LIVERMORE – At the North Livermore Baptist Church on May 29, the congregation was greeted by Pastor Bonnie Higgins at 9.30am to begin the service. The call to worship was read and the invocation/Lord’s prayer was recited. The hymns that were sung were “God of our Father”, “America, the Beautiful”, and “Trust and Obey”. The service ended with “Go now in peace”. Linda Lyman is the organist each week. Janet Diaz is the pianist each week. Lew Lyman conducts congregational music each week.

The sermon, titled “Doubts vs. Confidence” and scripture reading from 1 Samuel 17:4-11. The pastor began by telling the congregation the Sunday school version we’ve all heard about the story of David and Goliath. She explained how big Goliath was and how intimidating he was. Then you have a young boy named David and how he compares to Goliath.

In scripture, verse three tells how Goliath and the Philistines were on one side of one mountain and Israel was on the other mountain, leaving a valley between them. You can use this image as the church on one side of the mountain and the world on the other side of the mountain with the valley between them.

As we look around this world, sometimes you cannot determine who are Christians and who are not because many Christians live their lives as being in this world, a world of sin. Christians are not of this world; we are just passing through. Our final home is heaven with Jesus Christ. People should be able to distinguish Christians from unbelievers. Too often they can’t.

Pastor Bonnie then spoke about Goliath and how he was used by Satan in this story. In scripture, verse 8 tells the reader how Goliath questioned the Israelites. He basically asked them if they thought they were strong enough to fight him. He put doubt in their minds before sending a proposal, trying to defeat them before anything started.

He entered their minds. Goliath made them a proposition, that if he won, they would become the servants of the Palestinians and if their fighter won, the Palestinians would become the servants of Israel. It is like the example in Genesis 3 when the serpent (Satan) questioned Eve and put doubt in her mind. Just as Satan doubts many people in the Old Testament, he still does today.

As Goliath shouts this to the Israelites, they probably thought no one in the past was able to bring down Goliath, why do they think they can now. This is how Satan works, he will pick up on our moments of weakness and really work on them and make us doubt that we are capable of anything.

We know we are not strong enough alone to fight Satan, but we are strong enough with God in our corner. In Joshua 1:9 it says, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. As it also says in the scriptures, if God is for you, who can be against you? Nobody! We must not let Satan use our minds to doubt what God has already planned for us.

Satan uses doubts and fear in our lives so that we do not seek God. We will ask in difficult times, why would God do this to us? God doesn’t bring problems into our lives, we do, by not trusting him and not focusing on him. Satan will use our fear and doubts to manipulate us.

To overcome the doubts and fears in our lives, we need to trust more in God and what he has to say to us. Not on what we hear in this world. It comes down to who do you trust more, God or Satan? The fear that Satan uses on us keeps us from moving forward in our faith with God. In Matthew 14 he tells the story of the disciples seeing Jesus walking on water and Peter decides to do it too.

Peter made an act of faith, trusting in Jesus to get out of the boat. His eyes are on Jesus as he gets out of the boat and starts to walk on water, but as soon as he leaves Jesus because of the wind (who do you think brought the wind?) he starts to sink. Jesus catches him and asks him why did you doubt? Too often we take our eyes off Jesus and Satan rushes in to place doubt in our minds.

David decided he would stand up to Goliath. When the king tried to dress her for protection, David chose to fight without her. David knew that all he needed was God on his side. David knew that his belief in God to protect him dates back to when he fought the bear and the lion and God carried him through those times. Even in our time today, we are put in situations that test our faith.

God allows situations to arise to see if our faith will bring us to Him for His protection and strength. We know from our past that God has taken us through many situations, so why would we question Him if He can take us through another situation? Because of David’s faith in God, God produced a victory in his life. He managed to take down Goliath with just one stone. We have all had victories from God in our lives.

We all face problems in our lives, and the more you seek God, the more Satan will try to disrupt our lives. We hear words like, you’re not qualified for the job, you’re not good enough, you can’t save your marriage, you can’t change your past, you can’t pay your bills, you can’t don’t have a future, and some have even heard that your life was a mistake. These words come from Satan and not from God!

Sometimes when you hear these words you need to make sure you are plugged into God. Reading stories in the Bible shows us where others seemed defeated, but God came for them. These examples let us know that we too can overcome doubts and fears. We know that our electrical appliances at home can’t work without being plugged into electrical outlets, we can’t work if we’re not plugged in with God. We need to be connected to God by praying, by having this relationship with him through a conversation with him. We must be plugged into His Word, the Bible.

Read it as often as you can. We must put God as our number one priority in our lives, no one or anything is more important than our relationship with God. We must run towards our doubts and our fears with the God who is more powerful than Satan. We can’t win if we don’t have the power that God gives us to strengthen us. David knew and believed in the power of God, and that is why he won the battle between him and Goliath. He did not let doubt invade him, he trusted in Almighty God.

When you have doubts and fears, your life doesn’t seem to be going well, look to God and tell Him the battle is His! Jesus died on a cross, to overcome death, sin and Satan. He won this battle. Why do you think he won’t win your battle? The God of all tells us that this is his battle to fight and win.

The announcements listed in the bulletin were that the congregation will be collecting any type of canned fruit for the pantry in the month of June. The church will collect for ABCOM in May. The Bible study will take place on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Pastor Bonnie will be out of office on May 30.e because of the Memorial Day holiday. June 4e there will be a meeting of deacons and trustees. AA meetings are held on Friday evenings at the church.

For more information, see our website at northlivermorebaptistchurch.org. You can email the church at [email protected] Pastor Bonnie’s office hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

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