Heart Start

God Gold of the day

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:7‬

Alright, so here we are….only a few days away from starting a new year! It’s pretty wild to think about how fast time has went by this year. Looking back it feels like just yesterday we were starting 2019 but now we’re here, 2020 is just around the corner. Noticing how quickly the time has went by this year has really made me sit and take some inventory on this past year asking myself questions such as;

What did I do this year?

How did I spend my time? Did I waste a lot of time or use it wisely for God?

In what ways have I grown this past year? In what ways have I fallen short?

It’s crazy looking back over the year and seeing all that God has done, even in the moments I wasn’t paying attention at all and just living, it’s so cool to see that God was heavy at work! I highly recommend you take some time to evaluate yourself, this past year of your life, because by doing that it helps you to get a better picture on how you’ll handle the year ahead!

After looking over this past year and seeing some areas where I could definitely improve, I also noticed a lot of areas that I just let myself go, I stopped caring and paying attention to what really mattered because I became busy, or focused on worldly things that didn’t really mean much. After seeing this, I wanted to join with you on a journey this year to start this new year the right way. I’ve spent years and years making New Years resolutions only to find myself giving up not long after. It’s fun to make all these awesome goals like getting in shape, losing some weight, reading more books, or learning new skills, those are just a few among many but I want to start first here with you in the place that is the root and foundation to all that we do, to all we are, and to what God says is all that truly matters!

Instead of taking the usual route and thinking of this new year in a sense of how we can change our outward appearance like most do with working out more, getting in shape, eating healthier and losing weight. As fun and exciting as that stuff is to talk about I found myself asking the same question that I’m sure you’ve asked too.

Why can’t I follow through with any of these resolutions and goals I set every year? The question I’ve found from this passage in 1 Samuel is, are you thinking about outward, physical, or my own power to change things about myself and reach these goals? Or are you looking first at where God looks, where God says matters most? The heart?

After thinking through this, it’s been like a revelation to see that this is the heart of the problem I face with change or reaching goals to be better!!!

It all starts at the heart. As we could spend all day looking at the physical, or at what we need to do better to change, the truth is we’re looking at the wrong place! With our eyes we go off what we see, but what do you think will happen if we begin looking at our life and these challenges to be better through God’s eyes? What will change when we begin to see what God sees, the root of all we do and all that matters begins in the place we so often overlook, our hearts!

If God doesn’t look or care about the outward but only looks and cares about what’s on the inside shouldn’t we?!?! And I’m not saying that God doesn’t care if you let yourself go and stop taking care of your outward self, it’s actually the opposite. God wants you to be healthy and in shape individuals but at the end of the day all of that means nothing when it’s done with the wrong motives in our heart. So as we begin to make our New Years Resolutions, or make goals for us to reach this coming year, I challenge you to start in the place that God sees as most important! The place where all decisions are made and all change begins! Let’s do a heart test as we begin this year and make sure we enter into these new challenges and goals with our hearts in the right place, chasing after God in all we do. And making sure we have the right motives, attacking these things to give God the glory above all else!

‘Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’

Proverbs 4:23

For change to occur, it must start inward, at the heart and then it will flow outward. If we start outward we will never reach the more God has in store for us.

AWESOME TRUTH

God Gold of the day

One of my good buddies, Dylan showed me this picture last week as we headed into work! Thankful for this AWESOME encouragement to hold onto throughout the day at work and extremely thankful for how God places others by our sides to encourage us and move us forward closer to Him on this journey of life!! Such an AWESOME truth here and I hope it leads you to having an AWESOME Tuesday!!!!

And for more on this story on David and Goliath, check out 1 Samuel 17!!! I promise you won’t be disappointed!!!

Bad Fit

God Gold of the Day

“38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”

1 Samuel 17:38-40

Wanted to take some time and finish off the “Armored” lessons with you today! Couldn’t leave out this last message giving you a visual of what it looks like to “put on the armor of God.” My mind was BLOWN when I came across this example and I pray your mind will be on another planet too after seeing this truth. It’s so awesome how a story from the Old Testament gives us this visual example of something written years later. God’s Word is filled with so much GOLD!!!! OMG!!!

Alright, so we’ve been talking about the armor of God and using the story of David and Goliath as a visual example to see what putting the armor of God on looks like for us in our daily lives. After David talks King Saul into letting go fight this ginormous warrior in Goliath, Saul’s first reaction is to give David his own battle armor so he can look like a real soldier and be protected.

The cool thing to notice here is how Saul’s armor doesn’t fit David, it’s uncomfortable to him and doesn’t feel right. It’s easy to hear, “put on the armor of God,” and think of just this, putting on physical armor right?? Well, when mentioned in Ephesians 6, God had a little different meaning than what we first think of when we hear “armor.” The armor of God isn’t physical armor at all, it’s how we stand in God’s presence, knowing who God is and our identity in Him. In God’s presence, standing under who He is, we have more protection than we could ever need.

Just like the Israelite soldiers had on all this physical armor and Saul trying to give David his armor, the truth was, David didn’t need all this man-made stuff that made everybody else feel good, comfortable and what they trusted in. We are faced everyday with the temptation to put on different types of armor that’s not the armor we need. We can try to put on our own armor, trusting in our own skills and abilities to do the job. Or we can try someone else’s armor on, trying to be like another in any way we can and trust in trying to look the part such as the soldiers David was surrounded by. Or we put our trust in the armor of this world, what we have or own, anything around us that is man-made that makes us feel like with that one thing, we’ll be secure and protected. We try so hard everyday to put on these different armors but at the end of the day, none of it does us any good. If anything it covers us like a mask so the world around us thinks we’ve got it all together when the truth is any armor of this world, it won’t fit and it definitely won’t work!!!!

We look at Saul’s reaction giving David his armor to put on and we see all of these Israelite soldiers in armor looking the part and it makes sense logically. Yeah, of course David would need this armor, duh!?!! That’s what stinks because we put our hope and trust in things of this world to be our armor because we are constantly consumed with all the lies and influence that it’s the right, logical thing to do but IT’S NOT!!!! We need nothing besides the armor of God, our only chance of protection and confidence in this battle against the evil one.

Gosh!!!! It’s so cool in verse 40 how David says, ““I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.” 

That’s where we see what putting on the armor of God looks like for us, taking of all the worldly physical armor we are used to using and that the world tells us is right, the armor that we try to make fit but it doesn’t. Like it says, David “took them off.” Then trusting in God’s armor, God’s strength and who God is. David walking out onto the battlefield with no physical armor but in the armor of God, walking confidently into battle because God, the always faithful, breakthrough bringing, the almighty undefeated Champion of all. His armor changes everything.

What’s cool to see too is how David walks onto the battlefield with his own stuff, a sling, some rocks, and a staff. David gives us an example here that in God’s armor, we can walk onto the battlefield with our identity in God, with our own stuff, as God has created us specifically and perfectly, we can walk with God in who He made us to be. Do you see the FREEDOM in that???? It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, what the enemy throws at you, the times you’ve fallen in the past, or what the world says about you.

ALL THAT MATTERS; is that God’s armor fits on you right where you are, exactly how God made you. His armor is custom fit for you and me. You can walk on the battlefield of life to face the enemy in no physical armor but standing strong in the armor of who God is and your identity in Him! David had plenty of things that made Him seem like he wasn’t enough, you may have some things that make you feel like you’re not enough, and I DEFINITELY have some things that make me feel like I’m not enough. ALL THAT MATTERS when you step onto the battlefield of life is how you stand with God. That’s it. It’s all about God and not you. That is it.

I’ll leave you with this; look at how David steps onto the battlefield, after being taunted once again by the enemy, Goliath, look at how David responds. And reminder here, when you take that step of faith out onto the battlefield in God’s armor, the enemy always send opposition trying to tell you how you’re not enough. Like David mentions here, it’s not about Him, he comes in the name of God, with His identity in God and God is more than enough.

” ‘Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord ’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” ‘

1 Samuel 17:41-47 

 

Armored-P.5

God Gold of the Day

***The foundation behind the “Armored” series, the main points, scripture and what we’ve talked about so far is at bottom of page.
‘But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
-1 Samuel 17:34-37
Digging back into this visual example of what it looks like to “put on the armor of God” from the story of David and Goliath. We saw in verse 32 how David steps up to the plate confidently to take on the task of fighting the giant, Goliath. Like I’ve mentioned before, David’s confidence wasn’t from what he had or didn’t have, or any of his own strength, David’s confidence sprang from how he stands in the Lord, in who God is and his identity in God. After telling Saul that he will fight Goliath, Saul throws doubt and started naming off reasons why David shouldn’t and can’t do this. This is a perfect example of how the devil is crafty in his schemes against us, how he sometimes uses people and the world to plant lies in our heads of fear, doubt and insecurities. David could have easily fell right into the lie of why he couldn’t do this, and taken the example of all of the armored up Israelite soldiers standing there crippled in fear, too scared to move at all against the giant in front of them. But despite the physical odds, with David standing in the truth of who God is, with his strength and identity firmly planted in the Lord, he responds to the lies, with these verses.
David reminds Saul of all the victories the Lord has won in his life and what God has done against the lion and the bear. What an example that is for us on how to respond to the devil’s lies with the truth of how we’ve experienced the goodness and deliverance of God in our lives. When the devil comes with his lies with the intention of crippling you in fear and doubt, respond with the truth of who God is and what God has done in your life. Remember all the moments God has delivered you, all the moments God has brought you out of a situation that looked impossible and that you even thought was impossible until God stepped in with His powerful, almighty presence! Those moments where you experienced the realness of WHO GOD IS and stood there in awe at what He can do. Those moments are crucial to never forget, because when you are faced with new giants, more attacks from the enemy, in a situation that is way out of your depth, those moments of God delivering you before will give you confidence in this new moment. Confidence in the fact that this same, never-changing, awesome God, can and will deliver you again and give you all you need to stand firm.
What’s cool to look at too is the fact that when we hear, “put on the armor of God”, it seems like it’d be a all at once type thing. That the armor of God goes on you and you’re good to go the rest of your life but that’s simply not true. When you become a Christian you don’t just receive a package in the mail from God that has your new set of His armor to put on. That would be really cool but it doesn’t work that way. The armor of God and standing in this type of confidence David is displaying here doesn’t just happen overnight. You could easily read these Scriptures and leave with the “I need to be more like David” mindset. That you need to put on God’s armor, be confident and expect to never fall to the enemy again and be able to just end any Goliath you face instantly. As we see from what David is saying, it took David going through a lot of battles, falling, being challenged to face new and bigger enemies. David wasn’t just armored up and confident overnight, it took him TIME!!! To get to this level of confidence and armor with God, it doesn’t happen all at once but it’s a PROCESS of learning more and more about God and your identity in God. We have to be patient in this process of armoring up in God.
The truth is, there will be times you fall, there will be times you fall to the enemies schemes and attacks, God doesn’t expect you to be perfect. Putting on, wearing and standing in the armor of God takes time. It’s like riding a bike, when you’re first learning how to do it you fall a lot. Just like when you begin your relationship with the Lord, you fall A LOT, it’s hard, because you’re on God’s team the target on your back from the devil gets bigger and bigger. You will fall but having the resource of God’s armor at hand 24/7 and God being the graceful, forgiving God He is, His armor doesn’t just protect you from the attack but it helps you stand back up, to get on that bike again and keep riding. After you start getting good at riding your bike, the less you fall. It’s the same with God’s armor, the more you learn about who God is and your identity in God, the more armored up you become and the less you fall to the enemies attacks. Even when you are standing firm in God’s armor and more confident in how you stand with God, there will still be times you fall.
It’s a process of going through battles and learning more and more about who God is. As you learn and grow in your relationship with the Lord, the more armored up and battle ready you will be to face the enemies attacks. To grow in this process of armoring up, to get to a level of confidence that David had in God, it just takes riding close with God. Experiencing Him through His Word and in your daily life. The armor doesn’t just show up at your doorstep or come on you all at once, you will take hits and you will fall, but keep chasing God and learn more about who He is. When you start seeing how you stand as a child of the undefeated Champion, the Lord almighty, the more you will see how to stand firm in His armor!!! Trust the process and dig in!!!!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’
-Ephesians 6:11-13
MAIN POINT: Know where you stand with God and you’ll see how to stand firm in God’s armor. 
After setting up the foundation, we saw in verse 10 of Ephesians 6, that Paul gives us this first truth before we even come close to talking about armor. We don’t have what it takes, BUT we are told to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” We see here that we don’t have what it takes but with God, in His strength, in His armor, we have more than enough and can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
This all started by asking the main question; to put on the armor of God, what does that look like in our lives???
That’s the question we are seeking answers to in these “Armored” God Golds. Learning that the armor of God is basically God’s character, we see that we are armored and protected by how we stand in God, in who God is, in our identity in Him as a child of His. It’s all WHO HE IS!!!!
Wanted to give you that recap as we continue digging into this question and looking at the story of “David vs. Goliath” as a visual example for us to learn from. If you have missed the other “Armored” God Golds, I recommend going to check them out for the context on this Gold and the Gold to come just so you can better apply these lessons to your lives and stand armored up in the daily battles you face.

Armored-P.4

God Gold of the Day

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’
-Ephesians 6:11-13
MAIN POINT: Know where you stand with God and you’ll see how to stand firm in God’s armor. 
I don’t know about y’all but this has been a blast digging through the armor of God in these past few Golds. After setting up the foundation, we saw in verse 10 of Ephesians 6, that Paul gives us this first truth before we even come close to talking about armor. We don’t have what it takes, BUT we are told to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” We see here that we don’t have what it takes but with God, in His strength, in His armor, we have more than enough and can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
This all started by asking the main question; to put on the armor of God, what does that look like in our lives???
That’s the question we are seeking answers to in these “Armored” God Golds. Learning that the armor of God is basically God’s character, we see that we are armored and protected by how we stand in God, in who God is, in our identity in Him as a child of His. It’s all WHO HE IS!!!!
Wanted to give you that recap as we continue digging into this question and looking at the story of “David vs. Goliath” as a visual example for us to learn from. If you have missed the other “Armored” God Golds, I recommend going to check them out for the context on this Gold and the Gold to come just so you can better apply these lessons to your lives and stand armored up in the daily battles you face.
“32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
-1 Samuel 17:32-33
We talked about verse 32 last Gold so today we are going to continue in this conversation between David and Saul, digging in to see the truth of how it relates to the “Armor of God.”
All these Israelite soldiers are standing there in physical armor, shaking and crippled in fear to go and face this giant, named Goliath, who is mocking them and the God they serve. David is the only one in the whole camp who is willing and ready to step onto the battlefield against this giant. David??? This little, young shepherd boy, with no war experience and no logical reason that he could ever come close to defeating this giant. But, David’s confidence and willingness to fight isn’t because of all the physical attributes and things he doesn’t have, it’s only because of the fact that he is standing in who God is, His identity rests in the same God who delivered Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land in the first place. With David’s identity in God, not in what he has or the physical armor that he doesn’t have, that’s where David’s confidence comes from, that’s where his strength is, how he is armored up and protected, in God!!!
David goes to King Saul and says, “hey, don’t let anybody go out there and get hurt against this giant, I’ll go fight him myself.”
Saul takes one look at David, in all the “lack” and all the odds stacked against David and immediately tells David he’s crazy. We see here that Saul doubts David and tells him why he can’t go out to fight Goliath, much less beat him.
Everyday in our lives we face similar doubts and discouraging words from the people and world around us. The moment we are going to step out on faith, standing confidently in who God is, we face opposition. Like it says in verse 11, the reason we need to put on the full armor of God in the first place is; “so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” 
I don’t know what your experiences are but if you are a follower of Christ, then there is a target on your back and that target is from the devil. The devil is completely against God so any move you make for God, that target gets bigger and bigger. The devil is constant in his attacks and always scheming up new ways to come after you, to stop you from walking in the fullness of life God has given you and the mission God has called you to. One thing about the devil though and the way he attacks is how crafty he is. We see in verse 12 Paul mentions;
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
We don’t fight against flesh and blood, we don’t fight against people. Although at times we are hurt, discouraged or attacked by people, from a lesson my youth pastor taught on verse 12, “People are not your enemy!” Even though at times it may really seem that way, it goes deeper than just people, our fight and the attacks we face is deeper than what we see on the surface. The devil wants nothing more than for us to only see things on surface level because then, we try to fight against people when it’s not even them causing the attacks or being the reason behind it all. It’s in the spiritual, the unseen, from the evil forces of the devil at work.
People are not the enemy but the devil works through this world and people in many different ways to scheme against you and move you from what God has called you to do. Like we see from Saul’s doubt here, the devil works through others and the world to tell you the lies about who you are. He will do literally ANYTHING to plant lies in your head such as; ” you can’t fight Goliath, you’re too small, you’ll never win.” The mind can become the devil’s playground in you fall to his lies that he delivers through people and the many influences of this world around us. These lies can cripple you in fear and hurt you, as you stand stuck in your fears and the worlds doubt like the Israelite soldiers, instead when you stand in the truth of who you are to God, in His power, strength and armor, you are equipped by who God is to move past the lies and into the amazing God has called you to. Don’t focus on or believe the lies of the world telling you why you can’t, focus on and believe the truth of God who gives you more than enough reasons why you can!!!!
No matter what the world says, no matter what lies the devil tries to plant in your head, if you believe the lies of “I can’t do this or that.” Then you can’t. BUT if you believe the TRUTH of your identity in God, that you don’t have what it takes but as a child of God, where you are one with God, where He has called you FREE, VICTORIOUS, FORGIVEN, ACCEPTED, and WORTHY!!!! If you believe the TRUTH of WHO GOD IS, always faithful, constantly loving, always present, ridiculously powerful that He created this whole earth we see around us, and the fact that He is the UNDEFEATED CHAMPION OF ALL!!!! When the devil reminds you of all the times you’ve failed and fallen short, surrounds you with doubts and lies saying all the reasons you can’t, causing all that fear, doubt, and worry, NONE OF THAT MATTERS!!!!! As you stand in the TRUTH of your identity in God and who God is, and the fact that you don’t have to go into battle alone or just with what you have but with a God who has gone before you and is always with you to fight for you!!!!
Don’t listen to the doubt and fall into the schemes and lies of the evil one, there’s a truth about a God who is greater than anything he could ever be. Stand in that truth and don’t let the words of someone else change your focus from the only place that matters and that’s how you stand with God. It’s there you’ll see how to stand firm in His armor!!!