Month: June 2021

The Shirt Off My Back

What kind of person is it that would actually give you the shirt off their back?  You’ve heard the expression and it truly is a selfless and merciful gesture, but who would do such a thing?  Someone who would give you the shirt off their back is someone like Jonathan who immediately became friends with David.  Jonathan didn’t just give David the shirt off his back, he gave him his robe.

SCRIPTURE

“Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that [was] on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.“  I Samuel 18:3-4

It’s important that we see that Jonathan didn’t go to his cloth’s closet and get a robe for David to wear, but Jonathan gave David “the robe that was on him.”  Jonathan also didn’t give pieces of his robe over a time period, but gave his armor, sword, bow and belt, meaning that he didn’t hold anything back in this selfless act of giving.

Jonathan was to David who Jesus Christ is to every born-again child of God.  The moment we say “Yes” to Jesus and accept the gift of salvation and become a part of the royal family of God, we get a robe of righteousness.

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks [himself] with ornaments, And as a bride adorns [herself] with her jewels.“ Isaiah 61:10

On the day David killed Goliath and got victory for Israel over the Philistines, David’s wardrobe changed.  He took off his shepherd rags and was adorned with a robe of royalty.  Think about this from another perspective, God the Father took no time at all making sure that the future King of Israel would be clearly identified by the robe he wore.

What are you going to wear today?  You can wear the old clothes that identify you as you have always been, or you can wear the robe of righteousness and be identified with spiritual royalty.  Wear the clothes that identify you as who you really are in Christ.  Wear the robe today!

God-Sent Friends

Someone said, “A friend who understands your tears is much more valuable than a lot of friends who only know your smile.”  Most people tend to have a lot of friends or at least “friendly associates,” but the truth is, you need at least one friend who will always be there when you need them.  You need a friend that is going to tell you the truth about things that really matter.  You need a friend you can count on and will come to your rescue, defends, and is sensitive to your needs.  Not only do we need a friend like that, but we need to be a friend like that!

In the story of David and Goliath, after David killed Goliath, King Saul would not let David return home.  David was held in such high esteem after this victory that the King ordered his alligience.  On the same day David killed Goliath and gave Israel victory over the Philistines, David lost his freedom to go to home to his father’s house, but he gained a real friend.

SCRIPTURES

“Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.“  I Samuel 18:1-3

Think about this, King Saul took away David’s freedom to go to his father’s house, but God gave David a friend. The world we live in will constantly rob you, but God will be faithful to give to you.  He knows when you need a friend.  Jonathan’s name means, “Yahweh gives.” and God gave Jonathan to David as a friend, one that “sticks closer than a brother.” 

What do God-sent friends do?

  1.  They share their heart without fear.  “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. 14 “You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 “I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.”  John 15:13-15 
  2. They don’t allow petty things to separate them.  “A man [who has] friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend [who] sticks closer than a brother.“ Proverbs 18:24
  3. They live in mutual humility towards each other.  “[Let] nothing [be done] through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
  4. They come to your defense.  “Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works [have been] very good toward you.“ I Samuel 19:4
  5. They always find room for forgiveness for each other. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.“ Luke 6:37

The “To Do” list of a God-sent friend continues on, but the question remains, do you have one?  Are you one to someone?  If you don’t, ask Him.  And always remember, you do have a God-sent friend in Jesus who is sensitive to your every need.  He is the friend you can count on and call on at any time.  He will never abandon you, but He will always be the perfect friend you need.

“Whose son are you?”

How could this be?  In the story of David and Goliath, after the giant had been killed and Israel had won the battle, King Saul asked David a strange question, “Whose son are you?”  King Saul had just had some kind of conversation with David when David was volunteering to fight Goliath.  Even before that, David had stood before king Saul and played the harp to soothe the King’s distressing spirit.  Perhaps David’s appearance had changed from the time he had played the harp to the time he defeated the giant.  How could King Saul not have known who David was?

And Saul said to him, “Whose son [are] you, young man?” So David answered, “[I am] the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”          I Samuel 17:58

Why did the King want to know who David’s father was?  For one thing, David’s victory for Israel had brought the blessings of no taxes to David’s family.  David had also won freedom and great riches and the King’s daughter in marriage.  But King Saul must have also known that David’s faith in God and the favor of God had come from someone.  David’s identity came from his relationship with his father.  I know there are some people who don’t want anything to do with their father and some people have never known their father.  But the child of God should know that we don’t self identify, our identity comes from our Heavenly Father.  He tells us who we are and makes us who we are today.  Paul said, “I am what I am by the grace of God.”  

Perhaps David’s identity had been supernaturally concealed from King Saul only to be revealed at the perfect time. Perhaps this strange question is recorded for me and you to consider it ourselves.  “Whose son/daughter are you?”  It should be obvious who your father is today.  Not only have you taken his name, but we are to take on His holy character and conduct.  We are to take on the Father’s business and do all we can to never shame His holy Name.  “Whose son/daughter are you?”  Through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on the cross, God has made it possible for everyone to have the Father they are not ashamed of and long to be with.

Killing Fear – Step Four

It takes a lot of faith and determination to kill something you can’t see but you can definitely feel.  In the story of David killing Goliath with a sling and stone, we find the strategy and steps to follow for killing fear in our lives.

Step One –  It matters how you approach the battle of fear.  Successful fear-killers approach “in the name of the Lord.”  Don’t forget that only those who make God the Lord of their lives can use the name of the Lord.

Step Two – Take up your position in faith.  At some point, you must stand still as David did and stand in faith against your fear.

Step Three –  Sling the stone in faith!  That means to release the word, promise, or scripture God has provided for you aiming directly at your fear.  To release it, you must open your mouth and speak it and believe it.

Step Four – Cut off it’s head!

“Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.“ I Samuel 17:51

Just to be sure that Goliath was dead, David removed the giant’s head from his shoulders.  Goliath would never again bring fear upon anyone else.  His fear campaign was over forever.  Cutting off the head of your fear is the final step in killing fear.  Many times our fears are subdued or pushed back with an increase of courage, but they come right back.  This was not the first time Goliath had been paraded on the battlefield with the Philistines, but it was the last.  We will always have different fears that come against us, but some fears are zombies that keep coming back again and again.  But how can we cut off the head of fear?  To cut off the head of fear, something must happen inside of you.  David could have left Goliath laying face down on the ground and ran with the army against the Philistines, but instead David went to terminate the main source of their fear.  Believe that just as God provided the stones to bring Goliath down, He provided the sword to finish the job.  It just so happened that Goliath brought the sword that would sever his head from his body.  To cut off the head of fear, you must use the sword of God’s Word.  Draw out the sword of His Word and use it against the fear.  Jesus consistently used the Word against the enemy in Matthew 4.  We are to do the same.  “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”
No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”  Isaiah 54:17
We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”   Romans 8:37
In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Killing Fear – Step Three

How would your life change if you could kill the fear of that one thing that always holds you back?  Taking a step of faith is almost impossible without killing the fear that never fails to raise its ugly head.  Fear often speaks to us to remind us that we don’t have the education or experience to do what we really want to do.  Fear says, “You don’t have what it takes.”  Fear never fails to mention the financial cost of taking a step of faith.  Fear is the whispering voice that loves to whisper the word failure.

In the story of David and Goliath, David took three steps to kill the fear that had paralyzed the entire Israelite army.  Step one focused on how David approached Goliath.  He approached Goliath in the name of the LORD because he had made God the Lord of his life.  In step two, David took up his position to stand against Goliath.  In step three, David slung the stone.

Step Three – Sling the Stone

“Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung [it] and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But [there was] no sword in the hand of David.”  I Samuel 17:49-50

David’s steps of faith in killing Goliath were all calculated and intentional.  David intentionally stood still at a distance from Goliath to load the stone into the sling with enough time to sling the stone.  Remember also, David didn’t come to the battlefield with stones, but he gathered them from the battlefield at the brook.

If you don’t know already, today is the day to learn how to sling a stone.  What that means is that you and I have to get a stone provided by God and release it.  A stone is a word or scripture or truth or promise God has given you personally to overcome the fear coming against you.  Once you receive it, then you release it.  Releasing that word is not a mystery.  You release that word given by God by opening up your mouth and speaking it in faith. For it to kill fear, it must come from the Lord, and it must be released by you in faith.  Faith still “comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”  Romans 10:17.

I can promise you that the enemy who is always against you wants you to keep your mouth shut because he knows what happens when God’s people begin to open their mouths in faith.  It would have done David no good at all to have approached Goliath in the name of the LORD and to take up his position if he had not released the stone.  God will always be faithful to give you what you need to speak against fear, and when you speak it in faith, it will do what Goliath did, “fell on his face to the earth.”    

Killing Fear – Step Two

Killing the fear in our lives so that it doesn’t get back up is the great challenge we all face.  In the battle of David and Goliath, David knew what to do to kill the giant.  He knew the steps to take.  He didn’t run onto the battlefield to stand up and stop Goliath before he had bowed down faithfully to God.  To kill any fear in your life, you must come against it in the name of the LORD.  And the only way you can effectively use the powerful name of the Lord is by making the true and living God the Lord of your life.

The next step David took to kill Goliath is critically important:

Step #2. You must take your position.

“So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung [it] and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.” I Samuel 17:48-49

I’m certain that David was the first person to ever come against Goliath who wasn’t shaking in fear.  David was like a sniper with a sling and a stone with Goliath in the crosshairs.  David ran towards Goliath and took his position.  He didn’t continue running.  Hitting the target requires getting in a still position.  There is coming a moment in your future when you will need to take your position and stand against fear.  You must take your position in complete faith in God to be with you.  David said to Goliath, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.”  I Samuel 17:46.  Those are the words of someone who is taking their position and taking a stand against fear.

The apostle Paul wrote: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Ephesians 6:10-11

God is the one who gave David what he needed to take his position and take a stand against Goliath, and God will supply what you need as well.  When the enemy sees you standing instead of fleeing in fear, that should be a clear sign that you are linked up with the Lord Most High.  When you have the assurance of God’s presence, you will be able to kill fear.

 

Killing Fear – Step One

You do not need a license to kill fear, but you do need the Lord Almighty.  In the shocking battle of David and Goliath, David demonstrated not just how to kill a giant, but also how to kill fear.  Goliath personified fear in this Old Testament story.  As a child of God, you need to learn quickly how to kill fear in your life.  There will always be circumstances in your life that will open the door for fear to walk right in.  But what did David do?  How did David kill fear?  Does it matter, just so long as fear loses its head?  It does matter, and there are specific steps you need to take to kill fear.

Step #1.     It matters how you approach fear. 1 Samuel 17:45 “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, 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.”  

To kill any fear in your life, you must come against it in the name of the LORD.  Many people will speak the name of the Lord, but it makes no difference in their life.  That’s because you can’t throw God’s name around like any other name.  To come against the enemy in the name of the Lord, you must give reverence to His name and understand who it is you are calling on for help.  His name is not like my name or someone else’s name.  To come against the enemy in name of the Lord, He must be your Lord.

Many people want a Savior in their life, but they don’t want a Lord.  If you make the true and living God the Lord of your life, then you can count on Him showing up as Lord over your battles.  To make Him Lord means to accept Him and have faith in Him and to surrender to His will for your life.  To make Him Lord of your life means that He must be Lord over every aspect of your life.  To make God the Lord of your life means that you give Him the place of authority and you constantly look to Him for direction.  Remember that you can’t use His name in a battle against fear until you make Him Lord of your life.

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