Summary: A few weeks ago I spoke to you about faith...and I gave you each a mustard seed to illustrate just how small a measure of faith was really needed to perform all the things God has for you to do...just that little bit of faith can move mountains!
1 SAMUEL 17:20 40, 48 50
A few weeks ago I spoke to you about faith...and I gave you each a mustard seed to illustrate just how small a measure of faith was really needed to perform all the things God has for you to do...just that little bit of faith can move mountains!
This morning I want to take that concept of faith a little farther because I believe that somehow we haven't quite grasped this whole matter of faith and what it really is...as well as what it is not.
Do magic trick...
I don't think there were many here who were fooled into thinking that I could really make that money disappear. I guess that means that we don't really believe in magic...and we shouldn't because magic as we know it is nothing more than illusion and trickery.
But yet there are so many people...Christians, who have a magical concept of faith. So many believe that only a few gifted individuals really can "perform" great feats of faith. And this is evident to me from the most famous expression I hear as a pastor..."Oh, I could never do that!"
And most of the time I hear that said, it is not a case where there is a lack of ability...but a lack of faith that God will enable us to accomplish the task he has for us to do...or that God will give us the grace to endure the problems and situations we face.
Faith as the Bible describes it is not magic... It's not believing a lot of things...it's trusting one thing. It's not holding on to a lot of doctrinal truths so much as it is letting go of fears. It is doing deeds, or going through situations that take you beyond your natural strength or ability ... that's why faith often looks like courage.
The story of David and Goliath is a perfect example of a biblical understanding of faith.
READ 1 Samuel 17:20 40....48 50
This familiar story I believe is there in the Scriptures as a model of what faith ought to look like. Here is a young kid who wanders into the adult world saying he can defeat the giant that has scared the daylights out of everyone else in the entire Israelite army.
Here is a young man whose only work experience is that of a shepherd. But to him, killing this giant of a man would be no more difficult than killing the wild animals that threatened his sheep.
Now that may seen pretty naive...because even though he killed a lion and a bear, which are pretty ferocious animals...I've yet to hear of one 9 feet tall...with armor...carrying a spear the size of a small tree. But that is the way biblical faith often appears to the world...naive.
Any time we try to give a biblical answer to the world's problems we get the same reply...that we're just being naive...that nobody could honestly be expected to put their trust in "religious solutions." Even Saul says to David, "You haven't even seen this Goliath. What makes you think you can defeat him?
But Saul is out of options. His men refuse to fight and Saul himself says, "Hey, not me man!" So he says to David, "Let's see how you look in my armor." This must have been quite a sight because David is just a boy and Saul was a big man...if you remember that when he was chosen king it describes him as being a head taller than everyone else.
But David doesn't put his faith in armor or a large sword, but in God! He said, "The Lord who delivered me in the past will deliver me again" So he removes the armor and goes off to meet Goliath with what he is used to...just a slingshot and five smooth stones.
And that seems to be the "epitome of stupidity"...not any armor, no sword or spear. And look at us when we face a giant of a problem...but I have no great "weapons" ...I have no experience...I have no qualifications...I don't have the strength to go on...
But listen to David as he goes to meet this giant..."You come to me with a sword and a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts. Glory to God!
This may not be quite appropriate or dignified...but who cares... Indiana Jones...up against some martial arts guy with swords...very intimidating...but Indy is confident because he has a "secret" weapon, which in this case is a gun...which he pulls out and shoots the guy with... Can't always go by appearances.
David went out in faith...but not faith in his own ability...it was faith in God and God's power to deliver. David had the right attitude even when things looked at their worst.