December 13, 2004
Encouragement for Today

"Genuine Faith" Part I
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member, Certified Speaker

Key Verse:

"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe Him." 1 Peter 1:8

Devotion:

Each summer my mother-in-law takes her grandchildren swimming at a huge park called Nashville Shores. It has every water activity you can imagine including big water slides, a wave pool, and a lake to ski in or take a boat ride. This fun-filled day with Me-maw has become a tradition that the grandkids look forward to each year.

One summer, I decided to tag along. While lounging at the pool, I was intrigued as I watched a little blind girl swimming. Well, she wasn't just swimming. This little blind girl was jumping, turning flips, and diving into the water! I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Then, I noticed there was a man in the water with the child. He was her guide. His job was to communicate where her boundaries were so that she could swim, jump and dive safely. The little girl swam freely because she completely trusted her guide. It was a beautiful scene to observe.

As I watched, I couldn't help but think of my relationship with Jesus. I can't see what's ahead of me, but Jesus can. If I'm willing to trust the guidance of His unseen hand, then I can live as freely as that little girl lived.

Do you believe God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do in any situation you face? If you do, it's probably because you have experienced God's faithfulness in your past. His faithfulness makes our faith strong and genuine. Faith that has been proven over time stands strong in future trials. I believe that is how David defeated the giant, Goliath. Since David experienced God's faithfulness in the past, he knew he could trust God for future victories.

In this story of faith, found in 1 Samuel chapter 17, the Philistines were at war with the Israelites. The Philistines had a man in their army who was named Goliath, stood nine feet and three inches tall, weighing about 500-600 pounds and was known as a warrior of his youth. For forty days, Goliath challenged the army of Israel to a battle.

Serving under Saul, the King of Israel, were David's three older brothers. David, who was not old enough for war, was left at home to tend the sheep. One day when Jesse, David's father, was concerned about his other sons, he sent David with some supplies for them and asked David to see how they were doing.

In the mean time, King Saul had devised a plan to conquer the giant. He offered his daughter's hand in marriage to anyone who would defeat Goliath, but no one seemed interested.  In other words, no one in Israel's army believed the giant could be defeated. They feared what they could see instead of trusting God for victory. Fear will do that - causing us to look at the outward appearances of things instead of trusting the unseen hand of God.

David believed that nothing was impossible with God. What do you believe? Is God able to conquer the giant in your life? Do you trust only what you can see or do you rely upon the unseen hand of God at work in your circumstances? Trusting in God's faithfulness will only increase yours.

(Tomorrow we will continue Part II of "Genuine Faith," one of Micca's conferences.)

My Prayer for Today:

Lord, I don't know what lays ahead for my marriage, my children, or my job, and that makes me fearful. I want to trust you even when I don't see you so that I can be free from a life of fear. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Application Steps:

The acronym for fear is: False, Evidence, Appearing, Real. Make a list of your fears and determine if they are true or not. If they are untrue, throw them away. If you can validate your fears, trust them to God and watch your fear turn to faith.


Reflection Points:

Do your fears paralyze you in any area of your life?

Can you look back and see God's faithfulness in your past?

Did His faithfulness increase yours?

What makes you think God will not be faithful to conquer your giant today? 


Power Verses:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7  (NKJ)

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John, 4:18  (NKJ)

"He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1  (NKJ)

"In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." Psalm 56;11 (NKJ)


Additional Resources:

Living the Life You've Always Wanted, tape set by Mary Sourtherland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/lifewantedset.html

How to Live a Life of Victory, tape set by Mary Sourherland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/lifewantedset.html

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, book by Lysa Terkeurst
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/key.html