posted by Jan

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Peter led the devotions today. He talked about "giants" in our lives... especially us, workers.

Giant is an allegory of something that distracts us from being effective in serving God. He gave the example of King David in 2 Samuel 21:15-17

(2Sa 21:15) And again the Philistines warred with Israel. And David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. And David became faint

(2Sa 21:16) And Ishbi-benob, who was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight. And he being girded with a new sword thought to kill David.
(2Sa 21:17) But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, You shall not go out to battle with us any more, so that you do not put out the light of Israel.

Observations were made:
Two things were different …..
1.David was an older man, without the robust strength of his youth.(In the midst of the fighting, David became exhausted. -Gone were the days when he was so strong and robust!)
2. A Philistine giant, Ishbi-Benob was out to get David.(It would seem like Ishbi-Benob had been waiting for such a moment – when David was the most vulnerable, in order to make his move).

Known as on of the heroes among David’s men. A fearless and willing volunteer, fiercely loyal to David. Abishai comes to David’s aid... smites the giant and kills him. They won the battle!

Howevere, David’s valiant men gather around him and make him swear that he will never go into battle again.

Why? Is it for David's own safety?

Hmmmm...Something more important is at stake: “ In order that the lamp of God might not go out “... meaning...David, as king, was like a lamp that reflected the character and purposes of God to Israel and the surrounding peoples.
To extinguish this witness would be an assault on God’s redemptive purposes for the nations.
We are lamps to team members, family, ministry colleagues, UPGs,etc
As with David, the forces of darkness seek to prey on our vulnerabilities in order to diminish the intensity of our lights to the UPGs, family, friends, etc .
Watching Over Our Hearts
(Pro 4:23) Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.
Pro 4:23 - Heart - Thy thoughts, will, and affections. For - From thence proceed all the actions, as of the natural, so of the spiritual life, which lead to eternal life.

We need to look for opportunities to reassess personal strengths and weaknesses.
Like David and his men, we must rise to the challenge and search deep within our hearts and take a closer look at our own giants and vulnerabilities.

What are our vulnerabilities?
Painful memories
Interpersonal relationships
Emotional Instability

2 Keys for personal growth & ministry effectiveness :

1. Self Reflection
2. Accountability

“A bitter truth is better than a sweet lie”

Looking within is not easy, but it is far better than ignorance & denial.
Take time to get quiet, and reflect. Listen & wait upon the Lord. Speak to a friend.
Speak to a counselor.

As I reflect today's devotions... I came to ponder upon this:

It does hurt sometimes when friends correct/admonish us... but according to the scripture: Open rebuke is better than secret love.

When we allow people (leaders, friends, counselors, pastors, etc.) to speak to our lives... only then can we experience a total change of heart and of mind and true love will manifest in it's greatest form... to love and serve (effectively) HIM.

Only when we have a total change of heart can we minister effectively to our "neighbours".

Only when we're refreshed can we refresh others.

Only when we're willing to submit can we serve others.

Only when we recognize our strength and weaknesses can we have a total change of attitude towards our walk in the Lord.

God has indeed spoken to my heart.

Be blessed!