Memo 1041: Talk the Walk
Have you ever said something about yourself or referred to something you wanted to do or be and then thought, "Why did I say that? What are people thinking of me right now? They must think I am boasting or have a big ego! What if I can't follow through? And perhaps I even offended the Lord with such talk." If so, then that may be why you can't clarify your purpose or be more creative, simply because you are not comfortable talking about or referring to yourself. Don't worry, however, for I have someone who can help you. Read on.
DID HE REALLY SAY THAT?
The last few weeks, we have looked at aspects of the story of David and Goliath. We saw that David could not wear Saul's armor to go and face Goliath. Instead, he had to wear and use what was most comfortable for him. I pointed out that you can't walk in someone else's expectations for you, no matter how good their intentions. So David, armed with the right equipment (a sling and some stones), stepped onto the battlefield to face this fearsome giant. Immediately he was confronted with some daunting threats from this behemoth:
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!" (1 Samuel 17:43-44).
Now if David was like some people I know, he would have then said, "Well, maybe, I mean perhaps the Lord may want to use me, but don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I know for sure and if something good does happen, it will be the Lord and not me. I don't want you to ever think it's me or to draw attention to myself" Fortunately, David was of a different mindset. When Goliath verbally attacked him, David was quick to respond:
"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" (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
What bravado! What courage! What confidence David had! There was nothing tentative in what he said or planned to do. He was bold and specific. Many think that kind of talk alienates God or is inappropriate for God followers. Are you one of those who thinks that? If so, then you need to change the way you think.
God isn't repelled by such talk; in fact, that talk drew Him to David's cause. He promptly went out with David to meet the giant. David made good on his promises, while Goliath died trying to figure out what went wrong.
TALK THE WALK
How can you apply this lesson to your life right now? First, David had a track record from which he could draw. He had killed lions and bears, and he saw killing this giant as a continuation of those exploits. You must allow God to put you in challenging situations so that, when you overcome, you will be able to refer back to those experiences to help you fight future battles.
Second, you must know who you are and what you want to do. David didn't hold back; he was clear and concise. He said, "I'm a champion of God and you, Goliath, are not. You're coming down, despite your size, words, and confidence."
Finally, David said what he was going to do without fear of what others thought of him—or fear of not following through. He spoke positive, affirming, and powerful words and then set about fulfilling them, even thought he was young—a lot younger than all those soldiers, his brothers, and even King Saul.
What are you speaking these days? A better question is what aren't you speaking? Tentative, faithless words produce tentative, faithless actions. Positive, powerful words produce the same. Stop being hesitant and fearful of making bold statements where your purpose and dreams are concerned. Dream great things, talk about them, and don't worry about how you sound to other people. Only be concerned with how you sound to God.
Many people are concerned with walking the talk, but if you aren't talking about what you are going to do with God's help, you won't have anything to walk! Dream great things, talk about doing them and then go for it! It's simple to describe but not simple to do because we have to overcome many teachings we have heard that warned us not to get ahead of the Lord, I know. You can only do great things once you stop stumbling and mumbling through your purpose and creativity. Every day this week, you need to watch what you don't say and follow David's example. I'm going to talk my walk this week and I invite you to join me as together we face our Goliaths in the boldness of God's name.