23 Feb 2014
If you have your Bibles, turn with me to the book of First Samuel, chapter 17. First Samuel chapter 17, the story of a rich man who one day threw a party, and he wanted to show off his brand-new saltwater pool that was filled with all kinds of ocean fish. And so during the party, he had everybody stand up on the edge of the pool. And he said, Now I want to show you my pride and joy. And so he opened a cage and out came two full grown great white sharks. And then he said to everybody, at the party, I'll give a million dollars to anybody who will jump into the pool and swim across. And all of a sudden, he heard a splash. And he saw this young man just kind of bolting across a pool swimming faster than an Olympic champion. All of a sudden, that young man jumped out of the pool, and they're soaking in webidi wet, you know, breathing heavily because he was a bit exhausted until the rich man walked over to him and he says, Wow, what a display of courage. Young man looked over at the rich man. And he said, I just want to ask one question, who pushed me?
You know, it is said, let me ask you this question. What do you think man's greatest fear is? Do you know what man's? Don't answer, I don't want to hear 1000. I want to tell you. But you know, a question. What's man's greatest fear? It is certainly not, you know, jumping into a pool with a bunch of great white sharks, although I'm sure that would be on the top of everybody's list for sure right. But what is man's greatest fear? It is said that man's greatest fear, believe it or not, is public speaking. In fact, it is said for most people they fear public speaking more than they fear the reality of death. In fact, it is said that at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than have to give the eulogy.
Okay, so for most people, it's a very fearful thing. And I understand the fear of public speaking, believe it or not, when I was younger, the thought of standing before a crowd like this and addressing them, I mean, standing, even giving my name was absolutely terrifying. In fact, I was paralyzed at the thought. And I remember, when I just got saved, the church that I was a part of asked me to give my salvation testimony and a thought of giving my testimony before that church, it paralyzed me so much so that I turned and I ran out of the church. And amazingly, they never asked me again. A few years later, I was attending now another church, and the pastor asked if I would be willing to read scripture on Sunday morning. Well, it took me two weeks to muster the courage to do it. And then two weeks later, my knees stopped shaking. I mean, it was for me, without a doubt, a terrifying thing. In fact, when God called me to be a preacher, at that moment, I knew that God had a sense of humor. And I wondered if God actually knew what he was doing by calling me to be as it were a public speaker. And so you're probably looking at me and thinking, okay, then how did you overcome that fear? Well, I overcame the fear of public speaking simply through courage. It was courage to do what I knew God wanted me to do.
It was courage. And you know, all of us. Without a doubt, we need courage. We need courage to do what we know we ought to do. We need courage to do what we know that God wants us to do, because everybody needs courage. You know, it takes courage for a child to walk into a dark room or to try a new thing. It takes courage for a young person, a student to stand up and say yes, to what is right and no to what is wrong. It takes courage for a soldier to enter into a battle or a fireman as it were to jump into a burning building. It takes courage for a young man to be a witness to his group of friends. It takes courage for a mother to give up her job that she might care now and raise her children. It takes courage for a father to leave his job and to venture into a new area. It takes courage for a missionary to abandon what is familiar that they might embrace that which is unfamiliar. It takes courage for a businessman to risk in a new business venture. It takes courage for a believer to confront another believer about a known sin in their life. It takes courage for a pastor to take a church like this and to lead us into a multimillion dollar building project.
Listen, everything demands courage. It is courage to do what we know we ought to do, courage to do what we know God wants us to do. Because without courage, we sell into a life of mediocrity. And we wind up robbing ourselves of all that God wants to do in and through us. You see, without courage, we will never do what God wants us to do, nor will we become the people that God wants us to become. You see without courage, students will not stand, soldiers would not fight, believers would not witness, leaders cannot lead, missionaries would not go, preachers would not preach, businessman would not prosper, churches would not grow and God's name in and through our lives would never be glorified. Courage. Without courage, we'll never know what God wants to do, nor will we experience what God can do through us. Because you see that’s what separates you from greatness. That which hinders you from achieving your God-given potential. That which hinders you from knowing and doing God's will, is simply courage, courage to do what you know you ought to do, courage to do what God wants us to do.
You Can Make A Difference
In our passage today, in First Samuel, chapter 17, we meet a young man by the name of David, who's single act of courage made a difference. It made a difference in his life, and it made a difference in the lives of others. And so, I want us to see today from his life, how you and I can make a difference, how our lives can make a difference. Not just in our life, but how our life can make a difference in the lives of others. So, let's stop for a moment and look at this very familiar story of David and Goliath and I want us to see from his story, how we, how you, how us as a body of believers, how we can make a difference.
Remember, when we come to the story of David and Goliath here, in First Samuel chapter 16, or First Samuel chapter 17, King Saul was the king of the nation of Israel and because of his disobedience, he forfeited the right to lead the nation. Now it was Samuel the prophet’s job to pick a new leader for Israel. And so, God spoke to Samuel, and He said, I want you to go to the home of Jesse. And there, Jesse has eight sons, and you will find amongst his eight sons that new king. And so when Samuel arrived at Jesse's house, Jesse paraded seven of his bright boys before the prophet, Samuel. And after Samuel looked at these seven bright prospects, he turned to Jesse, and he asked this question, he says, Are all the young men here? And Jesse responded, and he said, no, there remains yet the youngest. And there he is, keeping the sheep. (1 Samuel 16:11)
And course he was talking about that young man by the name of David. And although David was about a teenager, maybe 15 years of age at this time, when his father called in him the youngest, he was not necessarily saying that he was the youngest age, but he was saying he is the least in my estimation. But you see, that was David, he was that forgotten son, whose only job in life was to tend the sheep and meet the needs of his brothers. And it was to this young man, I mean, it was to this forgotten son, David, this red-haired, bright-eyed boy, that God would pick to be the next leader of Israel. In fact, David's anointing to be the next king of Israel is recorded for us here in First Samuel 16, beginning in verse 12.
And the Lord said, “Arise, and anoint this one”, David, to be the next king. And so Samuel took the horn of oil, and he anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of Lord came upon David, from that day forward. (1 Samuel 16:12-13)
But have you ever wondered, as you think about this young shepherd from the countryside, this young man, David, have you ever wondered how this boy with a toy, this shepherd with a sling became the next king of Israel? Although David was anointed to be king, I mean, he would not be come the king until much later. But how did the shepherd boy work his way up to be the king? Because you realize that David was not the rightful heir to the throne. Humanly speaking, it would have been Saul's son, Jonathan.
David’s rise to greatness began with a single act of courage
So how did David go from the pasture to the palace? The answer is this. You see, David's rise to greatness began with a single act of courage. You see, although David was anointed to be king, that which would establish Him as the king was this act of courage. You see it when he took this step of courage and confronted this giant Goliath, there he would be the king and the leader in the eyes of the people. And you see the event that established David as the next leader of Israel, was a military stalemate between the armies of the Philistines and the armies of Israel. Remember the story? Although they had come together in battle, for some reason, nobody initiated the battle until he just kind of stood there looking at each other. I don't know maybe they were taunting, throwing rocks at each other I do not know. But for some reason, the Philistines did something that was quite unusual this day, they sent down their champion down into the valley, a man by the name of Goliath and Goliath was a large, massive freak of a man. And he came down into the valley and there he began to taunt the nation of Israel, challenging them and even mocking the name of their God. In fact, the Bible records it this way. It says “Then he Goliath, he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel. And he said to them, Why have you come out to line up for battle? He says, Am I not a Philistine and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourself and let them come down to me. And if he's able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants, and you will serve us.” (1 Samuel 17:8-9)
You see, Goliath was challenging the nation of Israel to a winner take all fight to the death. And this man, Goliath without a doubt, was a fearful sight. In fact he was a fearful sight to say the least. He was a nine-foot six-inch 400 pound Philistine Mega Man. I mean, his body was covered with over 200 pounds of armor, his head was encased in a helmet of solid brass, that head on his spear alone weighed 25 pounds. And for 40 days, he would come into that valley and there he would challenge the nation of Israel, Send down your leader, and he would taunt them and he would mock their God. He was constantly challenging and taunting their God. And although Israel was paralyzed by fear, in fact, the sight of this man Goliath, it left this Israeli army, this group of soldiers, these hardened, experienced men of war, this man, Goliath, paralyzed them in fear. I mean, and they would, nobody would rise up and say, I'll be the hero. Nobody wanted to go down and take that step of courage and to confront this, this Mega Man, nobody would do it. And so what happened was their fear paralyze them. And it hindered God from doing what God wanted to do through them. They were literally paralyzed by their fear. And they were robbed of what God wanted to do in and through their life. In fact, the Bible says this in verse 11, that “when Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistines, notice that they were dismayed and they were greatly afraid” (1 Samuel 17:11).
They were paralyzed by their fear. And as a result, they were robbed of all that God wanted to do in and through their life. Have you ever thought about all the things you would have missed in life, if you had not faced your fears? You ever thought about that for a moment? All the things that you would have missed in life, if you would have not faced your fears, maybe you would have never learned to swim or to ride a bicycle. Maybe you still never have learned to swim or ride a bicycle, face that fear, okay? It's pretty fun. Maybe you would have never learned to drive or receive a driver's license, maybe you would have never asked that special person out on the date. In fact, I believe that, that most men if they didn't face their fear, they would still remain single today, because the thought of asking out that lady and actually asking her to marry is petrifying, and it paralyzes people in fear. Maybe you would have never had that second child. But friends, do you realize when we give in to our fears, we wind up missing some of the greatest blessings of life, you might just miss that person of your dreams, that soulmate, you might just miss that perfect job that one you've been praying for, you might just miss God's will and His plan and His purpose for your life, you might just miss an opportunity to help see a person's life change, you might miss an opportunity literally to save a life, you might miss an opportunity to glorify God through some act of courage and bring glory to His name.
But you see, if we are unwilling to face our fear, then our fear will overcome us and it will rob us. And it will rob us of all that God wants to do in and through our life. That's exactly what happened to nation of Israel, these hardened warriors, these soldiers, these men who had experienced battle, they look at this man Goliath and they were paralyzed in their fear and their fear overcame them. Instead of overcoming the fear and pushing forward, they robbed themselves of all that God wanted to do in and through their life. Hey, listen, they hindered God from using their lives so their life could make a difference.
Courage is not the absence of fear but it is the willingness to face your fear and move forward
But please know this about courage. Courage is not without fear, is that not right? Courage is not without fear. In fact, if we waited for fear to subside before we moved forward, none of us would be moving. In fact, if I waited for fear to subside before I asked Lisa, out on her first date, I likely would be a single man still today. But you see, fear is not without courage, because courage, you see is not the absence of fear, but it is a willingness to face your fear and move forward. It's only when we face our fear and move forward. Then do we place ourselves in a position where God can work in us and through us? And only then will our life begin to make a difference?
Let me tell you a story about a man His name was Ray Blankenship. And one day he was in his kitchen preparing breakfast and as he looked outside, he saw a little girl in a flooded ditch being swept by the currents down the street. And he knew that ditch dropped underneath the street and eventually would flow into a large canal. He knew that if something didn't happen, that that little girl would lose his life. And so he did what we would do in a situation like that, he bolted out of his house, and he began to run as fast as he can, hoping to get ahead of the girl. And when he did, he jumped into that churning water. And there he reached out and he grabbed the arm of that little girl. And as they were tumbling together down that flooded drain, about three feet just before the canal, he was able to grab a hold a rock that extended out from the bank. And as he was holding on to that rock, hoping the rescuers would come quickly, he could feel that current just pulling him away, and he wasn't sure how long it could hold on. So with all of his energy, he eventually lifted that little girl and himself to safety. When the rescue workers came, everybody applauded this man's courage. And eventually, he was awarded the Life Guards silver Lifesaving Medal, which was a fitting metal. Because the amazing thing about this man, Ray is that Ray couldn't swim. He couldn't swim. But you know, Ray, had the courage to face his fear and he saved a little girl. And you know what his life made a difference.
And friends, you realize in the same way, if we don't have the courage to face our fears, my friend, our life isn't going to make a difference. But if we do have the courage to face our fear then our life will make a difference. At that moment, we begin to see God work in and through our lives. And so, while the army of Saul and this hardened group of soldiers sat paralyzed in their fear, up to the battle comes this forgotten son, a young man by the name of David. When David comes to the battle, remember he begins to see this freak of a man Goliath, and he begins to hear his taunting, he begins to hear ridicule the name of God. And so, David decides that he will be the one that will take this giant down. So, the Bible records it this way, it says in verse 32, David came to King Saul, and he said, Saul, he said “let no man's heart failed because of this giant, your servant David, he said, I will go and I will fight this Philistine”. (1 Samuel 17:32)
You know, what's interesting about this story is that, although the army of Saul were paralyzed by fear, that's what they saw. When they looked at Goliath, they were paralyzed by fear. But you know what David saw when he came to that battle, David saw an opportunity. You see the army of Saul, they saw a fear and they were paralyzed by their fear. But not David, this young, 15-year-old boy, he saw Goliath, and he heard his taunt, and he saw him ridiculing the name of God. And there, he saw an opportunity and opportunity to bring glory and praise to the name of God. And may I say that David didn't come to the battle to be a hero. David didn't come to make a name for himself. David didn't come to establish his name in the annals of Jewish history. David came simply to bring his brother's food. But when David saw that this giant had brought tear into the lives of the nation of Israel, and paralyze them, and God's name was being blasphemed. He said, I will be the one, I will bring down this man.
You see, my friend, David had the courage to seize what everybody else saw. Do you know what separates the men from the boys as they say? Do you know what makes a leader worth following? It's the fact that he seizes whatever everybody else sees. You see, they all saw the giant, the nation of Israel saw fear but David saw an opportunity. You see, and if our life is going to make a difference, friends, and we too, we must have the courage to seize the opportunities that God brings into our life. If our life is going to make a difference, then we must have the courage to seize the opportunities that God brings into our life, such maybe it's an opportunity to heal a broken relationship with a brother and sister in Christ. Or maybe it's an opportunity to bless a person who's in need or maybe it's an opportunity to start a ministry, maybe God just dropped some ministry in your lap. You know, if we're going to start that ministry, we need to seize it and to move forward without fear and in the courage of a God who is able, or maybe it's an opportunity, you see, to simply serve the Lord, an opportunity to share the gospel with a brother or a sister in Christ. In fact, just before this service started, a lady in our church came to me and she was in the first service and she said, Pastor, she said, After the service, I had the courage to confront a brother with the gospel, it has been coming a long time. And I want you to know something, today he got wonderfully saved because you had the courage to confront him with the gospel. But just see if we don't have the courage to do what we know we ought to do or we don't have the courage to do what we believe God wants us to do, we remain paralyzed, and we miss being a blessing, we miss being a person that God can use. So, we need to have the courage to confront and courage to seize. But God brings our way.
You know, one of the unique things about the evangelist, Billy Graham. He said that he made every opportunity to share the gospel. In fact, it is said that if you asked Billy Graham, hey, what did you have for breakfast today, he would turn it into a gospel message. In fact, after he threw out his illustrious career, many, many years, of course, he has given hundreds of TV interviews. And oftentimes, before a TV interview, they'll have you do a microphone check. And most people during a microphone check will either count 1 to 10, or they'll quote the ABCs. But every time without fail, every single interview Billy Graham ever gave, he quoted John 3:16. And when asked, Why did you quote John 3:16? He said, because if I don't have an opportunity to present the gospel, during the interview, at least I can present the gospel to the cameraman. He seized the opportunities at hand and friends in the same way, you see if we're going to be a person whose life makes a difference, and that is God's desire for you. That's his desire for us, then we must Carpe diem (latin), we likewise must seize the day, we must grab the opportunities as God brings them. Well, David, now having seized the opportunity, he picks up his sling and his stones, and he goes down into the valley. And there do a short but very intense interchange. David puts a stone in that sling and there he brings the giant down. In fact, the Scripture records, “Then David put his hand in the back and he took out a stone, and he slung it and he struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell upon his face, he fell upon the earth” (1 Samuel 17:49), and the Giant was without a doubt, dead.
Have you ever wondered how this boy with a toy, this shepherd with a sling was able to bring down this Philistine? Mega Man? How did he do it? Where did David get the courage to confront this giant? Or, more importantly, how can we have the courage to confront the Giants in our own life? What’s interesting is as you look at the life of David here, in this situation, the Lord tells us, first of all, we know that David's courage grew out of his absolute confidence in God. You see, just before David went down and face Goliath, he had come to the king, he said, King, I'll do it. I'll bring down the giant. And so Saul came to David and gave to David probably the most horrendous motivational speech on the face of the earth. Listen to what King Saul said to David after David volunteered, I'll do it. I'll take down this Mega Man. King, I'm your man.
You know, the king comes to David and he says this. Saul said to David, David. This is a motivational speech. Okay, David. “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him. He says, David, you are a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth. (1 Samuel 17:33) Wow, what a motivational speech. I can picture it in my mind's eye that, you know, Saul comes to David and remember, David was about a 15-year-old boy. And Saul was you know, this full grown man, the Bible says that he was head and shoulders above everybody else. And I can imagine Saul looking down, you know, David, running his eyes up and down his body and says, David, you know, who do you think you are to take on this giant? David, you're just a boy with a toy. You're a shepherd with a sling. I mean, you are a run from the farm. I mean, look at this giant, he is experienced. I mean, he is a warrior. David, he's as tall as the trees, as big as a house. He's as strong as an ox. He is as mean as a junkyard dog. David, he's going to eat you for lunch. Now that's motivation. I can't imagine David looking okay, put his tail between his legs. I'm going home, you know. But notice what David said to the king, came back and said this. He said, King I understand I'm not able. I know that I'm just a run from the farm. I know I'm inexperienced in war. He said here's what I know. I know “the Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear. This God will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37) Maybe Saul saw fire in David's eyes. I don't know. Maybe he saw the look of determination but he came back and he said, David, then “go, and the Lord be with you” (1 Samuel 17:37). You see, David knew something. Do you know what David knew? David knew that God was able. David had confidence in a God that he knew. You see, he knew that the God who delivered him in the past is the very God who was with him in the present. You see, he knew that God could bring down this Philistine with a simple stone. In fact, I think, David, as he was marching down to the Philistine, he pulled out his iPhone. There, he hid his Bible app, and he pulled up his favorite Bible verse. You know, David had a favorite Bible verse. You say, how do you know? I don't know. But if he had one, I think this was it. Joshua, chapter one, verse nine. What a great verse, isn't it? I can see David, I can see David, you know, I mean, he was 15 years old. And by the way, you know, courage is not without fear. So, David was probably shaking in his sandals. And as he's walking down that dusty trail, he whips out his iPhone hits his Bible app, and he pulls up Joshua one and verse nine. And here's what he reads it and God says, “Be strong and of good courage. And do not be afraid nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go”.
And you know, this promise is for us too. This is not just a promise for David, this is a promise for us. You see, when opportunity comes knocking upon your door, and God begins to ask you to do something that you know you want to do. Here's what God wants you to know. Here's what God wants you to remember that he's with you wherever you go. And friends, the fact that he's with us, wherever we go, then we can be strong, and we can be of good courage, and we never need be afraid. And we never be dismayed. Why? Because we have confidence in a God who is able. And just as David probably looked back to Joshua, chapter one and verse nine, and in that verse, He saw that God was able, and he was able then to stand against that lion and stand against that bear. When opportunity comes knocking upon your door, we can look back to David and we can look back to Joshua, chapter one, verse nine, and we can know that his God is our God, and we can stand and we can have courage to face our fear and move forward for the glory of God and let our life make a difference in the lives of others for His glory. You see, David knew something. You see, David knew that God was able. David knew something else, by the way. As David walked down to that valley, I can see him doing this. He bows down, he picks up a few rocks, smooth stones, he puts them in his bag. There he's probably stretching the leather of his sling. He raises his head, and he looks at Goliath in the eyes. And he addresses the giant. And here's what David said, I love these words. He said, and I don't know what he called him, giant? Freak? Mega Man? “This day, the Lord will deliver you into my hands”, what a picture, a 15 year old boy in his sandals and his robe. He rejected the armor of Saul, no sword. But he says, “this day, the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you and I will take your head. And this day, I will give the carcass of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and of the wild beasts of the earth.” In other words, he said in Jewish vernacular, dude, today you're dead. Jewish vernacular. Today is your day, your number is up. Today, you're gonna bite the dust, you're gonna be pushing up days, buddy, because today, you come down. Now notice why. Notice he says, that or so that, “so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:46).
Do you realize that his courage, it grew out of his desire that God's name be glorified. Because remember, David believed that this was a battle between the gods of the Philistines, and the true and the living God Of Israel. The false gods of the Philistines and the true and the living God of Israel. And David, he wanted to bring this false god down so that the true and the living God could be glorified throughout the earth. You see, David wanted to destroy their false gods. It wasn't necessarily about the giant, it was about God. And he wanted to bring down this God that the nation of the Philistines would turn and they would see that the God of Israel is a true and living God that they might embrace him and that the name of God would be glorified throughout the nation. And friends I tell you, that's where courage comes from. It comes when we understand that God is able, no matter where you go, no matter what you do, and when an opportunity knocks and you know, it's something that God wants you to do, we can face that fear and we can move forward because we know that God is able and we do it, because we know when we are doing what God wants us to do, his name will be glorified.
Why do you do what you do? We do what we do at the end of the day, so God's name would be glorified. That’s why David got his courage. He got his courage from God. And friends, that's where we get our courage to do what God wants us to do. And so having killed Goliath. Notice what happened, beginning in verse 51. “And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead”, what did they do? “They fled, and now the men of Israel and Judah rose and they shouted, they pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron”. (1 Samuel 17:51-52)
Do you realize that David's act of courage gave the nation of Israel what they desperately lacked? What did they lack? They lack courage. You see, his courage inspired their courage, because that's what courage does. In fact, as somebody wisely said, that when a brave man takes a stand are courageous. “Courage is contagious. And when a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened”. And that's exactly what happened with David. You see, when he faced his fear, and he took a step of courage, because he knew that's what God wanted him to do, listen, his life made a difference. It stirred the nation of Israel, and they who had no courage now had courage, and they saw that their God was able and they pursued the Philistines, and they wiped them out.
If we have the courage to do what God wants us to do, then our lives will make a difference
And friends, do you realize that David’s act of courage established him as the leader of Israel. It wasn't the anointing; it was his act of courage. Because now, the Bible says that everybody's heart now was turned to David. And you remember what happened? Not only did he did he stir the nation of Israel, and now they had courage, he inspired them but now everybody looked up to David. The Bible says that the women began to sing their songs, “Oh, Saul you have won your 1000 But David his 10,000” and remember the rightful heir to the throne, Saul's son, Jonathan, seeing the hand of God upon his life, knowing the mantle of leadership had now shifted to David, he made a covenant with David and became his close friend, and even the king took notice. From that point on to the rest of his life, he began to look over his shoulder because he feared this 15-year-old boy, because Saul knew that David now had the heart of the people. You see David's act of courage; it made a difference. And friends in the very same way, if we have the courage to do what we know God wants us to do. If we have the courage to do what we know we ought to do, then our lives will make a difference. Your life can make a difference. But friends, you got to face your fear. Stop letting fear rob you of all that God wants to do in you and through you and encourage, realize that God is able and do it for the glory of God, and move through your fear, so your life can make a difference.
Let me tell you a story. And then we'll conclude and we're done. You know the date, it was September the 11th, 2001. A day that is marked in the annals of infiny, that a 32-year-old man by the name of Todd Beamer boarded a United flight 93 from New York, New Jersey and he is on his way to San Francisco, California. Todd was a born-again believer, married a wonderful Christian lady by the name of Lisa. They were 1991 graduates of Wheaton Bible college in the United States. Todd worked for Oracle and he was on his way to a business meeting and so 90 minutes into the flight, three hijackers identified themselves and they took control of the airplane, killing the pilot and the copilot. And then they turned the airplane South now headed towards Washington DC. When Todd realized that his plane had been hijacked, he reached up to the GTE phone, the air phone on the back of the seat in front of him and he called the ground supervisor, and he told the supervisor what had happened that three terrorists strapped with bombs and armed heavily have just taken over the plane. They have killed the pilot and the copilot, and the plane is now turning south. The supervisor then told Todd that an hour earlier two planes had flown into the World Trade Center, and another plane had attacked the United States Pentagon. At that moment, Todd knew that this plane was headed for Washington, DC and likely the White House. And so, Todd told the supervisor on the ground that he and two buddies would do everything that they could to hinder the plans of these three terrorists. And then Todd asked the supervisor, would you please do me a favor? Would you call my wife and tell her what's happening and tell her that I love her and our kids deeply? And then being a believer, he said, Will you join me in prayer, please. And he bowed his head and he began to pray. At the end of the prayer, the supervisor heard Todd say, Oh, help me God, help me Jesus. And then she heard him speak probably to the two friends that were to help him and he said, Guys, are you ready? Let's roll. The phone then went dead.
And a few minutes later, it was reported that that airline United flight 93 was nosediving and crashed 80 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You see, Todd and two others had the courage to face their fears. You know what their life made a difference. Although everybody upon that airplane died, likely they save hundreds and even 1000s of lives. Why? Because he had the courage to do what he knew on the inside he needed to do. His wife later reported and she said this, and I quote, she said that his example of courage has given me, my boys and my unborn child reason to live. Listen, Todd made a difference, why? He wasn't paralyzed by his fear. He did what he knew he needed to do and there in confidence in God, he stopped these three terrorists from doing what they wanted to do, and their life made a difference. Friends, your life can make a difference. If we have the courage to do what we know God wants us to do.
So, let me ask you a question as we conclude, what does God want you to do? What does God want you to do? Maybe God wants you just to remain faithful. When nobody else is looking, you know, that takes courage. Maybe God wants you to refrain from gossip when everybody around you is gossiping. That takes courage. Maybe God wants you to face, honestly face your struggling marriage. That takes courage. Maybe God wants you to say no to that promotion, because you know that it will take you away from your family, friends, that takes courage. Maybe God wants you to have another child or to quit your job or to make a career change. All of that takes courage. Maybe God wants you to share the gospel with a family member, a friend, a brother, a sister, a colleague, a business partner. You see even that takes courage. Maybe today, God wants you to trust Him as your Savior and as your Lord because you know, deep down on the inside, that your sins are not forgiven. And you're not confident that you're on your way to heaven. You see, that takes courage too. So I ask you today, what step does God want you to take? You see because that's what separates you from greatness. That which hinders you from achieving your God given potential, that which keeps you from knowing and doing God's will is courage. You see David's rise to greatness began with a step of courage. And if our lives are going to make a difference, then we must take that same step. So I ask you what step does God want you to take today? What steps does God want you to take today? We have a courage to trust God and to take that step.
Let's bow for prayer shall we, with our heads bowed and our eyes closed. Lord, we want to say thank you today that you are able. Lord, you're able to carry us through whatever confronts us. Lord, I want to pray today for your people right here maybe, maybe today there are some who they know what you want them to do. They know what they ought to do. But fear has paralyzed them. And it has kept them from doing what you want them to do. And Lord, I pray today that they might turn their eye to you and say O God who is able would you strengthened me and for your glory, I will take that step, I will face my fear, I’ll move forward. And Lord, I pray that you enable them whatever it is, maybe some are struggling in a marriage relationship or maybe some are struggling with a situation with brother and sister in Christ, some maybe are struggling with financial or family issues. And maybe Lord, there's some that are here that are struggling with you. And I pray that you'd give them the courage, Lord, to take that step of faith. With your heads bow and your eyes close, here's what I want us to do today. I want you to, just as the piano begins to play, and we're sitting here just thinking, would you ask God, the God of heaven to search your heart, and maybe there's something that God wants you to do, a step that God wants you to take. We ask the God of heaven to help you today. Maybe you need the courage to stand up to the pressures around you. The courage to cry out and say my marriage needs help. Or the courage to witness. Maybe today, you just need the courage to dedicate your life to Jesus. Maybe you've made some poor choices and you've gone down the wrong road. And the end doesn't look good. But you have the courage to stop and turn around and come back to Jesus today. And let God show you His power and His love so your life can make a difference. Listen, if that's where you find yourself today, then just ask God to help you right now to take that step. Maybe you're here today and you've not trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior. You're not certain that your sins are forgiven, not confident that you're on your way to heaven. You know that Jesus died for your sins, you know that you're a sinner. But there's something missing in your life. You're just not certain that your sins are forgiven, not confident that you're on your way to heaven. There's a tug and pull at your heart. God of heaven is saying to you will you take a step, will you encourage and move forward and trust Jesus Christ as your Savior and as your Lord today? See the Bible says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. You can call upon Him right now. You can call upon Him and say, Lord, I know that I'm a sinner. And I know that there's punishment for my sin. But I thank You that You died upon that cross to do for me what I cannot do for myself, you died to forgive me. God, you died to save me. I want to trust You to be my Savior and to be my Lord, right now. Friends, if that’s what you find yourself right now, call upon Him and ask Him to be your Savior, ask Him to be your Lord. Let Him wash away your sins, let Him give you everlasting life. Hey, take that step. And let Him show His power and His love in your life. Lord, I pray today for each and every person, whatever their need may be. For those who are paralyzed by fear, God, may they see that you're able, for the glory of God may they move forward so their life can make a difference. Lord, I ask that you take your Word, do your work. And we ask it in Jesus’s name. Amen. May God bless you this morning.
More Episodes from Pastor Mike Redick:
23 Jul 2023
II Samuel 11-12 Satisfied?
13 Aug 2017
13 Nov 2016
06 Nov 2016
19 Jun 2016
25 Dec 2015
21 Jun 2015
20 Jun 2015
Episodes from other sermons:
03 Dec 2023
26 Nov 2023
23 Jul 2023
18 Jun 2023
28 May 2023
07 Apr 2023
12 Mar 2023
25 Dec 2022