Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In your head

The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them.

Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver's beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.

Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. "Why are you all coming out to fight?" he called. "I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!" When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
1 Sam 17:1-11

"They were beat before they even stepped onto the court!"

I used to play volleyball competitively, toward the end of my career I played on a team that was sponsored by a clothing company called "Yaga". We were so imposing, at 6'3 I was the shortest guy on the team, we would win a lot of matches before we started just by the way we pounded the ball in warm-up. We "got into their heads".

We were one of the strongest hitting teams in the country, but we had a serious weakness in our defense. Most teams were unaware of it because they were overwhelmed by our size and power and just weren't looking for a weakness.

We lost the national championship to a team that was smaller, faster, and not intimidated by us. They saw our weakness, the "chink" in our armour, and they took us down!

Our greatest battles are in our minds.

The Philistines had got into the heads of the Israelites, they were demoralized and afraid. They lost confidence!

Their leader was defeated from within, God was not with him, and they didn't go through their normal routine of having a priest to offer sacrifices to God before
the battle.

They forgot that Dagon, the god of the Philistines was broken before the ark (5:1-4). They forgot about how Jonathan and his armor bearer defeated a whole garrison (14:6-15). Because Saul was not walking with God, he lost sight of God's power and the giants grew larger. Saul's own discouragement then transferred to his men.

The life of a leader affects all those who follow!

The church needs more men and women who walk with God; who are aware of what He has accomplished; who realize how Big He is; who lead with passion; who lead without fear; and who will stand firm before what's seems to be a taunting giant. Will you be a warrior?

I am a container for the Almighty God who can move mountains and has conquered the grave!

I will not shrink back! Game on!

No comments: