Last week’s post focused on finding “shalom” as we live 2018. Part of living in “shalom” is feeling at peace, and part of feeling at peace often relates to being prepared. We can face many challenges if we feel prepared, like when the shepherd – soon to be king! – David faced down Goliath. (1 Samuel 17)
- David was spiritually prepared. He understood it was more than just a physical battle, and that he was not alone.
“I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands…”
- David was emotionally prepared. He knew who he was and how to be at his best. Saul tried to fashion him into a warrior by putting him in armor, but it felt so unnatural, David gave it back and went out the same way he would to defend his sheep.
“Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.”
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”
- David was physically prepared. He was battle tested though his encounters with the enemies of his flock.
“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
What giants will you be facing in 2018? Our “giants” can be all kinds of things: maybe you are pursuing a goal like finishing your degree, or getting a promotion at work. Perhaps you are trying to overcome some physical challenge, or you have relationships that need to be restored. God may be leading you to consider cross-cultural missions and you are not sure how to begin. Whatever your giants, how are you preparing?
Like David, we should prepare spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Spiritual Preparation – Bring these giants before your God and King. Understand who and whose you are. Rest in God’s power. Be still and see the salvation of your Lord.
Emotional Preparation – Be confident in who God has made you to be. Understand your strengths and your weaknesses. Play to your strengths and surround yourself with people who will have your back in areas of weakness.
Physical Preparation – Bring the best of yourself to every venture. Focus on your health and fitness. Equip your mind with tools that you will need as you move forward. See everything happening now as preparation for what is ahead. Make each moment count for the kingdom.
Face down your giants in 2018. Claim new ground. Fight the fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith.