“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty . . . This day the LORD ” (1 Samuel 17:45-46 NIV).
- Remember how God has helped you in the past.
David says in 1 Samuel 17:37, “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (NLT).
When you remember the ways that God has helped you in the past, it gives you confidence for the future.
- Use the tools that God has given you now.
David used the tools that God provided that utilized his strengths: “Then Saul gave David his own armor . . . ‘I can’t go in these,’ he protested to Saul. ‘I’m not used to them.’ So David took them off again. He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag” (1 Samuel 17:38-40 NLT).
Don’t wait for something you don’t have—money, education, or connections. Use the tools God has already given you to face your giants with confidence.
- Ignore the dreambusters.
Later in life, when others were speaking against him, David had to encourage himself in the Lord: “David was seriously worried, for in their bitter grief for their children, his men began talking of killing him. But David took strength from the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6 TLB).
When you encourage yourself in the Lord, it’s not just a positive mental attitude. There is a bedrock trust in God’s grace, provision, security, and power.
- Expect God to help you for his glory.
David stormed the battlefield, shouting, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty . . . This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands . . . and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45-46 NIV).
I made this decision when I was a young man. In the mountains of Northern California one night, I got down on my knees and said, “God, I’m not the smartest guy, the best educated, or the most talented. But I’m going to trust you. And I will do anything, anytime, anywhere in faith, even when it doesn’t make sense to me.” And what an adventure my life has been!
I stand up and speak to a crowd every week that is about five times bigger than the town I grew up in. I’m a country boy—with a slingshot.
God will use anybody who will trust him and expect to be used by him—not because of who you are but because it brings him glory.
Help the Helpless
When you help the poor and the needy, the Bible says it’s like loaning money to God. And God says, “I’m watching to see if you are a blessing to others people. If you are, I will bless you.”
Psalm 41 says this, “God blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. He helps them out of their own troubles. He protects them and keeps them alive; he publicly honors them and destroys the power of their enemies.” (Psalm 41:1-2 TLB)
If you want God’s blessing in your life, start looking for other people less fortunate than you to help. God says if you do that he will pour out his blessing on you.
This is a principle I learned a long time ago: the more I help people who are less fortunate, the more God blesses my life. We lived out this principle at Saddleback Church a few years ago when we decided the church would feed every homeless person in Orange County three meals a day for 40 days.
I want to challenge you today – this is your action point – donate a bag of groceries to a local food pantry. If you can, do this once a week for the next six weeks. Your generosity will bless people in need and God will bless you in return.
Be Generous Like God Is Generous with You
God wants you to use some of your money to help people in need. God didn’t put us on this earth to live for ourselves. He blesses us so that we can bless others.
This is all part of God making us more like himself. God is generous. Everything we have in life is because of God’s generosity. We wouldn’t have anything — we wouldn’t even be alive — if it weren’t for God’s generosity. And God wants us to be generous like he is.
Imagine if your father was a billionaire, and he wanted to share his fortune with you. But he knew you needed to be tested first to see if you would be able to handle it.
So he gives you a set amount of money and says, “I want you to learn to live on less so you can use the rest to help others. I’m going to be watching you to see how you manage and distribute my resources. If you do well, I’m going to will it all to you.”
How would you use that money?
God particularly wants us to be generous with the poor. Throughout the Bible, God tells us he is watching how we help the poor, and he attaches tremendous promises if we do so. For example:
“Give to the poor and you will never be in need. If you close your eyes to the poor, many will curse you” (Proverbs 28:27 TEV).
“When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the LORD, and the LORD will pay you back” (Proverbs 19:17).
The more we help others, the more God blesses us. He gives to us so we can give to others.
Why? Because God wants you to be like him, and God is a giver!