Learning From David
by Shannon Hutchison
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The life of David can be insightful for us to study for at least two reasons. For example, David’s affair with Bathsheba delineates that “freedom requires sound decision making”, and that sin, “is a poor choice”, whose consequences, depending upon the act, can produce adversity-creating, freedom-disrupting, unstable conditions. However, in spite of our sins, repenting hearts can still find from God, grace (God still referred David, “a man of God’s heart”, even after David sinned). Finally, just like how David defeated Goliath through God’s power, we can also find strength and power to overcome, our personal life giants, if we abide, trust, and draw strength from, our God.
Freedom requires sound decision making. Rather than pursuing an omniscient-God’s best- life pathway; man, starting with Adam, has habitually tried to play God and do things his own way. Eating the forbidden fruit of the garden of Eden has produced extreme negative consequences of man, including the tendency of humans to do evil, the propensity of man to put himself in unstable conditions, separation from God and civil wars among men, hell, emotional instability and bloodshed, to name a few. Love thy neighbor has been replaced with hostility, selfishness, and retribution. The world desperately needs love from a Savior, which is what it got from Jesus, proven on the cross. People need light from their darkness and hope from their troubles. Christians: we need to be the “city on the hill that is not hidden”.
“A stronghold is a lie which we have allowed to distort or confuse our thinking. A lie, with our permission, can gain control over our emotions and our behavior. If we allow a lie to reside within, then that lie, like a seed, will produce its fruit which will distort the way we see and think.” (Unknown quote) Two of humanity’s biggest lies is that “unsound ideas do not have negative consequences” and “if it feels good, it’s good.” For example, King David thought “adultery with Bathsheba is okay if I don’t get caught”; the next thing you know, the problem got out of hand, and Uriah got murdered in battle (in a “dirty” set-up by David). Even though forgiven by God, David and his family had to suffer greatly because of David’s sin: “his family had to live by the sword”, and in spite of much begging to God, David’s and Bathsheba’s baby died.
“A stronghold is an area of darkness within our mind or personality that causes ongoing spiritual, emotional and\or behavioral problems. We can be genuinely born-again, and sincere in our faith, but have an ongoing struggle with thoughts, emotions, and habits that wage war against our relationship with Christ. We pray, we study, and we attempt to discipline ourselves, but often find our “problem” is resistant to real change” (Unknown quote). The Holy Spirit desperately wants the “heart doctor” that “makes heart right”. Self-centered hearts need to seek Him, and let the Holy Spirit fill us with His overabundant love, peace, joy, self-control, etc.(see Galatians 5:22-23, fruit of the spirit) before it’s too late
In order for the Holy Spirit can fix broken hearts – damaged souls by sin – the Holy Spirit needs to reside in the person’s soul. This requires being a child of God. There is no greater peace, no larger contentment, and no greater intimacy than to be in a love relationship with the Father. Please open the door of your soul and let Him in. (Log onto inpursuitoffreedomministries.com/Salvation.htm for more information.)
“Life is to be entered upon with courage” (Alexis de Tocqueville ). In every life, there is a constant battle between fear and faith that consumes the soul. “Giant” problems that seemingly won’t go away; life mountains you often feel cannot be climbed. If you feel like giving up, insight and possibly inspiration, to overcome may be found in the David and Goliath story:
David and Goliath
“Focus on giants – you stumble. Focus on God – your giants tumble”. (Unknown quote)
On the Internet, I found a description of the David and Goliath story, ““There was a giant who was bullying and harassing the children in the village. One day, a 17-year-old shepherd boy came to visit his brothers and asked, "Why don't you stand up and fight the giant?" The brothers were terrified and they replied, "Don't you see he is too big to hit?" But David said, "No, he is not too big to hit, he is too big to miss." The rest is history. We all know what happened. David killed the giant with a sling. Same giant, different perception.
“Doubt and fear” in the form of Saul and Goliath tried to intimidate David into losing faith, but couldn’t. In Samuel 17:33, Saul said, “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” David though, remembering past victories defeating lions and bears, replied: “I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lions and bear will rescue from this Philistine!” After hearing Goliath’s death threats, directed at David, David confidently responded, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle and he will give to you us” (verse 43-47).
David drew strength and power from God to overcome his trial; reinforced by the statements “today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you” and “this is the Lord’s battle, and He will you to us!” The next point is that “God use David’s previous trials of lions and bears to build David’s faith and courage, in preparation for David’s, increasingly more difficult trial (Goliath) . . . “And the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel”, and that “the Lord rescues his people . .”(1 Sam 17)
When you face “giant trials”, remember the same omnipotent God who enabled David to overcome his “giant” is with you all the time. Secondly, realize that in your times of grief that God uses all your sufferings to strengthen your heart, for a greater purpose, perhaps “giant-sized”. So, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 31:8).
“Giants: We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone.” (Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants)
King David has his human weaknesses. But in God lay his strength. David was a man after God’s own heart. We can learn a lot from a study of his life. We can learn how to handle our defeats and disappointments, and how to face our giants – the giant of insecurity… depression… divorce… alcoholism…drugs… child abuse (Max Lucado)
In our pursuits toward overcoming, I feel it’s important to mentions that “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12) That’s right. spiritual warfare.
Pedro Okom said, “Spiritual warfare is very real. There is a furious, fierce, and ferocious battle raging in the realm of the spirit between the forces of God and the forces of evil. Warfare happens every day, all the time.”
Satan is a “roaring lion” who uses lies and fears in hope of devouring people (1 Peter 5:8). To destroy us, the devil tries to create strongholds in us by exerting pressure upon our fears, frailties, sufferings, and painful memories. His deceit works to impair our decision making by influencing what perceptions we “label” of situations and circumstances. He also likes to make potential misfortune seem more threatening and more likely to occur than in reality, hopes to arouse negative emotions to intolerable levels, lie about what threshold of suffering we can endure and that there is no escape route through the struggle, and finally, make us believe God is not in control. However, if “you know the truth, it will set you free.” (John 8:32).
“Spiritual warfare is not a power struggle, but a truth encounter”. When Satan repeated tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, Jesus, every time, told the devil, “The Scriptures say . . “, and the quoted the relevant scriptural passage. Deceit, temptation, and then accusations are the tricks of the devil. Conversely, we must “put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil:
Belt of truth: “our defense against Satan’s primary weapon, which is deception.”
Breastplate of righteousness: “your defense against the accuser of the brethren. “You’re not good enough to be a Christian” is an example of an accusation the devil uses to torment us.
Shoes of peace: “become protection against the divisive schemes of the devil when you act as a peacemaker among believers (Romans 14:19). Must abundantly be in God’s Word to use it, and the “peace of God must rule in your heart.”
Shield of faith: “deflects Satan’s lies, temptations, accusations” Must constantly be in the Word to have faith. The more you know of God’s Word, the stronger your faith. The less you know, the weaker your shield of faith is.
Helmet of salvation: “guarantees eternal victory”, which results after becoming a Christian.
Sword of the Spirit: the Word of God, the only offensive weapon of the armor of God. Use God’s truths against Satan’s deceitful tricks,, and victory is ours.
(Ephesians 6:10-12. See also Bondage Breaker, Neil T. Anderson).
James 4:7 “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”
“Choice, not chance, determines one’s destiny”. (Jean Nidetch)
“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as you can change your beliefs.” (Maxwell Maltz)
This power is God, the maker of the heavens and the earth.
"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one there.” (Unknown quote)
“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” (Marianne Williamson, author).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
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