When we were young, our mothers read us Bible stories. Remember the “Bible Hero” books?
I read dozens of them to my children.
Don’t you love the Bible stories? Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, Abraham and Sarah, Rahab and the spies, Joshua and the Battle of Jericho, Jacob’s Ladder…the list goes on and on.
But if you asked me to tell you my all time favorite, it would have to be the story of David and Goliath.
I can’t help but wonder what it might have been like to have been a soldier when one giant could held the entire Israelite army captive in fear! But more amazing than that was the faith of a shepherd boy who took the same giant down with a simple slingshot and stone!
But here’s my only problem with children’s Bible “heroes.” Because the stories have been “approved for general audiences” their “G-rated” versions fail to “tell the whole truth.” And without the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” one can unintentionally place the heroic deed on the biblical character.
Here are some of the R-rated parts we leave out when we tell the stories to children:
Noah got drunk when he disembarked from his animal cruise
Abraham told little white lies because he was afraid of the local rulers
Rahab was a prostitute for goodness sake!
And David…well we all know what he went and did…
Hear me say this clearly,
David was a great marksman, he could do amazing things with a sling shot.
But, David took Goliath down because he had a secret weapon.
And the truth is, you and I have the same weapon.
All followers of Christ have it.
But too few learn how to use it.
What was this weapon?
He spent hours with God daily in the pastures. While David worshipped God through music, talking, dancing and listening—God revealed Himself to David! When David took the time and energy to connect with God through prayer—God rewarded His effort with intimacy.
David’s intimacy with God became His testimony in the Valley of Elah the day he took Goliath down.
Notice David’s motivation when facing Goliath:
Today, the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I'll strike you down, cut your head off, and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord's. He will hand you over to us."I Samuel 17:45-17 HCSB
David defeated Goliath for one purpose only, so that
“the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”
What does the world know as a result of your intimacy with Him?
If you do not know God personally, let me assure you—you are known personally by God.
He knows how many hairs are on your head.
He collects every tear you ever shed.
God loves you.
In fact, He loves you so much that while you were not even aware of Him—while you were still sinning and living for yourself, God sent His own Son, Jesus to die in your place.
Romans 6:23 says, the wages of sin is death. Jesus took those wages for us. He died so that we could live. Jesus paid for your sin when He willingly suffered on the cross.
In order to enter in to an intimate place with God you have to believe that He sent Jesus to die in your place. You have to acknowledge that you are a sinner. You have to ask Him to forgive you of your sins and you have to invite Him into your heart. Romans 10:9-10 says, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead…you will be saved.
Once you have experienced salvation, you are given this “Secret Weapon” this privileged access, this honored position.
You can sit in the lap of God.
And, my friends, sitting in the lap of God changes everything.
The Israelite army was invited to sit in the lap of God but they allowed their training, their intellect, their uniforms, weapons and strategies to replace their privilege of intimacy with their heavenly Father.
Goliath shouted, “Am I not a Philistine and you servants of Saul?”
Your enemy will do his best to keep you from realizing the amazing privilege you have a child of the King.
When you sit in the lap of God, you see the things of this world from a different angle.
The Israelites saw Goliath, and when they looked this is what they saw:
Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches tall and wore a bronze helmet and bronze scale armor that weighed 125 pounds. There was bronze armor on his shins, and a bronze sword was slung between his shoulders.His spear shaft was like a weaver's beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed 15 pounds. In addition, a shield-bearer was walking in front of him.
I Samuel 17:4-7
But David saw Goliath from the lap of God and he noticed something the rest of the Israelites missed.
“What will be done for the man who kills that Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? I Samuel 17:26
When you sit in the lap of God you see things from a different angle.
What giant heckles you today?
What does God have to say about that giant?
Is that giant part of God’s plan for your life? If not, then why is he taunting you?
I got a personal understanding of what this means several years ago at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
My son TJ was barely 5. We took our children with us to the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando. While Tom attended the meetings to Amen the recommendation to boycott a certain theme park, I decided to take our three to said park and set up surveillance to make sure other conventioneers were sticking to the boycott.
Before I left the hotel room that morning, Tom said to me, “I don’t like the idea of you going by yourself with all three of our children. Are you sure you can keep up with them?” He’s always had a fear that we’ll lose a child at a theme park.
When my parents took Mikel and Kaleigh to the same park when they were 4 and 5, Tom worried the entire time that they’d lose them there. I assured Tom that I could keep up with our children and he had nothing to worry about.
We parked our rented minivan in Donald Duck’s parking lot and covered our noses with sunscreen. As we were gathering up our water bottles, lip balm and camera, I was giving the children a lecture on what to do in the highly unlikely event that they got separated from me.
I said, “there are a lot of people at the park today, it will be easy to lose me and I don’t want to get lost. So stay close to me the whole time! Don’t get out of my sight. IF you do get separated from me, stay put. Just stand still and I will find you. Don’t move! Does everyone understand?” “Yes, Mama, we know! We understand, we won’t lose you!” they assured me.
A billion people were at the park that day. At least ¾ of the conventioneers, plus another entire country’s population were squeezing past one another on Main Street when we got off the monorail and started on our magic journey through the kingdom. We went right away to my favorite ride, “It’s a small world” and enjoyed our float through the land of babies singing that little song.
The children were excited about the new Winnie the Pooh ride so we hurried right over to that part of the park to get our fast passes out of the kiosk so that we could by-pass the long line and come back at our designated time to pass fast through the express lane for that ride. Mikel, Kaleigh and I were trying to figure out the fast-pass machine, we got our tickets, turned around to find a few rides nearby as we waited our turn when I realized TJ was not with us.
At first I thought, he’s just behind that family over there, then I looked and he was not there. Then I thought, well he’s right around the corner at the water fountain, I looked and he was not there. Mikel and Kaleigh began to get scared; people were pushing and shoving back and forth, hundreds of people! I hollered out his name, no one answered. Mikel and Kaleigh started calling, no one answered. Other moms and dads looked at me with terror filled eyes and they too started calling out, “TJ!”
But still no answer.
People who realized what had happened asked me what he looked like, I choked out—long curls, blue shorts and a white t-shirt. In my mind I thought, “that could describe 1792 children in the park today!”
I saw families that all had on hot pink shirts with black lettering, “Porters” and I wished we’d been so smart. There were so many people that I was afraid I would lose Mikel and Kaleigh in my search for TJ so I set them down right outside a gift shop and dared them to move a muscle. I didn’t want to ask for help, because asking for help was like admitting he was gone, and I didn’t want to admit he was gone! “TJ!”
My heart was beating fast, fear was engulfing me. I was shaking. I went into the gift shop, stepped up to the counter and heard myself say, “What do you do when someone like me loses a child?” It was like a dream and this should have been happening to someone else. A man stepped out from behind the counter and said, “I’ll help you find him!”
He must have been an angel! I described TJ again, told the man his name and told him where we’d been. He said I ought to retrace my steps back to “It’s a small world” and he’d go look all around Winnie the Pooh.
Mikel and Kaleigh stayed next to the wall outside the gift shop and took care of the crying. As I went all the way back to our last ride I calculated the amount of time he’d already been separated from us. It had been at least 10 minutes.
Milk cartons and postcards flashed through my mind.
He had to be here somewhere.
God wouldn’t let this happen to me—
-these kinds of things happen all the time,
Disney World is one of the worst places for children to be abducted!
Who told me that? Why did they have to say that?
I was searching for my little boy. There were so many children everywhere! And all the families were so happy! But my son was gone! He wasn’t anywhere! What was he thinking, all alone out there? What was happening to my little boy? I was supposed to take care of him! Oh God, please bring him back to me—he was nowhere to be found. Another 10 minutes sucked the life out of me.
As I made my way back to help Mikel and Kaleigh cry, a terrifying thought plowed through all the others—
I’m going to have to call Tom and tell him I lost our son!
Even after he warned me not to lose them! I couldn’t keep up with them! I let him get away! I imagined sitting in a little room on one side of a table describing TJ to the security personnel, telling what he was wearing and I couldn’t even remember which t-shirt I’d put on him that morning. Did he have on sandals or tennis shoes? I couldn’t remember!
Mikel and Kaleigh were still there, when they saw me coming, their eyes filled with tears and they huddled together and cried. We sat and waited for another 10 minutes at least. I was looking out at the masses of people walking toward their next adventure wondering if I could just turn the clock back to this morning in our hotel room when TJ thought the Disney store at the mall was Disney World.
When suddenly, out of the crowd came one little boy, with my angel behind him. When I saw TJ, I fell to my knees, cried out his name and the minute he heard his name, he ran as fast as his little legs could carry him straight into my arms. I felt his heart beating as fast as mine as we embraced one another. And just as soon as he wrapped his arms around me, he took them away, stepped back and placed his hands on both sides of my face. Then he said,
as he looked in my eyes.
At that moment, my fears were washed away and TJ’s salvation was complete.
That, my friends, is a picture of what it is like to sit in our Father’s lap.
God draws us near to Himself!
God came down from heaven in the Person of Jesus to find us. He came to seek and to find that which was lost. We were lost in our sin, left to ourselves we were hopeless and helpless. But God, in His infinite mercy came down to where we were, and He demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us! God picked me up out of a sin-stained world and placed me in His lap.
Anytime I feel an overwhelming need for my Father’s undivided attention, I can reach my hands to His face, hold Him in my grasp, look Him in the eyes and say to God,
David defeated Goliath with a slingshot and a stone because he sat in the lap of God. From the lap of God, David saw Goliath the way God saw Goliath—easily defeated, an enemy of the Lord!
If we are going to take on the giants in our world today we MUST spend time in the lap of God.
…but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
You see, the word Abba literally means, “Daddy” It’s more than a title, it’s a relationship!
Prior to Jesus dying for our sins, this title would have never been considered appropriate for man to use when referring to Jehovah God. When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, he went beyond the more formal, “Father” to an intimate, taking His Father’s face in His hands beseeching plea, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 6:36)
Jesus came to share sonship with us. Paul said, “the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:16-17)
When we have great need, when we have something to say, when we just want to crawl in His lap and rest in the strength of His might, God Almighty bends low to us, He comes to His knees, meets us at eye level, thrills when He sees our eyes light up, allows us to take His face in our hands and God weeps joyfully, as He drinks in the depth of love He feels for us, thankful that we are looking deeply in His eyes as He hears precious words come from our mouths and we say,