Living in Danger

You live in danger every single day whether you know it or not or sense it or not.  Some dangers are definitely greater than others, as are the threats and consequences.  When you get into your vehicle to drive to work or pick up the kids or drive to church on Sunday morning, there is a level of danger there with every vehicle you pass going the other direction.  Another level of danger is for those in professions that put them directly in harm’s way, such as first responders and our military and even health professionals.  But there is still another great danger for the child of God that is often overlooked.  David faced great danger when he went out to fight against Goliath, but he also faced great danger playing the harp for King Saul.

SCRIPTURE

“And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played [music] with his hand, as at other times; but [there was] a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice.”  I Samuel 18:10-11

You’ve probably never had anyone throw a spear at you and neither have I, but we have still been in great danger.  What was the danger?  David faced great danger because he was doing God’s will.  It may sound strange, but doing God’s will can put you in great danger.  If you struggle with that truth, you might ask the apostle Paul about the dangers he faced in spreading the gospel or ask Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den.  Jesus would really be the one to ask about the dangers of doing the will of the Father!

Our greatest danger is not the circumstances we face in life, but the greatest danger is that you don’t escape those circumstances and situations that stop you from doing God’s will.  God’s will was for David to get to the throne of Israel and to reign as King.  God has a will for your life and the enemy does everything possible to see to it that you doing something else.  The danger is in not escaping to keep doing God’s will.  God wants you to escape whatever it is that is hindering you from doing His will.

But how do you escape those dangers that kill your divine mission?

  1. Stay away from anyone who has a spear in their hand.  You really need to be aware and discerning of those around you who live on the edge of explosion, ready to verbally explode on you.  When Saul prophesied in his house, he wasn’t telling the future, but he was angry, demanding and loud.  And David was called in to help with playing music and minister.  David escaped because he knew that what was coming out of Saul’s mouth and what was in his hand were not a good combination.
  2. Believe that you may need to escape from the same person more than once.  David could have taken the spear and taken King Saul’s life in that moment, but he was innocent of King Saul’s life.  There are some Goliaths God wants you to take down, and there are some Sauls God wants you to remain innocent towards.
  3. You can escape by physically leaving.  That’s what David did.  He didn’t hang around to get an apology, nor did he act like nothing happened.  He physically left the house.  There may be times you need to leave the house to escape.  It’s good to leave at times so you don’t say or do something you’ll regret later on.
  4. You can escape when God is with you.  Two things God wants you to do in life is endure to the end and you will be saved, and escape to keep doing His will for your life. 1 Samuel 18:14 “And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD [was] with him.”  The odds of you escaping all that life throws as you is so much higher when God Himself is right there with you.

God’s great mission for your life to be a light to the world and a proclaimer of His love and forgiveness all depends on you continually escaping every circumstance.  Stay close to Him, escape, and keep doing God’s will.

Do Not Doubt

You cannot live expecting God to do something in your life and at the same time doubt He will do anything.  Doubting is an issue in most of our lives and it’s like pulling the plug on all our prayers to God.  When we speak faithless words of doubt it’s like throwing needles at balloons of faith.  People of faith have always been diseased with the plague of doubt.  One reason is because we don’t feed our faith the powerful truths of God’s word.  Wherever faith is not, doubt will surely be present, active, depressing and confusing.  We doubt because it’s just easier, and the old nature fosters unbelief and discredits the power of God.  We doubt many times because we surround ourselves with doubters and faithless people.  We doubt because we hear the doubters voices saying, “You can’t do that,” “Nothing will happen,” “Don’t count on it,” “It will never work.”  Oh what a blessing it would be to silence those voices that will also sing, “Victory in Jesus,” but then pray and live in unbelief.  Listen to what Jesus said can happen when faith is not tainted with doubt.

SCRIPTURE

“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”  Matthew 21:21-22

Among the twelve, it was Thomas who doubted Jesus’ resurrection.  While the other disciples lived in the joy and peace of the resurrection, there was Thomas left in his defiance and doubt.  He refused to believe unless he could actually see those nail scars in Jesus’ hands.

You don’t have to be like Thomas, but that means you have to examine your life, words and thoughts for any traces of doubt.  Once doubts set in, they are not going to decrease, and they will continue to increase until you see that doubt is what’s killing the joy and peace in your life.  Don’t entertain an attitude of doubt and don’t be a spiritual skeptic, but believe, believe, believe in the power of God and fight for a strong faith in your life.  Ask God to help you detect any doubts that try to rise up and take the place of your faith.  Start this moment living in faith and get out of doubt!

Get Past the Past

God does not need to recreate your past in order to give you a blessed future.  So many people want what was and not what is or can be, and they seem to be forever tethered to life as it used to be.  I can certainly understand that, especially if the past was a more pleasant experience than the present one.  But not only should we get past the hurts and disappointments of the past, but it would serve us well to embrace the wonderful possibilities of what God has for our future.  God is too creative to have to repeat what He has already brought us through.  He is the God of creation, not only of heaven and earth, but of our futures.  Is it possible that the victories and successes in your past pale in comparison to those God will give you in your future?  Unfortunately, the way the earth looked in the beginning is the way many see their future today.

SCRIPTURE

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.“ Genesis 1:2-3

Imagine the life of someone who only sees their future as, “without form, and void, and darkness.”  Maybe this is for you or someone you know who can’t enjoy their life because all they can see is behind them, and what is in front of them is without form and void or empty.  Believe that what it took in the beginning with the creation of heaven and earth is what it takes today to have faith in a blessed future.  It takes faith, but it also takes the Spirit of God to hover over our lives and for God to speak into our darkness and create something new.  However, the Spirit of God cannot hover over you unless you learn to be still and allow God to reveal His plans for you.  Take this message to the Lord today and tell Him you really want to get past the past and experience the glory and light of His creation for your life.  God is the One who gives meaning to what has no meaning and gives fullness to what is empty, and gives light to what is darkness, and He does it all through Jesus.  Solomon said it right, “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All [is] vanity.” Ecclesiastes 12:8.  How depressing is that?  The point is that life is empty and always will be, past, present and future, without a relationship with God.  Let God create your future and get past the past!

 

A Window of Time

You will not always be able to do what you are doing right now.  Your capacity and abilities will change even though you possess the Spirit and giftings of God.  Life changes and seasons change and so does our spiritual capacities. God is always the spiritual enabler.  He enables you to handle, organize, be engaged in and lead many things at one time, and then there will be seasons His enabling decreases.  He does that to show you that He is the source of your capacity and ability.

SCRIPTURE

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13“Whatever your hand finds to do, do [it] with your might; for [there is] no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.“ Ecclesiastes 9:10                                                                                        “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

If you believe this is true, then you should do what you can do while you have the strength, mind and ability to do it. You live in a small window of time and ability and just as it has opened and given you opportunities, so it will certainly close. Even though our capacity and abilities will come and go, there will always be opportunity for you to make a spiritual impact. The opportunity and ability is not valued as it should be, especially today with our warp-speed lifestyles, but it is the critical aspect of your capacity and abilities. What is it?  So long as you have the capacity and ability to pray to the Father, you have all you need to make a powerful difference in this world!  Never forget this.  A time is coming when you will not be be physically able do much, but you can still pray and move mountains and make a difference.

Take advantage of the window of time, capacity and ability God is giving you and do all you can, with all you can, for His glory.

Raised Up by God

Anytime God raises someone up, the odds of them coming under attack are extremely high.  Today God is raising up his children for spiritual assignments—great and small—all for His glory.  God delights in raising up the “no-bodies” sometimes to replace those who think they are somebody.  He raises his children up to speak to certain people and to lead certain groups and to deliver others.  God anointed David before He raised him up to kill Goliath.  Not long after David killed Goliath he was raised up again and befriended by Jonathan and promoted by King Saul, but then came the attack.

SCRIPTURES

“Now it had happened as they were coming [home,] when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. 7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now [what] more can he have but the kingdom?” I Samuel 18:6-8

When God is raising you up, you might come under attack by someone you never would have suspected.  Filled with jealousy, envy and anger, King Saul turned on the one he had promoted in his military army and the one who gave him victories against Israel’s enemies.  Instead of being thankful for the victory over the Philistines, King Saul became angry with David for the praise he received.  Saul was angry and jealous because he wanted the praise.

Jealousy and envy is one of the ugliest parts of the old human nature.  We should learn to rejoice with everyone in the victories.  We should learn to appreciate the unique abilities of others and esteem them better than ourselves.  We should walk in the spirit and grow in our faith and understanding so that jealousy and envy doesn’t lead us down the wrong path.  You should know by now that the enemy will always put people on the stage in front of you who can sing better than you can and speak better than you can and can do whatever you do better than you can just to see if jealousy and envy will rise up in you.

From this point on, live with the constant awareness that when God raises you up for any task, an attack will come at some point.  Begin today to see the attacks on your life as a sign that you are being raised up by God.

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.”    

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