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Remembering Your Future

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Remembering your future

 1 Samuel 17:1-52

When you're up against Goliath, you can fight in your strength and lose.  Or you can fight in God's strength and win.  How do we do the latter?  Let's ask young David.

First he tells us: don't listen to your critics.  When this youngest of Jesse's eight sons volunteered to fight the giant, his brothers laughed him to scorn (1 Samuel 17:28).  Saul ridiculed him (v. 33), as did Goliath; but so did the crowds while Noah built his ark.  The children of Israel slandered Moses before the Red Sea; the crowds accused Peter of being drunk at Pentecost; the Romans thought Paul insane when he stood before their governors; the thieves made fun of Jesus on the cross.  There will always be doubters.  To fight in the power of God, don't listen to his enemies or yours.

Second, believe what God has done, he can still do.  David has killed a lion and a bear, so he knows he can kill a man (vs. 33-37).  He knows what God has done in his life, so he knows what God can do.

In South America there is an Indian tribe which looks at life in exactly the opposite way from our worldview.  We picture the past behind us and the future before us.  They picture the past before them and the future behind them.  They look at the past they can see for guidance in facing the future they cannot see.  So did David.  So should we.

Where has God been faithful to you in the past?  Where have you seen his healing power, his forgiving grace, his mercy in your circumstances?  Remember the lions and bears you've killed before with his help.  What God has done, he can do.

Third, trust what God has given you.  Saul wants David to wear his armor (v. 38).  The ancients saw this as a way of giving David some of his strength, and also gaining some of the glory for the victory David would win.  Saul wants to defeat Goliath using the weapons of Goliath.  So David, a boy of 12 or 13, tries the armor of the tallest man in Israel, but it doesn't fit (v. 39).  We can imitate others, but we cannot wear their armor.

God has given you all you need to win the battles he has called you to fight.  David's weapons are simple (v. 40): five smooth stones, typically two to three inches in diameter.  The sling shot is two long cords with a pocket in the center in which the stone is placed; the slinger grasps the ends of the cords, whirls the stone, and shoots it by releasing one of the cords.  The weapons aren't much, but they are his.  They are the abilities and gifts God has given to him, and they are enough.  So are yours, as we'll see tomorrow.

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