Today I have the privilege of introducing you to one of my dearest friends, Shelley Brannan. I met Shelley several years ago when I interned for my college’s marketing department. She was a full-time staff member, but we quickly bonded over our work and a love for the Lord. Shelley and I have done several Bible studies together, and even though we now live a few hours apart, I am overjoyed to witness all that God has done and is doing in her life. I really appreciate the wisdom she shares in this post, and I hope you do too. Enjoy!
Have you ever felt unequipped for something? Maybe for a test? The daily grind of life? Or perhaps for war – not a physical battle, but a spiritual one?
I recently found myself in a similar situation. It seemed like I was being attacked from every angle, and I felt unequipped. Unarmed. Unprepared. Unable to fight. It did not take long for me to realize that I was fighting the battle with the wrong weapons.
When we rely on our own strength to combat life’s tough issues we end up tired, weary, and discouraged. Why? Because this is not how God intended us to live the victorious Christian life. He is faithfully waiting to go to war for us and for us to call on Him in prayer.
One of my favorite quotes from Priscilla Shirer’s latest book, Fervent, says, “We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. We pray because we’re serious about taking back the ground he has sought to take from us.”
Yes, we will face trials of many kinds, but we have a God who is listening and is ready to fight for us! We see this beautiful theme all throughout Scripture: God often provides an opportunity for us to wholly trust Him as He fights on our behalf. A great example from the Old Testament is the story of David and Goliath.
David, a shepherd boy, was the youngest of his three brothers and probably the most unequipped to fight the Philistine giant, Goliath. But God specifically chose him for this task. In 1 Samuel 17:37 David courageously said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” All along, God had been preparing him for this particular battle. David was ready to fight.
He approached Goliath “in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” with nothing but a sling and five smooth stones. He wasn’t dressed in any armor and did not carry any other weapons. Goliath scoffed at the handsome, unarmed boy. But David stood his ground and declared, “The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
And it was with the Lord’s power that David defeated Goliath. He prevailed with a sling, a stone, and complete dependence on God, his Defender and Protector.
What a great reminder for our present circumstances – good or bad. It was not David’s might that allowed him to take down Goliath; it was his reliance upon and trust in the One fighting on his behalf! It’s amazing to me to see how God used previous events in David’s life to prepare him for this moment. Just like for David, the trials we face today and the tough seasons we endure are simply strengthening our faith to conquer the unknown battles ahead of us.
The next time you feel like you are facing a giant that seems too big to defeat, engage the most effective weapon we have as believers in Christ and call on God in prayer. When we clothe ourselves in spiritual armor and find our strength in God alone, we will find – just like David – that true victory is in the Lord.
Shelley Brannan is a wife of almost five years to her high school sweetheart, Ryan, and a stay-at-home mom to their almost one-year-old son, Levi. She also works part-time from home as Columbia International University’s Social Media Specialist. Shelley is a youth pastor’s wife and is passionate about their ministry at Spring Valley Baptist Church and about sharing the story of God’s grace and faithfulness in her life. When she isn’t at church or chasing Levi, she loves running, the beach, and spending time with her family and friends. Check out her blog or find her on Instagram.
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