Have you reached that point in your life that you just want to be at the feet of Jesus, see His face and gaze upon Him? Because the words you want to speak to Him are never enough? The pour out of your emotions for Him is just endless? As you try to fathom and comprehend His love for you, you just can’t?
Falling in love with Jesus is the best thing that could happen to any human being. It’s not something we start on our own. It’s a response to what God has started for us. It’s a response to a perfect, sacrificial and amazing love.
We are not worthy to be loved by Jesus, much more to love Him back. To be able to love Jesus is a grace from God. Because loving Jesus means we are ready to surrender our selfish, old ways and follow Him.
However, God has faith in us. He believes that we can overcome sin through Jesus Christ. Remember when Peter denied Jesus three times?
And He (Jesus) said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” (Luke 22:34)
Jesus had so much faith in Peter. Even before Peter committed that act, Jesus knew that Peter will still turn back to God.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
And Peter did when he saw with his very own eyes that Jesus who died, had resurrected and is alive. And remember that even Satan has to ask permission from God to sift Peter. When temptations or trials are allowed in our life, it means that God believes that we can overcome those through Jesus.
Just like Peter, only a risen Lord can turn your life to God and never go back to the old life. Only when Jesus becomes real in your life and not just a fact that you know, that you will reach that point in your life that you just want to be at His feet because your life is an overflowing vessel of His love and goodness that you can’t contain.
I pray that you will experience the saving power of God in your life by humbly accepting Jesus Christ in your life that you will have the strength to turn away from your sinful ways.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Reading: 1 Samuel 17 – David vs. Goliath
For sure you have read or heard about the story of David killing the giant, Goliath. If you think this is just a story in a book, well this is a true story and it happened during the time of King Saul as written in the Bible.
What are the GOLIATHS (challenges/trials) you encounter in your life today?
1 Samuel 17:4-7
Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.
Goliath’s bronze coat was even heavier than me. He is like carrying another person. He must really be a one big giant man. Who can survive fighting him?
Are your trials in life like that? When you think about it, do you feel like it is hopeless and you are already losing?
What can FEAR do to you?
1 Samuel 17:8-11
Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
1 Samuel 17:16 – For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
1 Samuel 17:24 – Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.
For more than one month, the Israelites had to face the same fear every day. They can’t do anything except to be terrified and ran away from Goliath. Have you been in the same situation, you can hardly sleep and doesn’t want to wake up the next morning because of great fear and worries?
What was their focus why the Israelites were in great fear? To whom were they depending for strength and victory? This is the same question we can ask ourselves every time we encounter problems and challenges in life. If we let fear get into our mind, we will be paralyzed just like the Israelites. We can’t think and act out properly to overcome our problems. We just keep running away.
How can you FACE your GOLIATHS?
During this battle, David was not in the battle field. He was taking care of their flock when his father, Jesse asked him to bring food to his brothers in the army.
1 Samuel 17:26
David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
1 Samuel 17:28
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
When David saw Goliath, you can never see any trace of fear in him. He knew who God is and what God can do for the Israelites. His brother could have thought of him as conceited and wicked, but David was not focused on himself.
However, this is a reminder for us. Sometimes, we get so conceited and be full of pride that we feel we don’t need help from anyone especially from God. We think we can do it on our own, when the truth is we could not. We need to have the right mindset and attitude as we face the giants in our lives.
To face your goliaths in life, you must first overcome fear. How? Change your focus. Focus on God and not on yourself.
David faced Goliath with confidence in God. What can a little boy really do against a giant? But God was with him.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45)
How do you PREPARE for your battles?
1 Samuel 17:32-37
David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Sometimes, we wonder why we need to do certain things in our life. For example, you were sent for training by your manager and you feel at that moment that the training has no relevance to your current work. You might even think that it would just be a waste of time. Months passed, an opportunity opened for you because of that training you went through.
David, before he became a king, he was a shepherd boy. If David will have an option, he would have preferred to immediately become a king. However, God sees the bigger picture. David had to go through a lot of training as he would be fighting not just a giant when he becomes a king.
God prepared David through lion and bear to fight Goliath. Just like David, God never let us face trials in life without preparing us. He will always enable us to handle relationship, career, financial, health problems, etc. as long as we put our trust in Him and continue to depend on Him.
Are you doing the RIGHT thing?
1 Samuel 17:38-39
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.
They say that if there’s an easier way, why go through the trouble of doing things the hard way? Nothing is wrong with the easy way as long as it does not compromise the right values you believe in. This world can offer us a lot of options to solve our problems but if it is not right with God, we should learn to say “No.” Trust that God’s way is always the best way. Our actions will always have bad consequences if we do things that compromise our walk with God.
David would have fell down even before Goliath hits him with the armor that was put on him. Even before he fought, he could have been defeated already. This goes the same with how we handle our trials with compromises.
How are you USING what is ENTRUSTED to you?
1 Samuel 17:40
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
If there’s one of the many things that David was good at, it was using a slingshot.
God has entrusted us with so many things that we fail to use them properly and wisely – treasure, time, talents/skills, relationships, influence, intellect, wisdom. How have we been maximizing these when we face our own trials in life?
As God enables us to fight battles, He also equips us. We need to do our own part just like David as he slung that stone and struck Goliath’s forehead. The rest, we leave it to God. God will be the one that will make our trials fall, face down on the ground just like what He did to Goliath.
Have you been using your own slingshot? Or, are you so focused on what you don’t have thinking that could help you solve your problems?
Who’s battle, yours or GOD’s?
1 Samuel 17:46-47
“This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
The most important thing that we have to remember, our battles are not our own. When we face each battle, God is going before us, fighting for us. Our battle is also His battle. We are not alone as long as we let God fight for us.
David trusted that God will bring down Goliath with just a mere stone. After all, what can really a stone do to a giant? It could just be like a poke to him.
How David responded was very different on how the Israelites army did. David knew that it was also God’s battle. The Israelites thought it was a battle they have to fight on their own.
How have you been facing your problems and trials in life? Have you ever let God face it for you?
There was a time when our family had a lot of debt to pay. My father had less than a year then he will have no work anymore. I was thinking how we can continue to pay our debts. God impressed to me to pray for an onshore assignment in Canada. I was thinking at that time that would really help us in our financial need. However, I did not know if there would be a possible opportunity. But still, I prayed. And indeed, God made it happen. There were fears that it might be cancelled but then I told God that time that if it was His will for me to go, nothing will hinder His plan for me. And so, I just let God took care of things that were beyond my control.
God does not want us to feel defeated. The moment we believed what Jesus did for us and accepted Him in our life, we have become more than conquerors. We have become victors because Jesus has overcome the greatest battle and that is to be eternally separated from God.
These battles that we have now are momentary battles only. There is nothing that God can’t win for us when He already won the greatest battle for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Today, I pray that you would face your trials and problems in life like David. Do your part but focus on what God can do and not on what you can or can’t.
You can say this prayer as you face your battles in life.
Thank you for giving me the strength to face each day no matter how hard it could get. I ask that you continue to sustain me that I will never give up. Help me to always focus on You and not on my own strength. Remind me always how great, good and powerful You are that there is nothing or no one that can defeat You. I entrust to you my trials knowing that there is nothing You can’t handle. Thank you for the hope and the peace that overcomes my fears and worries. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“I can do everything through Jesus who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Whom Shall I fear by Chris Tomlin
Nobody likes difficulties, failure or disappointments in life especially when it comes to our work. As we spend most of our day in our workplace, we only can wish that each day gets smoother and better. But then, reality is, sometimes, it gets worse than the previous day.
I can’t say that I have fully maximized my experience working in corporate. I might have not tasted yet the much deeper hardships others have been through especially those who have worked for how many decades in different fields and companies.
However, one thing that will always be common for everyone regardless of the years of experience is principle. As much as we don’t like a stressful, challenging, difficult work, these are times that we can choose to be grateful because we get reminded of what we truly value, what we truly stand for. These are the times that our convictions are re-affirmed or formed, our principles are re-aligned, our character molded to be better.
In one of the leadership programs I had attended two years ago, we were asked to create our own Teachable Point of Views (TPOVs). These are the things that you stand by no matter what circumstance you are in, not just in work but in life as a whole. As I formulated my own TPOVs, I realized they were the values I have formed and lived by because of my own disappointments, frustrations and failures. These values are aligned to the principles in the Bible that God has asked us to follow and obey.
My Teachable Point of Views – The 5 S
If you can’t be trusted with little, how can you be trusted with more? Trust.
“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied. “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)
“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26)
Submit to Authority
If you don’t feel like doing it, do it as long as it won’t compromise your values. Respect.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 5:5-8)
Don’t be a difficult person to work with. Show some care. Relationship.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Secure one’s self
Don’t let position, title, wealth or your physical appearance define you. Character.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Let God define who you truly are.
Go out of your way if you have to. A true leader serves. Humility.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)
I hope this could also help you think about the things that you truly value. If you have compromised and failed at some point, just press on and re-align yourself again to what you believe in. I have failed for so many times but God has been very gracious to me. God helps me pull myself back again and make sure I will strongly stand for what I believe in. I’m a work in progress, still learning a lot but grateful that I am kept grounded by my convictions.
Reading: Psalm 40:16-17
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
I remember this line from the movie, Facing the Giants – “If we win, we will praise God. If we lose, we will still praise God.”
As we seek God, we do not only praise Him when things are going well with us. Our rejoicing and gladness with the Lord should not be dependent on our current condition. It should be constant and continuous regardless of. Though, this is never easy especially when we feel so trapped and hopeless. But just like David, he still chose to praise and worship God despite of his current situation.
Every time I feel down and start to question God, I just go back to His Word and remember the love He has given to us through Jesus. I am then reminded that everything in this lifetime is temporary. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) And that I can look forward to eternity in heaven, someday. This gives me hope and restores my joy.
I would also remember the things that God has done for me in the past. How He never failed me on the lowest points of my life. At times, we may feel that God does not hear us. But He does. His delays as we thought they are strengthen our faith, which makes us more dependent on Him and not in our selves. We just have to keep fixing our eyes on Jesus. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” – Hebrews 12:1. With this, we can have the faith and confidence to a BIG God and say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
Starting today, may you face each day having peace and joy regardless of the trials, challenges and problems you will be facing. Again, fix your eyes on Jesus. You can say this prayer to the Lord.
Thank you for the promise that you will never forsake us especially on the times that we feel so down and hopeless. I ask that you give me strength through Jesus that I may endure each day with joy and peace in my heart. Help me to trust and always fix my eyes on Jesus that my faith will not be shaken. Thank you for the trials as they make me more dependent to You and mold my character. I entrust to you my day to day, knowing that you will be my helper and refuge. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.