Go Up!



Deuteronomy 1:21

Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

In one of our teen camp sermons this week the teens where taught from the life story of David on the giants in our lives. At the end of the session I passed out index cards and ask them to list some of the giants in their lives so that we might pray over them and work on defeating them. One of the giants that was repeated was that of “discouragement.” I loved their honesty. I understood their giant, because I had been up against it too. He has so many tools, but I’m not sure that discouragement is not Satan’s best because it tears at the very heart of your enthusiasm for life; and bit by bit you find yourself struggling to move forward. You can’t get past this valley, it’s an uphill battle all the way.  But God said Go up! I love it in Deuteronomy 1:6 when Moses says the children of Israel “The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:”

I hear that this morning. “Shari, you’ve been in this place long enough, it’s time to move forward. Why is it that once we get in the valley of discouragement it’s so doggone hard to get out of it? I have great attitude toward life. I’m not one that discourages easy. But it happens. Usually when I take eyes off God, and turn my ears toward people. Listen to Israel’s reply…

Deuteronomy 1:28

Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

I guess David wasn’t the only ones with giants in his life was he? And neither are we. Which is what I discovered when those cards came back from the teens. And my first thought was “discouragement? Really? You’re so young and fun with opportunity galore before you, how can you be discouraged?”

For the same reason I’m discouraged. We’re letting people define our purpose. God said “fear not, neither be discouraged.”  Man said “People discourage us.” I’ve come to the conclusion that not everyone wants out of the valley and they sure don’t want to walk it alone. So they share their point of view, and point to the giants as if we hadn’t already noticed them. Some people are satisfied with the valley. The problem for me is I’ve had the mountain top experience before! I’m not satisfied in the valley. People still discourage me, and I still see the giants, but as Preacher Ed pointed out (he’s quite the encourager) we’re looking at the giants from earth, God views them from Heaven. When David went up against the giant in his life he didn’t talk about the giant, he talked about God. All of Israel talked about Goliath. David talked about God. We spend so much time talking about the things that are going on in our life, we forget about what God can do.

When we begin to talk about what God can do, something begins to happen. Our attitude changes, our point of view changes. We begin to think of what can be rather than what is. We see behind the giant. David looked right through him to victory. He heard the people, but he seen God.

Turn the people off. God said “Go up!”

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!