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Experiencing God 15 - God’s Invitation Leads to a Crisis of Belief

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Reading: 1 Samuel 17:17-54

The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37 (NIV)

I.   God’s call is God-Sized

     A.  Overwhelmed by God’s call? Good!

           1.  Are God’s expectations of us too high?

                 a.  Do you ever feel like you’re up against a Goliath with a spit wad?

                 b.  God does ask us to do big things!

           2.  Who do we think we are?

                 a.  Do we think God expects us to do them on our own — apart from His help?

                 b.  Still, we try don’t we?

           3.  God is bigger than “practical.”

                 a.  God’s call isn’t always “realistic” given our limited view of what’s realistic.

                 b.  We sound a lot more like Saul (v.33), than we’d like to admit.

                 c.  While God doesn’t call us to foolishness, he does call us to Trust.

     B.  Only God can do God-sized things

           1.  When God puts His hand on us, he plans to do His things through us.

                 a.  We don’t do our things FOR Him!

                 b.  God will do His things through us.

           2.  Only God can change a heart.

                 a.  God calls us to evangelism, but He changes people.

                 b.  He calls us to be His salt and light, but only he can point others to His light

           3.  Only God can build a Church

                 a.  God calls us to love each other, but only His love can make us one.

                 b.  He calls us to serve Him, but we can only do it in His power.

     C.  God’s call makes us Depend on Him

           1.  God calls us to do what we have to rely on Him to accomplish.

                 a.  God wants us to be driven to Him for His help.

                 b.  He wants to show His Power to the world through clay pots, like us.

           2.  If we do not need God, why would we need Him?

                 a.  We so easily forget our dependency on Him, God graciously reminds us.

                 b.  We need a vital relationship with God, because that’s the only way we can live

II.  Faith Required beyond this point

     A.  God’s call builds Trust

           1.  Relying on God shows us God is faithful.

                 a.  David’s experience with the lion and bear prepared him for Goliath

                 b.  David knew God had helped Him do the impossible before.

                 c.  Has God worked through us that way?

           2.  God always accomplishes His purposes.

                 a.  David knew God protects His people.

                 b.  We know He protects us.

                 c.  We know His Kingdom moves forward

           3.  God’s call stretches us to trust Him more and more.

                 a.  It wasn’t enough for David to trust about lions and bears.

                 b.  God doesn’t leave us in our comfort zones for long.

     B.  Faith Builds faith

           1.  Our experience of God’s faithfulness makes us bold to believe more.

                 a.  David’s experience of God, not battle, made him confident.

                 b.  Since God had helped Him before, He would help him now.

                 c.  How has God stood by us in the past?

           2.  The trust others have learned, inspire us to greater faith.

                 a.  David’s faith, convinced Saul to let Him fight Goliath.

                 b.  David’s victory reminded the Israelite army that the battle was the Lords (v.47)

                 c.  Who’s faith has stirred you? Who’s faith is stirred by yours?

     C.  Don’t enter Obedience without it!

           1.  Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6)

                 a.  God wants trust, not just tenacity.

                 b.  If we don’t trust Him, we can’t love Him

           2.  Without the shield of faith we are vulnerable to attack (Eph.6:16)

                 a.  David’s faith in God was the only shield he needed—He knew God’s protection.

                 b.  When our trust waivers, our fear rises

           3.  It is foolish to enter a God-sized call with a human-sized strength.

                 a.  We set ourselves up for failure, to try.

                 b.  We must rely on God’s help to do God’s work

III. Complete trust produces Bold action

     A.  If God is for Us . . .

           1.  The Israelite army and King lost trust in God’s promises to his people.

                 a.  They were terrified of Goliath.

                 b.  They forgot God+1=a majority

           2.  David reminded them.

                 a.  Goliath can’t win, if he fights God.

                 b.  God is with us—as he promised!

           3.  If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)

                 a.  Our giants are puny in God’s eyes.

                 b.  We don’t have to trust our own strength

     B.  Faith without Confidence isn’t faith

           1.  A lack of confidence is a lack of trust.

                 a.  How can we believe and yet be timid?

                 b.  Is God for us, or not?

           2.  Faith is being sure and certain (Heb.11:1)

                 a.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

     C.  Faith without Action isn’t faith

           1.  If what you say you believe doesn’t effect your life, you don’t really believe it.

                 a.  Do you say the house is on fire, and continue watching TV?

                 b.  Do you believe God is calling us to build His Church and just sit in your seats?

           2.  When we trust completely, we act boldly.

                 a.  What God calls us to, He’ll bless.

                 b.  So we go with confidence and boldness

The Bottom Line:

Trust God Completely, Follow Him Boldly

Hymn: Stand up, Stand Up for Jesus R#616 vv. 1 & 3

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