Responding To Your Rival
1 Samuel 17:32-37
32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!”
I know that some of you have had a rival step into your world. You are right on the cusp of something God wants to do in your world to increase your sphere of influence. How you respond to your rival matters.
Every year I go to my pastor’s conference, Pastor Leanne Matthesius, who hosts the Cherish Conference. From the moment I stepped foot on this American soil, I have made sure that I have been there to receive. One year she grabbed me, and she prophesied something over me. She said that a spirit of fear, like a Goliath, had stepped into my world and had risen up to oppose me. But she said, God’s faith will help you slay it. Those words have stuck with me.
After that session, Lisa Bevere, who was at this conference as well, pulled me aside and said “ Goliaths are necessary in the journey to God giving you greater influence.” Those are the kind of words that have been impressed on my spirit that have changed how I look at rivalry in my world. These were pivotal revelation moments for me that made me realize rivals aren’t always bad. They are going to challenge me. They are going to show me what I’m made of. They are going to make me assess the content and the issues of my heart. And there is an obligation on my part to respond in the right way.
In the scripture above, David didn’t respond with man’s fear, like everybody else. David responded with God’s faith. I know that whatever the rival looks like in your world, you are going to be able to respond in God’s faith. When you put the word of God to work in your world, you will never be disappointed. He has a path and a promise for you that nobody else can fulfill. The Israelites’ promise was dependent on David stepping out in his promise. We are all intricately connected. In a world that idolizes individualism, we as the church need to model what it is to be submissive to each other, to love each other, to come alongside each other and to champion each other in the promises of God for our life.
We all need to have each other’s back and champion each other to be giant killers of rivalry.
What is your current sphere of influence, and how is the promise God has for you going to increase that sphere?
What does it look like for you to respond to the rival in your world with God’s faith?
You are the author of our faith. Thank You for presenting opportunities for me to further the kingdom by extending my sphere of influence. Show me what it means to respond with faith when I encounter rivals in my life. Help me to put aside fear, and to focus on the promises You have for me. I believe it will come to pass!
In Jesus’s Name,