Everyone puts their faith in something. We either trust in the Word of God or we trust in our feelings and perceptions. David was a man who trusted in the Word of God. In 1 Samuel 17 David is confronted with the taunts and challenges of Goliath. All the soldiers in the Israelite army saw Goliath, heard his arrogant words and were paralyzed with fear. David heard the same challenges, he saw the same giant, and he experienced the same feelings of righteous indignation for the name of the Lord. The difference was that David’s faith was rooted in what God said was true. David believed that God was bigger than Goliath. David believed that God’s promises were truer than Goliath’s threats.
David’s perspective was influenced by the Word of God not by his human fears or understanding. We don’t always get to choose which Goliath’s we face but we do get to choose whether we face our Goliath’s with our faith in God’s Word or our faith in ourselves. To be a mighty in faith like David, we need to be convinced that God’s Word is true; we need to be people who know what it says, do what it says and we need to be trained to use the Word as the sword of the Spirit.
In the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Harrison Ford plays the Indiana Jones character in search of the Holy Grail. Sean Connery, playing Indiana’s father, helps him in this quest. Following an old map with ancient warnings, Indiana must pass several tests while navigating through a treacherous cave to find the Grail. One of the tests is that he must make “a blind leap of faith”. Indiana is standing in a huge cavern on the edge of a seemingly bottomless pit. “Take a blind leap”, Jones says to himself as he sees a picture on the map. The picture is of a man walking across the chasm to the entrance of a cave where the Grail has been hidden. To Indiana’s view and to the movie audience, it looks like a deep gorge with no connection to the other side. Putting his faith in the map, rather than what his eye could see, Indiana steps off the cliff. At first it looks like he is headed straight into the cavernous deep but instead his foot lands on solid rock. The camera angle changes on the film and in what looks like an optical illusion, a hidden bridge connecting both sides always existed. Indiana is affirmed in taking his step of faith.
Faith is always expressed in action. When David put his faith in the Word of God, he boldly stepped into the Valley of Elah. Likewise, when the Israelite army put their faith in their feelings and personal perceptions, they passively retreated into their own fear. We face Goliath when we trust in the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 states,
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
God’s Word is life giving and life changing. It has the power to impart faith, increase courage and develop character. When we face Goliath with reliance on the Word of God, we are no longer trusting in our own resources but we are trusting in the supernatural resources of God.
So, what's our calling that Paul says right out of the blocks in Ephisians chapter 4? I therefore prisoner of the Lord entreat you and urge you to live a life worthy of your calling. Well our calling is, bless with every spiritual blessing, totally saved by grace. Made part of a new community, a body, the church. And so, we ought to live like it!All Sermons by JP Jones