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Fast Forwarding Faith

“When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope.” I Samuel 17:11

“God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” I Samuel 17:37

Whether we realize it or not, stories are almost always playing out inside our heads and they’re usually about ten minutes ahead of the moment we’re actually living in. We’re cautious with our kids around water, because the story in our mind rolls out to a place where they fall in and can’t get out. We race on our way to work because these mind-pictures move rapidly ahead of real time to the moment we get confronted or fired for being late….and some people would even let that picture keep playing to the point where they lose their house and car because they now have no job and can’t pay the bills. And then they REALLY step on the gas to get to work! It’s not so much the immediate or the absolute that moves us to do what we do, but rather the possibility of what could be as it unfolds in our imagination. And those perceived possibilities are created by fear or by faith…and nothing in between.

Saul & his troops heard the words of the giant and their heads were filled with fast-moving, technicolor pictures of all that could happen in the next ten minutes. Fear poked it’s spiny fingers into the corner of their brains where the future lives and penciled in the possibilities of what-could-be.

Enter David. His picture of the next 10 minutes was FILLED with faith and – dare I say – EAGER anticipation to rumble with that giant! What made the difference? He relied on what he had seen God do in the past and how he had experienced His presence in the heat of battle. I’m sure he rewound and replayed the miraculous moment when he wrestled that bear to the ground as supernatural faith rippled through his memory and into his muscles.

He just knew.

He didn’t know his own strength or his own courage. He just knew his own God, and that gave him everything else he needed. I betcha he could even imagine the feeling of carrying Goliath’s head through the camp and was already planning where he would hang the big guy’s weapons when he took them back to his tent. David let his knowledge of God’s faithfulness fill in all the missing details so that he could clearly envision the exact events of the next few minutes in which a very small rock would to catapult a very large giant into eternity.

When faith paints our picture of the future as it forms in our imagination, anything is possible. When we are able to pull up a fresh awareness of the victories of the past, God becomes bigger than every other giant we’re facing. And that lets us be the size that we are. And that’s just about the best gift ever.

So, how about you? What do the next ten minutes or ten months or ten years look like in your head? Who would you guess is painting that picture?

Believing for the heads of giants,


April 16, 2008 - 12:34 pm

helenw13 - oh my…I shouldn’t have clicked on…because I have to go join Carl to do our reading together before he turns into a pumpkin…I will read this in the morning…I don’t know what you wrote yet but the first scripture grabbed me because in my last week’s reading…I have been batting around similar verses but from chapter 13….especially how the people hid in caves, thickets, among rocks, in pits and cisterns…
So until later…sorry for the ramble…


April 17, 2008 - 3:53 am

Kristin Bryan - Consider yourself LINKED.
I added you.

there you are!

April 17, 2008 - 6:14 am

bolovesjoe - Helen – I hope you got to Carl in time!

Kristin – likewise!

April 17, 2008 - 6:31 am

Taylor - Bo! Thank you for your ever encouraging blog and fresh looks at a great story!!!

April 17, 2008 - 10:42 am

helenw13 - Hey Bo…yes I did get to Carl in time…the very patient one…great post…and it is good that I waited because I read this account this morning…I just marvel at how matter of fact David is when he tells about the bear…the complete awareness of what God empowered him with…

I heard a teaching this mornning by Beth Moore and it was about the Alpha and the Omega…the One who was, who is and is to come…her point was that we need to be living in the “is” but we tend to be distracted by the “was” and the “what is to come”…I do it all the time…my daughter got a radical haircut today…didn’t know until she took her softball helmet off…and immediately my mind when to graduation 30 days away…much farther than 10 minutes…I want to live in the here and now and trust God for the next minute let alone the next month…that’s enough rambling for now…

I love your take on David…thank you!


April 18, 2008 - 11:16 pm

bolovesjoe - Helen – your Beth Moore comments – and a phone call from my mom recently – reminded me of the spot in The Shack where they ask Mac where he lives most – past, present or future. The realization that when we travel to the future, we most often don’t take God with us was really important to me. And it’s interesting because we preach “vision” so much which I think is good as long as it positively effects our now. But if it keeps us living in a faraway land and missing – or even resenting – the potency of the moment, then I think it can be dangerous. I’ve dealt with all kinds of young people who are so focused on their big future that they have disdain for the smaller more “present” things that will actually GET them there. Argh.

Okay – stepping down off my soap box now because I’m really hungry, not because I’m out of passion for this subject. 🙂

Oh – also – I totally empathize with you on preparing for graduation in 30 days. Tori finished school in January, but she graduates in June and I just can’t believe it. In this area, I’m definitely dragging my heels to leave the past.

April 19, 2008 - 6:03 am

Kristin Bryan - Bo, sorry to say it.. but you typed in the link wrong.. you can’t actually get to my blog through that link 🙂
it’s not

April 19, 2008 - 10:35 am

bolovesjoe - Thanks, Kristin – fixed it! Also: com vs. org = the bane of my existence.