Day Twenty-Three: Praise Challenge

DavidknewGodsstrength

Sometimes we encounter challenges we weren’t expecting.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  I was going about my business, feeling good about the progress I was making, with God’s help.  And then, a giant reared its ugly head.  I hate it when that happens.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a little about how to handle giants over the past few years.  I have also learned that every giant is an opportunity to grow in faith, and that opportunity always presents the opportunity for more praise.

At first, I was tempted to get angry.  What gave this giant the right to step into my home and bellow his threats?  My anger was not misplaced, but I had to be careful about how I chose to give it expression.  Giants love to tempt anger into foolishness, but God gives room for righteous anger – anger over what is unjust – and so I did what I knew needed to be done.  I rose up, with love, with bold grace, with prayer and with praise.

I pulled out my Bible and I began to read it out loud.  If this giant wanted to hurl threats at me and my house, I would bring a sword to his head, the Word of God.  Afterall, this is how David fought Goliath.  Though his earthly weapon was a little slingshot and a handful of stones, his first swings were taken with the Word of God as He proclaimed,

“You come to me with a sword and a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.  And I will give the dead bodies of the host of your armies this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the world may know that there is a God in Israel…”

That might seem a bit extreme, if you don’t know the whole story.  What David threatened his giant with, the giant actually threatened David with first.  David merely took his threat and aimed it right back at him!  And David had the unwavering confidence to do this because he knew what God’s Word said, and since he had spent his years worshiping God out in the fields while tending flocks, David had come to know God well enough to trust in that Word.

In the book of Deuteronomy (28:25-26), the very threat Goliath hurled at David is written down as a curse for the disobedient.  David knew that a man who did not love God did not possess the authority to carry out a threat like that against a man who did love God.  David knew his heritage.

Do you know yours?  Are you confident in what the Word of God says about you, about the authority it holds for you?  In Isaiah 54:17, God promises this to those who belong to Him:

“…no weapon formed against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me…”

Taking these things in mind, as David did, and holding them firmly in my hand as weapons, I rose up to face my giant with an attitude of praise, because I knew that he was already defeated.  I didn’t need to be afraid of him, because I belong to the Lord, Who has all power over my enemies.

So I prayed, hurled the threats of the Word of God back at that giant, and sang my songs unto the God Who fights with me and for me.  And then I returned to my work, determined not to be distracted by this giant any longer.

What I hope you will take away from this is the truth that God is for you, and therefore you need not fear anything that approaches you.  His Word is full of promises for you, and threats against anything that threatens to harm you.  In your praise challenge today, take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word, and speak it out with joyful confidence, because the enemy shrinks back with horror at the power of its truth.

God has positioned you to win a battle today, not to be overwhelmed by an enemy who is only armed with intimidation and lies.  Wield the truth, and celebrate the victory that belongs to you, for God is faithful to honor His Word every time we call upon its promises!


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