Delivered on 4/23/2017
Living Among GIANTS
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Each of us will face fear at some point, it is what we do with it that matters the most, how we react. We must claim our position as God’s children. We have the power to overcome fear when we apply His Word to our lives.
Tonight… we will look into the life of David as he faced the giant Goliath. How could the armies of Israel cower at the sight of this giant Goliath? David…alone, a simple shepherd, ready to battle this fearsome giant.
1 Samuel 17:4-11
4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
Anytime God requires us to face trials, tribulations, the giants in our lives. He always provides the courage to meet the demand. David was a man of great courage, not merely of human courage, but courage that is rooted in the sovereignty of God.
A young woman named Florence Chadwick attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast in 1952 in an attempt to set a record for covering that distance. When she entered the water, a heavy fog had settled itself on the path before her. Blinded by fog, she became disoriented and discouraged and gave up. When she finally decided she couldn’t go on, her escorts in a boat helped her out of the water.
The escorts feared to tell her the truth…Florence was less than 300 yards from the goal. Her only reply after learning how close she actually came was, "All I could see was hopeless." Her clouded vision kept her from victory.
Fear and doubt, got the best of Florence Chadwick. She saw her giant and all she could say was
“all I could see was hopeless”. Defeated, failed because of fear.
How do we see our challenges? When you stand on a hillside and see a 9-foot tall giant warrior taunting you, how do you view him? Is he an unconquerable obstacle or an opportunity for the glory of God to be revealed?
We can’t avoid a Goliath…he is necessary to our growth as Christians. Your Goliath may be an addiction, habit, attitude, financial problems, marital problems, or an illness. By looking at this incident in David’s life, we can learn some principles about facing the threatening, discouraging obstacles that come up in the life of every Christian.
We can look at the Goliath in our life one of two ways, the eyes of the faithless, defeated or the eyes of the faithful. Haddon Robinson, a famous pastor, author, theologian. Once said…
"In any situation, what you ARE determines what you see, what you SEE determines what you DO."
Keep that in mind as we study the views of how we can face our Goliath. The limited view of the faithless brings about fear and doubt, which results in dominance by the enemy. Fear and doubt brings defeat.
Fear comes when we live by sight, and not by faith. The view of the faithless is the view limited by sight. It is a limited view because the spiritual is not involved, only the natural, the physical. We see obstacles as undefeatable giants because of their imposing physical character…Goliath is estimated to have been 9 feet tall. Look at verse…
1 Samuel 17:24-25
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. 25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”
This word "defy" means "to taunt, ridicule, humiliate" isn’t that what the evil one wants to do in our Life? The devil wants to see us cower I fear…in defeat, so that he can mock us, make fun of us!
Again…like I had mentioned earlier, Goliath for you and I maybe a habit, an addiction, bitterness, unsettled matter, letting go of the past, a difficult moral decision, and so on. I can see it… it’s right there in front of me, and it’s just too big to handle. It’s a giant size battle! I Just can’t fight it, I don’t have the strength!
With a habit or addiction, the actions control me, I don’t control it. "I’ve been doing it for too many years. It is just too heavy of a habit, too heavy of an addiction” It is therefore heavily armored, and it controls us, just as Goliath controlled the mental state of the Israelites. If we face up to our sin or obstacle, habit or addiction… we fear that the giant will fight back, which without a doubt, it will.
Living by sight, we are defeated before the battle even starts. Notice in v. 24 (Power point)
“And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid”.
BEFORE THE BATTLE EVEN STARTS THEY FLEE. They lay their eyes on Goliath, and all they can see is the physical--"We’re all going to die”!
When we live by sight, it leads to defeat and being dominated by the enemy. We can see it…it right there, in front of our faces. Alcohol, & drugs, were my giants. Its right there, its calling me…taunting me. When we see by sight only, we quit at the mere sight. The real tragedy happens when we try and pass off our defeated attitude on others. What I mean is, that by the feeling of defeat…giving into my goliath, I not only hurt myself, but also hurt the ones that I love, my family (spouse, and children ) friends, church family, and so on!
Keep in mind that the enemy is always around… whispering the sound of defeat. “You can’t win”
David heard that same response from Saul…
1 Samuel 17:33
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
Saul had trained himself to look at things only through the eyes of the flesh. Saul had no idea how to see with the eyes of faith. Trusting God means to look beyond what we can see… to what God can see!
Look at our verse again, “You are not able to go against this Philistine”. You cannot fight your addiction, your habit, you cannot let go of your past, you cannot fix your marriage, your children hate you. My parents hate me, I’m not happy with my job, I’m about to lose my job and so on… These are our life’s Goliath. We live among Giants. Aren’t we tired of listening to the enemy that we cannot win? That all we are born failures.
It doesn’t have to be this way right! We don’t have live in fear, in defeat. There’s a Mighty power that goes before us into battle. We are never alone, our strength comes from above.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Did we memorize so many scriptures that we forget this very powerful truth?
Did we forget about this promise whenever we come face to face with our giant?
How do we fall so far to forget about Him? It doesn’t have to be that way church. We cannot live a life defeated. Simply because Christ cannot be defeated!
The unlimited view of the faithful brings about courage, which results in totally dominating the enemy. Courage comes when we live by faith and not by sight. Courage comes because we have confidence in God’s unlimited power, not in our own physical limitations. The view of faith sees obstacles as victories because of our God.
Any obstacle that comes our way is not just a threat to ourselves, but a defiance and insult to our Living God and His abilities. David saw this… It really upset him when he saw the soldiers of the Living God cowering as if they had no Helper. Look at the attitude David displays in….
1 Samuel 17:26
Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
Why did David not allow Goliath to frighten him as the giant had all the others in Israel’s army? Because, David feared and loved God more than he feared anything else. David knew he wasn’t alone in this battle.
“for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God”?
In our case… “who or what is this giant that stands before us, we are Gods children”!
You see, the eyes of faith see a completely different issue, it is not a threat to my security, but it is a defiance of the power, presence, and very character of the LORD of Hosts! David sees it not as the armies of Israel being run down, but bigger than that…the armies of the living God!! It is not my reputation at stake, but Immanuel’s. What is the meaning of Immanuel? (God with us) for me to allow Goliath to have victory is to tell the Almighty that this is one problem He is not big enough to handle.
Each and every time that we face our “Giants”, we have to remember Gods promises and learn to apply each and every one of them as our weapon to defeat the enemy. Let us notice the steps David took to defeat this giant, the same steps you and I can use to observe the victory from the Lord.
First, we have to ignore the doubts and fears around us. Let us not live a life faithless, but gain the strength that comes from above, and remain faithful! Saul expresses his doubts and fears to David. In our case, the enemy likes to whisper defeat, quit, you cannot win. Here is what Saul told David… Again!
1 Samuel 17:33
And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
Just like Saul, many will tell you the same thing. “You’re not happy with your marriage, just quit, get a divorce. Can’t fight your addiction, then just give in to it, you only live once, die happy”. You name it… we’re “LIVING AMONG GIANTS”. The enemy wants you and I defeated. And he will use everyone around you as his tool to make you fall. Don’t let him, remember who you belong to! He cannot be defeated!!!
Second: stand tall, be courageous, just like David…
1 Samuel 17:34-37
But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
David’s story concerned a lion and a bear tried to steal some sheep out of his flock. When they attacked, God delivered both beasts into his hand. What David is reminding us to do here is to remember that the same God Who has answered prayers before, Who parted a sea, Who stopped the sun from setting, Who raised the dead, who defeated the sting of sin and death…Who has done all these things…HE IS STILL GOD!
David did not fear Goliath because he knows Who goes before him into the battle.
David knew that God would deliver Goliath into his hands. And the same God will also deliver whatever giant that comes before us!
Church… are we still holding onto God’s promises or did we just forget? God has given you and I enough proof of His power, and what He alone can do. If He has lead you into victory before, He will do it again!
Thirdly: Act boldly when faced with a giant size circumstance…
1 Samuel 17:43-47
43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
“for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
When everything has been believed, prayers made, stories remembered, it is now time to act. All the wonderfully blessed things shared up to this point are meaningless if they are not acted upon. Goliath must be faced. He must be confronted. Whether your Goliath is a present dilemma or pain carried over from your past, it is time to face you giant. Had David said all these things about courage and faith, and then went back home without acting on the conviction that this giant insulted David’s God, he would be as big a coward as the men who fled at the sight of Goliath.
David acted boldly, trusting the Lord in every turn. He was prepared for battle, for David knew that he wasn’t alone. “for the battle is the Lord’s”.
Have the same attitude as David church… giants will come, we live among them. We have to face them. But, we will not be facing them alone, we have each other. You have your husband, your wife. You have your parents, you have your children. We have each other, this body that the Lord has made. We are never alone…no giant is too big, for our BIG GOD!!!
Church…don’t forget Who you belong to. Don’t forget the God that goes before you into battle. Trust that whatever giant you are facing now…He will deliver!
Difficulties are God’s errands. When we are sent on them, it is not a sign of His distaste for our company, but of His confidence in us. The question is, are we confident in Him? What are your Goliaths? What is it you live in fear of, that dictates how you will live, act, and feel? If my life is dominated by someone other than the Holy Spirit of God, I am being defeated by Goliath. Again, is it a habit, an addiction, marital problems, parental, children, financial security, or your past that you just can’t let you go? All the things that I had just mentioned, the giants of our lives, will determine our future. Be prepared, remain strong, trust in the Lord…
Deuteronomy 20:4 (NIV)
4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
The very same God that fought for Israel…is the same God that fights for you!!!
Let us pray….
Delivered March 26,2017
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
We had just celebrated our 1st year anniversary. We had a wonderful time of fellowship…good food, many guests. We have been blessed with a great message delivered by our Pastor Morley. Like I have said last week, it is by Gods grace that we made it to our 1st year, and it will always be by Gods grace that we make it to another.
The Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church is growing. Jesus is the only One that has the power and authority to add and build His church. We are just His hand and feet, called to serve, called for a task to advance His kingdom. It is by the enabling of the Holy Spirit that we are able to do what we do. If you look at our text, Jesus said, “I will build MY church”.
So…who is Jesus Christ? What do you believe about Jesus Christ? Does it matter what you believe about Him? Many people tell us that if you believe a certain way you are intolerant. Others say it does not matter what you believe as long as you believe. Instead of seeking man’s opinion I want to look at what Jesus had to say about this subject.
In this text Jesus was nearing the cross. He had spent three years with His disciples teaching and modeling ministry. He knew he was about to die and leave this world. However, He wanted to be sure that His disciples had understood the vital lessons He had taught. Among the lessons he shared was the truth of His identity.
He could not expect His disciples to be effective spiritual leaders if they did not discern His true identity. Within this context he asked them, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” ( v13) Who is Jesus?
Jesus began with an easy question and moved to the difficult question. After questioning the disciples about people’s beliefs he moved to question them about their beliefs. He said… ”He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” The answer to this question mattered to Jesus. As it should! How will we be able to tell the world about Jesus, if we are not sure of who He truly is. What would you say?
There are some questions that are not a matter of life or death. For example…if you do not know the names of the Presidents, you will survive. If you do not fully know how to work a computer, you will survive. If you do not know how to replace the oil in your car, you will survive. However, from this passage we learn that it is essential that we understand the true identity of Jesus.
In this text we discover it is important what you believe about Jesus. I want to share three important truths from the text.
The first truth is that it is possible to be close but wrong about Jesus.
-If you are playing golf and the ball stops one inch from the cup, does that count?
-If a wide receiver drops the ball in the end zone does that count as a touchdown?
Even so, being close in your opinion of Jesus does not count.
From a message that I read shared by another Pastor, he mentioned…
Karl Barth, a famous theologian, was on a streetcar one day in Basel, Switzerland, where he lectured. A tourist to the city climbed on and sat down next to Barth. The two men started chatting with each other. "Are you new to the city?" Barth inquired. "Yes," said the tourist. "Is there anything you would particularly like to see in this city?" asked Barth. "Yes; he said, "I’d love to meet the famous theologian Karl Barth. Do you know him?" Barth replied, "Well, as a matter of fact, I do. I give him a shave every morning." The tourist got off the streetcar quite delighted. He went back to his hotel saying to himself, "I met Karl Barth’s barber today." That tourist missed the point!
In this text we discover that people are sometimes close but wrong about Jesus. The people in Jesus’ day had a number of worthy opinions of Him. They compared Him to John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah. They were sincere but sincerely wrong. A common saying illustrates this point. “Close does not count except in horse shoes and hand grenades.” In playing a game of horse shoes you get points if you are close to the pin. If you are near a hand grenade when it explodes it will kill you.
Understanding the True identity of Jesus is a growth process but it is essential to discipleship. God has to be the One to reveal the true identity of His Son. Look at our verse…
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Short story from a devotional I once read…
A Sunday School teacher was attempting to teach her young students the true meaning of Easter. "Why do we celebrate Easter?" she asked. When the children replied ’because of the Easter bunny,’ Easter eggs, candy, spring, etc., she said, "No, those are Easter traditions and symbols, but what is the REASON why we celebrate Easter? What happened at the very first Easter?" A little girl raised her hand and said, "Easter celebrates Jesus coming out of the tomb." "Yes!" said the teacher, excited and relieved that finally the correct answer had surfaced. Encouraged, she prompted, "Jesus arose from the tomb, and what does He do for us?" The youngster replied, "He looks to see if he can see his shadow, and if He can, he goes back in for another six weeks."
So…close!!! Here is what Jesus said in one discussion with the Pharisees…
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
In another passage Jesus describes the closeness of a religious leader…
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.”
And when Jesus answered correctly, this was their response…
32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”But after that no one dared question Him.
You see these religious leaders knew scriptures, they know the commands. But they did not realize that the One who wrote them was standing right in front of them. So close!!! but missed the fact for all eternity. That is why Jesus responded in saying… “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Close, but not good enough.
A second truth we discover from our opening text is that there is a right and wrong answer about Jesus. Sometimes people get into discussions about Jesus identity. The early church struggled with the issue of heresy on many occasions. Even in our day we struggle with this issue. That is why there are so many churches, and have different beliefs.
Some say that He is God who became a man. Some do not believe in the Trinity, since the word Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible. Still no difference from our original text when Jesus asked “who do you say that I Am?” What will your answer be? “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus was pleased with Peter’s response. He passed the test. Would you? Peter’s confession revealed several things.
1. His confession revealed that he believed Jesus was the only way to God. The word Christ refers to the Messiah. Throughout the Bible the Messiah is referred to as the One who would deliver men from their sins and bring them access to God.
2. His confession revealed that he believed Jesus was God. Those are bed-rocks of the Christian faith. Jesus is the only means of access to God. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He is totally God. He is the right answer to the divine quiz. There is no other
So…if you were asked, would you give the right answer? “who do you say that I Am”?
A third truth we discover in this passage is that your beliefs will empower you. After Peter’s confession Jesus had affirming words for him… which will also be the same for you!
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Jesus words empowered Peter! What do I mean by empower?
When you are empowered you receive a new confidence. Jesus words reflect the impact Jesus would have on Peter. “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jesus gave Peter a new confidence and courage. Peter was not perfect. He would have additional struggles but Jesus gave him a new confidence. He found deep and abiding convictions that would make him a rock in the early church.A God given convictions are vital to your faith.
If you are one of many that has doubts on who Jesus is and what He alone can do, then you are just close enough… “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Close…but missed it for all eternity.
When you come to believe in who Jesus really is… you have been drawn to the Son. It is the Father who revealed His One and only Son to you, and you have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to believe with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Out of the Fathers love that has been born in you!
When you…like Peter empowered by the Holy Spirit will believe…that Jesus is…
He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing! He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power! He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can’t understand him,The armies can’t defeat Him,The schools can’t explain Him, and The leaders can’t ignore Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him, The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and The people couldn’t hold Him! Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him, The New Age can’t replace Him.
The question still remains… “who do you say that I Am?”
Jesus built this church… First Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church was purchased by His blood.
He alone can break you and make you new. The Fil-Am church has One foundation and that is Christ. He alone is God of this place. You can bring in all the famous teachers, pastors, theologians up here…and they cannot save you. Jesus alone can save you and make you new!
1 Peter 2:4-10
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Pastor Richard Santos
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