As I continue to move forward in my journey toward turning 50 in September, I sometimes find myself facing two challenges simultaneously as I work to improve my life: the promise of great breakthrough and motivation, matched with opposition, either to me or to the breakthrough that I am seeking.
Like many of us have experienced at one time or another, about the time that we seem to be entering our best job, our best new opportunity or that new lifestyle we’ve been seeking, we sometimes face outside challenges which oppose us on a much higher level. Just as things are heading in the right direction, we hit problems and obstacles which oppose us—some of them which we’ve never faced before at all.
This is not a new story, but rather a truth which, if understood, can actually encourage us in the midst of these challenges and obstacles. The truth I am talking about is best understood in light of the Bible and the story of God’s precious people, the Israelites For years, God’s promise to His people was that one day they would enter a land that was so fertile that it could only be described as a land flowing with milk and honey. Talk about breakthrough and a promise being real! How much more descriptive could you be of a changed life than this description gives us? But when the Israelites finally entered their “Promised Land,” all of the sudden they faced giants that they did not face in the wilderness. To the natural mind, it would seem that the right place for the giants would have been in the wilderness, the place where they were being punished for their unbelief and not in the land flowing with milk and honey. I would have thought that they would have had to deal with the giants in the badlands, not in the promised land. Wouldn’t you think that once you have entered into your promised land, the giants would go away? God’s ways are not our ways and I am so thankful that they are not, because God always has a better plan than we do. In our daily life, we would all think that a person would face their own giants when they are down and out; not when they have just landed their best job, or met Mr. or Mrs. Right, or finally went to purchase their first home. If we can learn from history, and we should, we should remember that just when we decide to change our lives for the better, we may find ourselves facing a totally new, unfamiliar giant.
As I move forward making progress toward my big three goals (writing my first book, losing weight and growing closer to God), I have hit my own giants that were nowhere to be found when I was content with putting those goals off until later in life. I know that sometimes there can be obstacles which are really just the byproduct of our wrong or poor decisions, but the giants that I am talking about are the ones that come against us when we are doing everything right. What can we learn about facing these giants as we work to pursue God’s best for us and our families?
1. God Is In Control, Not the Giants.
When we face opposition, it is always important to rest upon the fact that God is in control. He is still God, and the giants are never more powerful than he is.
2. If God Is In Control, Then the Giants That Are in Our Promised Land Are Not There Without His Permission.
God has a purpose for why they are there and that purpose is always linked to your destiny. For example: when David faced Goliath, no one knew that his defeat of Goliath was actually going to be linked to his eventual rise to replace Saul. No one but God knew, but God used that encounter to set David up.
3. Giants Help Us Discover Who We Are Really Meant to Be.
Test and trials force us to face things that we need to overcome, and it’s always in the overcoming that we change and grow stronger. Some people only find their real strength when they face a challenge that requires it. Even Samson didn’t know really how strong he was until he needed to use it.
4. Giants Prepare Us for the New Places That We Will Occupy.
God could have driven all the giants out of the Promised Land, and the Israelites could have walked in unchallenged. But they would have not become the people they needed to become to actually rule and occupy the land that they had inherited. Sometimes God will actually use a giant to keep us humble and dependent on him. We all have seen people become proud and arrogant, only to lose what was gained because they thought that they did it alone. Thank God that he will sometimes use giants to help remind us that it is by his strength, and not our own, that we move forward into our destiny.
5. Giants Can Actually Be Signposts That You Are Moving into God’s Best for You and Your Family.
If you are working to change your life for the better like I am doing, you will face giants. Just remember that God is in control, and they are to be expected there if you are headed the right direction. Lean on God, and like the Isralites, he can deliver them into your hands to help you overcome each one.