Smaller victories of faith and trust in God lead to greater exploits for God and incredible miracles!
I read a case study of that truth during “Coffee with the Lord” this morning in I Samuel 17 – the story of David and Goliath. How it challenged and encouraged me in my faith-walk with God!
It is clear from the story that David honored God in all the events in his life and viewed every crisis and challenge as an occasion in which to trust God and as an opportunity for God to act powerfully and assist him. He wasn’t pre-occupied with self-promotion and personal exploits – He gave God the credit for all the personal victories he experienced…
It began out on the hillside alone watching the sheep… No one else around. A lion and a bear at different times threatened the flock… David acted to protect the flock, depending on the Lord to help him. By his own testimony David said, “When there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him!” Smaller, but profound, powerful, victories of faith – trusting God to help him protect the flock.
But now the big faith challenge – the challenge that had everyone quaking in their sandals and hiding behind the rocks… Goliath – a giant of a man, a seasoned warrior, the champion of the Philistines. David, just a youth without armor, in shepherd’s garb – no sword, no spear, just a slingshot and a few stones. But here is what David testified to Saul, the king…
“Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the Living God! The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear… [And note to Whom David gave the credit for those smaller victories!] …will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine!”
And the Lord did! The smaller victories of faith and trust had prepared him for greater exploits! Goliath taunted David – he cursed him by his pagan Gods… “Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and 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! This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head… that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hand!”
Wow! What incredible faith and confidence! And David did it with God’s help… With a slingshot and one smooth stone (“there was no sword in the hand of David!”)! David killed the Philistine giant and champion… “Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it… And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, and put his armor in his tent.” (All of this from 1 Samuel 17 in your Bible.)
Lesson for me (and you)? View the smaller (but seemingly great) challenges to your faith as opportunities to prepare you for greater exploits for God! Oh Lord, help me to see those things that way!