And I went out after him (the lion or the bear), and smote him, and delivered it (the lamb) out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. – 1 Samuel 17:35
David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.“ – 1 Samuel 17:37
So which is it? Did David grab the lion and the bear by the beard and slay them? Or, did the Lord deliver David out of the paw of the lion and bear?
The answer is both. David did his part and God did His part. The question we must ask ourselves today is “Am I doing my part?”
Today, most people who say they are of God are very casual with the enemy. Just as the lion or bear was after one of David’s lambs, Satan is after you and me. Remember what God told Cain? “Sin desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7) Cain did not master it. I don’t see in Cain’s story that he made any kind of effort at all. He ended up smiting his brother instead of his enemy.
It is amazing how so many Christians expect deliverance to come in the form of God waving some sort of magic wand and fixing everything. They will quit cussing, drinking, smoking, womanizing, fighting, drug using, being lazy, and whatever other behaviors that they justify when God “delivers” them. They may say something like “I’ll stop when God delivers me”, or “He just hasn’t delivered me.” By “deliver,” they mean wave some sort of wand and magically take it away.
What if David had done that? What if he had watched the wild animal come in and take one of his lambs and said “God, if you want to, you can make the lion spit out the lamb and walk away. If you don’t want to, I guess it was your will for that lamb to be destroyed.”
No! I bet the prayer was offered as he ran towards the enemy. He must have said something like “God, fill me with your strength! No lamb will be taken on my watch!”
I don’t know if there is a lion or a bear of personal sin that you are dealing with right now. If there is, take it by the beard and “smite” it. While you are at it, ask God to give you the strength to overcome. When these two forces are working together, victory is inevitable.
I hear man after man confess to me that they “struggle” with pornography. At one time, I did too . . . for far longer that I care to admit. For years, I prayed for God to help. He never magically made me stop. I finally got sick of it. I laid my Bible on my computer, prayed out loud, and swore to God I would absolutely destroy my computer on the day I go searching for that poison again. I knew I would have some explaining to do to my wife if that day came, but I also knew she would not care if it set me free. The only way to deal with that trash is to take it by the beard and kill it.
Right now, I’m struggling with my eating. After a 21 day fast in January, I quickly went back to eating horribly. It has affected my energy and my attitude greatly. I believe it also opened the door for me to get sick, which I have not been in two years. What do I do? Pray for the magic wand? Or, should I grab it by the beard and strike it down? I’m only a few days into it, but I’ve already been through the withdrawals and am already beginning to feel much better. With God’s help, I will win.
Goliath is coming. The much bigger battle is on the horizon. If I can’t conquer the foods I put into my stomach, what else could Satan slowly entice me to put into my body? If I can’t control what my eyes see on the computer, what other spiritual poisons could be poured in to what is supposed to be a pure mind and heart? A serious Christian should think of these battles as the battles you win in private. David didn’t have anyone else around when the lion and bear attacked, but he won. These battles gave him all the confidence he needed to fight and defeat Goliath in public.
We had better learn to win against these lesser enemies known as the lion and the bear. These victories will give you confidence to fight the greater battle while everyone else stands around paralyzed with fear waiting for God to wave the magic wand. Winning your battle just may be the catalyst someone else needs to smite and kill his or her own sin.
What do you think it means to have the power of God on your life?
It means you have the power to overcome!