(Lesson 1: Part 2 of 6: Experiential knowledge)
Read: 1 Samuel 17:31-37
David had an intimately personal relationship with God. The Lord often protected him and saved his life. This happened when he was a young shepherd and also when Saul tried to kill him. David testified and sang about it in Psalms 18, 52, 54, 57, and 63. Read these Psalms! He rejoices about the help and protection of the Lord. By experience, David learnt that he could always trust God, even when his life was in danger.
To farm in this day and age, you have to have more than second-hand knowledge of him. It’s not enough to just read about the miracles God did in the past. It’s just as bad to only listening to the testimonies of other Christians. You need firsthand experience of God if the ‘Goliaths’ standing in front of you is making you feel scared and powerless. Everything that intimidates you undermines your future and threatens your life: high input costs; droughts; crop failures; farm attacks; land reform; hail; theft; etc. Like David, think back on the times the Lord helped, rescued, and protected you. On New Year’s day some years ago, I heard a farmer from Ficksburg say on the radio, “If the Lord doesn’t carry us through this year it will be the first time ever!” Clearly, this farmer had years of firsthand knowledge of God. That is why he could face the new year with faith and hope.
Keep a journal of your quiet time. We forget so easily everything that God has done in our lives. Recently, when we had to make important decisions regarding our farm, I went through all my old journals again. It really strengthened my faith to read what God said and did for us, how He heard our prayers and helped us over the years. It enabled me to make a decision based on my firsthand knowledge of God and not on the “giants” that keep intimidating us (1 Samuel 17). Without firsthand knowledge of God you can easily become discouraged like King Saul and his soldiers when you stand in front of “Goliath” (1 Samuel 17:11, 24 and 32).
Think, chat, pray and listen:
- People who do not have an intimately personal relationship with God only hear other people’s testimonies. They don’t experience God’s miracles for themselves. Their lack of firsthand knowledge of God allows them to live in fear and hopelessness.
- Tell someone what God has done in your life so far. If you struggle to think about something specific, ask yourself: Why can’t I think of anything? Is there something lacking in my relationship with the Lord?
Keep living in an intimately personal relationship with God. Then you will build up firsthand knowledge of God. The better you get to know God, the easier it will be for you to trust Him when things get difficult.
† Amos Agrimin’s mission is the restoration and building of the agricultural and farming community’s relationship with God, people, and creation. Pray that these relationships will be restored. Everyone must get the opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus. Everyone must be taught to live according to Biblical values and norms.
† Farmers often stand in front of a “Goliath” that scares, defies, and demeans them. It undermines their faith. Pray that their faith won’t waver.
† Pray that Christian farmers going through tough times will experience the miracles that God does and that their faith will be strengthened. Pray that they will gain more firsthand experience of God.
† Pray for the salvation of leaders in the agricultural sector.