“Everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:47 NLT).
The first giant in facing your dream is delay. No dream is fulfilled instantly. God gives you the dream on one day, but he doesn’t fulfill it the next day. It may be years before you see the fulfillment of your life dream. There is always a waiting period.
In David’s case, his dad held him back from the dream. After Samuel anointed David as king, Jesse told David to get back to tending the sheep!
When God’s plan contradicts somebody else’s plan, there’s going to be a delay, and people are going to try to hold you back—sometimes even the people who love you the most. But God is faithful, and he will complete his work in you in his time.
The second giant you may face is discouragement. Goliath created a climate of fear in Israel, and everybody was convinced they were going to lose the battle.
What people are you listening to that say it can’t be done? Who is putting down your dream, saying it won’t ever happen?
Sometimes you just need a fresh voice—a kid from the village with fresh eyes who says, “This guy’s nothing. We can take him down.”
The third giant standing in your way is disapproval. In David’s case, his own brother questioned his motives and disapproved of him going after Goliath.
When God gives you a dream that other people are afraid of and you go for it anyway, you will be misjudged, maligned, and misunderstood. You have to decide what matters more to you: the approval of other people or the approval of God.
The fourth giant you may have to face is doubt.
Nobody was a greater expert on war than King Saul, and he told David he was crazy for thinking a boy could fight a warrior like Goliath.
Maybe the expert is saying you can’t do it, either. That’s enough to make you start doubting yourself.
When I wrote The Purpose Driven Life, I got a letter from the editor (which I later framed) that said, “This book will never work. Nobody’s going to read 40 chapters.” The experts are often wrong.
Study and Do God’s Word
What does it mean to meditate? Well, it doesn’t mean to put your mind in neutral and go “ohm.” That’s not meditation. Meditation means seriously thinking about something.
Our Scripture passage today says that a person who meditates on God’s Word is “like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (v. 2-3).
I want that to be true in your life. I want whatever you do to prosper, but the Bible says the premise for this promise is your commitment to study his Word.
Today’s action point is this: I want you to get involved in Bible study. If you already are, that’s great! Keep it up! But if you aren’t, I would encourage you to find a Bible study group and join it. You will be amazed at how much studying God’s Word in a small group blesses your life.
How Can You Store Up Treasure in Heaven?
You are going to enjoy forever what you invest in Heaven, and you invest in Heaven every time you use money for good.
Yesterday we talked about investing in eternity by using your money to grow your character, encourage fellowship in the Body of Christ, and serve others in need. There are two more funds that you should invest in so that you can yield eternal dividends in Heaven.
4. The fourth of God’s investment funds is the Global Fund.
This is when you use your money to share the Good News and bring people to Jesus. Luke 16:9 says, “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (NIV).
A lot of people have no idea what this verse means. Is it saying that you can buy friends? Not at all. It means that God wants you to invest in things that help get people into Heaven so that when you get to Heaven, they will welcome you there.
It’s the greatest investment of your life. Is anybody going to be in Heaven because of you?
5. The last investment fund is God’s Treasury Fund.
When you give money to God as an act of worship, that’s called the Treasury Fund.
God makes a promise in Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (TLB). A tithe is when you give the first 10 percent of your income to God. Anything given above a tithe is called an offering.
You can’t really give God anything, because he already owns it all. But think about the allowance you got as a child. If you went out and bought a birthday present for your mom, you’re really using her money. Does that mean she would like the gift any less? No! Because she cares more about the thought and the love behind the gift. God feels the same way about your giving.
The Bible says that wherever our treasure is, our heart will also be there. If what’s most important to you are the things of this earth, then every day you are moving further and further away from your treasure. Because every day you are here on Earth, you’ve got one less day here on Earth. You’re moving further and further away from the things you’re going to leave behind.
But, if you’re investing in God’s funds and using your money to serve God’s purposes, then you’re storing up treasure in Heaven every day. You’re getting closer and closer to your treasure instead of further and further away.
Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Pray this aloud or in your heart today: “Dear God, forgive me for all that I’ve spent on things that aren’t going to last. I want to start investing in Heaven. I want to invest in these godly funds. I want to use my money the way you want me to use it. Today I commit to using my money to grow my character and grow in spiritual strength, wisdom, and knowledge and become all that you want me to be. Help me to see ways that I can use what you have given to me to strengthen relationships and show love to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to invest in eternity by using my money to serve others. I want to learn to be generous. I want to be a blessing to others. And I want to use my money to bring people to you. I want people to be in Heaven because I gave. I want to spread the Gospel through my acts of service. And Father, I want to show where my treasure is by investing in eternity through my gifts and offerings to you. I want to honor you by giving you the first part of all my income. I want to give up my lust for money so that the Almighty himself will be my treasure. Help me to remember that I’m not a fool to give up what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”