Happy Father’s Day! Today, we want to honor the fathers that God has blessed us with. Each father is in one way or another, a reflection of our heavenly Father. Let’s watch a short video called “I Love You Dad.” We thank God for the gift that God has given us in our fathers.
Today, we begin a new message series entitled “Follow God’s Heart.” In this series, we’re going to be learning from the life of David.
Acts 13:22 (ESV) [God] raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
In this verse, God describes David as “a man after my heart.” What does the phrase “man after my heart” mean? It means that David’s heart was committed to following God’s heart. David desired to live life following the Lord, His heavenly Father. The next phrase in this verse describes what a man after God’s heart does. It says that such a man will do all of God’s will.
Now, we know that David did not live a perfect life. He fell into some tragic sins. Yet, even there, he repented and got back on track with God.
Today, we’re going to talk to fathers about following God’s heart. Following God’s heart is far easier said than done. Rather than following God’s heart, we are tempted to follow our own hearts. There is always opposition when we seek to follow God’s heart.
Our message today is entitled “Defeat Your Giant.” There are giants that get in the way of you following God’s heart. These giants are assigned to the enemy to oppose God’s plan in your life. Each person has a different giant or giants to deal with. But God desires to give you the strength to defeat your giant.
Whatever you’re facing today as a father, God wants to give you the victory. The victory will clear your path going forward as you follow God’s heart. So, let’s begin to look at David’s life to learn how to defeat your giant.
1 Samuel 16:10 (ESV) And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”
Samuel was a prophet in Israel chosen by God to anoint the next king after Saul. God sent Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse. Normally, one of the older sons would be seen to be a prime candidate. However, the Lord told Samuel that He had no chosen any of them. Samuel was confused and asked Jesse if he had any other sons. Jesse told him that the youngest son, David, was out in the fields watching the sheep.
1 Samuel 16:12 (ESV) And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”
When David came before Samuel, the Lord told him that David was the one to be anointed as the next king of Israel. This was an unexpected choice for everyone observing. Yet, God clearly had chosen to call David as the next king, even though Saul was still the reigning king.
1 Samuel 16:13 (ESV) Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
So, Samuel took a horn of oil and anointed David to be king at a time of God’s choosing. Oil in the Bible is usually a symbol of the Holy Spirit. We see that after being anointed, the Spirit came upon David and remained with him. The anointing, which is the power of the Spirit, was given to equip David for what God was calling him to.
As we’re going to see, David did not actually become king for another fifteen years. However, the Holy Spirit would use those fifteen difficult years in David’s life to prepare him for his call. Each of us must also learn to embrace God’s call and equipping for our lives.
None of us are called to be a king, so what is God’s call for our lives? God’s call is essentially God’s plan for your life. God’s call is for multiple aspects of your life. God calls you to marry a specific spouse and then be a godly husband and father. God calls you as father to work in a certain occupation. Oftentimes, over the course of time, that occupation often does change.
God calls every believer to different ministries in the church. These ministries often change with time and as you grow in maturity. For each call of God on your life, God provides the equipping that you need. The equipping for your call is the same as David’s, the Holy Spirit.
We’re going to see later on this morning, that God’s equipping, can also involve adversity that seems to have nothing to do with your calling. Yet, for each stage of your life, God desires for you to know your calling. And He wants to help you live out that calling. The calling of father changes as you become a grandfather, but God continues to equip you to fulfill that new calling.
1 Samuel 17:32 (ESV) And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
You’ll notice that David was anointed by Samuel as the next king in 1 Samuel 16. Now, we are just one chapter later in 1 Samuel 17. David had been left home to tend the sheep while his older brothers were fighting the Philistines.
The Philistines had a giant warrior named Goliath, whom no one wanted to fight. Goliath was enormous, standing over nine feet tall with armor to match. Goliath challenged the army of Israel to send someone to fight him in one on one combat. No one volunteered, they were all too afraid.
Finally, David, even though not part of the army, volunteered to fight Goliath. King Saul told David that he couldn’t fight Goliath, as he was just a boy. At the point in his life, David was in his teens.
1 Samuel 17:36 (ESV) Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”
David’s reply to Saul indicated that he had had some battles as a shepherd. Both lions and bears had attacked the flock and David had killed them. David believed that Goliath’s mockery of the armies of Israel, the armies of the living God should not stand. David’s past experience with God’s help convinced him that he could defeat the giant.
David rejecting putting on the armor of a soldier as it was too heavy for him. He ran to fight Goliath with only a sling and five smooth stones.
1 Samuel 17:45 (ESV) Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and 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.
David ran to defeat Goliath having faith, not in himself, but in the Lord of hosts, the Lord of armies. He was not fighting for himself, but for the honor of the Lord.
1 Samuel 17:49 (ESV) And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
David had five stones in his pouch, but he only needed one. Before he got too close to Goliath to be attacked, he hurled a stone into the giant’s forehead. Goliath fell to the ground and David ran up to him and cut off his head. He had trusted God, who had given him the power to defeat the giant.
What did the giant Goliath have to do with David’s calling? If Goliath and the Philistine army had defeated Israel, David could never have become king. That giant was standing in the way of David fulfilling his calling and had to be defeated.
What kind of giants stand in the way of God’s calling in our lives? One kind of giant is the giant that attacks your faith and draws you away from God. This giant can distract you from spending regular time with God in the Bible and prayer. This giant can distract you from regularly attending church.
One of the reasons that this type of giant attacks fathers is that families tend to follow the father in spiritual matters. If the father is not strong in his faith, the children tend not to be as well. Another type of giant is the giant of temptation. He tempts you in the use of your time.
Even things that are not wrong in and of themselves may need to be defeated to make time for the best things. As a father, you have priorities with God, your family, your church and your work. God wants you to keep them in proper order to fulfill your calling. Men in today’s age are often tempted to watch things they shouldn’t on the internet. God desires for you to defeat this giant and to live in purity for him. Trust God to defeat the giants that attack you calling.
1 Samuel 18:11 (ESV) And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
You would have thought that defeating Goliath would mean smooth sailing for David from then on. But Goliath was just the beginning of the things that David would face before coming into the kingship fifteen years later. David was serving in Saul’s court, yet Saul was very jealous of David. Saul was often possessed of an evil spirit and sought to kill David.
1 Samuel 18:12 (ESV) Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.
You see when Saul was anointed as king, the Holy Spirit came on him, to equip him for his calling. But Saul was not careful to obey God and follow God’s commands. Therefore the Spirit of God left Saul and was replaced by an evil spirit. Saul knew what was happening, but had no desire to repent. Rather, he sought numerous times to kill Daivd.
1 Samuel 18:14-15 (ESV) And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him.
Even though David had not yet come into his calling as king, God was with David. As David served under Saul, the Lord gave him great success. In fact, the success was so great, that Saul’s desire to kill David grew.
Finally, David had to become a fugitive for years in the desert to avoid Saul. David had many opportunities to kill Saul, but he left Saul’s demise to the Lord. We’ll talk more about those years in next Sunday’s message. God was using this time of adversity to help David to grow in faith.
You might ask, why didn’t God just immediately make David king? Why make him wait for fifteen years and go through all these problems? The answer is that God uses adversity to help us grow spiritually. In fact, the process of spiritual growth happens best in times of adversity. Why is this the case? The reason is that adversity or problems teach us to trust God.
When you as a father encounter problems that you can’t solve, where do you turn? We all should turn to God, who gives us the strength and wisdom to deal with adversity. We all would like a life where everything always went smoothly. But if that was the case, would we grow in faith? No, we wouldn’t.
Just as it takes resistance in weight training for muscles to grow, so it takes adversity in life for our faith to grow. What areas in life may father’s face adversity? Just about every area. You may face problems with your marriage, with your children, with your work, with your home, with your finances and so on. Rather than grumbling or complaining, how should you face these problems? Simply, calling on God to give you the strength and wisdom in each problem. So that, you can fulfill God’s calling in each area of your life.
James 1:2-3 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
When God allows trials to come into our lives, we should rejoice. Not in the problem, but in what God is going to do through that problem. Problems, giants and adversity test our faith. When we respond by relying on the Lord, our faith grows and strengthens. That growing faith trains and teaches us to carry out God’s calling.
This father’s day, we learn from the life of David some important lessons. As fathers, we must embrace God’s call in every area of our lives. Not only does God call us, he also equips us to do the things he calls us to.
However, we all face giants in our lives, that seek to stop from fulfilling our calling. We can’t defeat these giants in our own strength, but can with God’s help. Walking in God’s calling is not something that happens quickly. God helps us grow in our faith and maturity through adversity or trials in life.
Once we understand the purpose of these trials, we can rejoice in them. As we rely on God to give us wisdom and strength, He will help us grow in our faith. Be encouraged this morning fathers. God is with you. He’s brought you this far and he’ll never leave you.