Fighting Unencumbered - Encouragement Café - July 27

Fighting Unencumbered
 By Joan Walker Hahn

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

As I struggled to put down all of the grocery bags hanging over my arms, I wondered why I thought I had to carry everything in one trip from the car to the house.  My car is less than a hundred feet from my back door.   I could have made multiple trips and I wouldn’t have the red indentions up and down my arms from the plastic bags.

 I wouldn’t have had the frustration of trying to unlock the back door with weighted arms.  And I wouldn’t have groceries all over the kitchen floor because I couldn’t lift my arms high enough to sit things on the counter.  It probably was a funny sight as well, because I’m sure I was waddling more than walking across the yard with my heavy load.

I found myself thinking about the story of David and Goliath.  David came upon the standoff between the Israelites and the Philistines when he went to check on his brothers. 

David volunteered to fight the giant.  King Saul tried to dress David up in battle gear.  David was so weighed down with the armor that he could barely walk. 

I have often imagined that had it not been so serious a matter, there probably could have been a lot of laughing going on watching David, a small youth, attempting to fill up the armor of a tall King Saul. 

David told him he couldn’t wear the armor because he wasn’t used to it, so he took it off and grabbed up what he was used to.  His staff, his shepherds pouch filled with 5 stones and his sling.

Taking that heavy armor and the king’s sword off didn’t change the fact David still had to face the battle.  The giant was still in front of him.  People were still depending on him to conquer that enemy. 

But David knew from the battles he had fought against lions and bears in his past that he was prepared to face this battle in front of him.  He only had to trust in the same God that had given him victory then to help him in this instant.

The theme we have had this year in the Encouragement Café ministry is, “Undefeated.”  It dawned on me that one thing that can cause defeat is being encumbered or weighed down with things we shouldn’t be trying to carry on our own to begin with. 

Like me trying to carry all my groceries at one time, I often try to shoulder all my burdens and worries on my own.  Instead of making multiple trips before the Lord, I rely on my limited wisdom and strength to figure out what to do.

David could not have defeated Goliath in the armor Saul wanted him to wear.  He had to get back to the basics of his walk with the Lord.  We, too, need to remember some basics:

  • God has shown Himself faithful over and over.  Since He was faithful in the past, He will be faithful in the future.
  • Throw off what weighs us down.  Stop worrying over things we cannot control, remembering God’s in control.
  • Trust in God and what He has provided for us.  What may be good for others is not always what is best for us. 

The story of David and Goliath was the first account of a battle David fought on behalf of the Israelites.  But it was not the last.  He had many battles and many victories. 

We have many battles in our lives as well.  But when we rely wholly on God and allow Him to shoulder our burdens, we will never be defeated.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for equipping me with all I need to face any situation.  Help me to remember that when I’m faced with a battle, You are with me and I don’t have to carry any of the weight of it on my own.  I trust in You wholly for every victory over the enemy.  Thank You, Father.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2021 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Thursday, 27 July 2023.