Saturday, May 7, 2011

In the Name of the Lord!


1 Samuel 17:45-47 (TM) David answered, "You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel's troops, whom you curse and mock. (46) This very day GOD is handing you over to me. I'm about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there's an extraordinary God in Israel. (47) And everyone gathered here will learn that GOD doesn't save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to GOD--he's handing you to us on a platter!"

1 Samuel 17:45 (NIV) David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.


The practical lesson here is that God gives victory in response to our faith. God had tested David privately with a lion and a bear; now he was to test him openly with a giant. If we are faithful in the private battles, God will see us through the public testings. Too often God's people faint at the smallest test that comes their way, little realizing that the "little tests" are but preparation for the bigger battles that are sure to come. David used simple, humble weapons: a sling and five stones. Neither his brothers' criticism nor Saul's unbelief kept David from trusting God for victory. David declared that "the battle is the Lord's, and HE will give all of you into our hands!"

Too often, in a battle, I have a tendency to see the need to take the battle from God, and make the battle MINE instead of His. That is where we get into trouble. David declares that his confidence isn't in sword, or a spear, or a sling, or stones. His confidence was in the NAME of the Lord God Almighty!


One day a soldier, charged with fleeing from the enemy was brought before Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great asked him, "What's your name?" Dropping his head, he replied, "Alexander." Alexander the Great grabbed him by the shoulders and said, "Soldier, change your conduct or change your name!"

You have been called to live a life worthy of the One whose name you carry. Regardless of whether the giant you face is addiction, resentment, fear, lust, pride, envy or anger, you must realise:

1) You're not unique. Your temptations "are no different from what others experience" (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT). Goliath wasn't always a giant; he was fed and nurtured until he became one. Our giants are usually little sins we overlook and indulge until they assume a life of their own and come back to haunt us.

2) You can't do it alone. Your giant will defeat you anytime you tackle him in your own strength. David told Goliath, "This is the Lord's battle, and he will give you to us" (1 Samuel 17:47 NLT). You need divine help to overcome old habits and establish new behaviours. So, declare with Paul, "Christ... gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 NLT). Stop taking the battle from God! Let Him fight for you.

3) You must confront your giant head-on. The Bible says: "As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran... to meet him" (1 Samuel 17:48 NLT). Don't run away, don't try to negotiate, don't compromise and don't excuse. Force your giant out into the light and don't let him back into your life. Establish boundaries and make yourself accountable. Stay out of the wrong company. Above all, don't look at God in the light of your giant, look at your giant in the light of God.


"Lord, today I recognize that I am facing a giant that is bigger than I am, and is way out of my league. That is why I come to You and declare 'the battle is YOURS, not mine'. Please forgive me for the many times I have taken it out of Your hands and tried to fight it myself. When I do that, fear overtakes me. Too often I come not with sword and a spear, but with words and jeers, and I need to, like David, come in the name of the Lord. Your name is Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider. Jehovah-Shalom, my Peace. Jehovah-Nissi, my Banner. Jehovah-Rapha, my Healer. Jehovah-Shammah, my Lord who is Everywhere for You are Omnipresent. Jehovah-Tsidkenu, my Righteousness. Jehovah-Sabaoth, my Protector. Jehovah-Rohi, my Shepherd. Jehovah-Bara, my Creator. Jehovah-Go'el, my Redeemer. Jehovah-Ma'oz, my Fortress. Jehovah-Sel'i, my Rock. Jehovah-'Ori, my Light. Help me to put down the sword, spear, words, other things that I have confidently used in battle. Like David, I come to this battle in the mighty Name of the Lord Almighty! In Jesus' name, amen!"