DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE VALLEY!
Psalm 23:3 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.
David found a friend, he had fellowship, he a-massed faith, he built muscles to fight, he conquered fear, he realized the favor of his God.
A valley is an area between two or more mountains. “It is difficult to have mountain top experiences without passing through the valley” So don’t be afraid of the valley!
In the valley:
- temperatures fluctuate in extremes: fierce heat and sudden rain for days, making it intensely cold
- the hunters are also hunted
- there are no friends in the valley
- It is the habitat of snakes, reptiles, lizards, bears, lions, tigers, hyenas, wild monkeys, rhinos, elephants, mosquitos, sand flies, bugs, beasts of the land and, in case you think you may find solace in water bodies found in the valley, think again. For there you will be greeted by:
- crocodiles, alligators, stingrays, sharks
- thistles, thorns, sharp stones, wet densely wooded forests, dried parched ground and air
- extrinsic elements constantly attack and assault your intrinsic will to survive;
- it is constant, yet ever-changing terms of battle against the frail, fragile human body.
But, Don’t be afraid of the valley!
The Psalmist David was assigned the mundane task of keeping his father’s few sheep. This sounds like it was not a marketing decision to be sent as a young, inexperienced boy to the backside of a desert. In the valley, David was in constant battle:
- he must learn to adapt to the culture of the valley
- care for and protect the sheep
- and care for and protect himself (different entities of learning)
David quickly realized that surviving in the valley needed much more than he had so,
he began to cry out for the Lord of the valley. In his conquest (then you will find me when you have searched for me with all your heart (Jer 29:13), If you seek Him, you will find Him (Matt 7:7). David found a friend!
Friend: David found the Lord of the valley. This friend gave David everything and taught David all he needed to know (Ps 23:1). They did everything together.
Fellowship: koi – no – nia, they (David and his friend) became close companions. They shared secrets, intimacy; sweet fellowship. He led David around the valley and showed him the ‘ins’ & ‘outs’ of the valley and, introduced David to the physical boundaries; demonstrating that in Christ there were no physical/spiritual boundaries.
David developed faith: Friendship with Christ is the means to build faith. You learn the strengths and secrets to success that characterize trust in a friend – trustworthiness; being always with him. Note that this is so different from Christ being with you. He learned to believe and live by every word from his friend’s mouth (Matthew 4:4).
David learned the skills to fight: His muscles were developed by continued practice in David’s everyday fellowship & friendship. Again, in spiritual warfare, the hunter must be hunted. The battle is constant and is sizzling hot! David was understanding “the hows”, “the whens” and was succeeding in his practice sessions with his friend. (He taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight – Ps 144:1).
David grew in fear, but for his friend only: David had seen enough to know that his friend was the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. David reconstructed fear for the Lord and demolished fear for everyone and everything else. (For God has not given a Spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind 2 Tim 1:7). Skillfully handling the intricacies of war was his friend’s forte. Learn that you become what your mentor is? David’s friend is a warrior and so David became a warrior. Now, even death appeared as a shadow to David. David was no longer fearful for his sheep, was fearless inside and outside of the valley. Yes! David, the man after God's own heart had conquered the spirit of fear.
- The valley had become a place of great fellowship
- Substantial learning
- Deep intimacy – exposure to new knowledge, divine revelation
- “That place by me”
- Relaxation & recreation
Favor: Please understand that God’s favor falls under the mysteries of exemption. It is an instrument of triumph. David was ordained to triumph over Goliath; God was ready to show him off! Many times, before God’s favor descends upon us, we are met with public ridicule (17:28). David now was given the keys to the kingdom (Matt16:19). David could unlock any gate; he had the keys – a key is a symbol of authority. No door stood closed to David. David the shepherd boy was now walking in the favor of God! He had the keys to the mountainous ranges. He had keys to valley ranges. He had keys to the waters and the land masses. He had received his training and tests in the valley so the Valley of Elah where David must bring down and behead the giant was familiar ground. There was nothing unfamiliar in this combat for David.
The Brook Elah had no choice but to produce the right sized and right textured stones to get the job done right. David had every faucet of the elements working with him. The land mass, the ground, the earth tilted to bring Goliath’s fall easier for his head to be taken off by Goliath’s own sword. The air/atmosphere was dense with the Philistines’ defeat. Defeat that made the valley so dark... Can you feel it?
There are no mountains without valleys. “He sends the springs into the valleys that run among the hills” (Ps 104:10)
In your valley: there are springs of water to refresh your thirsty soul. The God of the mountain is still God in the valley (1 Kings 20:28). Deliverance, great deliverances are won in the valley; grazing, replenishing, revitalizing take place in the valley (Psalm 65:13). In the valley, we learn to seek the Lord and gain power to take on our mountains. Every region/territory has an integral part to play in deliverance. Face your valley in faith. David did and so can you!
Let us Pray:
God of the heavens, we come to declare you as God of the earth and God of the valley; yes, God of the lowest terrains in our lives. We cling unto your promises this day because your word says that all your promises in you are yea and amen. Let your power be superimposed over us as we walk through our valley experiences. Wrap us like a blanket as we pass fearlessly through the valley of the shadow of death. We ask these mercies in Jesus’ name, Amen.