Posted by: bshelley | November 10, 2008

Faith Paradigms

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Today’s Verse: 1 Samuel 17:33 Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” NASB

The back story here is that Goliath has been taunting the Hebrew army for some time daring them to come and face him in battle. King Saul and his men are frozen with fear of him. The young David came and offered to fight for them even though he was just a youth. In this verse Saul is giving David reasons why it cannot be done. How often does this happen where someone gives us all the reasons why something cannot be done? For people of faith, it is indeed a faith paradigm. We can get locked into a very limited view of what is possible in our lives when we exclude God from the equation. We get a very worldly and limited view of what is and what is not possible. We hear on Sunday that with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26), but on any given weekday we can fall back into a more limited worldview of what is actually and realistically possible and what is not. David’s paradigm was not limited by what could be seen merely with the human eye. If he listened to naysayers like Saul, he too would have been limited to what was possible in his own strength as they were. Like Saul and his fearful soldiers, he would have been paralyzed by the sight of such a seemingly impossible barrier. We find ourselves falling into the same trap mentally when we begin to see possible outcomes limited to what we can achieve in our own strength and capability don’t we? In verse 37, David explains why his paradigm of what is possible is different than Saul’s. He recounts how the Lord had delivered him before from serious danger and because of this he can have confidence beyond what others expected or could have faith to believe possible because he has in his paradigm confidence that the Lord will deliver him again. Facing this giant was not David’s first faith step. He had experienced God’s intervention and provision first hand many times before. Faith grows incrementally as we take faith steps and see God’s faithfulness. Not that we cannot believe God’s promises to deliver faithfully, but it is that we are more likely to “ask believing” (Matt 21:22) if we grow in our faith through a series of incremental faith steps. Let’s ask God in faith today knowing that He hears us and answers our prayers in His will and let Him “grow” us. Then, when the Goliath comes and the naysayers tell us it cannot be accomplished or overcome, like David we too have a paradigm that includes God because we know from experience that He can and will deliver us.

May God bless your heart as you seek His.

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