Many talk about trusting in the Lord, but do we really? I have a dear friend who freely shares her trust in the Lord. She is facing a battle with stage 4 cancer, and she has taken this battle to the Lord through prayer, fasting, and acting upon the steps laid out for her. She has received how this cancer will be defeated by the Great Physician, and has walked forward on her path as directed. We had a benefit for her last weekend on a weekend in January at the beach because God told her that this was the weekend and place and that He would provide. It was relatively sparsely attended, so the amount of money that we hoped would come in on that day would not be as great as we anticipated. We talked before I left the venue. She remains confident that the Lord will provide, no matter the outcome of the fundraiser. Her trust in the Lord does not waiver, no matter what we can see with our own eyes.
That is the same kind of faith and trust that David had before his fight with Goliath. The Philistines had gathered for a war against the Israelites. Standing nine feet tall was the Philistine’s champion warrior, Goliath. The arrangement was simple: if any man could defeat Goliath, the Philistines would serve the Israelites. But, if Goliath won, the Israelites would have to serve the Philistines. Upon his arrival, David hears Goliath’s taunts of God and Israel. Nowhere does it say that God told him to fight Goliath, but from what David knew of God’s character, combined with his zeal for God, the course of action to David seemed obvious – no one talks this way about God without having his mouth wiped from his face.
God had already prepared David for this fight with Goliath. David remembers his previous battles with a lion and bear – each grew his faith and confidence in God, as well as prepared him to meet the current challenge of a nine-foot giant named Goliath. “‘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.'” (1 Sam. 17:37) The faith steps of today are training for the greater steps God will require tomorrow. As we trust God in little things, He shows Himself faithful, and we take that experience and knowledge into the next challenge, which will contain larger obstacles and require greater steps of faith, and so on, and so on, and so on. Faith grows like a muscle: as we exercise it, it gets bigger.
While God could have provided David with size 7 armor instead of 15, he did not. He didn’t want David to forget the most essential truth necessary to winning the battle: that all battles that challenge our faith are essentially spiritual battles, and spiritual battles can only be won by trusting in God’s power. “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.” (1 Sam. 17:46-47) For David to have shifted his confidence to his armor, rather than the Lord, would have been a fatal error – fatal not being a metaphor. In our walk of faith, our greatest strengths can become our greatest liabilities if they cause us to shift the focus of our reliance, confidence and faith.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Why is it impossible? Because the life God has designed for us to live cannot be executed apart from His power, direction, protection and provision. All of these are accessed by faith. Furthermore, God is not glorified in anything not done for Him and through Him. As we walk by faith, He rightly receives the praise and glory in all things. Scripture declares that David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). We are not told all of what was entailed in this title, but his child-like faith in the power of God and his courage to act on it with uncommon zeal, were certainly among the nominating criteria.
Alternatively, the people of Israel did not fully depend on the Lord for their provision. Every morning the Lord provided manna for their daily needs. “Then Moses said to them, ‘No one is to keep any of it until morning.’ However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.” (Ex. 16:19-20) Those who relied on their own efforts for security and provision instead of the Lord ended up with spoiled food. “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'” (John 6:35) Jesus is the fulfillment of the bread of the Presence under the old covenant. Christ is far better than the former bread, for anyone, priest or not, can dine on Him by faith; that is, all who are willing may trust in Him alone for eternal sustenance and receive life that can never be taken away. And Jesus will never cast out any who truly put their faith in Him. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51).
- NIV Study Bible and Bible Gateway
- Mornings with Jesus 2017
- Walking by Faith