Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Dealing With Your Valley of Decision

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Dealing With Your Valley of Decision

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Dealing With Your Valley of Decision

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A very inspirational message on how to face our fears and doubts. Webber looks at David vs Goliath from the perspective of the first 3 commandments, showing the importance of involving God every step of the way as we are confronted with decisions. If we're not careful, we can make fear and worry an idol of a false religion. We can embrace and cherish these fears, which violates the 2nd commandment. The 3rd commandment is about much more than avoidance of cursing. The Name is about the nature, attributes and character of God.

Sermon Notes

Exodus 20:1-7 Exodus 20:1-7 1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
American King James Version×
These 3 commandments are, of course, much more than words.

Who do we realy worship and spend more time and devote attention to?  God?  Or our fears and worries?

If we’re not careful, we can make fear and worry an idol of a false religion.  We can embrace and cherish these fears, which violates the 2nd commandment.

The 3rd commandment is about much more than avoidance of cursing.  The Name is about the nature, attributes and character of God.

1 Samuel 17

v3 Valley of decision.  What is my valley of decision, where I am on the edge looking in?

1 Samuel 17:4-11 1 Samuel 17:4-11 4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 And he had an helmet of brass on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 6 And he had greaves of brass on his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. 8 And he stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, Why are you come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall you be our servants, and serve us. 10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
American King James Version×
Israel feared at the words of Goliath, not the words of God.  Giants remain in the land – we all have a giant in front of us.

It’s not the size of the giant in front of you but the size of the heart you face it with.

v 11 runs counter to the instruction of God.

No matter what, 350 times in the scriptures do we see “Do not be afraid”.

v16 what fears do we continue with (40 days?).  We can feed them as much as idol worshippers feed their idols.

So, let’s recognize we are like the Israelite army.

Jesus, “Lord, Lord” but we must do more than proclaim His name, we must live in faith.

Armies commonly line up and probe, push, come at each other without necessarily fighting.  Similar to Satan with us.

Israel was a covenant people acting as if they were on their own.  What of us?

David, as a man after God’s own heart, had a tremendous desire to serve God; looked at the problem before him and put his problems in light of God.

The commandments must transform us.

How is each of us doing in our valley of decision?

God has a story He wants to work out in us as much as He did with David.

Some like to dwell in their problems – “Life is awful.”  Some don’t like to change; they befriend their problems; cherish their fears – “What would I do with myself if they were gone?”

David was ridiculed after invoking God (v26), but David was consumed with worshipping God and keeping the first commandment.

Unwittingly, Israel had bowed to Goliath, to their fears and doubts.

What are we donig with the life and energy God has given us?

David acknowledges God again (v 36, 37).  This is why the first commandment is so important; it reminds us how God brought Israel out – He can deliver us, too.

Each of us has been and is being delivered.

v39 David didn’t need the things of this world.  Books have their place but will never substitute for the size of our heart that bows to God and let’s Him be our ruler.

5 stones show that David would do all he could, depending on God to do His part.

God has given us 5 stones to face our fears with:

1) Prayer, 2) Bible study, 3) meditation, 4) fasting, 5) wise counsel.  God gives the confidence (v 45-47).  This is not about David, but about God (v 46).  How much are we planting Christ right in the middle of our life?

v48 David ran toward that which stood between him and God.  Which way do we run?  Fight or flight our fears?

David was decisive.

The problems we have is some of us are afraid to close the deal.  David went and cut off Goliath’s head.

We close the deal by God’s might.

The lesson?  Commandments 1-3.  If we ever forget what these commandments are about, go to 1 Samuel 17 to see real people with real problems and how God delivers.