Just Five Smooth Stones
When I come across “ah-ha!” moments in life, I like to record them. Sometimes it’s something I’ve never thought of before, and sometimes it’s an incredibly well-worded explanation to a truth that I’ve been experiencing but lacked the words to express. And sometimes, they’re the perfect thing that you needed to slay your giant.
We all have “giants” in our lives, and they can be brought down. Giants can all the impossible reasons why we can’t start a good habit or discipline. Giants can also be those things in our life that fill us with shame, regret, or discouragement. In short, giants are overwhelming. Scary. We just need the right “stones” to strike them down. Of course I’m using the story of the shepherd boy, David, and his epic fight against the giant, Goliath as a metaphor.
Here comes my “ah-ha!”
At the end of July I was thrilled to sit in on the teaching of Sunder Krishnan at the Bible & Missions Conference of Beulah Beach. Out of the hour of teaching that morning (all of which was excellent), I grabbed on to this. You need specific “stones” to strike your “giant” spot on. Coming into that battle, David had already had the experience of protecting the flocks he was responsible – and that included striking and killing both lions and bears! He also had the experience of being in God’s presence and having God’s character and majesty revealed to him through creation – both lessons he had ample study in as a lonely shepherd day and night through all kinds of weather. Remember – he wrote a good number of the Psalms that eloquently describe the nature of God as demonstrated through the creation around us! Now picture David approaching Goliath. He had a good grasp on stones that he specifically selected for a job that was akin to killing a lion or a bear. He also already had a good grasp of how BIG God is (1 Samuel 17:45-47). And so he fell a giant.
Fighting Our Own Giants
The “stones” I’m writing about are very specific verses in Scripture that address your giant head on.
Krishnan spoke of embedding truth into your heart in order to accomplish a good thing that you want to be able to do, but struggle with. He said for a long time he struggled with finding motivation to spend his early morning times with God, and then he landed on Isaiah 40. The whole chapter puts your day in perspective (like David understanding how BIG God is), and promises that he who spends time with God will be strengthened and empowered for the path set before him. Krishnan turns to Isaiah 50 when he is preparing to teach God’s Word to others. When he is fighting irritation and anger, he studies James 1 and 3; and when he suspects he is getting too big for his britches (my words, not his) he spends time in Proverbs where it teaches over and over, “Listen to advice and accept instruction.”
Likewise, in the book, Soul Care, author Rob Reimer urges his readers to identify their sin patterns – the behaviors and heart issues displeasing to God that you tend to repeat over and over and over again. You know the one – the one that you feel in your soul that you should be free of… Reimer’s recommendation is to practice a discipline that is opposite the issue you’re dealing with. Choose the virtue opposite the vice. He also urges his readers to find truth to grasp onto, hold firmly to, memorize it and repeat it as a life truth in order to overcome these sin patterns. Embed the truth into your heart, because from you live from the overflow of your heart.
For example, people pleasing (usually with no healthy boundaries around your own capacity and at the cost of time with your family) usually has a basis of desiring approval. If you struggle with this, try practicing times of solitude and silence. Memorize scriptures that speak of God’s approval of you apart from your performance. Even better, memorize scriptures about God’s worth, just to keep your perspective in the right place! Here is one more example: Pride is performance/appearance based. Pride says, “Look how well I’ve got it together!” The discipline to counter that is to find a trusted confidant and confess the areas that you don’t actually have it all together. Accompany that with verses about forgiveness and God’s sovereignty; He does have it all together, all figured out, and cares a great deal about you!
Selecting Your Stones
Most of us are well aware of our giants. The question is, how do you know what stone you need to slay it? Krishnan said, and I wrote it down:
When you come across a verse and you say, “I need to remember this! Especially when… (enter your giant here)” That’s your smooth stone! Grab it! Memorize it!
Why memorize scripture to slay our giants? Jesus was born into humanity, into a life of struggle and giants to overcome, so we can come to him (the author of scripture) and have him teach us how to slay our own giants.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
By the way, the yoke in the above verse is not an agricultural tool, but the teaching of a rabbi – his interpretation of scripture and how it applies to life. There are those of you who are afraid to open yourself up to God because you’re convinced he’s going to lambaste you and reduce your heart to rubble. That’s quite the opposite of what will happen! Read that verse again! And again! And again… He promising how he will respond to you and how he will teach you! Being overcome by your giants is not God’s will for your life, so take his yoke (his teaching) upon you and learn from him!
Let’s Get Practical
Do you have a memo app on your phone? Do you keep a notepad in your purse? Start a page where you can capture verses as they stand out to you. They will start jumping out from quotes on coffee mugs, verses in a sermon, a Scripture-based song on the radio, a daily devotion that you are going through. When a verse causes you to think, “Oh! That’s a good one for me!” write it down. Revisit these verses daily! Pick one to memorize each week. Remember that David chose five smooth stones, so don’t overwhelm yourself with 25 verses. Collect up to five and start memorizing. I sincerely hope you’re not trying to slay more than five giants at once! With these “stones” (these memorized verses), you’ll have immediate access to what you need when your giant taunts you – and that “stone” will strike exactly where it needs to.
If you want to be more intentional about finding your verses (rather than waiting for them to “jump out” at you), here are some more ideas on how to find what you need:
- Ask a friend who has had the same fight. What verses did they find powerful in their own struggle? That friend could also be an understanding and confidential prayer partner.
- Use a book like Promises of God. Books like this are topical, so you can look up what you struggle with and find a variety of verses to choose from. I recently taught my 13-year-old son how to do this and he found it quite inspiring!
- Abide in the Word. Krishnan ended his teaching with this thought: Read God’s word regularly – not to gain knowledge so much as to get at home in it. He means that there is a place for growing in knowledge, but we should also be comfortable flipping through the pages of our Bibles. My own Bible has verses underlined, circled, and starred and notes in the margin, so flipping through it is like visiting my favorite places in my hometown or going to my favorite couch to curl up and have a conversation with a girlfriend or laying my head down on my pillow to rest at night.
- Posted by hellobabs
- On August 22, 2018
- 0 Comment