Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
As we scour the Old Testament for encouraging stories, the one that leaps out at us is the one about young David facing Goliath, that huge giant from Philistia.
Even though Goliath has ridiculed, insulted, and blasphemed the God of Israel, who is also the God of the whole earth, there is no "self" in David's demeanor before the giant. David is not thinking of winning a victory as some young men would do; his heart is deeply touched by the glory of Christ's Being and His divine character. Therefore he forgets "self" in his overwhelming purpose to honor the Lord. Come what may, David devotes himself to the honor, not of Israel, but to the God of Israel. For David, "self" is crucified with Christ.
In a beautiful demonstration of the relation between "faith and works," David selects those five smooth little stones in the brook; it would not be good if David just prays, "O Lord, please defeat that terrible giant!" Let's not denigrate prayer in the least--and yes, we believe in prayer, but sometimes action is also needed.
We probably could never have functioned in this crisis, for we don't know how to use slingshots skillfully. But the Lord used that skillful technique to win a great victory for the gospel. And that is what the Lord asks of each of us: let us consecrate what we have, humble as it may be, to His service. You may think that your level is the same "low estate" that Mary the mother of Jesus spoke of in Luke 1:48. But once you confess your personal "low estate," the Lord works to lift you up, because that is His character.
The Good News is, the Lord does not work to put us down, but to lift us up.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 20, 2009.
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