More than a Conqueror

Published on May 18th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
More than a Conqueror

More than a Conqueror

I saw a…not sure what you call them but they are like little posters that people post on the internet…and it was, I believe, David vs. Goliath. David stood before this massive man who looked like a monster and David was puny in comparison. But shadowed over David was this image of David as a huge soldier that towered over Goliath. I believe the point of the poster was that in reality it may appear that Goliath is massive and David is puny but with God on our side we are more than conquerors. It was a pretty cool poster (or whatever you call them). It caused me to start thinking about all of those verses and stories in the Bible where the kingdom of God beat up on the kingdom of Satan. Elijah verses the Prophets of Baal. Daniel in the lions den. Joshua fighting the battle of Jericho. Peter walking on water. Such great stories of victory and courage. My heart was moved by the exhortations to be strong and courageous. To stand against the wiles of the devil. To fight the good fight. To walk by faith and not by sight. As I meditated on these things my mind began to wander back to all of the youth retreats and youth lessons I taught as a youth pastor. We often talked about being a Giant Killer, or taking a mountain like Caleb, or daring to step out of the boat like Peter. We challenged the young people to stand up for God and give their lives for something greater than themselves. It brought back many fond memories.

As I look back now, though, I wish I would have added to those lessons. I wish I would have spent more time looking at the times of defeat in each of our hero’s lives. I wish I would have taught our young people how to repent as much as I taught them how to stand and fight. David was a man after God’s own heart because he owned his sin and sought the forgiveness of God. Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 are beautiful examples of how sin can devastate our lives. They are also perfect examples of the forgiveness and mercy of God. When Elijah is brought to the cave by God in I Kings 19 and he is confronted with his faulty expectations and self pity it becomes a great example of God’s restoring power in our lives. Peter may have walked on water but his denial is a lesson every young person should examine. When Jesus restores Peter to usefulness we see an amazing example of how destructive decisions do not have to destroy us. We may be able to learn the importance of faith when Joshua fought the battle of Jericho but we learn just as important a lesson on repentance when Joshua fought the battle of Ai. I have found that as I grow closer to my Lord I am confident in who I am in him but I am also daily repenting of my sin. To paint a picture of a valiant warrior without painting a picture of that same warrior daily on his knees repenting of his sin sets our young people up for failure. Each of the heroes we see in the Word not only experienced great victories of faith but they also experienced the failings of the flesh. We need to teach both sides in order to give our young people a proper view of the Christian walk.

I do not look for sins to confess. I am not a very introspective person. But I have found that as I seek to walk in faith and I seek to know Him more each day that I see my flesh and my sin more clearly. That simply leads me to be repenting of my sin more frequently. The light of the holiness of God shines into the dark corners of my heart and exposes that which still needs to be submitted to the Father through the Son. So I might change that poster of David and Goliath just a little. I would still paint Goliath to be that big monster (that was pretty cool). I would still paint David to be impressive but puny in comparison to Goliath. I would still have the shadow of David as a mighty warrior in the strength of God. But I would paint a picture of David behind Goliath, after the battle, on his knees in humility before God realizing that our lives here on earth are lives of living by great faith one minute and lives of great failure the next. I would have steered our youth meetings toward Bible studies of great exhortation to stand and fight and I would have added times of great confession and repentance, demonstrating to our young people that both are needed in our walk with Christ. We are more than conquerors…we are also people of confession and repentance. Let’s turn our eyes, turn the eyes of our youth toward our great God and teach them to walk in faith and repentance. We then truly prepare them for life.

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