Friday, February 28, 2014

Use What God Has Given YOU

Read: "Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead…" (1 Samuel 17:49a, NIV).

Think About it: Imagine the scene. It's the original "David and Goliath" story. A young man who has been left out with the sheep while his brothers, bigger, stronger, and more fitting in the eyes of the people as soldiers, have marched off to war. For more than a month, the armies of his beloved country have ridiculed, mocked, and cursed by the armies of a rival nation. One in particular, Goliath, has called hideous curses upon the God of the Jewish nation, attacking the heart of their people. David, without the armor of battle, without the experience of war, and without the genuine support of his country, engages in the fight of his life. He doesn't have what everyone else has, yet he doesn't complain. He's not insecure. He doesn't feel inadequate. Though he may have been underestimated by others, he hasn't underestimated his God or what His God has given him. He reaches into the bag that has supplied him for many unexpected events while out tending his father's sheep. He pulls out one of the stones he had gathered before setting foot on this battlefield. This is where God has led him. This is what God has given him. Let the battle begin.

Going Deeper: David was a young man of courage and honor, but he was also one of humility and obedience. He trusted God. He relied upon the Almighty. He didn't fall into the endless abyss of comparing himself to the thousands around him. Comparison would have left him defeated before the battle ever began! David had heard the voice of God and had been given precisely what he needed to do what he had been called to do. He didn't question it. He knew arguing with the creator of the universe would be to no avail. He recalled how God had always protected him and provided for him. At the core of his being, he knew God to be faithful. David had already been anointed the next king of Israel and was confident that God had a plan to use him on that day. He reached inside of his bag and used what he had been given. Resist the compelling draw to compare yourself with the "spiritual heroes" around you. God has a plan for them and he has a plan for you. He will give each what they need to accomplish the distinct purpose He has for their lives. Don't live your life discouraged, focusing on all that you don't have. Look up to God and inside of yourself, and be willing to use, with full commitment of heart, all that He has given you. He will not fail you. 

Next Step: If you could do everything that needed to be done without God, you would become self-reliant. You'd take the credit, depend upon yourself, and slowly God would cease to be a part of the equation of your life. God will give you what He knows you need, but never making Himself irrelevant. Think again about the giants you may be facing now. Don't be overwhelmed by how you measure up to those around you who are also facing giants. Don't look to people. Look to God. He has given you everything you need to overcome every giant you face. What has He given you? Perhaps it is an analytical way of thinking, physical strength useful to accomplish great tasks, or a heart of compassion for the plight of others. One thing is for certain. He has given you a heart and a mouth. When your heart is focused on Him and your mouth overflows with a prayer of dependence upon Him, the size of the giants in your life become smaller and smaller and the overcoming victory God desires for you becomes a greater reality. So go ahead and reach in. Use what God has given you.

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