The Real Champion

1 Samuel 17:45   (KJV)   45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

This is one of the best declarations and statement of faith we can find in the Word. While all the other professional armies cowered in the presence of a 9’ 6” giant enemy who was mocking them terribly, the young good-looking shepherd bravely answered the 1 Samuel 17.45 - The Real Championchallenge. He was obviously much less experienced in actual battles; he was definitely much smaller; he was unquestionably the underdog—in the natural. I love that qualifier: “in the natural.”

David wasn’t blind; he heard what the enemy said; he felt insulted by it, and he couldn’t believe why his fellow soldiers were just swallowing all the insults—not because they “loved” their enemies, but because they were scared. David saw beyond what everyone else did. He saw the giant, but he knew Someone bigger. He was aware that he was facing the Philistine champion, but He knew the LORD of heaven’s armies.

He knew his much greater advantage.  His enemy’s power was all limited to the natural: sword, spear, javelin; his dependence stretched higher than the heavens and greater than the universe.  He faced Goliath bearing the Name that is above every name. Goliath represented the Philistines, David represented his God. Oooh, there alone, we see who the clear winner is.  And that’s how we too are or can become winners.

The odds may be undeniably against us; the situation may look really bad; it may seem like there is no other end but our defeat or surrender; there may be a strong pull to raise our hands up or the white flag and say “I give up.”  But there is a realm we know is real; it’s a real part of our existence; there, our hope is endless. Our LORD God, the Jehovah-Nissi—the LORD our Banner—is our sure victory.

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Conversations

malachi-3-16-conversationsMalachi 3:16   (KJV)   16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

The LORD looks with favor on those who honor Him, those who have high respect and regard for Him and His Name. The conversations of His people are music to His ears; they’re pleasant sounds He delights hearing. He sees the hearts of the people who trust Him, His ways, and His will. He’s never clueless, never unaware, never absent-minded, never misses anything we say or do. He knows us and everything about us. He always pays attention to us.

Like beautiful colors reflected from a gem, the words we speak reflect the beautiful contents of our hearts. They are wonderful words about our God. We speak of Him Who loves us most, Him Who cares for us most, Him Who blesses us most. What words can come from our hearts and lips except those of praise and worship? Our conversations are replete with faith, inspiration, and encouragement. Why not? With Him, we can never go wrong. No one who trusts in Him is ever reasonably disappointed. He never shortchanges us; He always treats us with infinitely gracious fairness.

People have many questionable ways, but our God’s ways are absolutely trustworthy. We don’t ever question Him. Our inability to fully understand His ways doesn’t equate to His wrongdoing. He doesn’t come through the way we expect Him to, but He always comes through for us in manners that dwarf the wisdom of our expectations. We are excited to talk about Him. We are excited to share truths we learn about Him. We run out of time seeking His face altogether. We have questions, but not against Him; we have questions about Him. It’s because we want to know Him increasingly more. So yes, He’s the theme of our conversation, and we continue in this route. That’s just our natural tendency for knowing Him, especially because we continue discovering new facets of our beloved Lord and Savior.

Greatest Reward

Genesis 15:1  (KJV)   After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

When our gracious God called the then pagan Abram, He made a very appealing promise – that He will make Abram a great nation; that He will bless Him; that He will make his name great; that Abram will be a blessing (see Gen. 12:2). But with all these amazing sovereign provisions, God presented Himself to the highly favored Abram as the best of all the offers. He will be Abram’s “exceeding great reward.”

Greater than becoming a great nation, greater than having a great name, greater than being a blessing – God is. Of all the bountiful blessings and benefits of being a believer, our Beloved beats the best of the best. if we may, He is the Best of the “best/s.” It is foolish to deny, reject or dismiss the amazing graces of God; it is also foolish to accept, embrace, and pursue them more than the God of grace. In what many believe as a noble posture of humility, some would innocently say that all they need is God; they don’t need or want His blessings. Conversely, in many cases of careless Christianity, some have gravitated towards the promises of God; they have forgotten the person of God. To reject what God offers is not humility; it may be ignorance, even pride. To miss God’s best offer is not gain; it’s to miss it all.

Dear God, our exceeding great Reward, may we be wise not to choose either You or Your blessings and reject either one or the other. May we receive everything You offer, but help us to wisely prioritize. May our hearts be single in longing for only You; may our hands be open in accepting all that’s Yours. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.