Bethany 002

This house of God is open for you; the Lord has been waiting to see you come home.

A place to leave behind the past, to have the
fullness of the present,
and to look forward to the bright future.

     It’s a compelling biblical image – a young shepherd, with no protective armor or battle experience, sprinting toward a giant, fully-armed warrior (I Sam. 17). The story of David and Goliath, with its “small guy” versus “big guy” theme and underdog heroism, offers inspiration to anyone feeling powerless or frightened.

     Being pitted against an overwhelming foe isn’t a scenario most people welcome. While David’s example may have continuing relevance for today’s heroes – such as those who resolutely resist government corruption, gang violence, school bullies, or social inequity – choosing to stand against an intimidating opponent might seem like more of a stretch for the rest of us. Actually, courage is available to each of us when circumstances require.

     Real courage comes from God, who guarantees His goodness to be the only force and fabric of life, and who ensures that evil has no substance, influence, or power over us. Pondering these spiritual facts brings confidence that, whatever the size of the challenge before us, we have resources – spiritual resources – to meet it. The Apostle Paul describes this mental dominion: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:3–5).

     Our “Goliaths” may be circumstances like ill health, unemployment, broken relationships, dwindling resources, or limits of all kinds. Like the Israelites’ immense adversary, they may at first seem insurmountable. But no matter how menacing the situation, victory flows from the mental activity of “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” – of affirming the presence and power of God, who is good, and refuting the actuality of evil.

     A micro-example of David’s experience occurred when a friend of mine faced a dishonest salesman. The nearly new car she had just purchased was making loud and unnatural noises within just a couple of days. When she took the car back, she overheard the sales manager tell her agent that the deal was done and that he had no intention of righting this wrong.

     Her Goliath wasn’t the manager. It was a sudden wave of anger that threatened to swallow all of her intentions to be patient, civil, and expectant of justice. It seemed huge and unstoppable.

     Right there in the salesroom, she faced the temptation to be intimidated or manipulated by a sense that evil was real and present. As she allied her thought with the all-goodness of God, she felt herself moving forward against, rather than submitting to, the overwhelming temptation to react. The tide receded, and in just a moment or two, the entire situation reversed itself. The car was taken in for repair, a loaner vehicle was made available, and both the evidence of dishonesty and the anger that she felt were dissolved – naturally and inevitably.

     Each of us has the ability to perceive and accept God’s omnipotent, totally good nature. With this knowledge, we never need to cower before evil, no matter how gigantic it appears. In fact, we’re armed to face and destroy evil in every form. Prayerful thinkers who have relied upon this truth have proven it repeatedly, reversing disease, injury, pain, grief, and loss. Those healings have further strengthened their spiritual resolve to face down everything unlike God.

     Like David, who proved that Goliath never had a chance against God’s power, we can run to meet every challenge with the same trust – and expect equally decisive results.

In His Light,

Bishop Raymond Contois

BETHANY

A church to the un-churched

A search for the deepest possible

Jesus touch in the soul

ADDRESS

(413) 324-1164

 

167 Dunhamtown Palmer Rd.

Brimfield, MA 01010

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