in peace when the news yelled the words, “surge” and “uncontrollable.” And He’s graciously given you today so that you can give Him all the glory. As we step into 2021 let’s take with us the lessons of 2020 and remember the faithfulness of our GOD.
Over 20 years ago I had a dramatic experience that would change my life forever. On a hot day in August, I found myself lying in a hospital bed getting my football uniform cut off in preparation for my first of three X-rays. What happened over the next few hours, days and weeks would define my perspective of GOD and His healing power for the rest of my life. I want to tell you that story. I want to bring hope to you no matter where you are today. In our COVID-19 world where infection rates and death rates are read like the back of a cereal box, I want to show you that GOD is the ultimate Healer and He is still in the business of healing His children.
Have you even been invited to a party but couldn’t go? Maybe you had something else scheduled only to find out through social media or from friends how much fun the party actually was. How did that make you feel? For me, usually the first emotion is regret. Then I try and justify in my mind why it’s ok that I missed out on all that fun. And finally, I’m just sorry that I didn’t make the right decision by accepting the invite. All those emotions because I simply missed an invitation do something fun.
In Romans 1 verse 6, the apostle Paul is writing his opening remarks to the churches in Rome and he tells them that GOD has called each one of them to belong to Jesus Christ. If you look up the word “called” in the original Greek it’s the word kletos which means “to be called or invited.” What I love about this word kletos that Paul uses is that we are not forced into a relationship with Jesus, but we are invited. Invitations are normally not sent out to unwanted guests, but to people we love, cherish, and want to celebrate with. That is the same motivation that Jesus has when He invited us to have a relationship with Him. Jesus is wanting to spend time with people He loves and cares for. If you are a Christian today, then that’s the love you are sharing in with Jesus. A love that invited you even when you didn’t deserve an invitation. A love that the apostle John describes like this:
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. -1 John 3:16 NLT
Invited to experience real love. And that invitation is still being sent out today. Maybe you find yourself reading this and you want to experience that love. Maybe you’ve seen the invitation, but haven’t RSVP’d to the party. Let me help you with that. Today is your day to come in and celebrate with the King. Let’s pray a simple prayer together:
Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me. I realize that I have sinned and I need a savior. Thank you for inviting me to come into your love. I accept your invitation today.
We have all been invited. Nobody is left out and since we’ve been invited let’s go out and tell others about this great invitation. The love of Jesus is for everyone. Your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, classmates, everyone is invited. Let’s not keep this invitation to ourselves, but let’s share it with the community around us. It’s time to party!