Yesterday I was reminded that a little bit of faith can move mountains. Of course I think David was demonstrating more than just “a little bit of faith” when he picked five smooth stones from the stream bed, tightened the band on his sling shot, and headed out to meet Goliath.
While the Israelite army stood on the banks of the mountains watching this young man with skepticism, David walked into the valley dominated by this mocking giant with confidence and no fear. How did he do that? He knew the battle wasn’t really his, but God’s. He knew Goliath may taunt him, but he was really standing in opposition to David’s almighty God. He knew he simply needed to do what he knew how to do and God would do the rest.
Faith in itself is not powerful. It’s not some magical, potent positive feeling we muster up within in order to produce results without. But when we place our faith, even as small as it may be, in our very big, powerful, and faithful God, huge things happen.
Faith is not powerful. The God in whom we place our faith is.
And so that takes the pressure off of us. We don’t have to “work up” some huge faith. We don’t have to exercise big faith in order for big things to happen. We simply have to agree wholeheartedly that God is good and He has it, whatever it may be, under control. He can handle it and He will.
The more we know God, the easier it is to believe that He will work. The longer we walk with God, the less we’ll fear that He won’t show up. The bigger the things we see Him do over time, the less we’ll sweat the little stuff.
Daniel 11:32 says, “The people who know their God will gain strength and take action.” David knew his God. That personal knowledge of God strengthened him and spurred him on to action.
On the other hand, Saul, who had been anointed king by God, had not bothered to get to know God all that well. And he was frozen on that mountain bank along with the rest of the men of Israel, worrying about who could step out on the battleground with Goliath. His lack of faith froze him in inaction.
But as I read this familiar story this morning, I also noticed a couple of interesting side effects of David’s faith. I think we might want to take note of these because sometimes, if we’re not aware of what’s going on, these attitudes might stunt our faith.
First of all, David’s own brother Eliab misinterpreted David’s faith as pride and arrogance. In 1 Samuel 17:28 we read Eliab’s reaction to David’s simple expression of faith.