May 18, 2017
It is easy to predict what most men think and how they will respond in almost any circumstance.
Born separated from God, we all live life on our own. We trust in ourselves, think for ourselves, and respond in kind. Therefore, our only resources are what we have.
Men have learned to exist in this ungodly way and there is an easily recognizable graph of their responses with two extremes. There are some who become full of themselves, vainly thinking they can handle anything. The word at this end of the spectrum is PRIDE. You can always predict how a proud man will respond to a crisis because there is a banner over his head which reads, “Self-Promotion at All Costs.”
On the opposite end is another word: PRIDE. Yes, it's the same word and the same root, but it manifests itself not in bravado, but in fear. Fear of man, fear of risk, fear of consequences. This man's motto is ""Self-Preservation at All Costs."" (Notice that “self” is at the head of each banner.)
Everyone else is somewhere in between.
BUT THERE ARE A FEW
… who have been changed by God. They have come into a relationship with the King of Glory. They entered this door through stooping in humility, admitting their weakness, sin, and need, and coming to rely upon the one true God.
David, the young shepherd, was such a man. It happened on the Judean hillsides while tending sheep. David had come to know God and understand that power is found in Him alone. He had transferred trust in his meager ability to faith in God's ultimate abilities.
A GOLIATH OF A TEST
So, when David has his first public encounter with an enemy of God, he thinks completely differently than other men. He does not cower in fear, nor does he puff his chest in pride. There is a startling confidence, but it is all rightly placed.
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted.
This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)
He had no fear because he believed in God's power and purposes and had died to his own safety and concerns. He genuinely saw himself as a humble servant of God's purposes. And he had no pride because he did not believe in his own strength, but the strength of the One who was with him and quickly, gladly, confidently gave God all the credit.
It was a simple as that. And off came the head of the giant who was taunting God. It was the first of many such victories from this humble, faith-filled man, who has given us a lasting picture of a man after God’s own heart.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020