Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What defies you?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 17:1-16

TO CHEW ON: "And the Philstine said, 'I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.' 
When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistines they were dismayed and greatly afraid." - 1 Samuel 17:10,11

Consider the description of this nine-foot, nine-inch man. His head-to-foot  metal armor weighed as much as a person (about 126 lbs.). He carried a bronze javelin between his shoulders (trying to envision how that would look!) and an iron spear with a 16-lb. head. He walked behind a shield that took another soldier to carry.

He reminds me of the superhero action figures of kids' TV shows or video games. Only, he was no cartoon, but real and heart-stoppingly scary as his voice boomed out, above the clinking and clanging of his armor: "I defy the armies of Israel..."

The way today's reading stops short of giving us God's solution to the Goliath problem has me looking at the problem aspect of the story more closely than I usually do. It reminds me of some of the giants that shout, "I defy you..." in my life: an issue that has persisted for over a year in our strata complex, family members who stay away from God, illnesses that threaten loved ones, a career challenge that's forcing me out of my comfort zone. These things easily bring out the "dismayed and greatly afraid" feelings in me that Goliath evoked in Saul's soldiers.

What things shout, "I defy you..." in your life? Identify and name your giants because I have a feeling we'll be taking steps to deal with them in the days ahead.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this first step of facing and naming the things that seem too big for me to conquer. Help me to be honest with myself about the giants in my life. Amen.

MORE: A local giant experience

I am working on this post the morning after we attended the first meeting of Vancouver’s Festival of Hope—a series of meetings in Rogers Arena with lots of contemporary worship bands and keynote speaker Franklin Graham (Billy Graham Association).

There was much controversy over these meetings.
- Christianity Today ran a critical piece.

- So did the Vancouver Sun.

- Vancouver’s mayor opposed it with even some leaders of Vancouver’s church community wanting it shut down, or at least get the speaker changed from Franklin Graham to someone else (and not only leaders from mainline, liberal churches but so-called conservative, evangelical denominations like Baptists and Christian and Missionary Alliance).

It felt like a “I defy you” moment for the church and Christian community in greater Vancouver and it certainly spurred us on to pray.

This article details the results of that first meeting: “Opposition turns to opportunity for good news in Vancouver."

Thousands were in attendance. Rogers Arena was filled to the rafters March 3, 2017. Praises to Jesus rocked the place! (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Seven hundred came forward at decision time. Thank You Lord!!

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Drive-Thru

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