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.

Lame Laughter

Luke 8:53-54  (KJV)   53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

Jesus was about to perform a spectacular miracle: raise a child back from the dead. People who didn’t have an intimate understanding of His being, His words and His works scornfully laughed at Him. What could have been a painfully disturbing gesture to many people didn’t stop Him from doing what He intended to do. Despite the mockery of their laughter, Jesus faithfully answered a father’s desire. The Scripture was not concerned about recording the interesting reaction of the insulting taunters after the jaw-dropping miracle; what’s important is that their disdainful expressions didn’t deny our Lord from bringing into the family a faith-building experience.

Laughter – something so good can become so bad. We can use it harmfully; it can hurt us terribly. Not everyone will understand who we are and what we do. This becomes even more true in the sphere of our eternal Kingdom living. The natural mind can’t fathom the supernatural realities. Many of what they see as okay, we see as unacceptable; what they may deem impossible, we see as possible; what they see as the end, we see as transition or opportunity for a miracle. We will be laughed at; that’s out of the question. The issue is how much their ridicule will affect us. Will their laughter successfully stop us from believing the truth? Will it stop us from steadfastly living for the Lord? Will we allow it to change our course of actions and derail us from our God-given destiny? God forbid. They will laugh at us scornfully; they will do what they want to do; we can’t stop them. Let’s laugh joyfully; let’s do what we ought to do; they can’t stop us.

Dear God, our God of joy, may we find our greatest joy in You and You alone. May no unbelieving insults – may they be jeers or cheers – deter us from continually performing our tasks and yielding Your intended results.