Trajectory-Finding Direction for Your Life Part 3 Trust God's Plan

Sermon Summary
This message looks at trusting God's plan for our lives. Man has his plan and God has his plan. It's not wrong to make plans and to use our God-given brain, but as followers of Christ we should always allow God's plan to supersede our own. We should be willing to adjust our plans to coincide with His plans. Our plans should follow the principles and objectives of God's Word! God's plan gives us a confidence to face any giant we face in this life and we know that God's plan will give us ultimate victory even though in this world we may face momentary troubles.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Trusting God's plan for our lives is difficult because it means turning control of our future over to someone else. Why is it so hard for us to do that?

2. Once we make the decision to trust God's plan and to follow God's plan the giants we face are not as intimidating as they once were. Why is this true?

Psa 27:1  Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?
Psa 27:2  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Psa 27:3  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

3. We may not understand God's plan fully at the beginning. However, with time we begin to see His wisdom and why He chose to send us on our particular trajectory in life. God's plan for David was for him to face Goliath with a sling and 5 smooth stones. It may not have seemed like a good plan according to military tactics, but David followed God's plan and the giant fell. Can you think of a time when God's plan didn't make sense to you at first but later you understood what He was doing?

Psa 119:129  Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.
Psa 119:130  The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
Psa 119:131  I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.
Psa 119:132  Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.
Psa 119:133  Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

4. God has the power to destroy the giants in our lives before we even face them. However, He does allow us to face them. What are some of the reasons God allows us to face spiritual giants in our lives?

Rom 5:3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
Rom 5:4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Rom 5:5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Trajectory: Finding Direction for Your Life Part 3 Trust God's Plan

"You surround me with a song of deliverance, from my enemies till all my fears are gone!"
How appropriate for our message today. When we face spiritual giants in our lives, we need to trust that God has a plan to defeat those giants. Let's pray and ask God to help us understand His plan for our lives!

So we've discovered that we can trust God's Aim! He knows the trajectory, the path, the direction He wants your life to go. He knew the trajectory for David would lead him to become King of Israel. We've also learned we can trust God's Power! God's power will strengthen you at all points along the path. Today we're going to talk about trusting God's plan!

Trust God's Plan

I know we talked about this some in our first message on trusting God's aim. We're going to unpack this a little more in depth today as we look at the details of David facing Goliath. When we talked about trusting God's aim we talked about listening to His voice, following His plan, seeing through His eyes, and waiting on His timing!
Last week we talked about God's power preparing you, protecting you, piloting your circumstances, and promoting you. Today we will see how God's plan leaves no stone unturned and how He works in even the smallest details to make sure His plan succeeds. Last week I told you that God's power was about to promote David from shepherd boy to mighty warrior. We're going to jump back into our story, but first a brief review. We know David had been a shepherd taking care of his father's sheep from a very young age. We also know that David had been brought into King Saul's court to play the harp for the King. When Saul was out on the battle field, David would go back and tend his father's sheep. However, David's father was concerned about his other sons who were on the battlefield. So he sends David to check on them. While on the battlefield David hears Goliath's rant against Israel and her army. David is not only disturbed by this, he decides, with God's help,  to do something about it. Remember, Goliath was a giant and Saul and all of his men were scarred to death of him. None of them were willing to face the giant. However, David, the young shepherd boy, the harp player, he knows something has to be done and he takes the initiative and leadership in the situation. Let's step back into our story right there…

1 Samuel 17:32-37 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep.
When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,
I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.
Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them,
because he has defied the armies of the living God.
The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

What happens next is so typical! It's like Saul tells "David go and the Lord be with you," but, just in case…He didn't really say that last part, but as we're going to see...

Man Has His Own Plan

1 Samuel 17:38-39 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.
David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.

Now let me say this. I think if your going to play football, you should wear your gear. If your going to ride a motorcycle you should wear your helmet, if your going to ride in a car you should wear your seat belt, if you're a first reasponder you need your personal protective equipment. That's just good wisdom. But let me say this.

There's going to be times in this life when the only thing that's going to save you is the hand of God! And when it comes to facing the giants we all face in this life, we've got to trust God's plan and resist the temptation to come up with our own plan. Again, I'm not saying we don't plan, or think, or use our heads for something other than a hat rack. But we need to be humble enough to ask God to lead us in the making of our plans! We need to ask God to give us His wisdom in any plan of action. James put it this way...

James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Nothing wrong with making plans, but you should be humble enough to admit that even the best laid schemes of mice and men, sometimes go awry! The writer of Proverbs says...

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

This doesn't always mean if you follow your own plans you're going to die physically, but what you lose is God's best for you and the amazing things He would have you accomplish with your life! Here's a good thing to do with your plans. Don't just throw them out! Be willing to seek Godly counsel and pray and ask God to show you if your plans are based upon His principles!

In fact God's Word says...

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

David was not a weakling, but he was not a nine foot tall giant. All the stuff they loaded onto David caused him to not even be able to walk. Saul was thinking, we'll match the giant when it comes to armament. We'll fight fire with fire! But this fight was not going to be one with conventional warfare tactics or tactical gear. God had a plan and David was going to have to trust that plan. Now I'm just going to say it. Sometimes that's really hard. It is a very natural and human thing to want to be in control of your life. Giving that control to someone else is a very scary thing. But we have to come to a place in our lives where we trust God's intentions and His motives. And one of my favorite passages in the Bible states God's heart for you and me very clearly...

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and  
not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

As I've said before, God's not playing guessing games with you concerning His will. He does have plans for you and He wants you to find them. So don't just throw out your plans, but ask God to help you make sure your plans are tracking with His plans. Make sure your plans are guided by the principles of God and be willing to submit your plans to Godly council!

Remember this advice, from non other than Solomon, the son David would someday have...

Proverbs 15:31-16:3 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.
All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

I'm thinking that Solomon had learned this bit of wisdom from dear old dad!! Now let's get back to dear old dad when he was just a boy. He had taken off all the armor Saul had put on him. David knew the only way he was going to defeat this giant was if God was with him. David knew he would need to trust God's aim, God's power and God's Plan! And yes...

God Has His Plan

Without God's aim, God's power and God's plan, all the man made weapons in the world would be useless. Listen to what David does...

1 Samuel 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and,
with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

David takes his shepherd's staff, five smooth stones from a stream, which he puts in his shepherd's bag, his sling shot, and he approaches the giant. Now to the world, that's just plain insane! David's older brother, Eliab is probably thinking, "good riddance, he'll never come out of this alive!" You see, Eliab's jealousy of David had probably caused him to dismiss the stories David had told of his battles with the lions and bears as fabricated lies. But on this day, Eliab, along with the rest of the world would discover that David had been truthful! On this day the world would see what can happen when a person commits his way to the Lord and follows God's trajectory, His plan, His direction, His plan! Remember the verses we ended with last week?

Psalm 20:6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

What in the world is God's plan for those five little stones? Pelting a giant wearing armor with rocks is just gonna make him mad! But God had a plan. The enemy had no idea what was coming. The enemy was defiant, prideful, and blasphemous!

1 Samuel 17:41-44 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.
He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.
He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
“Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field! ”

Talk about life lessons! We don't need to rush over what happened here. Why? Because you and I face spiritual giants in our lives today and those giants are motivated and generated by the same enemy that faced David and the nation of Israel. It's the enemy of God. For the nation of Israel the enemy came in the form of a pagan and ruthless people called the Philistines. For you and me, we understand there are evil spiritual forces fighting against God and fighting against us! Satan hates God and because we are loved by God, Satan hates us and will use the same kind of tactics against us he used against David. Goliath kept getting closer and closer to David. This is called intimidation.

Has Satan ever used difficulties in your life to intimidate you? Have you ever faced a dark night of the soul where the dark shadows  seemed to creep closer and closer? Did you notice how Goliath looked at David and saw that he was only a boy. He saw that he had a ruddy complexion and was handsome and Goliath despised him. Bullies hate it when someone else is better than them in anything! Goliath begins to taunt David and make fun of him. "So you think I'm a little dog and you're going to come at me with sticks?" Goliath then begins to curse God's name trying to make David feel insecure about God and doubt. Maybe he was trying to get David to question why God didn't take Goliath down Himself? Why didn't God just send a lightning bolt and strike this blasphemer down? Have you ever wondered why, if God is truly God, why He doesn't just take care of business and make the way easy for His followers? Why doesn't God just make the spiritual monsters go away? Why does God ever allow His children to suffer? Well I think I can sum it up in this one statement...

God is more concerned with your Character than He is with your Comfort!

If every time a child has a problem, the parent runs to his or her aid and fixes everything, then the child will never grow up! They will never learn how to do anything. Of course a good parent will help their children, but they know when to help and when not to help! They know how to help, but to allow the child to develop and grow and gain confidence. God could have just thrown a lightning bolt at Goliath, but that was not His plan! His plan was to work through David and use him to defeat the bully enemy. This would increase David's confidence as a leader and his trust in God's divine plan! In our lives, Satan is like a bully giant. He uses circumstances in our lives to threaten us. He wants us to doubt God's plan or to question whether there even is a plan. You know what I'm talking about. You've been there and so have I! It's not wrong to ask questions, but we've go to get to the place where we trust God has a plan and trust Him to work that plan for our good! Now I know not all things that happen to us are good, but listen to what God's Word promises us...

Romans 8:26-29 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Did you see that? What is God's will and purpose for you and me? He wants us to be more like Jesus, to be conformed to the likeness of His son! God wants you to be you and me to be me, but He wants all of us to be more like Jesus! Part of the way he does that is by allowing us to face giants of all kinds and then He builds us and grows us spiritually as we battle and defeat those giants by His grace, mercy and great strength. Paul goes on to say...

Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

So when the monster Satan tells you your not good enough or strong enough, or you've done too much bad to be forgiven, remember, God called you and when you accepted that and asked Jesus into your heart you were justified and glorified by His power and according to His plan! And check this out...

Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Can I get an amen, thank you Jesus! Now that's a verse that David had never read because it's in the New Testament and was written many years after David lived his life, but I can tell you this, David knew the principle of Romans 8:31 and what happens next changes David's life, the nation of Israel and the way people would view David.

God's Plan Gives Confidence

1 Samuel 17:45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the
LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine
army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves;
for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Folks that kind of confidence is not boastful, prideful, self-confidence, but a God-confidence that knows God is going to work all things together for our good! Talk about character building! David has now taken a stand and there was no turning back. Just as God had given David good aim when fighting lions and bears and helped him hit the right notes when playing his harp for King Saul, David knows God will be with him now! Man I want that kind of confidence in my Jesus. I want to face any giant that comes my way and know that God will help me defeat that giant! Now here's the question some in this room may be asking...

"Pastor Larry, I knew someone facing a terminal illness who had great faith and they weren't healed. Why?" To answer that let me tell you a story. I knew a lady in Pleasant Grove Alabama. That's were I was before I came here to plant the church. Remember, I told you last week sometimes God takes you places in your life's journey because there are lessons to learn along the way. This lady was one of the most Godly women I've ever known. She had faced and defeated many giants in her life by the power and grace of God. She had inspired many to know and follow Jesus because of her beautiful and precious love for her Savior. One of her greatest desires in life was for her son to find Jesus. He was a grown man, and was living a destructive life in the world.

As she battled her illness she continued to beam brightly for Jesus! She knew that God would give her the health and strength to live every single day on this earth she was to live! She was the picture of true faith, trust and grace even in the midst of utter darkness. On the day she went to be with Jesus, I was there with others.
She was smiling and let everyone in the room, including her son, know she was going to be just fine and she knew where she was headed! When she drew her last breath, I believe Satan was thinking along the lines of Eliab, David's older brother. "Ok, finally shut that one up. She won't be telling people about that guy, you know that, I can't say His name, she won't be telling people about God's son, anymore! I won!" But let me tell you Satan didn't win that day!
Her son grabbed my hand and said walk with me! We went out to the back yard. As soon as we got out the back door, he hugged my neck and began to cry.
He said, "That woman was the most Godly woman I've ever known. She was the real deal! She was what a Christian is supposed to be. Brother Larry, I want to know God like my Mom knew God. Help me find Jesus!" You could almost hear Satan hit the ground in absolute defeat! That woman had won the only battle that mattered to her! Her son found Jesus in the way she fought her battle!

All things work for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!
Ok, are you finally ready? What's David going to do with those five stones? Let's find out...

1 Samuel 17:48-50 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.
Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone;
without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

God's Plan Achieves Victory

David's confidence in God caused him to run quickly to the battle line to meet Goliath in battle. Maybe we need to stop running away from spiritual battles and instead find God's plan of attack and run into battle. David reached into his bag and took out a single stone! When your trusting God's aim, His power, and His plan, you just need one stone. So why did he take five stones? Was it a lack of faith? I don't think so. He only pulled one out. I don't even know if David knew the reason God had him gather five stones. But I believe God did this to teach future generations a lesson. I'm extrapolating from Scripture here. This is my opinion, but I'm not the only one with this opinion. I discovered this in a message from a pastor back in Tennessee in the 90's and I've never forgotten it. Here it is. Goliath had four giant relatives that David would face after he became King. Here's the lesson. There's more than one giant you will face in life. Don't be discouraged. God has a plan to help you deal with every giant you will face! Check this out in 2 Samuel 21...

2 Samuel 21:15-22:4 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to
fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.
And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels
and who was armed with a new └sword┘, said he would kill David.
But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him,
saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished. ”
In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob.
At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.
In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite,  
who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.
In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand
and six toes on each foot—twenty- four in all. He also was descended from Rapha.
When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed him.
These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.
David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him  
from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
He said: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent men you save me.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

Let's pray!