For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:19
My most recent studies as I have been writing the curriculum for my churches youth have been about a young shepard boy named David, the least of his brothers, who was annointed to be the king of Israel after Saul had lost the kingdom in conjunction with losing sight of God. God is clear that he chose David singularly because of the condition of his heart. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward apppearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 Later, David steps up with gynormous faith to face a giant named Goliath who no one else in the Israelite army had dared to face including the king and his older, more physically impressive brothers. I'm thinking this is a show of the "heart" that God had already seen and annointed king when in 1 Samuel 17: 45 David greets Goliath by saying, "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..." Lili and I play this game where I pretend that my shadow is eating hers up because it is so much bigger than hers that when I stand in her path my shadow consumes hers, and I think of this when I consider what it might have been like for this young boy to approach the huge, giant of a man in the valley between the two camps, of course, I don't know whether the sun was shining that day, but if it were, I am quite confident that Goliath's shadow similarly consumed David's shadow, and even though he approached without a shred of armor and only a sling accompanied by a few stones as protection David was confident not in himself but in God's power and faithfulness to the point of proclaiming "....All these 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 (the Philistine army) into our hands." after saying this David didn't stand reluctantly quaking waiting to be smashed instead he ran at Goliath with confidence. This moves me especially in light of the verse from 2 Chronicles and the revelation in 1 Samuel that God chose David based on the condition of his heart, my guess is it was "fully committed" being that God took this boy considered to be the runt of his litter and strengthened him to the point of being victorious over a giant that grown-men who were trained for battle feared! The verse from 2 Chronicles in conjunction with this story also teaches me that God is still searching the earth for hearts that are fully-committed to him to bring down giants in current and future spiritual battles for his people. If God calls you to such a task, be confident as David was because God still has the back of those who are fully-committed to him!:)
Two other details from this familiar children's Bible story stood out to me fresh and new as I listened to it being taught to the 3rd-5th graders this past Sunday. First, David refused to wear the armor that Saul offered him before he went into battle...this led my mind to consider all the armor we wear each day in an attempt to protect ourselves on an emotional level as we face the world...leave it behind today because you don't need it if you're heart is fully-committed to God because he's got you covered! Secondly, even David in all his faith didn't know to what awesome and abundant extent God was going to provide for and protect him, I mean, the lad gathered up 5, smooth stones when he only needed 1 with God's backing to take down the giant! God's abundance is overlooked in so many ways, for instance, each of you have probably never stopped to thank God for giving you two hands, legs, arms, etc...along with tons of unused, back-up brain cells when you really could accomplish nearly all you need to accomplish with much less. Daily, I am reminded of how abundantly God blesses us when I face the day successfully with little more than half of the physical tools and abilities with which God originally gave me, and I am appalled that it never occurred to me before that all that I am missing now was a gift of abundance over and above what I truly needed to live happily and heathily in this world, so I wonder for what else I am failing to thank my generous creator, but, now, I thank him daily that he provides so abundantly that I can get by with so much less than that which I came prepared, and I know that just like David only needed one of the many stones he gathered to take down the giant that I will continue to experience victory with God's support with only one properly functioning side of my body/brain! Like David, I want to face down the giants in my life whether they are so big they swallow my shadow or not, confidently saying, "I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty,(here I papaphrase) and I'm going to beat your patoot because this battle already belongs to the Lord!" Join me as you fight your daily battles in fully-committed confidence:)
Major application points....honestly examine your heart...Are you fully committed to God? If not, what does that mean in light of these Biblical truths? If so, how does knowing God has your back change your approach to your daily battles? If not, why not...what's holding you back from total committment to God?