GOD IS BIGGER
AUTHOR – BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 – BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT Shakespir
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Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration
If God Is For Us?
Romans 8 – 31: “What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us then who can be against us?”
My goodness, how many thousands of times has that scripture being quoted by congregations over the centuries as a battle cry of “faith inducing” assurance!
While recently reading this text I noticed something of extreme importance that previously had slipped through the cracks of my own understanding.
The Apostle Paul, while speaking to the church in Rome, isn’t making a statement as much as he’s asking a question in need of a personally introspective answer. As a group the question is: “If God is for us?”. As individuals the question get exclusively and profoundly personal: “If God is for ME?”
You see I personally need to know, at day’s end when darkness settles in, when my head meets my pillow, when the lights are out, and when I find myself suddenly detached from the plethora of sights and sounds that life provides as distractions to my deepest thoughts: Do I believe with all my heart that: God is for ME.
Isn’t it true that US and ME feels very different? In our times of solitude the US dynamic doesn’t really meet the need. David didn’t write ”The Lord is OUR Shepherd but rather MY Shepherd”!
How seemingly easy it is while attending a Sunday morning service, to with great enthusiasm embrace truth but how quickly that same truth can evaporate once we remove ourselves from the group and leave the building. I think that’s what Paul was addressing to the Romans. I think he was saying: After you hear my message, immerse yourselves in it. Love it and live its truth!
Paul in a prison cell needed to know: The Lord was HIS Shepherd. Peter facing being crucified for his faith in Jesus needed to know: The Lord was HIS Shepherd. Stephen facing being stoned to death needed to know: The Lord was HIS Shepherd.
As it was with our forefathers it is identically so with us. A need to “know”, not intellectually nor hypothetically but rather factually, is in fact our greatest need!
It’s intimately personal and encompasses a personal profoundness that changes our viewpoint on all circumstances pertaining to life! It’s huge and hugely impactful to “know’’, as opposed to “think” or “hope”! Paul, in fact was saying: You are “more” than conquerors through Christ, but only if you believe you are, and walk in what you believe!
You see the walk verifies the belief. Otherwise it’s merely a theory. Having been one who has spent my fair share of time battling circumstances, I can testify that theories don’t cut it when push comes to shove. When the devouring Lion opens its hungry mouth and is so close that you can small its breath, you better have more than a theory!
Our biblical predecessors, with their immense courage under fire, taught us by the example of their lives, something of incredible value regarding our walk with God. We are to experientially develop our faith every day to meet the challenges of our tomorrows. Active faith grows!
They didn’t wait for their moment of decision to get prepared. Their “knowing” was already well entrenched and more than ready to respond to their circumstances.
They weren’t scrambling for a cliché or two at the last moment, hoping against hope, it would be enough to get them through. Reading between the lines and in the light of the atmosphere of flagrant persecution that encompassed believer’s lives, I’m taking an educated guess that all these men died without a single member of “the group” in attendance.
The documented account of Stephen’s stoning includes: when the news had gotten back to the others the church scattered, strongly suggesting, they didn’t know what had happened to him.
My point: They stood alone in their moment of decision, with a faith that had “steeled” over the years into fact. They KNEW, on an individual basis, that their God was for THEM! It was too late for circumstantial evidence to change or alter that fact in their hearts. Even unto death! They had become impervious to all, other than what they “knew”. Massively impressive faith no doubt but not one that magically appeared at the last moment.
If it’s established in my heart that God is for ME, then I equally need to know the dimensions of this God, to complete the equation of hopefully imparted confidence in something bigger than me. How big is He, is the question in need of an answer to make the first truth truly matter.
If He’s no more a statue I have in my living room or a shiny trinket or two I hang from my rear view mirror, or a Sunday only kind of God, then my first truth becomes relegated dramatically as to its effect on my life.
You see I don’t need a superstitious – good luck kind of God nor a religious kind of God, nor do I need a Sunday only kind of God. Truth be known, they are all useless in regards to meeting my true need of a real God. A faith imparting God. A God that accompanies me after Sunday is over to minister to the other six days of my week. The One that created the universe God! The One who sent His only Son to die for me, God! That God will meet my needs according to His riches in glory motivated by His love for me. That’s it! That’s the One I need! The One who loves me and is for me, as was proven by Him on a cross!
In our scripture from Romans and after Paul writes; “If God is for us”?: He then makes his BIG point: “Then who can be against us?”. Paraphrased: What does it matter who or what is against us, if God is for us? Paul “knew” a BIG GOD, an ALMIGHTY GOD, a SOVEREIGN GOD and one can almost hear a sense of befuddlement with his commentary based on what he “knew” regarding Who he “knew”! I shouldn’t speak for Paul but for a moment allow me the liberty to do so. He could have very easily presented this query: Why do you spend your time meditating on who is against you if you truly know Who is for you? He could have said: I met Him on the Damascus Road and trust me folks, He is sovereign over all! The “who is against you” will evaporate in the glory of “Who is for you”, if you will turn your attention to Him, allowing Him to reveal His true self to you.
God Is Bigger
Bigger than what? Bigger than your all-inclusive everything, with a magnificent heart of love to match His bigness! We could document a list of all the things God is bigger than but my “short book” would be transformed into a novel of gargantuan proportion and with me pushing the big seventy, I’m not sure I’d get to finish the list. It would be that long!
So with that in mind let’s look to our ancestors to find a story of verification and close by taking a few moments to share something more up-dated to equally speak to our God’s timelessness regarding the miraculous matters of life.
We all know David killed Goliath as a very young man in his mid-teens with no experience as a warrior to draw from. He had never fought in his King’s armies. Interestingly, armies that to a man, including the King, were petrified of Goliath and wanted no part in his demise thinking it to be impossible.
So who was David in this story. Just a lad who tended sheep was his status in life. A “nobody” that God magnificently made into a “somebody”! God specializes in making somebody’s out of nobody’s folks! Just because He can combined with the nobody’s availability!
David had no reputation nor would have been thought of as a person to consider as a solution to the Goliath problem. This is how un-important and insignificant David was. He arrived at the scene of the Goliath issue, as a courier bringing food to the troops. When he became aware of the situation, he volunteered himself to fight Goliath.
Initially he wasn’t taken seriously until he revealed his history with God to the King. A history that had prepared David for this orchestrated by God moment in time to shine. A history that involved two ravenous animals being delivered into his hands by the divine intervention of a BIG God! Let’s listen into the dialog as David explains his confidence, in no uncertain terms, to King Saul.
1 Samuel 17 – 32 > 37: David said to Saul: “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine: your servant will go and fight him”. ( now we get Saul’s impression on the matter ) Saul replied; “You are not able to go out against this Philistine, you are only a young man and he has been a warrior from his youth. ( Saul is fixed on Goliath while David is seeing something much bigger with his response ) But David said to Saul: “ Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a Lion or a Bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me I seized it by its hair, stuck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the Lion and the Bear: This un-circumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has defiled the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the Lion and the paw of the Bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David: “Go and the Lord be with you”.
Saul was a coward! He could have at least been honest with his parting comments. Something like this perhaps: “Go and the Lord be with you because I certainly won’t be”. I’m pretty sure Saul had surmised that David would not be seen again in one piece.
Maybe David’s irrelevance made that not matter much in the big picture. If he gets killed we’re no worse off than before he tried. It’s worth the gamble because we’re not gambling much. It’s only a shepherd boy! A dime a dozen, he can be easily replaced. Could that have been in their thinking when he was sent by Saul as a lamb to the slaughter. We know this, not a single soul was anticipating a victory other than David!
Well, we know the end result of this altercation between little David and his sling-shot versus his nine foot nine inch, heavy armed opponent. Goliath fell as did the Lion and the Bear. David learned how BIG his God was long before he ever met Goliath. To David, his focus never was on Lions or Bears or giants named Goliath. He was fixed on the bigness of his God and was simply behaving based on what he “knew’’! David the “nobody” would eventually become the King of Israel. Quite the “somebody”! To this day he is renown as the greatest King Israel has ever had!
But there was a moment he had to make available to God the little he had and throw the stone with complete trust in his God to guide that stone to its needed destination. When that stone landed in the middle of Goliath’s forehead it also became David’s stepping stone to the Kingship of Israel. God finally had the King he had always wanted. A King after His own heart. A King that loved Him! God’s will had come to past proving that God is bigger than all the many Goliaths this world can produce. God orchestrates His desires into our lives and we just stand back and be amazed by His majesty and sovereignty over all things!
As an added note of interest: David didn’t throw a second stone. He didn’t need to. God does all things well, simply because He can. He’s God! A very BIG GOD!!
On A Personal Note
In previous writings I have mentioned two of the most profound moments in my life. The first being God’s dramatic introducing of himself to me at the age of twenty seven. That will always take priority over the second for without it there likely wouldn’t have been a second.
But it’s the second I would like to quickly touch on to make a valid point regarding our subject matter. We at times can read bible stories and think: Wow, that’s amazing and it happened an amazingly long time ago, so do these things still happen today, in that I don’t live a long time ago.
Well, at twenty seven God said “hi”. At forty I had a full-blown nervous breakdown. Now that’s quite the shift in momentum! The circumstances surrounding the crash don’t matter anymore but there’s a powerful lesson I’ve learned as I periodically look back in amazement at how far God has brought me. You see, there was a moment just like David had his moment. A moment so undeniably empowered by God that it has stayed branded on my mind all these years later.
An intervention was organized with the hope that I would agree to being institutionalized for my own safety. There’s no need to get into the dramatics of my condition but for clarity sake: My brain had shut down to protect itself and with it my memory function ceased to work. So my name and where I was going and why I was going there, would frequently vanish into thin air leaving me disoriented for long periods of time.
I was forty and looked like I was ninety, shaking constantly. Not a pretty sight and frightening to those who cared, thus the intervention.
My moment: In the middle of this get together I stood up and paused the justifiable doomsday analysis for a brief moment with this statement that only provided substance to the fears of my friends and loved ones.
As I pulled myself out of my chair while quivering like a scared child, I announced the most ridiculous comment imaginable in the light of my circumstances. “I will be back. I don’t know when and I don’t know how but this is not the end of me”. And I sat down. The room emptied with heads shaking as if I had just confirmed my insanity!
The questions that I have answered with the advantage of hindsight: Who got me out of that chair? Who gave me those words of awkward faith to speak in the middle of the mess? Who gave me that fleeting “moment” of clarity to talk?
The answer: The same BIG God that spoke into David’s spirit declaring : “I’m much bigger than Goliath! Make available to me what you have. Throw the stone and I will transform it into a miraculous victory that won’t end with the falling of Goliath. The fall of your enemy will merely be the beginning of the story”.
Did I know all that was going on in God at the time? Absolutely not. I was a crazy person who had been given a moment of clarity when it was most needed, and I pounced on it like a dog on a bone!
David’s moment was throwing the stone at Goliath. Mine was standing up and speaking to Goliath. Goliaths come in many varieties but none are bigger than God folks!
All God asked for that day was what I had left in the tank, which was so little that infinitesimal would be its accurate descriptive. Its meaning: “A variable continuously approaching values of zero as a limit”. That would have been about right, on a good day.
But I had my God granted moment as did David, and with nothing but my next breath to make available to Him to work with, I offered it and He blessed it! My recovery from the pit wasn’t instantaneous but it was consistent whereby everyday things got a little but noticeably better.
Here’s the point of importance that I so want to make clear: It wasn’t David’s stone nor my next breath that determined the outcome. It was the BIG GOD that we gave it to!
Well, David’s outcome is well entrenched in heaven as he’s probably still dancing before the Lord as was his reputation on earth. Mine is still being formulated. God has created for me an amazing life since those dark days complete with many accomplishments to glorify Himself in.
Consider this for a moment: The same man who twenty nine years ago, couldn’t remember his name at times, let alone write it, just finished his 38th EBook. You are reading it! He’s not only a good good Father but equally, a big big God! He being the Creator, has an amazing way of fixing his broken creation, always accompanied with a purpose! Offer Him what little you have and He will transform it into a miracle for His glory!
Now consider this: The day I got out of that chair shaking like a leaf and spoke to my Goliath, God knew this book would be written. He could see it before the fact and nothing was going to stop it from being written! Big enough? Sovereign enough? Almighty enough?
I’m going with a big YES to those questions! All things considered, how could I not?
[FREE E-BOOKS BY BILL TAYLOR]
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK ONE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK TWO
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK THREE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FOUR
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FIVE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK SIX
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK SEVEN
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK EIGHT
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK NINE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK TEN
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK ELEVEN
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK TWELVE
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK THIRTEEN
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FOURTEEN
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK FIFTEEN
REFLECTIONS OF A SHEEP – THE SERIES – BOOK SIXTEEN
THE ROSE AND THE THORN
WILLING HEARTS – NO LIMITS
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
THE SECOND CROSS
BULLS IN CHINA SHOPS
FAITH IS A JOURNEY
THE HEART IS SACRED
REJOICE – IT’S A NEW DAY!
BLESSED & CONTENT
MY FRIEND – MY PEACE – MY LORD
YOU DECIDE – CHOICES
THE REAR VIEW MIRROR
HIS LOVE MADE PERFECT
AMAZING GRACE – AMAZING SAVIOR
TALK AND WALK
GUIDE ME HOLY SPIRIT