Wednesday 4 July 2018

The Power of The Spirit in Confronting Goliath

The Power of The Spirit in Confronting Goliath

Every man faces Goliath. He taunts, He deceives, He attacks and His mission is to defeat us. Whatever Goliath you may be facing, His purpose is to destroy your life. God calls His men to be strong in the Lord, to acknowledge that the battle belongs to the Lord and to experience His resources for victory. Scripture is redundant in this truth; we fight and defeat Goliath when we face Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Samuel 17:37-40 reveals a very telling truth about David's confidence to defeat Goliath.
...Saul said to David, "'Go, and the LORD be with you.' 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. 'I cannot go in these,' he said to Saul, 'because I am not used to them.' So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine."
David was appalled that Goliath would taunt the armies of the Living God. He volunteered to go into the Valley of Elah and fight the giant. Even though he was a youth, David was the only man to step up to the challenge. Looking at David and then looking at Goliath, Saul must have seen David like a high school wrestler entering the Octagon to fight the UFC heavyweight champion. Saul, desperate for David to succeed, came up with a plan. He reasoned that maybe if David had armor and a sword, he might have a chance at victory. Maybe Saul remembered past battles where these weapons had won him victory.

Maybe Saul thought that God would be willing to use these offerings as a sacrifice for success. Saul's armor represented the best that Saul had to offer, the best of human ingenuity, training and power. It was equivalent to saying, "When I trust in myself, this is the best I come up with." David rejected the armor of Saul. Saul's armor didn't fit the man of God. David took off the armor of Saul and picked up his slingshot and his shepherd's staff. These were the weapons that David used to fight the lion and the bear and these were the weapons that God had been pleased to use in manifesting His victory. David's confidence was in God not in himself.

1 Samuel 17: 45-47 says, "45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

David rejected the flesh and put his hope in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the key for every man who would face and defeat his Goliath.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 says, This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

We either trust in ourselves or we trust in God. We either live in the flesh or we live in Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-18 promises: "16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law."

We can defeat Goliath when we turn from trusting in our flesh and yield ourselves to the Spirit's control and trust in His power and provision. Several years ago I was leaving a men's Bible Study that I was leading at a local restaurant. As all the guys were standing up to leave a young man came up to me and asked if we were Christians. I told him we were and that we met every week for breakfast and Bible Study. He asked for my help and began to tell me his story. He related some tough times in his marriage and his feeling that his life was unraveling around him.

As he spoke I noticed his whole body seemed to be tense and under tremendous stress. I asked him to hold out his hand and when he did, I put a quarter in it. He looked down at the quarter and I said, "Now make a fist and try not to let me open your hand." Like a vice grip, he squeezed his fist together. One by one, I pulled back his fingers. Each time I pulled a finger, I could see a grimace of pain on his face. Finally, I had all of his fingers pried open and I took the quarter out of his hand. I asked him, "How did that feel?" He quickly replied, "It hurt!" I then put the quarter back into his hand and said, "Now just keep you your hand open." He did and I picked the quarter up off of his palm. I looked him in the eye and asked him, "How did that feel, did it hurt?" Of course he said no.

I then explained that God was trying to get his attention. God wanted to draw him into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ but he needed to surrender his whole to Christ. Because he was holding on to his life, he was experiencing the pain like he felt when I pried his fingers loose to grab the quarter. I said to him, "You can hold on to your life, trust in yourself and try to solve your own problems" and I clenched my fist. "Or you can surrender your life to Christ and give him everything, the good-the bad and the ugly" and I extended my open palm. The key to living in the power of the Holy Spirit is to acknowledge we cannot do it on our own and to fully surrender to Jesus Christ.

Paul said this in Romans 7:23-8:4, "23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the flesh a slave to the law of sin. 8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Every man struggles with Goliath because every man has an external enemy, the devil and every man has an internal enemy, the flesh. The flesh rebels against God and asserts self on the throne. The flesh can be religious or it can be pagan but either way it does not submit to God nor honor Jesus Christ. To defeat Goliath in the power of the Holy Spirit we must dethrone the flesh. We must choose to surrender to the Holy Spirit and ask Jesus to empower us and live His resurrection life through us. In the movie the Rundown, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the Rock continually faces situations where people have to make choices. The Rock says to them, "You have option A or option B." Option A is the easy way and option B is the hard way.

Romans 7-8, like the Rock, say we have option A; surrender to Holy Spirit or we have option B; live in the flesh. We defeat Goliath when we live in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a choice; a choice to surrender our lives to the Holy Spirit's control and to ask Him to fill and empower our lives. When we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit and filled with His power, then we are living a spiritual life. Being "spiritual" is one of three types of spiritual experiences the Bible describes.

1 Corinthians 2:10-2:3 gives us a perspective on understanding how men can either receive or reject the Holy Spirit's work. "10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16 'For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ.3 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?"

The Apostle Paul is describing the work of the Holy Spirit and how people respond differently to His work. He explains that the Holy Spirit reveals God to us. His job is to lead us into the knowledge of God and to manifest God's presence in our lives. In fact, every aspect of Christian growth, discipleship and service is a fruit of the Holy Spirit's ministry in our lives. Consider this short survey:
·  The Spirit regenerates us and causes us to be born again (John 3:1-8)
·  The Spirit leads us into a deeper knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 1:16-18)
·  The Spirit guides us into the truth (John 16:13-15)
·  The Spirit empowers us to be witnesses for Christ (Acts 1:8)
·  The Spirit produce His fruit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23)
·  The Spirit gives us victory over the flesh (Romans 8:1-17)
·  The Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8:26-27)
·  The Spirit gives us spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12)
·  The Spirit set us free from being selfish (Galatians 5:13-16)
·  The Spirit transforms us to become more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
·  The Spirit gives us a heart of worship (Ephesians 5:18-20)
·  The Spirit makes us bold to speak God's Word (Acts 4:31)

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