Chapter 11 & 12 of Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado
Max opens this chapter with thoughts of navigating through our lives: “We’ve all scratched our heads a time or two, if not at highway intersections, at least at the crossroads of life. The best of navigators have wondered, do I…
- take the job or leave it?
- accept the marriage proposal or pass?
- leave home or remain?
- build or buy?”
“One of life’s giant-sized questions is: How can I know what God wants me to do?” The answer to this question is troubling because God is not going to give an answer by speaking directly to you. There is no magic nor easy way. His answer can be found in the Bible and in prayer. Consider God’s promises: Hebrews 13:5 NLT: I will never fail you. I will never forsake you. Philippians 4:6 NIV: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Max’s advice: “Don’t make a decision, whether large or small, without sitting before God with an open Bible, open heart, open ears, imitating the prayer of Samuel: Your servant is listening. I Samuel 3:10 NLT.”
In case you are wondering, there is no index in the Bible that will lead you to a list of your questions and God’s subsequent answer. You must study the Bible.
Max continues: “You aren’t the first to face your problem. Others have stood where you stand and wondered what you wonder. Seek their advice. Hebrews 13:7 NRSV: Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
This verse helps us to understand the importance of having a church family to help guide us when in need.
God will lead you through the Bible and the advice of the church family, but he will not lead us to violate his Word.
Max writes: “You have all you need to face the giant-sized questions of your life. Most of all you have a God who loves you too much to let you wander. Trust him!”
This chapter deals with our failures. Everyone has at least one sin that he or she must deal with daily or maybe even several times each day.
Max questions: “Does one prevailing problem leech your life? Some are prone to cheat. Others are quick to doubt. Maybe you worry. Yes, everyone worries some, but you own the national distributorship of anxiety. Perhaps you are judgmental. Sure, everybody can be critical, but you pass more judgments than a federal judge.”
“What is that one weakness, bad habit, rotten attitude? Where does Satan have a stronghold within you? Ahh, there is a fitting word---stronghold: a fortress, citadel, thick walls, tall gates. It’s as if the devil stakes a claim on one weakness and constructed a rampart around it. You ain’t touching this flaw, he defies heaven, placing himself squarely between God’s help and your explosive temper, fragile self-image, freezer-size appetite or distrust for authority.”
Satan is not going away. He wants to keep a stronghold on your life. Max describes this stronghold as: “Strong enough to grip like a vise and stubborn enough to hold on. He clamps like a bear trap---the harder you shake, the more it hurts.”
David faces a stronghold in his desire to take over Jerusalem from the Jebusites. They scorned David by taunting him, “You shall not come in here, but the blind and the lame will repel you.” David ignored their taunts and took over Jerusalem.
Max writes: “The Jebusites pour scorn on David like Satan dumps buckets of discouragement on you:
- You’ll never overcome your bad habits.
- Born white trash; gonna die white trash.
- Think you can overcome your addiction? Think again.”
In spite of the scorn David received, the Bible says in II Samuel 5:7 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold… Max continues: “Wouldn’t you love for God to write a nevertheless in your biography? Born to alcoholics, nevertheless, she led a sober life. Never went to college, nevertheless, he mastered a trade. Didn’t read the Bible until retirement age, nevertheless, he came to a deep and abiding faith.”
Max says that we all need a nevertheless in our lives and God has plenty of them to go around. We need to do what David did, turn to God for help. He writes: “Two types of thoughts continually vie for your attention. One says, ‘Yes you can’. The other says, ‘No you can’t.’ One proclaims God’s strength; the other lists your failures. One longs to build you up; the other seeks to tear you down. And here is the great news: you select the voice you hear. Why listen to the mockers? Why give ears to the pea-brains and scoffers when you can, with the same ear, listen to the voice of God?”
“Do what David did. Turn a deaf ear to old voices. And, as you do. Open your eyes to new choices. Your nevertheless awaits you!”
Facing Your Giants – Max Lucado – 2006 – Thomas Nelson Publishing – Used by Permission