Everyday Encounter with God

Pastor Sylvia's Encounters with God in the Midst of Everyday Life


A weekly column that is short, pithy and relevant. It deals with Pastor Sylvia's encounters with God in the midst of everyday life. 

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Five Smooth Stones

The story of David and Goliath was written in 1 Samuel 17. I was thinking about it Tuesday on my way to work. I had called CPS as a Mandated Reported and my boss was livid.

Have you ever been positioned against a Goliath? I decided to collect a few rocks while driving: truth, wisdom, faith, self-control, and forgiveness.

My first stone was truth. God wants honesty spoken in love… nothing less is acceptable. While she scolded and condemned me, I wrote the word “truth” in the margin of my notebook. The stone of truth kept me from using either fabrication or exaggeration to defend myself.

Then I moved on to wisdom.

Scripture says that we attain wisdom as a gift from God when we are truthful and honest. James 3:17 says:

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Whenever we are facing our giants, we need wisdom to guide our hearts and our mouths. Angry words are impossible to retract. They leave a permanent and bitter taste.

We also need the stone of faith. The Israelites had difficulty making wise choices. Finally they went to the prophet Samuel and begged him to give them a king… so he did. They still weren’t happy. In 1 Samuel 12:16 he gives them a prophetic directive:

“Now stand here and see the great thing the Lord is about to do.”

God Himself ultimately chooses our leaders. They are not there to take God’s place. The good ones are there to lead us in holy reverence and awe. Without being disrespectful, my position in our meeting was ultimate faithfulness to God and the gospel of Jesus Christ as I understand it today. I had faith that the Lord was about to show me a great thing that could only come from His hand.

Above my desk is a note card that says, “Faith doesn’t twist God’s arm; faith is the product of realizing that His arms are open to us. In fact, they are nailed open.”

When we tell the truth, remain in our Christian integrity, and rely on God’s wisdom we can reside in a place of peaceful faith that the outcome will be a good one.

My 4th rock was labeled self-control. The Book of James has several references to restraint:

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

We must never forget that while we restrain our anger, we must also care for the orphans and widows who come to us in distress. Regardless of the size of our Goliaths, we cannot let them down.

Finally, my fifth stone was forgiveness. I chose to set this one aside for a few minutes. Woven throughout scripture are the themes of love, grace, and forgiveness. They cannot be separated. Love is strengthened when grace is present. Forgiveness is love in action. Jesus taught this over and over and over.

At the end of my meeting she fired me; I was glad the rock of forgiveness was sitting in my sack of stones.

Do you have a Goliath? What are the names of your biblical stones?

ARCHIVES

The I-Wannas and I-Willas

Good or Bad - You Choose

Don't Wrestle God - Wrestle Before Him

The Other Guy on the Cross

Be An Encourager

Follow Me

Lion and the Lamb

What Jesus Sees In You

Music That Makes Us Weep

 Chosen by God

Silence Isn't Always Golden

Like a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Her Mother's Heartbeat

Remembering Roger

Encountering Gossip

Declaring a Jubilee

Beginning the New Year

A Christmas Letter from Jesus

Good News or Bad News

Simple Acts of Kindness


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