I am hopeful that in the new year ahead, we find ourselves praising God, extending crazy encouragement, and experiencing supernatural patience and peace even though the news media and current, prominent world powers forecast further and mightier troubles.
I am hopeful that we will be fearless when the world screams at us to be very afraid.
This requires that we lean not on our own, limited understanding but seek God’s perspective.
Throughout the Word, we are commanded to fear not. Concerning this royal decree, here’s a thought for our new year: The Lord would not have admonished us to be fearless if we were never going to face big hair-raising, scary ordeals. In 1 Samuel, God gave us a perfect example of what facing an ordeal, or better said, giant can do to an entire army of capable men. Every day when the dread giant Goliath stomped onto the barren battlefield and taunted Israel’s best men, the warriors ducked behind the hill instead of taking on the giant. Knowing we’re prone to weak hearts and likely to hide instead of taking the hill, God wrote the remedy of this natural human response multiple times in the Word. He commands us to fear not.
Thankfully, there’s more to the story of David and Goliath so we can see what one small and fearless boy can accomplish. You know how it goes. While Saul’s men shook in their boots inside the comforts of their tents, one little kid with a brave heart stepped up, used his God-given skill with a sling-shot, and knocked the giant down. Then the young David ran for wounded Goliath, pulled out the giant’s sword, and finished him off by decapitation.
Gruesome, yes. But necessary. If giant fighting is not bloody and heart-wrenching, then there would be no need to steal our nerves. Look, what I’m trying to say is that facing giants will never be easy but always necessary. And trust in the Lord plays a big part of the necessary actions when taking on giants.
James Said It
I love the book of James and in chapter one, verse two, James drives home the point I’m trying to make: “Consider it all joy, my brethren (and sistren), when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
So if we had no test, we would not learn to endure.
James goes on to tell us to let endurance have its perfect result, that you and I may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. It’s through endurance that we grow spiritually. Endurance, the Lord says, produces supernatural trust.
James, like the David and Goliath story in 1 Samuel, is telling us that big and bad stuff will come our way, both individually and corporately, and when it does, we will not only have opportunity to glorify the Lord through victories, but also grow spiritually.
Biblical victories, by the way, don’t always look like we want or expect them to. Our Maker’s current concern is not with the material, but with the spiritual. We, at this moment, do not live in the period of time when our bodies are indestructible or worldwide evil banished. Those days lie ahead. But for now, while we live in the age of Grace and grow through the sanctification process, we also live on a planet still under the curse. Men, women, and children will become ill and death will follow. Loved ones will walk away from truth. False and deadly doctrines will spread like wildfire.
This is where the action of fearing not and the picking up crosses come into play. This is the time when we use our God-given skills, like David, on our own battlefields.
In 2022, we will decapitate not just one, but multiple Goliaths because there’s going to be more and more of these giants wondering into our lives with mockery and threats.
In this, I rejoice.
I rejoice that you are already equipped with the slingshots of experience. I rejoice that God has begun to build supernatural trust within your spiritual veins. I rejoice that He has also given you the following, awesome command:
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
As more fear spreads about variants of the current pandemic and coming economic downfalls, it’s time for us to go to our king and say, “let no one loose heart on account of these evils, I will go and fight them.” ( adapted from David’s statement in 1 Samuel 17: 32), Take your skill, choose your five stones, and meet the giant, faith-first on the field. The battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15). You simply need to put your fearless and trusting feet on the other side of that safety hill.
Then rejoice. The whole world will marvel on the day of the Lord and our God will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)
Do not hide or shrink back as lie after lie hits the airways. Move forward. Your God has plan for your slingshot and your trust in 2022.
If I perish, I perish,
L. G. (Laurie) Westlake
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)