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Posts Tagged ‘David and Goliath’

Confidence

I would like to explore ‘confidence’ a little more and its place in the Christian life.  Why am I choosing to talk about confidence rather than choosing faith or hope or trust?  Well, it’s quite simple, ‘confidence’ is what the Lord has been speaking to me about lately.  Actually, He has been speaking to me about four ‘words’.  These ‘words’ are LIFE, GLORY, COURAGE and CONFIDENCELIFE AND GLORY, in my present thinking, have tended to group together and, it seems, COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE are tending to group together as well.  I’ve covered (in my blog) LIFE and GLORY and COURAGE a little so I would like to get a ‘bit more of a handle’ on CONFIDENCE.

In this world, when we lack confidence or we loose confidence, it seems that we can sometimes regain confidence by doing things to sow into our self confidence.  Therefore, we might join a group to be around those who are more self confident than ourselves or we might start reading self help books or watching motivational DVDs etc to gain a positive and confident mind set.  We can deliberately feed ourselves with self motivational material to bolster self esteem, self confidence and ego.

Now I am asking myself, is it wrong to build up our self confidence?  From the world’s perspective, that would be a definite no.   My observation is the more self confident we are, the more successful we are likely to be.  Conversely the more we lack confidence, the less likely we are to be successful.  In fact, if we lack confidence, it is unlikely that we will ever achieve everything we are capable of.  So self confidence is a good thing?  Right? (note question mark) Feeding our self confidence can be a tool to maximise our potential in this world else our visions and dreams and potential aren’t met and, a kind of, self fulfilling prophecy associated with a lack of confidence and not reaching beyond ourselves keeps us small and insignificant and trapped in a cocoon of fears and doubts.

So, you can see, there is a pretty good argument for us to develop our self confidence so that each of us can attain our dreams and visions and potential.  A question comes to mind, can we take our self confidence and fit this into our Christian faith somehow?  It seems to be a healthy thing to be self confident.  Surely we could be ‘a hell of a lot’ more useful to God and his Kingdom if we are self confident.  (I think I am being a little sarcastic)

Can you see through this nonsense I am going on with?  Perhaps the SELF in self confidence gave it away.  There should have been warning bells going off in your head.  If not, then perhaps you have been sucked into thinking that walking with God and self confidence are compatible.  I understand there is some clever marketing going on that mixes self confidence, self esteem, Christianity and using our friends to sell product to.  Woops I digress.

‘Self confidence’ or ‘confidence in self’ by it’s very nature and definition stands opposed to confidence and faith in our Lord

Let’s look at the example of King David.  I believe King David had confidence, but it wasn’t self confidence that he was relying on.  His confidence wasn’t in his own abilities.  His confidence was firmly and securely placed in the Lord. He chose, in his spirit and in his heart, to place his confidence in the Lord. This is in vast contrast to what the world teaches, that is, a confidence in self.

When we consider the account of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel Chapter 17 it isn’t just a faith moment for King David.  There is a walking in the confidence of God.  God is in David and David is in God.  The two were one.  You know, this might sound funny, but I believe even if David didn’t defeat Goliath, the Lord would have still been well pleased with him.  Anyhow, David’s confidence is firmly and securely placed in the Lord.  Consider David’s words…

his Holy discontent…

“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” [v26] NIV

“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God” [v36] NIV

his concern for Saul and his army…

“Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” [v32] NIV

as he confidently prophesied over Goliath…

“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. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” [v45-47] NIV

Opposition before the Battle

Even when those around him misunderstood him, doubted him and intimidated him this did not shake David’s confidence in the Lord. Let us consider some of King David’s opposition to his confidence in the Lord even before his battle with Goliath.  This might be helpful when people and circumstances attempt to rattle our confidence in the Lord.

When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” [v28] NIV

This was the first attack on David’s confidence.  It was a misjudgment of David’s heart and motives. Notice it came from someone close to him, his oldest brother.  Let’s consider David’s brother for a moment and where these words are coming from.  He is part of Saul’s army.  The army was dismayed and terrified v11.  Personally, his brother would have been feeling defeated and powerless and ashamed. Thus out spews an attack from his heart that tries to cut his younger brother down.  This is Satan at work here, working through the words of his oldest brother, trying to tear down David’s confidence in the Lord and it was coming through someone that David would have respected and looked up to.

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” [v33] NIV

Here is the second attack on David’s confidence and it’s a double whammy.  Don’t dismiss this one.  Satan is speaking through Saul now.  These are mind changing words.  “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him” is a powerfully suggestive statement to anyone who has a weak mind and weak resolve.   “You are only a boy” – Saul is suggesting that David is inadequate for the task and thus again his confidence in the Lord is questioned and attacked.

He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field! [v43-44] NIV

This is the third attack on David’s confidence.  If you look at verses 4-7 you can see that Goliath looks terribly intimidating.  Now, with his words, Goliath is blatantly intimidating and cursing David but David’s confidence in the Lord will not be put off and he gives this response to Goliath…

“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. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” [v45-47] NIV

So How Do We Get This Type of Confidence in the Lord?

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. [v34-36]

David came into the battle not with self confidence but with God confidence because he KNEW God.  He knew and had PROVEN the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in previous battles.  David’s life was in his Heavenly Father’s and his Heavenly Father’s life was in him.  David’s life was a life of EXERCISED faith and trust in his Heavenly Father thus his complete and unshakable confidence was in the Lord for the battle with Goliath.

“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.” [Psalm 71:5-6] NIV

King David’s hope and confidence extended beyond the lion and the bear.  From David’s youth his hope and confidence was in the Lord.  Can you imagine David lying on the side of a hill, tending the sheep and singing and praising his Lord.  Or perhaps praying to his Heavenly Father under the stars at night. In this fast paced, crazy world where are we to get the time to develop our relationship with the Lord?

Even from birth, David says he relied on the Lord.  How can he say this?  Could it be that we all have a measure of confidence when we are born.  It is just that we loose that confidence or are robbed of that confidence through the journey of life – I’m not sure.  Is David’s life an example of a life that hasn’t been robbed?  I think so.  David is walking in the confidence of God.

Remember, we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” [Jn 10:10] NIV

One of the best ways for Satan to make us ineffective is to rob us of our courage and confidence. These are essential ingredients for LIFE and essential ingredients for advancing the Kingdom of GodCan we truly LIVE without courage and confidence? Will we ever be victorious overcomers in our lives and in this world without courage and confidence in our Lord Jesus?

Here is the challenge!

Are we able to begin to allow courage and confidence in our Lord Jesus grow in our lives?  As God moves our lives from our safe, cocooned environments where we are controlled by our fears and our insecurities, our procrastinations and our indifference, our avoidance and our laziness, our slothfulness and our sinfulness we will begin to truly glorify the Lord in each and every victory we have in our lives.  All glory and praise to the Lord as each one of us becomes fully alive in Him and we gloriously display the victories available through Him – Amen

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