Smooth Grace

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Most likely you have heard about or seen the movie “Facing the Giants” that was released back in 2006 and produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. What most likely made this low budget film so popular, was its story of how everyday people overcame insurmountable opposition and struggle by putting their complete trust in God. Among the interwoven story line was the struggle of a losing high school football team, a rebellious teenage son, the lack of being able to conceive a child, and mounting financial pressure, but it was when each situation was completely turned over to God that victory came.

Such was the case for David in 1 Samuel 17. Israel was being taunted by the Philistine Army and particularly the giant Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:11 says, “When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” The word “dismayed” here is from the Hebrew word “chathath” and it literally means “to terrify.”

Sound familiar? Our adversary the devil loves to terrorize and intimidate us into thinking that we are nothing and there is no possible way we can live a life of victory, but how did David respond to these threats? He did so by relying on his covenant with Jehovah. We see this in his reference to Goliath as an “uncircumcised Philistine.” He was basically saying that because Goliath did not have a covenant with the “Lord of Host” that there was no possible way that he, David, could be defeated and he acted accordingly.

Now his boasting was not in himself, but in Jehovah, because I’m sure that David certainly knew that “man for man” there was no possible way he could stand up to the Philistine’s greatest warrior, but he saw himself inside the covenant. And, it was from that revelation that he shouted back to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

King Saul tried to help David as best he could, by offering him his own personal armor, however it was way to big and cumbersome. The truth is, that when we’re faced with a giant in our lives, sometimes the traditional and familiar things, although good, may not work either. It seems obvious to me, that Saul’s armor here represents works and self effort and no amount of self effort or works can help you defeat a real giant in your life. As well intentioned as some may be, there is no man made “one size fits all” solution to the problems many are facing. Often times we do more harm by assuming what worked for us will work for someone else.

By selecting five smooths stones David relied on something that day, that although it may not have been proven in battle as far is Israel was concerned, it had been proven to him. The full Grace of God is what David reached for because he knew it would work for him. He had been in similar situations before with the lion and the bear and both times, God’s grace brought him through and he knew this time would be no different.

Grace is represented in this story in the “five smooth stones.” The number five is the number of grace and although it only took one stone to kill Goliath, David went into this situation in the full grace of God. What is also interesting is that these stones were smooth, just as the grace of God is always smooth. The grace of God and the anointing of God are close cousins in representing the smoothness that is often found in complete reliance on Him. It’s when we totally rely on Him, that we go from works to smooth rest.

I am learning that no matter what giant I may be facing at times in my life, it is only the grace of God that brings me victory. It’s easy to feel your heart gripped with terror and dismay when faced with a giant like challenge, but I’m learning that as I keep my eyes on Jesus I am able to receive the full measure of grace I need.

Many have assumed Paul’s prayer over his own challenge was never answered, but to do so is to discount the grace of God as seen in God’s response to him in 2 Corinthians 12:9. So today, let the grace of God be your real, tangible, and a true source of victory over any giants you may be facing in your business, workplace, or life and you will see yourself victorious.

Today’s Thought: Although self effort and determination are great characteristics, they pale in comparison to the effortless grace of God.

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