~ and Goliath

The people most likely to read this (and reply) are people that are interested in God and their relationship with him. Because of this I welcome all replies since I have no answers to offer.

For me the battle of faith lies not with the Goliath but more the cleaning of teeth. What I mean is when faced with obvious questions I can see the answer: can God forgive anything? Yes. Can God do anything? Yes. I trust that you too could answer the same questions with the same ease as me: BUT.

What about those things which don’t bring about the end of the world or are grand enough to write about in legends of old? My way of eating soup is not to my mum’s liking. I know this is trivial, but that is the whole point, that is what life is primarily made up of.

Who are the masses? What do they do? I may well have been one of the soldiers lining up knowing full well that if I went up against Goliath I would surely die. I might say that if you had been stood next to me and asked why I didn’t go up to fight, `Do not put the Lord your God to the test’ would swiftly have come to mind. Yet at the same time if a superior ordered me to go and fight him, I would like to believe I would have obeyed. Yet we will never know what happened to them or whether or not they had a life full of purpose and meaning – the soldier, the baker, the blacksmith etc. who just live out their lives serving God trying to do everything as best they can on the level. Yet they slay no Goliath, they heal no dead people.

I do not believe that God only requires people of heroic nature but also those of human nature. He does not require someone with any kind of special ability. So I freely choose God.

I also say that we should be able to get the same sense of fulfilment by being just a human following God and not dependent on how many Goliaths I slay.

I now say to you that I now long for a fulfilled and purposeful life. I have given my life to God and I don’t know what is next. I feel the continual finger of despair and underachievement points my way. Yet where to go and what to do? And how should I eat my soup?

I seek to have more than just contentment with my life: I seek to have fulfillment. How do I go about achieving my goal when I have no great physical ability or sharpness of mind? And to top it off I’m not sure what I’m fulfilling!

~

21 Replies to “~ and Goliath”

  1. ~,

    I share your feelings. Having a continual battle with the rate of my so-called improvement as a Christian, which often leaves me feeling inadequate and alone.

    I agree that the fundamentals are easy to accept and it is more our day-to-day failures that slowly grind us down and cause the deep questioning which I sometimes find myself asking about my faith.

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faith as ‘allegiance to duty or a person’. I feel that while I am loyal to God, I find myself caught up with one of the other definitions of faith: ‘firm belief in something for which there is no proof’. As Andy says in What I said at my baptism,

    ‘I don’t hear his voice out loud or in my head, I don’t see him, I don’t feel him.’

    I felt him once and *think* I feel him briefly on occasions, but I don’t have a strong consciousness of his presence.

    For the time being I have found comfort not in the word of scripture, but in something Confucius said:

    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”

    It is in these day-to-day victories that we can achieve our glory.

    D4rk|y

  2. You sound like a fellow member of the human race. What are we/am I fulfilling? I suppose if I can find out who I am and what makes me tick, then God wants me to be those things in the fullest, most vibrant way possible (if, that is, God thinks about it in that way at all). Put it another way, if God created me as part of this amazingly beautiful ghastly wonderful violent world I am here to be who/what I am in the fullest possible most positive way so that I add something (however small) to the goodness and beauty in the world. this will not happen if I am not true to what I am where I am at any given moment and my observation is that lots of Christians are trying so hard to be what they think God wants them to be that they end up pretending to be something they are not and being very UNREAL. I spent years and years doing that and it is jolly hard work trying to be authentic. However you eat your soup, you are being real about the dilemma and that is more important than finding an answer. It is better to travel well than to arrive.

  3. I’m not looking to be a hero.

    I am looking for sense of purpose and fulfillment in life. How to look for it and where to find it is my question ?

  4. Points taken.

    If faith could be proved it would be called fact not faith.

    Learning to take the knocks with everyday life, and getting up again each time may well take more courage than fighting Goliath (but in our society we may not perceive it to be so).

    However I seek neither Glory or fame. I seek fulfillment.

    How do I find this and where ? My question is not asked for those who seek to be evangelists or preachers but for all the little people, the masses. the ones who don’t get mentioned but yet are the ones who make up the prominant part of the army. I want the general (or captain or even private) to talk to me and tell me why my life is important and relevant even when on the face of it an army losing one soldier probably wouldn’t make a huge difference.

    The bible tells us to aim for perfection and although that is all fine and well I need some tagets for wave.

    What is my mission, sir ?

  5. ok – I agree I can never understand all of God’s plans because I’m human so I will never be totally informed, but I guess I want to know what my plan is for him as in I’m not asking to know all movements around the world but maybe a little of the one’s I’m involved in.

    How do I find out more?

  6. Marvellous Marvellous,

    Indeed yes I agree – however I do endeavour to be myself and with it all it’s lovely consequences of good and bad but that is just the first battle.

    Now I know all kinds of things make ‘me tick’ as you put it. Many of which I’m sure I could fill up my life with and it would be fine. I could read all night or phone my friends or take some work home or visit my family or play some sport or go out someplace or design something silly or think of silly things.

    Now you can see that I like so many things that a little direction is not so much to ask – a goal or target that is my own. Where do I find this illusive task or purpose or meaning and how ?

    I know there is no special formula or magic potion to get these answers but I guess I’m asking what do you thing is your special mission in life is ? and where did it come from ?

    ~

  7. I think patricia is right to suggest that one major part of all of our mission is to be real. That’s the sense in which the travelling is important. `In all you do be honest with yourself and God’ – how’s that for a goal?

    Then just hope he puts you where you’ll be fulfilled.

    But obviously we’re not answering what you want to know. How do you get `guidance’? – don’t ask me.

  8. Thanks for sharing your feelings mate. I don’t want to waffle so I’ll launch right into this and hope it is relevant and that it helps:

    The Apostles were a bunch of FISHERMEN! If anyone would have excuses for feeling like under-achievers it would probably be them: Peter and his bro weren’t even very good at catching fish! (Luke 5v1-11). Yet Jesus promised them a life of FULFILLMENT (John 10v10) . . . HIS LIFE.

    John 8v31,32 (NIV):

    ‘To the Jews who had BELIEVED in him, Jesus said, “IF you HOLD to my teaching, you are truly my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    Simply put, what Jesus says here, is that it is NOT enough to just believe in Him, you also have to DO what He says. ONLY when you PUT HIS TEACHINGS INTO PRACTICE will you THEN experience the freedom God has to offer.

    What freedom is that? The exhilirating freedom of a clear conscience, and the powerful joy of walking in Jesus own footsteps.

    The only fulfilling life, is to truly live like Jesus.

    When people used to preach that, “You need to live like Jesus!” I used to get all excited, thinking, “Yes, that’s right!” But then I’d walk out of the church wondering, “How? What does it MEAN to live like Jesus?”

    Now I DO know what it means, and it’s the only life!

    And it is my entire life purpose to pass on this excellent way – not of having a perfect life, but knowing the amazing joy of truly walking with Jesus.

    So I would welcome speaking with you, or responding to e-mail or continuation of this discussion thread.

    Sincerely,

    Gavin Young

    Get hold of me at:

    younggav@ucd.net

    (h) 024 76 590 910

    or office hours at:

    gavin.w.young@marconi.com

    (w) 024 76 566 274

    (m) 07718 511 138

  9. Floundering about! But particularly in awe at the creation, in singing and listening to music, in trying to write (poetry especially), in enjoying my family and friends, going on retreats etc, feeble attempts at creative arts, occasionally managing to get in touch with God within myself. Also, I guess, anything from which I can learn more about life which includes meeting people of all kinds, reading especially fiction, films, plays. A long slow journey with lots of sidetracks but they too are perhaps part of the journey. Would like to be more of a contemplative but find it difficult.

  10. that was really nice of you to share that with us,

    i enjoyed the read, and have found myself feeling the same in many areas of my life as well

    like, whats the point in faith, does it get me anywere?

    well after reaching for the bible to answer these questions i found that

    1: faith without deeds wasn’t getting me anywere (james 2:20) and so i needed to really go for it and not only say i was living for God, but really follow his teachings and go for it,

    i also found another really great verse (Proverbs 2:1-8) which really proved to me that i had to start living acording to the scriptures and applying the teachings to my life.

    2: i think that if you really want to be apart of Gods church, then he will lead you in the right direction

    have faith ( Jeremiah 29:11-13 )

    take care and i hope God will direct you

    dave

  11. Hi there,

    it was interesting to read real thoughts and to know that you are searching for God. For me I never knew it was God that I needed, just that I had done everything that i was suposed to do in life, holidays, married , kids, career, material posssions and yet there was still a very deep void!Know what I mean?

    Anyway, in amongst all the stuff i thought was meaningless trivia, that made up my life, God was able to find me and me him and now we have a relationship that is alive and a I have a friend in our creator who knows me and you for all the good and bad that we are and loves us.

    God is soooo big and now, i know i am going to meet him some day and I look forward to that day. But for now, Jesus rocks my world!

    Peace to you all.

    CJ

    NB. The main truth is when you obey the creator 1jn5 3-5 he really does give you life to the full.Jn10 10.

  12. Ok, firstly thank you for responding, you say quite a lot and so I will try my best to go through it bit by bit.

    If I may say what first comes into my head before I begin. You come across as a man who is fervent for God and has a good knowledge of the bible. (I wish I could quote as well as you, presuming that what you said was off the top off your head). However I often find that people who are very much bubbling with excitement, passion etc like myself on occasion very often fail to answer the underlying issue.

    Apostles – this is a huge topic and I feel that almost any situation can be applied to them. However your quote is particularly apt since as far as I can see that most of the apostles didn’t know what Jesus was on about till after he died and even then they still weren’t sure. If your point is that we just aren’t meant to know what God wants us to do, I can almost agree.

    The Freedom of Truth – once again this can be applied across the board with no real specifics involved. I am not arguing with God’s existence or in the existence of his son or his death or his resurrection or in the fact that knowing that he is the sacrifice which paid for all my sins and allows me the freedom to be with God. No, I am agreeing all this is true. I even agree that just knowing this is not enough but acting on it and showing your faith through your deeds be it by just acknowledging God in the pub or by evangelising to the masses.

    A clear conscience – well that would be nice but I’m afraid my conscience seems to be more acute and more demanding than ever before.

    Live like Jesus – I believe this is your conclusion. In essence it is a very sound and good idea, it is also one of those statements which has become, sadly, somewhat bland. You are probably right in as much as if I spent as much time fasting and praying and studying the word, I too may well be more firmly in the picture.

    But I don’t think that is the real issue for me, however looking at Jesus is never a bad idea and the one real difference between Jesus and myself is that he knew who he was. Yes I accept he was completely different in many ways all rightly in his favour but the bit that makes me ask the question – what am I suppose to do? – is probably stemming from the fact that I don’t know who I am or what God is about.

    I don’t expect you to answer the question of who I am but you might have an idea of what makes God happy or why he made me and if he did pay that much detail to the way I was created then how do I go about the question – what does he want me to do ? Let me get this straight I’m not asking what would Jesus do, I am asking what does ~ do ?

    In answer of my own question: Please read Patricia’s answer. The more I read it the more I like it and until I can see a better answer (which will undoubtedly include what she said) I will strive to be the most vibrant me, that I can be.

  13. Brilliant, that’s all I wanted to know. Thank you for all your advice and time. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what you said and believe it to be excellent. I will endeavour to be the most vibrant me that I can be, safe in the knowledge that God wants me to be me and that me is a constantly changing variable which only he really knows.

    thank you

    ~

  14. Hi Wave and all,

    It’s a brilliant question from Wave, and it’s something we all struggle with – what does God want from me? What’s my purpose? Where should I go? What should I do? Is everybody meant to be a great hero, and if I’m not one, am I a failure?

    I personally find myself particularly concerned about all this at times of transition in my life: at the end of school, at the end of University, trying to find a job. It’s then that I notice how little I seem to have achieved in the previous phase, and how small a clue I have about where I’m heading in life.

    > I know there is no special formula or magic potion

    > to get these answers but I guess I’m asking what

    > do you thing is your special mission in life is ? and

    > where did it come from ?

    I’ve had to think hard about this, and have gradually had some thoughts about it – here they are, for what they’re worth. They may not seem earth-shattering, but they’ve been important for me.

    – Often it seems that there are very few shortcuts to finding guidance in life; but I’m sure that I need to seriously engage with the Bible. Here I am with a book on my sofa that claims to tell me what God wants from everybody, including me, and I believe that claim. So drenching myself in it has to be a good idea. This can be surprisingly difficult for me to do, as the Bible’s got a strange taste – but it grows on me.

    – There are lots of things which God does make very clear in the Bible as purposes for our lives; let’s not play this down. For instance: God wants us to really love him and put him first (very general, but it’s got to be first in the list); he wants us to be involved with his church, using our gifts there; he wants us to look after the needy in whatever way we can; he wants us to tell the people we know about him; he wants us to live a pure life. These are all purposes which I constantly fall short of achieving, but I do see that God has made them very blatant. The difficult question is how I can put them into practice concretely.

    – I have lots of freedom as to how to carry out these purposes; God hasn’t ever given me a bolt from the blue about the details (although I’m very sure he could). The purposes he sets regarding how to behave and how to think are pretty explicit, but what about the ones that relate to particular ways to use my time? I follow my nose, praying and trying to see what would be a good next step, given my circumstances and the priorities God has.

    Take for instance my current situation in Edinburgh (I moved here 6 months ago). What should I get involved in? Well, at least a church. Which one? An old friend goes to one, Jesus’s cross and the Bible are central there, and both I and my girlfriend feel at home, so I join that, as there are no bigger priorities from God I can see. What should I be involved in there? Well, they need someone to help with their 10-12 year olds, and I’ve done that before, so I’ll help with that – such an amazing thing to help kids this age develop their faith. I really care about Muslims, so what can I do? I’ll find out if there’s a prayer group I can join. Should I get involved in anything else? Probably not – God doesn’t want me to be running around so much that I don’t do anything well. How can I tell people at work about God? Really hard, but eventually the truth begins to out. etc etc – this is the sort of thinking I have to do. None of this is David v Goliath, but it’s all about taking the big purposes of God I know about and running with them. Some of this is internal, about how I think and what I’m like; some of it is external, about what I do and how I behave.

    – Advice and encouragement from other people is good. We’re in this together. For instance: Wavey, I know you’re about to be involved in a young people’s Christian camp – that’s an amazing thing that I’m sure is part of God’s purpose for you to be involved in. Go for it.

    – I have no clue about a lifelong mission, except for the purposes I mentioned above which won’t change. If God makes this clearer to me, either through ambition or prophecy or whatever, that’ll be great – but if he doesn’t, I’ll live piecemeal. This is the way God dealt with most people in the Bible – Abraham didn’t know where he was going when God called him. Neither did the disciples. Paul bounced around the Med with no clue what he’d be doing in a year’s time – but with the overriding purpose of telling people about God, which we can have as well.

    > lots of Christians are trying so hard to be what

    > they think God wants them to be that they end up

    > pretending to be something they are not and

    > being very UNREAL.

    You’re absolutely right. We need to try and be honest in all of the above; things may be very difficult. That’s really important to point out.

    > However you eat your soup, you are being real

    > about the dilemma and that is more important

    > than finding an answer. It is better to travel

    > well than to arrive.

    I’m sure you’re right that being real, and travelling well, are crucial. But I’m also thirsty for answers (for instance, purposes in life), and I do believe that they exist and that we can stumble towards them. God isn’t always silent, that’s the wonderful thing.

    Cheers,

    David

  15. Wow! long post – thanks David.

    > … If God makes this clearer to me, either through ambition

    > or prophecy or whatever, that’ll be great – but if he

    > doesn’t, I’ll live piecemeal.

    In the last few days I’ve had a bit of a revelation about how it’s *ok* to `live piecemeal’.

    It’s made me feel a lot happier!

    Just thought I’d share that.

    Andy

  16. Dave, I was and still am touched by your answer. You have replied by saying how it is and not what it should be and for that I am truly grateful.

    All I can say is that I am glad we both worship the same God. He, like you, is inspirational.

    What else can I say but thanks for all your advice and encouragement.
    ~

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