Running With Giants

Running With Giants

Part 1

RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS Part 1 – Isaiah

(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
(Isaiah 30:21) Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

For when you are trying to make sense of it all…

“An encounter with God changes everything.”

A God Encounter

✔ Our greatest pain can be a catalyst
for our greatest gain.

(Isaiah 6:1-4) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim… And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

✔ When we see God clearly we
see ourselves clearly.

(Isaiah 6:5) “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

✔ God removes our past so He can
redeem our future.

(Isaiah 6:6-8) Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”


Isaiah’s Words of Encouragement

1. “God wants to reveal more of
Himself to you.”

(Isaiah 55:6) Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

(Jeremiah 29:13) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Key: Go all in.

2. “God wants to change you.”

(Isaiah 1:18-19) “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.”

(1 Peter 2:2-3 NLT) Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Key: Take the next step.

3. “God has an assignment for you.”

(Isaiah 60:1-3) “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

(Ephesians 2:10 NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Key: Discover my purpose.

Part 2

RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS Part 2 – Jacob

(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

For when your life isn’t turning out the way you hoped…

“Let God have control of your life.”

When God is in control…

 

✔  You’ll get a new strength.

(Genesis 32:24-25 NLT) This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket.

(Matthew 11:28-29) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

✔  You’ll get a new identity.

(Genesis 32:27-28 NLT) “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”

(John 1:42) And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

✔  You’ll get a new joy.

(Genesis 32:29 NLT) “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said. “Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

(Matthew 5:6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

 

Jacob’s Words of Encouragement

  1. “Brokenness precedes breakthrough.”

(Psalm 51:17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

(1 Peter 5:5-6) “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

  1. “You must lose yourself to find yourself.”

(Mark 8:34 MSG) Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am.”

(Mark 8:35 NLT) If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.

  1. “When you find yourself on God’s terms, you find fulfillment.”

(Romans 12:1-2 MSG) So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Part 3

RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS Part 3 – Elisha

 

(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

For when you wonder if your life counts…

“Give your best wherever God puts you.”

Wherever you are…

 

✔ Give your best in obscurity and God will reward it.

(1 Kings 19:19 NLT) So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away.

(Matthew 6:4) Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

✔ Give your best in small things and God will give you bigger things to do.

(1 Kings 19:21 NLT) So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood

from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh… Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.

(Luke 16:10) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

 

✔ Give your best in the natural and God will do the supernatural.

(2 Kings 2:9-10) When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

(John 14:12-14) Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father… You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 

Elisha’s Words of Encouragement

  1. “Learn how to cultivate the presenceof God in your life.”

(2 Kings 3:15) “But now bring me a harpist.” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha.

(Acts 4:13) When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

 

  1. “At some point, you have to wake up and do something.”

(2 Kings 3:16) And he said, “This is what the LORD says: Make this valley full of ditches.”

(James 2:17) Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

 

  1. “Don’t base your life on the seen, but the unseen.”

(2 Kings 3:17-18) For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD; he will also hand Moab over to you.

(2 Corinthians 4:18) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Part 4

RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS Part 4 – Sarah

(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

For when you can’t understand God and impatience threatens to overwhelm you…

“Don’t complicate God’s promise with your solution.”

 

Trust God

✔ Even if it takes a long time.

(Genesis 16:1-2) Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

 

✔ Even if it seems ridiculous.

(Genesis 18:10-14) Then the Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”

 

✔ Even if those around you don’t.

(Genesis 21:6-7) Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

 

Sarah’s Words of Encouragement

(Hebrews 11:11) And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.

 

1. “Don’t try to get ahead of God when He isn’t moving fast enough for you.”

(2 Peter 3:9) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient…

(Psalm 37:7 NLT) Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

 

2. “When you must wait, focus on what’s happening in you, not what’s happening to you.”

(Romans 8:24-25 MSG) That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

(James 1:2-4) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

“Even our very best cannot possibly compare to anything God has in mind .”

(Isaiah 64:4 MSG) Since before time began no one has ever imagined, No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him.

 

Part 5

RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS Part 5 – Rahab

(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

For when you’re feeling disappointed with your life…

“Let God write your story.”

God’s Story

 

✔ God searches for you to be in His story.

(Joshua 2:1) Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

 

✔ God always makes a way for us to be in His story.

(Joshua 2:17-21) Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down… But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.” “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.” So she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

 

✔ God’s story always has a redemptive ending.

(Matthew 1:3, 5-6) Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar… Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth…David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.

 

Rahab’s Words of Encouragement

 

  1. “God invites you to be a part of His story—join Him.”

(John 8:12) Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

(Luke 9:23-24) Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

 

  1. “God wants to surprise you with His love—accept Him.”

(Hebrews 4:15-16 MSG) We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

 

  1. “God wants you to love others with your actions—serve Him.”

(1 John 3:16-18) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

 

  1. “God signs His Name to your story— thank Him.”

(1 Timothy 1:15-17 NLT) This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.