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The Journey

What are you up against?

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49

As I read this I am struck at how detailed the discription of Goliath. We know the size, weight, and material of every weapon and piece of armor on this guy. This cases me to realize that these Israelite soldiers spent a lot of time watching this man. Which is not far fetched since h would probably be pretty hard to keep your eyes off of even by today’s standards.

This also says that we as humans spend quite a bit of time focusing on our problems. They could rattle off every point that caused them to fear this man, but there is no discription on the weaknesses of the man. It is not until the last verse of this section we learn where the weakness of this guy’s defenses are. For days an entire army carefully inspected the the man from Gath, but what were they focused on? They saw only the obsticals not the opportunity.

David, some punk kid comes on to the scene. Sure he has a destiny to become the most memorable monarch in the entire world, but at this point in time he is just a punk kid bringing the men their lunch. Yet this kid saw something tat trained soldiers missed, he saw an opportunity. He was there for just a moment and he was able to see what others failed to see.

This speaks to me deeply. Sometimes we are too close to a problem to be able to see around it. The Quakers have a practice they will engage in to help each other see things in a different perspective, called the Meeting for Clearness. This is actually a fancy name for something pretty simple. An individual will call trusted friends and respected individual of the community together, present an issue they need help with, and they will engage in holy expectancy and conversation. This process of prayer and discussion has assisted many individuals find direction in ministry, marriage, among many other things. The Meeting that I minister among has also engaged in this process when faced with an issue of how to proceed in a decission.

Like Israel the problem was right before us we could see everything that could present a problem, but we were not able to see an oppertunity before us. We needed to take time to look at the problem from a different perspective. When Goliath came down to the field of battle the problem presented itself, it was clear to everyone that a one on one battle was humanly impossible, but they did not include the God factor. David was weighty in relating with God, so it took the human factor off the table. He was able to clear his head of the fear walk down to the plain find his tools and trust.

Why would a boy have the ability to trust and hope when seasoned adults feared? It comes to perspective and where we put our faith. Do we trust ourselves or God? If we put our faith in ourselves we have reasons to fear when facing a giant. We may not posess everything needed to accomplish the task. But if we have faith in God we let ourselves off the hook and do not have to posess everything. It is almost like putting God to the test but not really it is giving God all we have and lettng Him take control of the areas we can’t handle.

Today as you pray give yourself a break, you are probably stressed out about something, and maybe worrying yourself sick over it. If you are struggling talk to someone else and together work out the problem, asking for help is not weakness, but stressing over problems and not movng forward is. Let God take down the giant and move forward in confidence.   

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About jwquaker

I’m sure everyone wants to know who I am…well if you are viewing this page you do. I’m Jared Warner and I am a pastor or minister recorded in the Evangelical Friends Church Mid America Yearly Meeting. To give a short introduction to the EFC-MA, it is a group of evangelical minded Friends in the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. We are also a part of the larger group called Evangelical Friends International, which as the name implies is an international group of Evangelical Friends. For many outside of the Friends or Quaker traditions you may ask what a recorded minister is: the short answer is that I have demistrated gifts of ministry that our Yearly Meeting has recorded in their minutes. To translate this into other terms I am an ordained pastor, but as Friends we believe that God ordaines and mankind can only record what God has already done. More about myself: I have a degree in crop science from Fort Hays State University, and a masters degree in Christian ministry from Friends University. Both of these universities are in Kansas. I lived most of my life in Kansas on a farm in the north central area, some may say the north west. I currently live and minister in the Kansas City, MO area and am a pastor in a programed Friends Meeting called Willow Creek Friends Church.

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Jared A. Warner

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