What if the best days for your church are still ahead?
Sure, you’ll face challenges. But you can’t imagine what God has in store for your church in the years ahead of you.
Last week, I shared with you the giants you’ll battle as you pursue God’s vision—delay, discouragement, disapproval, and doubt. They’re tough. But the story of David and Goliath teaches four ways to overcome these giants so you can embrace the future God has planned.
Remember what God has done in the past.
Remembering how God has worked in your church in the past will boost your confidence. It will encourage you toward how he wants to work in the future. (This is the time to call on people who have a long history in the church. They remember the tough times and can offer perspective!)
God helped you in the past; he’ll do it in the future. David understood this. When everyone else said David stood no chance, David said, “I have killed lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has challenged the army of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:36 GW).
The giants standing in the way of God’s dream for your church seem big, but God has been faithful through your problems before, and he will continue to be in the future.
Use the tools that God has already given you.
Your church doesn’t need to wait for anything before you begin chasing God’s purpose.
You don’t need more money. You don’t need more people. You don’t need a new building. You only need what God has already given you.
Some churches are always waiting for something before they’ll do what God has called them to do. The problem is, whatever they’re waiting for never comes. When your church’s offering grows, it’s never enough. When the perfect staff member joins your team, another one leaves. When your new building is built, you need to deal with your debt. It’ll always be something.
When young David was preparing to face Goliath, Saul offered him his armor. It didn’t fit. David fastened Saul’s sword over his clothes and tried to walk, but he had never practiced with Saul’s armor.
“‘I can’t walk in these things,’ David told Saul. ‘I’ve never had any practice doing this.’ So David took all those things off”
(1 Samuel 17:39 GW).
David didn’t wait until he grew into Saul’s armor. He took on Goliath with what he had.
God wouldn’t call you to a dream if you couldn’t face the giants in front of you.
Lean on God for encouragement.
David had plenty of naysayers as he chased God’s plan for his life. He didn’t get encouragement from his dad, his brothers, the army—or the king.
How did David respond?
Maybe the best example happens several chapters after he faces Goliath. This time he is battling the Amalekites. The Bible says, “David found strength in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6 GW).
As your church chases God’s vision, you may not get encouragement from the outside. You’ll need to learn to encourage yourself in the Lord.
This is more than just a positive mental attitude. When you encourage yourself in the Lord, you have a bedrock trust in God’s provision. You’ll need that when you face the giants that want to derail God’s vision.
Expect God to help you for his glory.
God doesn’t give your church a dream in order to bring attention to you or your congregation. God gives you a vision to bring glory to himself. So expect that he will!
I love what David told Goliath as he ran into battle:
“You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the army of Israel, whom you have insulted. Today the Lord will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head. And this day I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals. The whole world will know that Israel has a God”
(1 Samuel 17:45-46 GW).
God wants to show the world what he can do through your church. Because of that, you can count on his help along the way.
God will do through your church exactly what you expect him to do. You don’t have to have the biggest budget or the largest attendance. You just need to trust God to do what he says he will do.
Many years ago, I prayed, “God, I’m not the smartest guy. I’m not the best educated, and I’m not the best looking. Nor am I the most talented. But, God, by your grace, I’m going to trust you. And I don’t have to know or understand why you tell me to do what you want me to do, but I will do anything, anytime, anywhere, in faith, even when it doesn’t make sense to me.”
I never expected God to do with my life what he has. But God says he will use anyone who will place their trust in him.
Do you trust God to fulfill his dream for your church?
In the end, overcoming the giants standing in the way of God’s dream isn’t about you or your church. If it was up to you, all hope would be lost.
But it’s about what God can do through you. Learn from David, and your giants don’t stand a chance.
If you would like to read part one of this article, click HERE