Monday, June 17, 2013

Bringing Goliath Out of Hiding

(To set the stage for this, go back and read the preceding post if you haven't already).

The Goliath that young David faced was towering over his face and not merely in his face, out in the open and, definitely, not hiding anywhere! And David's Goliath arrived on the scene first. So, while we have to take a break from the story and can only press the David and Goliath analogy but so far--since our Goliaths are rarely human, there are principles we can apply when it comes to bringing down those larger than life obstacles we face.

The first thing we have to do is admit we have a Goliath that has taken up residence in our life. Often we humans try to hide our Goliaths and pretend they don't exist. We try to relegate them to the basement or cram them in the attic and pray they stay still and quiet so the neighbors don't learn of their existence. Let's be honest. Often, we're ashamed of Goliath and our obstacle makes us feel like a failure. Some Goliaths force us to admit our bodies aren't as strong as we thought they were or maybe we've made some wrong choices that have now caught up with us. We hide Goliath because his presence makes us feel "less than." Much "less than." And the longer we hide Goliath and don't deal with him, the more it feels like he has become a permanent resident instead of being a temporary tenant like he really is. Remember: many of our obstacles are temporary...job loss, many health conditions (even those that will be lifetime but can be treated), homelessness, financial setback, etc. There are, likewise, obstacles that will need to be faced on a regular basis the rest of our lives, so while we can't change the obstacle itself, we can change our attitude towards it. We can change how we deal with it...we can bring it out of hiding and when we do, we will find that there are many, many people and families dealing with the same thing. We aren't alone. There's a vast ocean of experience out there and people will help us. But they have to know we need them.

Also remember: what's "out of sight" to others, is never out of our minds...nor out of our own field of vision either. Truth be told, our neighbors have probably heard about our new "tenant" living in our basement--somebody besides our immediate family knows--so we really aren't fooling anybody.

Goliaths aren't meant to be hidden. And the fact of the matter is, they can't be dealt with and conquered when we try to hide them from others. We cut ourselves off from the support we need to face them. We cut ourselves off from advice and other ears to bounce things off of.

It's not pretty when we face Goliath, though. We may be all alone in the initial confrontation. Like David was against Goliath. Oh, yeah, David had the king, three older brothers, and the rest of the Israelite army behind him...way behind him. Shaking, quaking, and scared, thinking the unarmored David was some kind of little fool and they were probably already planning the guy's funeral.

And there was ugly name calling on Goliath's part. He did his level best to intimidate David. The thought of killing a young boy didn't bother him a bit. Get that little punk out of his way and the Philistines could then enslave the Israelites.

We read in 1 Samuel 17: 16 that twice a day for forty days, Goliath had taunted and threatened the Israelite army. For forty days, the Israelite army refused to deal with this huge obstacle. They lost all sight of being God's chosen people and part of His army. They forgot Who would go out and battle for them if they had just one man willing to step out in faith. They, in essence, "hid" from their Goliath by refusing to deal with him.

And Goliath didn't go away.

Until David arrived on the scene. David wasn't blind. He saw how big this giant was. He saw how he was decked out in armor and the weapons he had. He heard the threats and he knew Goliath was quite capable of carrying them out. He saw. He heard. He came. He faced. God conquered.

Goliath was temporary.

We aren't told how many years he had been a big, mean, nasty, threatening giant. Maybe decades. In the end, he was temporary.

God is still God and He isn't going anywhere.

But it took someone to come along who was willing to meet Goliath face-to-face and deal with him. God's way.

And you know what? Remember how the story ends? When the Philistines saw Goliath was dead, they turned and ran! Then the Israelite army gained courage and strength and shouted in triumph and rushed after them! There was still much fighting to be done to win that final victory, but seeing Goliath dead bolstered the Israelites and gave them a previously unknown momentum, and at the same time, it totally withered the zeal of the Philistines.

That's how it works. Knock down our biggest obstacle and we can deal with the smaller ones until they, too, are managed or even defeated. Bring it out in the open and deal with it, even if we feel alone at first, and usually others will rush to our aid when they see us out there trying, and winning.

It wasn't easy. There was strategy. It took time. There was carnage. It was a battle. But there had to be a battle for there to be victory. And there had to be a confrontation for there to be a battle. And Goliath had to be faced in order for that confrontation to take place.

And for young, little, seemingly unarmed David to win, there had to be Power far greater than anything any eye on that battlefield that day could see.

I Am was on that field and fighting for David. And I Am will join us on our battlefields and empower us to face our obstacles and enable us to conquer them just like he did David so long ago. God hasn't gone anywhere. Have you?

I'll deal with David and other players in this story in future posts in this series. But for now, find hope in knowing that any obstacle you're dealing with can definitely be brought down to size and either managed or defeated, depending exactly on what that obstacle is. But it CAN be knocked down to where you can deal with it.

But first that means, going to the basement and bringing it up or going to the attic and getting it down. Get it out in the open. Seek God's face. Go where He sends and fight according to His battle plan. When He leads you to human counsel, reach out and open up. You'll be surprised at the people God has already put in place to help you. But they don't know your need and aren't going to seek you out first. You've got to be the one to make that connection.

The obstacles you face, that I face, are just that obstacles. They can be moved and removed. But first they have to be faced and dealt with. Otherwise, they aren't gong anywhere.

The choice is ours. Be Goliath's victim or be victorious over Goliath. So, what's it going to be?

I choose to learn some lessons from David, I don't do "victim" very well, and that will be coming up next.

Take heart and take courage! Obstacles are temporary. God and hope are eternal.

Until next time.

charis