Come With Giants
Here is a very interesting thing that God has been opening up to my understanding over the past week. Question, Why is it that so often when we go to God with a prayer request that is very important to us, we seem to get the opposite thing we have asked for? Maybe we are praying for the salvation of a loved one and we go to God with His promises about answering good requests like this, and instead of seeing some good sign of change in their life, they suddenly hate us, or ignore us, or never have time for us anymore. Or perhaps God seems to have promised us some good thing and instead of seeing an answer we come against a wall of impossibility or great discouragement. We all have many things we are seeking God for and we give Him His promises that He doesn’t give a stone instead of bread or a snake instead of a fish (Matt. 7:9-10) and yet, very often, it feels like we get the stone instead. So we grumble at God and get mad at Him and use these unanswered things as an excuse to go back to the world and our old lives because God hasn’t fulfilled all He said He would. We get mad at God, is all it really comes down to.
Why is this? Why do these things cause us to turn back from serving the Lord with our whole heart and allow selfishness and rebellion to grow in our hearts against Him?
When we think of a gift (Which is what God’s answers to prayer really are) we think of someone wrapping a present and giving it to us and the only part we have to do is to open and enjoy it. This is our concept of a gift. Well, God’s gifts seem to be more like if we picked out a really wonderful Bible for a child and then told him that he had to buy it himself but that we would give him a job so he could earn the money for it. It’s a gift picked out by us and made possible to earn for by us, but requires effort on the part of the child in order to receive the gift. God’s gifts are real but they require work from us. The work part, however, is not normally in our concept of what a gift is. But the gift is not less valuable because we have to work for it. God still chose it for us but He will not raise spoiled children. He wants appreciative children who will understand the value of the gift. How many times do we hear about someone who won the lottery or inherited a large fortune and they either die of a drug overdose or wish they had never won because of the devastation it brought to their family and also how quickly they became broke again? This is not how God would have us to turn out.
The children of Israel crossed the Red Sea and the desert and when they got to God’s blessing for them they found giants and enemies and tall fortresses! God! This is not the gift You promised! Our children will be slaughtered! Better to have died in Egypt then die here instead! If this is Your blessing we wish we had never followed You! They went back into the wilderness and died. God then raised up their children to enter the land instead.
So we see, God’s blessing came with giants. God’s blessing came with work. Work that God promised He would make them victorious in and they would indeed posses their own land flowing with milk and honey that would belong to them forever. However, they had to fight for every inch of ground. Sometimes battling in the mountains, sometimes battles on the plains. Sometimes battles with huge walls, sometimes battles with enemies to numerous to count. Each one a promised victory, but different from the last battle and requiring new faith in order to overcome the fear of the enemy. Here is the scary part. Any city they did not go up against, God left in their midst. He did not defeat them if they did not go up so these parts of their blessing were lost. They had God’s promise of victory if they had had courage but if they didn’t go they didn’t receive it.
God’s blessing was no less a blessing because His people had to work for it. This lesson gives us a new courage and expectancy that the giants and sudden discouragements are not a sign of God’s failure to answer our prayers, but rather, that His gifts are also a job and will end in the fulfillment of all that He has promised us. This renews our courage so that when we set off with God’s promises in our hand for any area of our life and we immediately meet with things that are so discouraging that we might say in our heart, God has let me down, God has not answered me, God misled me, we can say, “God’s blessings come with giants.” God is accomplishing at least two things in this way. 1. He is training His children to be bold and courageous, like Himself, and 2. He is ridding the land of actual enemies who have been oppressing people for many years. If you have been praying for the salvation of someone, that person is in complete bondage to the devil and when you set them free by not giving up in prayer, you don’t know how many others you are setting free at the same time. Jesus says that we will bear 30, 60, and 100 fold when we start to serve Him. Everyone you set free sets others free!
Arming ourselves with this understanding will help us to be courageous instead of discouraged and grumbling against God. So many times when we set out to pray and be a soldier for Christ, the devil just whispers something in our ear about something God hasn’t done for us and so instead of our prayer time being a time of victory over the devil we immediately turn on God and fight Him instead over all that He has failed to do in our lives! We are constantly turning on our own commander instead of fighting for Him! That is a very real truth and one of the reasons the body of Christ is so ineffective against our enemy! Working for the gift God gives does not lessen or devalue the gift. So be courageous and full of joy as you seek the Lord in prayer. The giants will be part of the promised victory and others will benefit by every answer to prayer you receive! God bless!