December 14, 2004
Encouragement for Today
"Genuine Faith" Part II
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member, Certified Speaker
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
Genuine faith is not what you profess, but whom you believe. Through David's life, we've learned that genuine faith is confidence in the dependability of God. It's trusting in His faithfulness that makes our faith complete. When we rely on the faithfulness of God, we can find rest in the midst of turmoil. When we abide in His faithfulness, we can live in His presence above our circumstances. Like David, when we trust in God's faithfulness, our faith in Him becomes unshakable, solid, and genuine.
The world says, "Seeing is believing." But God says, "Believing is seeing." Some people seem to think that God is only working when they can see Him working, but not David. He trusted in the unseen hand of God for victory over his battles, a discipline that would serve him well since his greatest battle was yet to come.
David left his father's house to check on his brothers who served in King Saul's army. When David arrived at the camp, he could see that fear and lack of trust in God had spread throughout the army of Israel. Something had to be done.
On one hand, David was too young to be a soldier, but on the other hand, he was totally surrendered to the will of God. Therefore, David decided to accept Goliath's challenge. At first, King Saul refused to allow David to battle Goliath, but David reminded the King of his past victories from the Lord when he killed the lion and the bear. David was convinced that the battle was the Lord's to conquer through him.
The same is true for us. When we trust God in a crisis, it always leads to a greater confidence in God for the future. These past victories gave David the confidence he needed to fight the giant, and the assurance Saul needed to let him go. Still, for protection, Saul offered David his own suit of armor for combat, but it was too big. David had to remove the armor, and trust only in God.
Like David, some things have to be removed from our lives so we can trust God completely. It is genuine faith in God that gives us the courage to stand alone, or face an impossible task no one else will face.
With God on his side, David gathered five smooth stones, a sling, and went to meet the giant. When Goliath realized a teenager was accepting his challenge, he ridiculed David. "Come to me and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field." David replied with confidence, "You come to me with a sword and spear, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts." David slung the stone, the giant went down, and once more God proved faithful.
David was victorious for three reasons.
David knew who the Lord was. He knew He was the God of Israel, the Lord of Hosts, and He was able to win the battle. Whatever side God's on is the winning side. God's side is the side you want to be on because then, the victory is guaranteed.
David knew that the battle was not his but the Lord's. No one had the ability to fight the giant but while the army of Israel focused on defeat, David focused on God's provision. What do you trust in, circumstances, finances, your own understanding, or the Lord?
David was successful because he believed God. David had experienced God's faithfulness in his past, which gave him the faith to trust God in the present. When you're in a situation that appears hopeless, remember God's faithfulness from the past and you'll begin to rise out of that circumstance while trusting God for the victory. Genuine faith believes that God is able to defeat the giants we face today.
(This devotion was taken from Micca's conference on "Genuine Faith."
For more information, visit the speaker section on the Proverbs 31 website.)
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, I don't know what giants are going to come my way today, but you do. I trust that the battle is not mine, but yours. Bless me with complete victory, as I trust in your faithfulness alone. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Just as David had to remove Saul's armor and rely on God alone, we need to remove some things in our lives that are hindering our faith as well. Make a list of these hindrances. Then, remove them from your life by laying them at the feet of Jesus in prayer. Ask God to show you His faithfulness and the work He is doing in your situation. Then watch your faith grow!
Do you take God at His Word?
Do you believe that God will always remain true to His promises?
What keeps you from trusting Him completely?
Do you need to "see" God's hand at work before you can trust Him?
Are you relying on yourself to battle your own giants, or do you trust the Lord for victory?
"And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." Romans 4:20,21 (NKJ)
"My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure; I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." Isaiah 46:10b, 11b (NKJ)
"Faithful is he that called you, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NKJ)
"As for God, his ways are perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in Him." Psalm 18:30 (NKJ)
"So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of the Lord." Romans 10:17 (NKJ)
Living the Life You've Always Wanted, tape set by Mary Sourtherland
How to Live a Life of Victory, tape set by Mary Sourherland
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, book by Lysa Terkeurst
Originally published Tuesday, 14 December 2004.