Refuse to be Fearful

‘Do not look at his appearance or…physical stature’. 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV

We pride ourselves on our ability to judge people and situations based on appearance – and lots of time we’re wrong. Goliath issued the same challenge to Israel for forty days: ‘Send me your best fighting man, and I’ll kill him. I’m the champion. I’m the greatest.’ That kind of fear-based thinking applies to every giant you encounter in life. Chuck Swindoll writes: ‘Fear and worry…don’t come just once; they come morning and evening, day after day, relentlessly trying to intimidate. They come in form of a person, a pressure… a worry… fear that hammers on your heart… day in and day out, yelling across the ravine in your own personal valley. Few things are more persistent and intimidating than our fears and worries… especially when we face them in our own strength’. When picking Israel’s next king, God told the prophet Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or…physical stature… For the Lord does not see as man sees; …man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (v 7 NKJV). As human beings, we look at what’s on the outside and form opinions based on what we see. Goliath was a giant with a booming voice and lots of bravado – three traits designed to instil fear into the bravest heart. But God was neither impressed nor intimidated by him. And what’s more, He gave David the ability to see Goliath through His eyes. Fears are like babies, the more your nurse them, the bigger they grow. Once you start seeing the giants in your life from God’s perspective, they lose their power to immobilise and intimidate you. So refuse to be fearful.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF

They can be reached on 0845 6040401 or at http://www.ucb.co.uk

Prayer: Make it Simple and Frequent

‘When you are praying…’ Matthew 6:7 NASB

Knowing our tendency to complicate things, Jesus said, ‘When you are praying, do not use thoughtless repetition…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him’ (vv7 – 8). By using the words ‘thoughtless repetition’, He’s teaching us that prayer doesn’t have to be long, loud or laboured. And because He said ‘your Father knows what you need before you ask Him,’ He’s inviting you to find a scriptural promise that corresponds to our need and stand on it. Charles Swindoll, who uses his driving time to pray, writes this: ‘Often I speak to God out loud. Sometimes I sing to Him. Occasionally the entire prayer will be in my mind. Each time I commit myself to prayer, I notice that God becomes my focus rather than some personal struggle. I’m relieved of worry, I’m able to release anything concerning me so that I can become altogether lost in the majesty of His presence and the joy of ministry. When I arrive, I’m excited to do as God pleases. I find myself refreshed, relieved, and ready. My mind is focused. My heart is prepared. My emotions are clear, and whatever was troubling me when I began that drive no longer concerns me. Prayer has made that possible. Now I wish I could say I use every commute every day for time in prayer. But like many people, I often forget. My mind will be spinning from one problem to the next and rather than pray, I churn. At times I’ll be so anxious it doesn’t occur to me that I should quit worrying and commence praying. ‘Prayer: make it simple, and frequent.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF

They can be reached on 0845 6040401 or at http://www.ucb.co.uk