Summary: Learning from David about how to be successful in spiritual warefare.
Note: Based in part on a message by Pastor Brian Atwood
a. Today I would like to start by honoring each of our military veterans. So I would like for each of you to stand, tell us your branch of service, how long you served, and when you served.
b. Next I would like to honor our public service veterans and I would like for each of them to do the same thing.
c. It is my guess that each of you were in at least one “hairy” situation that caused you be afraid. We know that bravery and fear are mutually exclusive. Just because you are afraid doesn’t mean that you aren’t brave.
d. As a Christian, have you found yourself in situations where you were afraid in what were clearly circumstances of spiritual warfare?
e. We can harvest some invaluable lessons learned from One of God’s greatest warriors, David, on how to engage the enemy and how to overcome our fear.
2. First—Focus on God, not your fear (vv. 1 – 3).
a. Read vv. 1 – 3.
b. Note that David’s first order of business is to praise God. Having done that, when compared to God, what could his enemies possible do to him?
(1) When he seemed to be surrounded by darkness, God was His light—his salvation and his deliverer from earthly enemies.
(2) When circumstances were beyond his control and the world seemed to be crumbling at his feet, he turned to God, the stronghold of His life. With that sort of protection, He didn’t have to be afraid of anyone or anything!
c. While I have never actually been in a combat situation, my guess is that one of the greatest hurdles to overcome in battle is fear.
d. I can recall as a young sailor stationed on the USS Sam Houston, a fleet ballistic missile submarine capable of deploying Polaris A3 missiles, a situation in which I was really scared. The fact that this was the height of the cold war made the situation all the more intense.
(1) We routinely ran missile launching drills. They always began with an exact, specifically formatted announcement over the ship’s general announcing system, “Man Battle Stations Missile for WRST (weapons system readiness test). Spin up all missiles. Set condition 1SQ.” PLAY SOUND BYTE. Had it been the real thing, the announcement would have changed to “Man battle stations missile tactical launch.”
(2) On this particular occasion, battle stations missile was called away and the announcement made over the ship’s announcing system was, “Man Battle Stations Missile. Spin up all missiles. Set condition 1SQ.” We waited what seemed like an eternity to hear the most important part of that announcement, WSRT, not knowing if conditions in the real world had gone to pot or not.
(3) Finally after about 20 minutes of sheer torture, the CO completed the announcement informing us that this was a WSRT and a drill.”
(4) During the course of that 20 agonizing minutes, we were truly scared. Were we about to unleash death and destruction on the world?
e. While David did not face circumstances like that, he did face circumstances that would have been equally frightening to him, if not more so. Take Goliath, for example. Despite that, David did not let fear take the song out of his life.
Author Max Lucado shares the story of a parakeet named Chippie who had a very bad day. It began when the bird’s owner decided to clean his cage with a vacuum cleaner. She was almost finished when the phone rang, so she turned around to answer it. Before she knew it, Chippie was gone.
In a panic she ripped open the vacuum bag. There was Chippie, covered in dirt and gasping for air. She carried him to the bathroom and rinsed him off under the faucet. Then, realizing that Chippie was cold and wet, she reached for the hair dryer! Chippie never knew what hit him.
His owner was asked a few days later how he was recovering. "Well", she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares."
Have you ever felt like that? One minute you’re whistling through life, and the next you’re caught up in a whirlwind of stress. Life sucks you up into its vortex and just when you think you’ve recovered from one trouble another wind of adversity blows in your direction.
Don’t be like Chippie the parakeet. Don’t let the song go out of your life.
g. Earthly warfare requires that you be confident—confident in yourself, confident in your fellow fighters, and confident in your weapons. Spiritual warfare requires confidence too.
(1) It would, however, be foolishness on our part to put our confidence exclusively in our strength and abilities. If that is all we are relying on for success, we are justified in being afraid.