Thursday, October 13, 2011

Facing Your Giants

I was recently asked to speak at a ladies event for our church. We had a spa night and an exceptional turn out of about 65 (give or take a few) ladies. Can you say nervous? Anyway, here is the speech that God laid on my heart. It is a subject that affects all of us, so I thought I would share.

I wanted to share a little bit about myself. I grew up in a small town in Ohio. My parents, my grandparents, and my great grandparents all grew up in church and learned to love God. Therefore, I did, as well. At the age of five I gave my life to the Lord. That was only the beginning of my walk with Jesus, though. Around the age of 20 I began to struggle with thoughts of doubt. Did I really become a Christian way back then? Am I really going to heaven? While, we are on the subject, is being a Christian only about having a "get out of hell free" pass? As I wrestled with God I came to the conclusion, that, yes, I really did become a Christian way back when. And, no, being a Christian is not ONLY about having a "get out of hell free" pass. It is at this point that my relationship with God really began to develop. The journey hasn't always been easy but God has been faithful.

That is what I want to talk with you about tonight. God's faithfulness. I originally thought I would be speaking on spiritual beauty tips or something equally as relaxing. God had other plans though. As I asked for direction, He asked me why women would NEED a spa day. Some of you just want to escape reality for awhile. God then took me to Deuteronomy so that I could send you home with something useful.

Deuteronomy 7:9 says, "Know therefore that hte LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands."

What does this verse say? It says, "God is faithful". HE can be counted on. Why? How do we "know therefore" as the verse says? Well, let's go back a few verses and find out.

Deuteronomy 7:7 says, "The Lord did not set his affections on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples."

The same is true of us. He didn't set His affections on us because we were strong and have it all together. In fact, 2 Corinthians 12:9a says:

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"

God chooses the least of people. He chooses the people whose lives are falling apart. God is choosing you! Why would he choose you, you ask? Let's read Deuteronomy 7:8 to find out.

"But it was because the Lord LOVED you and kept his oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharoah Kind of Egypt." (emphasis added)

God didn't only reddem the Israelites from slavery. He redeemed YOU from slavery. Let's look at 1 Peter 1:18-19. It says:

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb withough blemish or defect."

Does your life feel empty? Are you tring to fill your life, yet you don't feel full? God died on a cross just so you could live life to the full. He shed his blood...for YOU! He has already chosen you, now you just need to choose Him! Why did He do that? Why did He die to redeem you from slavery? Let's check the first part of Deuteronomy 7:8 out again: because the Lord loved you!

So, what does all of this have to do with you? Would you like to know what the context of these verses are? Moses is getting the Israelites geared up to go out and take the land God promised them...through battle. God has a promised land for you, too, but you have to fight for it...or better yet, let God fight for it for you as you concentrate on "loving him and keeping his commands."

Forty years previous to this passage the Israelites chickened out. god told them the land was theirs, all they had to do was trust Him. The checked the land out and decided that it was very nice, BUT there were giants in the land and they just didn't trust God to take care of their giants. Therefore, they wandered in the desert for forty years. Now, God is giving the next generation a chance. Same promise, different people.

What giants are you facing right now? An unexpected pregnancy? Maybe the opposite, you'd give anything to be pregnant, but month after month...nothing. Financial issues? Sickness? How about cancer? That seems to affect everyone in some way anymore. Who knows...maybe right now your "giant" is simply three letters long: P-M-S!

When I first moved to Dubuque I had some giants in my life. My husband and I thought that God wanted us here, but the road wasn't easily paved. First of all, I wanted another baby, but I wasn't getting pregnant as easily as I had the first time. Add to that some familial problems. Then, our house in Indiana wasn't selling That was a major time of growth for me as I had to trust God's plan for my certainly wasn't my plan! Eventually I did get pregnant and our house did sell. Then, a friend put her house, in the same town where we struggled to sell our house, on the market. It sold the next day for their asking price. Selfishness welled up inside of me and I pounded out an email to my friend asking why God would let her house sell in a day when ours had sat on the market for a year? It was one of those emails that I should have never pushed the send button. I was very humbled when she wrote back and reminded me that we all have our share of problems. She had three miscarriages before she finally had a live birth. We both had different "giants" to face, but we both HAD "giants". EVERY ONE has either faced a "giant", is facing a "giant", or will face a "giant".

The question is - do you trust God? Do your trust Him to win the battle for you? Are you tring to fight your "giants" by yourself? Or, have you just plain given up? You are just wandering around in a desert of self-pity.

Dear, sweet friends! God never promised the battle would be easy. Never! You do have to suit up and get there! BUT...He NEVER meant for you to fight the battle alone. And, He CERTAINLY never meant for you to feel the need to run and hide! He wants so desperately to be there by your side. He wants to fight this battle with you, FOR you! All He wants in return is for you to "love Him and keep His commands" in the middle of this mad world.

He has already chosen you. Will you choose Him? Will you choose to take Him in to the battle with you by loving Him with all your soul, all your heart and all your mind? Becoming a Christian isn't about rules and regulations. It's about taking Christ's nail-scarred hands and journeying through life with Him, becoming more and more like Him. If you would like to begin that journey with Christ, please contact me. Because, you see, this is just one night...tomorrow it will be back to reality, but with Jesus, your reality can look different.

No comments: