This is part of a series Dr. Aikens taught on being Stuck in No Change. The next part is entitled “Yokes of No Change & God’s Yoke”.
In the first part of this series, “A Look at Being Stuck,” we reviewed what being stuck can look like using David from I Samuel. We go one today to show that we can look good and still be stuck. What a tragedy.
We may fool everyone else who has heard about how good we look and sound. But God knows the real depth of our situations and our lack of faith.
We pick up David’s story with the report back home about Israel because, for 40 days, they had been fighting the fierce Philistines. But was that really so? Or was it misinformation?
1 Samuel 17:17-19
And Jesse said to David, his son, Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves and carry them quickly to your brothers at the camp. Also, take these ten pieces of cheese to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare and bring some token from them. Now Saul and the brothers and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, “fighting” … with the Philistines.
We need to understand that we can be stuck in no change and not even realize it. (Again, a tragedy) And all the people who think they know us can be fooled. But know this, the actual enemy we ought to be engaging with, will never be fooled.
In those forty days, Israel had not physically engaged the enemy once. It all was a war being played out in mind. Israel and King Saul had been totally withstood by an enemy that only looked and professed to be as mighty as they were. He spoke words and made noise but never attacked them.
Israel also had been held at bay by gazing and listening to that which had no true merit. They were finally intimidated and captivated by the sound of huff, puff, and bluff and the sight and demeaning imaginations painted for them. They gazed at a well equipped Giant. But then, so was the God they were supposed to be serving. Tragedy!
Besides, the Israelites were privy to the history of what their God was able to do and had done for them so many times in the past. Still, for forty days, a single but intimidating circumstance stopped all progress and seemed by all rights to be an effective weapon prospering against them. But not so!
God always has those He has chosen for Himself. Those to be used as He wills, to be sent in His time. They are His own highly favored leadership who may not be recognized among men, but in truth are His. These are the ones He knows are full of not just ability and desire but the light of integrity needed to lead His people through any circumstance needed for them to be made whole and free from fear.
Those God will send to aid us, to show us the way, to remind us that God goes before us, always.
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
Those God will send to aid will be like David in Goliath’s time. They may well be underestimated and even mocked because they come into the situation totally free and fearing nothing. But it is this very freedom from fear and intimidation that allows them to hear things far differently from the “stuck” do, and bring His overcoming presence and power.
And it is they who will have the authority and dominion to respond with a delegated authority that settles for no less than bringing the enemy down and God’s people out of stuck into a place of peace and victory.
1 Samuel 17:20
So David rose early next morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment just as the host going forth to the battleground … shouted the battle cry.
(Understand this is the same cry issued by them for forty days)
1 Samuel 17:21-24
And Israel and the Philistines (once again … as usual) put the battle in array, army against army. Now David left his packages in the baggage keeper’s care and ran into the ranks and came and greeted his brothers. As they talked behold, Goliath, the champion the Philistine of Gath, came forth from the Philistine ranks speaking the same words as before, and David heard him. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, terrified.
That is except for David, can you picture this?
1 Samuel 17:24-26
And the Israelites said, have you seen this man who has come out? Surely he has come out to defy Israel, and the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches and give him his daughter and make his father’s house free from taxes and service in Israel.
And David (unimpressed and unmoved) said to the men standing by him,
What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?
David was unmoved by what he heard the enemy say that day. Even though it caused everyone else better looking with greater experience and even better equipped than him to run in fear. For remember, David didn’t know fear. He knew and had learned to trust his God. That trust will stop the fear and the words of giants cold in our lives!
Remember the Psalms David wrote?
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me in this will I be confident.
David wrote 42 Psalms that deal with the concept of fear, what we should or shouldn’t fear, and why not. David was confident in this one thing; the faithfulness of His God. And he’d only just begun to know Him, and already his integrity and faith in God made David steadfast and unmovable.
So, the giant Goliath to David, though he was still but a boy, remained a mere circumstance to him. Simply an uncircumcised Philistine whom David knew His God would never allow to prosper as a weapon over those who belonged to and were the armies of that Living God.
God’s army looked good, but they were still stuck!
Sadly, just like David’s brothers, we, too, can become comfortable in hopelessness. Not only thinking our excuses justify our position but worse, we can convince ourselves we must stay in that place waiting on God to move so we can. But we truly are deceived then for being stuck will cause us to miss seeing, much less appreciate, the help God sends us.
We cannot allow those full of fear, insecurity, and jealousy issues like David’s brothers to become voices of accusation trying to hinder us from breaking through barriers of fear. They think to stop us from being the help needed to lead those assigned unto a returning to overcoming. To lead others from stuck or darkness to freedom and light, as we are all called to do.
1 Samuel 17:28-32
Now Eliab (David’s) eldest brother heard what he (David) said to the men, and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why did you come here? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and evilness of heart; for you came down that you might see the battle. And David said, What have I done now?
Was it not a harmless question? And David turned away from Eliab to another, and he asked the same question, and again the men gave him the same answer. When David’s words were heard, they were repeated to Saul, and he sent for him. David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of this Philistine; your servant will go out and fight with him.
As almost every child knows, David went on to bring down this giant Goliath with one smooth stone and his old familiar slingshot. Yes!
If we are not careful, excuses, insecurities, jealousies, and issues can and will prevent us from daring to imagine we could ever prevail against that which thought to withstand and taunt us with intimidation.
Looking good in battle will never be enough; we will never overcome, much less glorify or please God, if we do not take the time to identify the giants and rid ourselves of damage they think to cause by summarily purging ourselves of them.
This is part of a series Dr. Aikens taught on being Stuck in No Change. The next part is entitled “Yokes of No Change & God’s Yoke” Coming Soon Selah!
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