Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Arrogance or faith?

A young single mother came to us in tears. Her finances, love life and children were a complete mess. She was eager to listen and receive whatever we could teach her. As God blessed her—and answers to prayer came one after the other—she was grateful to see God rebuild what the devil was trying to destroy. But when her family turned against her and made fun of her faith, she got confused.

They ridiculed her for the way she prayed and for believing in the impossible. They’d provoke her to lose her temper so they could ridicule her even more for being a bad Christian. She was hurt by them but was also afraid of losing her relationship with them, and in the end chose them over God. The fear of being all alone in her faith was unbearable, even though she had a church that loved and supported her. She didn’t trust, so she gave up the fight.

Young David had to face ridicule and rejection too. When he saw the whole army of Israel, including his brothers, running to hide from the Philistine giant, he considered it plain wrong. According to what he knew, God’s people don’t tolerate intimidation, they fight back, and God comes through for them. Always. It was clear cut and simple for David, and the urgency of the situation made him decide to stand up and volunteer to face Goliath in a fight to the death. 

God’s honor was at stake, but his brothers couldn’t see that. They called him a brat, a show-off, arrogant and evil hearted—his own brothers who should have been rallying around him, even choosing to do the fighting themselves. Their little brother was ready to put his life in danger for the entire nation of Israel, and all they could do was attack him. The Bible says nothing about how their insults made him feel, all it says is that he went straight to the king with determination. Not even King Saul believed in him, but was willing to let a little shepherd boy die at the hands of a giant, since no one else had the courage. David was completely alone, on the spot, and had nothing but his own convictions to motivate him. And he was just fine. He had placed his faith in the God he knew.

Have you ever been called proud because you had faith for something that no one else believed in? We can’t be thrown by this and allow the fire in our spirit to die out when we aren’t met with encouragement. God allows us to go through these hard times for our own sake. That’s when our convictions and determination solidify and we become unshakeable. If we depended on our friends rallying behind us, we wouldn’t be operating in real faith, but in the excitement of the moment. If something is worth fighting for, it’s worth fighting for alone and against the tide. It doesn’t sound very pleasant from this side of the battle, but that’s because we don’t see the army of mighty angels amassing to fight on our behalf. If we only had spiritual eyes to see what’s really going on, we’d run into the thick of battle much more often!

David reasoned that just as God had given him the skill to kill lions and bears in defending his father’s flocks, God would do the same as he faced Goliath. We need to reason in faith as the heroes in the past have, from Abraham to Paul. Are you certain that a problem or obstacle in your life should be destroyed? Would it bring honor to God if it was? Have others given up on this dream, while your conviction keeps burning? Then don’t be afraid to face the battle alone. If you know who God really is, then know that armies of angels are going to be fighting for you and through you. You’re never alone. In fact, you’ll be the majority.   

David’s oldest brother Eliab listened as he spoke to the men, and became angry with him. “Why did you come down here?” he asked. “Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart — you came down to see the battle.  (1 Samuel 17:28 HCSB)

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