Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mighty Things through Willing People

If you have ever read the story of David and Goliath, you know that David defeats Goliath in the end with only a stone and a slingshot. But what is not focused on, is that David had three older brothers named Eliab, Aminadab, and Shammah. Even though there were three older men, God chose David to be his servant, so that the Israelites and Philistines could see that mighty things can be done through those who are willing to do them.

But what about David’s brothers? 1 Samuel 17:8-11 says, “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11 On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

The last sentence is what I really want to focus on. It says that Saul, the King of Israel and all the people of Israel were terrified! Yes, Goliath was big, and yes the challenge seemed insurmountable, but isn’t God capable of overcoming anything? It reminds me of the song I used to sing when I was very little, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do!” Apparently the Israelites were not so keen on the idea that God might want to use them to defeat the giant.

This got me to thinking about which I am: a willing person like David or an untrusting, fearful person like the rest of the Israelites? I hope I am a willing servant of God, but I know I have a hard time trusting God to take my life into His hands. I have a problem with letting go of my control over my life, and it is not something I am proud of. Somehow I have convinced myself that my life is in my control, when it was in God’s hands in the first place. God created me and watches over me, and yet I still will not relinquish my hold on my life.

When I finally let God take my life into His control, I feel wonderful and free. Until something out of the ordinary happens that I do not like. Then I backpedal on my promise to God and take my future back into my own hands. This leaves me a coward, which is not something I strive to be.

It is so hard to give God control over everything in my life, even though I am so terrible at controlling my own life. I am not wise nor do I have the experience to keep my life on the right track, yet I am so sure that I am better at being in control.

The people of Israel are just like me. They were unwilling to do the difficult and more terrifying things, so they chose not to allow God to do amazing things through them. I most certainly do not want to be like the people of Israel. I do not want God to see me as a coward who does not trust Him enough to let Him work a miracle through me. I want to be like David: A willing servant of God.

Goliath was killed with a single stone and slingshot by a man who had barely grown out of childhood, all because that man trusted God enough to let Him work a mighty miracle through him. If I am to be like David, I will have to give up my grasp on what I think is better. God is God and I am not, so I best listen to him over my own ideas. Although it is not easy to give up control, it is what God wants me to do. God will be able to do powerful things through me, but only if I trust Him completely.

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