March 2, 2023 3:00 am
More people complain about headaches than any other health condition. About 45 million people suffer from them each year. The major causes? Stress and lack of sleep, among others. There’s a lot on our minds. Many people feel overwhelmed much of the time. But today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us chart a new path. He’ll talk about the giants we face . . . those forces that seem bigger than we are. We’ll learn today how to stand against them in the power of God.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.
Sign up at harvest.org. Jesus Christ defeated Satan and his demon forces, and we share in that victory. So I don't fight for victory. I fight from victory. Standing against our adversary can seem daunting, but Pastor Greg Laurie points out the battle has already been won, and we're on the winning team.
I stand in the Lord and in the power of His might that gives me the boldness and that gives me the strength to do what God has called me to do. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again you hear when the angels are singing.
This is the day, the day when life begins. More people complain about headaches than any other health condition. About 45 million people suffer from them each year. The major causes?
Stress and lack of sleep, among others. There's a lot on our minds. Many people feel overwhelmed much of the time. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us chart a new path. He'll talk about the giants we face, those forces that seem bigger than we are. We'll learn today how to stand against them in the power of God. How do you overcome a giant?
That's what we're going to talk about in our series. Again we're in the house of David, which is a look of David the second king of Israel. We're going to look at the very familiar story of David and Goliath. First Samuel chapter 17 starting in verse 40.
By the way I'm reading from the New Living Translation. David picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd's bag. Then armed only with his shepherd's staff and sling he started across to fight Goliath. Goliath walked out toward David with a shield bearer ahead of him.
Snearing in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy he roared at David, am I a dog that you come at me with a stick? And he cursed David by the names of his gods. Goliath yelled, come over here and I'll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals.
I love the response of David. David shouted in reply, you come to me with sword, spear, and javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord God Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. Today David says the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head and then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals and the whole world will know there is a God in Israel. And everyone will know the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people.
It's his battle not ours. The Lord will give you to us. I love this verse. As Goliath moved closer to attack David quickly ran out to meet him. Verse 49 reaching into a shepherd's bag taking out a stone. He hurled it from his sling. It hit the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank in and Goliath stumbled and fell face downward on the ground. Now David finishes the job. First Samuel 17 50. So David triumphed over the Philistine giant with only a stone and a sling and since he had no sword he ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath and David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead they turned and ran. Is that not an awesome story?
I love it. What a victory. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites were reinvigorated. David the shepherd boy had cut down the giant Goliath. So what do we learn from this about defeating our own giants?
If you're taking notes here's point number one. We all have giants. We all have giants. We all face severe hardships. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Temptations that come our way. First Corinthians 10 13 says remember temptations come into your life. They are no different than what others experience but God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted God will show you a way out so you will not give into it. So while it is true that we all have giants it is also true that every giant is defeatable.
Principle number two. David knew the battle belonged to the Lord. David knew the battle belonged to the Lord. Look at verse 47. It is his battle not ours the Lord will give you to us.
What are you facing right now? The battle belongs to the Lord. Committed to the Lord. Don't worry about anything Paul reminds us but pray about everything and the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. The battle belongs to the Lord.
Number three. Attack your giants. Attack your giants. Earlier in the story we read that the Israelites said how is this man Goliath come up into our camp? That is 1 Samuel 17 25. In other words Goliath wasn't just down in the valley.
He had climbed up and was walking to the camp of Israel. Hey hey who wants to fight me? Come on you are big enough to fight me.
Let's go. So he was right up in their face. Up in their grill as they say. And he wasn't going away. And that is what happens with giants. You compromise here.
You compromise there. Now they have invaded your life. They are in your front room. They are in every room.
And they are becoming even more powerful. So what do you do? You don't run from giants. You attack them. You don't negotiate with them. You don't yell at them. You kill them.
You don't say I will get to this one day. You deal with your giant right now. Look at verse 48. As Goliath moved closer to attack David ran out quickly to meet him. He didn't run from Goliath. He didn't just hold his ground against Goliath.
He attacked Goliath. And you must do the same. Let's say you have a problem with drinking.
Let's say you have a problem with drugs. And this is an ongoing problem that has not gone away. You have got to deal with it. Stop rationalizing it. Stop hiding it. Stop making excuses for it.
Take it out of the dark and put it in the light of day. And deal with it. And that brings me to my next point.
Point number four. Finish the giant off. Finish the giant off. So David thought I am not going to give this guy a second chance.
First Samuel 1751. He ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath and he used it to kill the giant and cut his head off. Now why did he cut off his head? Because Goliath was still breathing. Now you might say, but with the poor giant.
No no. No poor giant. You don't coddle giants. You kill giants. Well why should I kill my giant? Listen to this. If you don't kill your giant, your giant will kill you. That's your choice. You kill it or it kills you. Kill or be killed.
He cut off his head. Coming back to drugs. Let's say your problem is drugs. What do you do? Get rid of your drugs. No brainer.
Hello. Flush them down the toilet. Booze. Pour it down the toilet. Then flush.
Because if you are desperate you might go back later. Is this still drinkable? Trust me I have heard worse. If you have fallen into sexual sin admit it is sexual sin. Stop rationalizing. Stop excusing it. Stop calling it a mistake or a human weakness. It is a sin. After David's sin with Bathsheba, we will get to this later, in Psalm 51 he said, against you Lord and you only have I sinned. That is what it means to confess your sin. First John 1 says, if you will confess your sin God is faithful and just to forgive you your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. The word confess means to acknowledge it and it means to agree with God. So let's say you and I are standing on the beach and we see a beautiful sunset and I say that was an amazing sunset and you say I agree Greg.
It really was. So God says that is wonderful. I love it. And we say I love it too Lord. And then the Lord says that's horrible. I hate it.
And we say I agree Lord it is horrible. To confess your sin is to align your will with the will of God and see sin as God sees it. God hates sin. He loves a sinner. But he hates sin. So to confess our sin is to acknowledge how horrible it is and then of course to repent or turn from it. We like to gloss these things over. Well I am human and I make mistakes.
Yeah that's true. We all do. Call sin sin. Bring your giant out in the light of day. But before you can do this the Lord may strip you down to nothing. So you will see when your giant is defeated it is not your strength but His.
I love this little part of the story. 1 Samuel 17 verse 38. Before David goes and faces off with Goliath Saul says well you need to wear some armor boy.
I will tell you what. You can wear my armor. And so David put on a bronze helmet.
A coat of mail. Strapped the sword over it. Took a step or two to see what it was like because he had never worn things like this before.
And he says I can't go in these. It is like a little kid playing dress up right. Big press plate. Helmet.
Shoes even too big. And he has got the sword. You know. No way he is going to go against Goliath with all that stuff so he strips it all off. He is not going to wear Saul's armor. It was going to be God or nothing.
There was no plan B. If God did not come through He was done for. But David knew God would come through. See the problem in our minds is Satan is the giant and God is small. When the very opposite is true. Satan is powerful but God is way more powerful.
Again he is bigger than your giant. So there is also a picture here for us sharing in the victory of Jesus Christ. Remember whoever won then the other people would share in the victory. So because David won everyone was excited. The Israelis then had the courage to attack the Philistines which they lacked before. So they shared in the victory of David. The greater David if you will. The son of David as he called himself. Jesus Christ went to the cross and defeated Satan and his demon forces.
And we share in that victory. Because Colossians 2 14 says of Christ he canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. In this way God disarmed evil rulers and authorities.
He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ. So I don't fight for victory. Listen to this. I don't fight for victory. I fight from victory. I don't have to go take the devil onto my own strength. I will fail.
You will fail. Satan is way more powerful than Greg. He's way more powerful than you. But oh the Lord.
Oh He's so much stronger than Satan. So I stand on the Lord and in the power of His might and that gives me the boldness and that gives me the strength to do what God has called me to do. They shared in the victory of David and we share in the victory of Christ. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of Harvest Ministries and A New Beginning is so encouraging.
I'm a truck driver from North Carolina and I very much love listening to Pastor Greg. In this world we're living in now you really need Jesus in your life and if you have a personal relationship with Jesus there's nothing better than that. I mean your days are full of joy.
You have peace of mind and there's just nothing better than that. I was addicted to cocaine for so many years and struggled with the flesh. I mean I hated it. I tried so many times to quit. I just asked the Lord to make me hate it and finally He did. I just got so sick of it He took it away and I have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ and there's nothing better than that. I absolutely love listening to Pastor Greg's messages every night while I'm on the road and I just wanted to call and let him know that.
So God bless you and thank you so much. If your life has changed because of the Ministry of Harvest would you let Pastor Greg know? Just call 866-871-1144.
That's 866-871-1144. Well you're joining us for a series called the House of David and Pastor Greg is offering practical lessons on overcoming giants in our lives from the story of David and Goliath. So let's recap and land this message. If you miss these points point number one was everyone has giants.
There are no exceptions. It's just a matter of what where or who your giant is. Point number two the battle belongs to the Lord. Rest in the finished work that God has done. It's His spiritual battle and it must be fought with spiritual weapons. Number three attack your giant. Force your giant, your problem, your addiction, your vice, whatever it might be into the light of day. Call on God. Pray for His power. Then attack your giant. Point number four finish your giant off. Cut off its head. Burn your bridges and break with the past.
Draw lines. Make yourself accountable to others. You see a lot of times we'll say well I don't want to live that way anymore but we still hang out with the same people leading us to do the same things.
You need new friends. You need godly friends. The Bible says flee youthful desires and follow the Lord and all those that call upon Him with a pure heart. If you hang around godless people they'll pull you down. I'm not advocating having no contact with non-believers. How else will we evangelize them? But having said that we need godly people who will spur us on. That's why the Bible says don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is but encourage one another and so much more as you see the day of the Lord approaching.
You know when COVID hit we began to sort of up our game online and our online audience grew considerably and it grew to a worldwide audience. So I know that I'm speaking to people all around our planet and we're so glad that you're a part of our church service right now. But let me just say to you that we're coming in person and now you're staying home but you're within proximity of our church. People it's time to come back to church in person.
In person. And to others out there who are watching this online I'm glad we can be here for you. We want to minister to you as much as possible but you need to find a local church in your area. We need to be together in person. This is what the Bible teaches. We spur one another on.
We encourage each other and things happen when we're gathered together in person that just don't happen elsewhere. So this is a very important thing to remember. The battle belongs to the Lord. Call out to the Lord.
He can defeat your giant. Let me come back to a point I raised earlier. The greater David the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for our sin. This is where we find the power to live the Christian life. Listen some people say you know it's hard to be a Christian.
I would disagree. It's not hard to be a Christian. It's impossible. It is impossible to be a Christian in this world today.
Dot dot dot. Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. I need God's help. Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing.
But the flip side of that coin. The words of Paul. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yes but I'm tempted above my capacity to resist.
Actually you aren't. Because we already look at 1 Corinthians 10 13 that says God won't allow you to be tempted above your capacity to resist but will with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. So there's always a way out. God will give you the power. The question is do you want to utilize that power. Do you want to be free of that addiction. As Jesus said to that one man who was disabled. Do you want to be made whole. What kind of question is that to ask. Of course he does.
No. Not every person who's addicted to drugs wants to be free. Not every alcoholic wants to stop drinking. Not every person living on the streets wants to get off the streets. There are people that have made a decision to live that way and that is the way they want to live.
They're never going to change if they don't want to change. So the question is do you want to be made whole. Do you want to change.
Do you like this lifestyle you're in or do you want to get out of it. If so Jesus extends his hand and he'll pull you up just like he pulled that one man up. But listen I can never overcome Satan or sin in my own strength. Well I'll just get some holy water. There is no such thing as holy water.
I hate to break it to you. Well I'll just wear a crucifix. I will keep the devil away.
Are you kidding. I'll wear garlic around my neck. That'll keep Satan away. That'll keep your friends away. I won't keep Satan away. Especially if you take a bite out of the garlic.
No. The only power greater than Satan is the power of Christ. The only thing that will keep Satan from controlling you is the power of Jesus indwelling you. That's why you need Jesus in your life.
And I close by asking this question. Is Jesus living in your life right now and has he forgiven you of all of your sin. Maybe you've just been sort of a religious type person trying to live this life in your own strength and that is why you're defeated day after day month after month year after year. See you need a relationship with God.
That's what it's all about. And Jesus Christ who died on that cross and rose again from the dead now stands at the door of each of our lives and he knocks and he says if we'll hear his voice and open the door he will come in. Have you ever asked Jesus Christ to come into your life?
If not you can do it right here right now and then everything will change for you. If you want Jesus to come into your life and forgive you of your sin respond to this invitation that we'll close with as we all bow our heads for a closing prayer. Father I pray that your Holy Spirit will work in this group of people and all those who are watching. And if there's anyone here who does not know you who does not have a relationship with you let this be the moment they believe. Let this be the moment they come to you Jesus.
We commit them to you while our heads are bowed our eyes are closed and we're praying. Maybe there's somebody here that would say I need Jesus. I need my sin forgiven.
I've tried to change my life and pull myself up on my own bootstraps and I keep failing. I need help. I need God pray for me. If that's your desire if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. If you want him to forgive you of your sin.
If you want to fill that big hole in your heart that you've tried to fill with so many things this culture offers. If you want to know that you will go to heaven when you die wherever you are pray this with me. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer and if you've prayed those words today and meant them sincerely if you've asked the Lord to forgive your sins we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God.
Pastor Greg quoted 1 John 1 9 a little earlier if we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Well we want to help you get started living this new life of faith. Let us send you our new believers growth packet. It's designed to answer the questions new believers have and get them started in their walk with the Lord. We'll send it without charge when you contact us and ask for the new believers growth packet. Here's our round the clock phone number 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org and click on know God. Well we're talking with Randy Alcorn today author of the book Heaven for Kids and let me ask you Randy when a child experiences the loss of a friend or a loved one is that a good time to begin a conversation with them about heaven? Well I would say this if you haven't had the conversations it would be a good time to begin a better time would have been to begin earlier you know and just to have that foundation and that context I think we can talk to children about heaven at really young ages I know we did with our kids and I just think it's wonderful where they just are reassured they love Jesus so it means if anything bad happens to them their parents love Jesus if mom or dad die if a sibling dies if a neighbor kid dies lots of times you'll have children come home and one of their classmates has died and it's tragic could happen at grade school level high school whatever it might be and I think the time to begin in teaching kids about heaven is just as soon as we can communicate with them about anything they should hear about Jesus and Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also that's how much he loves us he wants us to be with him forever and we're told of the life to come in Psalm 16 11 in his presence is fullness of joy at his right hand are pleasures forevermore so they should learn to want to be with Jesus and also to know the world that Jesus has is preparing for us is a world I mean beyond our wildest dreams so much better than this one yet like this one in a number of respects just without the bad parts excellent explanation about heaven and why we should teach our children about it at a very young age so we have a resource to help you do that it's a book written by Randy Alcorn who you've just heard from and it's called heaven for kids you can read it to your kids you can give it to your kids to read for themselves and you'll have some very interesting conversations and I think that some of the parents and grandparents reading it to their kids might learn a little more about heaven themselves so get your copy and we want to send it to you as quickly as possible yeah that's right and we have a copy on hand waiting for you it's a resource that belongs in every family's collection it's in a question and answer format and all the questions are listed right in the front in the table of contents so you can immediately go to the subject you're looking for we'll be glad to send you your copy of heaven for kids to thank you for your partnership so we can keep bringing you these daily studies here on a new beginning call us at 1-800-821-3300 you can call right now it's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time Pastor Greg shows us what happens when everyone turns against David and courage is in short supply join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Laurie the preceding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org
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