Fear, Determination & Faith
Last week I began to tell you about my journey with the Whole30. It has taken me some time to process all of this, but each week I become more excited to share with you how Jesus is meeting me right at my point of need. I had no idea what I was going to experience on my journey, but I can tell you this – when you learn to “Be Still” and sit in His presence you can expect the unexpected.
As I began week 2 of my Whole30 God took me to a very familiar Bible story. It was a story I had learned when I was a child, but had never applied to my own life. The story was about David and Goliath, the account of a young shepherd boy going to battle against a huge Philistine named Goliath whom everyone else feared. I’m sure you have all heard the story, but have you ever focused on the details?
You can read the whole story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, but I want to share some insights that God revealed to my heart while learning to face my giant.
First, this battle went on for forty days, the same amount of time it rained while Noah was in the ark. Then it was another forty days before Noah opened the window. Moses was on a mountain with God twice for forty days each time. Jonah had forty days to save the people of Nineveh, Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness for forty days and Jesus remained on earth for forty days after his crucifixion and resurrection. I knew at that moment God was calling me to do my Whole30 for forty days instead of thirty. Forty is also the number of years I have been struggling with my weight. I am feeling like an Israelite who has been wandering for forty years to find the Promised Land and God is leading me home, but it isn’t going to be easy.
The Israelites were terrified of Goliath because of his huge size and what the giant could potentially do to them. David’s fear (reverence) was recalling what God could do FOR him. In any battle there is always an element of fear because of the unknown. The beauty is that our fears can always be changed from a weakness to a strength because we have a mighty and powerful God on our side. Winning the battle isn’t always in our timing, nor is the desired outcome always exactly how we thought it would be, but if we trust God with every aspect of our lives we can rest assured when we face our own personal giants, God is with us. We can face any giant knowing what God can do FOR us and through us despite what the circumstances look like. Giants come in many forms such as addictions, financial problems, relationship issues, sicknesses, and fears. These may be giants to us, but no problem is too big for God to handle, not even a nine foot giant named Goliath. The giants each of us face are the enemy’s way of distracting us from God’s truth, and from the power He has given to each of us to overcome our fear, to be free and to help others.
Determination is a powerful component in a battle. You have to be determined you CAN win in order to win. The minute you back down from your determination you lose the battle. David didn’t let anything or anybody stand in the way of his belief that God would not only allow him to face Goliath head on, but God would allow him to defeat Goliath. David’s brother Eliab was angry with David and basically said, “Who do you think you are and what are you doing here anyway when you are supposed to be off taking care of some sheep somewhere?” Have you ever experienced an Eliab in your life, a person who thinks you don’t have what it takes to slay the Giant and win the battle? I have. When I have gone to the gym or completed a 5K, I have seen and heard the words which were being spoken about me. There are times I have even been Eliab to myself! It is bad enough when we allow others to steal our determination, but when we think this way, we are handing ourselves over to the enemy on a silver platter. David was bold and determined when facing Goliath and we need to be the same. Each day we need to pray for boldness and determination in facing our own giants and recognize we can’t win on our own, but only through Christ. I am determined to win this battle because God is on my side!
Faith gives birth to blessing. David’s fear, determination and faith in God is what allowed David to slay Goliath and receive God’s blessing. David didn’t wait for others to fight his battle. David ran towards his giant and defeated him head on (pun intended) because of his faith in God. The definition of faith is believing in what you can’t see. Our faith is believing that God can do what seems impossible. Faith is the easiest way to face and defeat our own giants. This is what God wants for everyone. My weight has taunted me for years. I would have small victories, only to give up my determination, become fearful and crumble in defeat. God is calling me to exercise my faith and build up my muscle to gain the strength and stamina to face my Goliath. Goliath only had faith in himself, David only had faith in God. See the difference? In order to slay my Goliath I will need to hand over my fear, stay determined and have faith God is going to do it!