The value in recognizing and acknowledging those times in the past where the Lord has intervened on your behalf and done miraculous works is in applying them to your future. As we remember, talk about and rehearse what the Lord has done in the past we build up our faith and confidence in what He will do in the future. Consider how David did this as he volunteered to face Goliath.
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” 1 Samuel 17:33-37 NLT
Just think about what has occurred in David’s life. He was alone in the pasture with the sheep when the lion and the bear came to take a meal. There was no one around to help him but the Lord. He was likely scared but what are the choices? Run for help and let the flock get taken? Sit by and hope that one sheep will satisfy knowing that they will be back the next time they are hungry. Fight them off and protect the sheep; that is the job of the shepherd after all. Now consider that he met them with a club, not just once but many times. David says he has done this to both lions and bears (plural) with a club in one hand and holding their jaw with the other.
A boy fighting and killing bears and lions with a club, how amazing is this? We could almost be talking about Samson instead of David. David realized that these were miracles from God and it gave him confidence. If God could help a young man kill these hungry animals with only a club then He certainly can help him beat this Giant. That is the power of identifying and remembering what God has done for you in the past.
Next consider the many ways God uses to build our faith up. He frequently strings several together in order to achieve His purposes with each building upon and reinforcing the others. Consider that in between the killing of the lions and bears and Goliath there had been another event. David was visited and chosen by God through the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel.
So, Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes. And the LORD said, “This is the one; anoint him.” So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:12-13 NLT
So, here’s the picture. David had been prepared by God who worked miracles on David’s behalf in the fields with the sheep which were huge at the moment they occurred. As great as these miracles were they could have easily been brushed off as “luck” or forgotten with time. They would have had no significance beyond the initial moment that they happened. However, David recognized the nature of his Lord in these miracles and knew that God had brought him through them to prepare him for something greater.
Next David has been hand chosen by God through the greatest prophet of the day and declared to be the next king. At the same time the scripture declares that “the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David from that day on”. David was now clothed with the Spirit of God to the degree that it is recognizable to the people around him. Verse 18 of 1 Sam 16 says that “He is also a fine-looking young man, and the LORD is with him.”
As David goes out to fight Goliath he has the memory and testimony of what God has done for him before in the fields; He knows what the prophet has said about his future and that the presence of God is on him in a unique way; As he faces Goliath he knows that he has been anointed to be king and he is not king yet so he must live to fulfill what God has said about him. He also knows that fighting the giant is the duty of the king. Saul should have gone out against him but was too frightened. David is going to be the next king. If Saul won’t rise to the challenge David will.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 NASB
As he goes out to battle he is doing what the king is supposed to do, what the current king was too afraid to do. God built David’s faith step by step starting in the field with the sheep. If I am going to be king then I must start acting like a king even though it has not happened yet. If God protected me against those hungry beasts in the field then surely He will do the same here. That is the nature of my God and that is who he has revealed Himself to be on my behalf.
O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. Psalm 78:1-4 NLT
Don’t ever take for granted those small miracles that take place in your life. Each of them have the power of the seed. They serve us in two ways. First we can point to the individual event or sign that the Lord worked in our lives for the sake of giving Him glory and thanks. Secondly they have the potential as seeds when planted into the soil of our hearts and mixed with our speaking and meditating on them to bring forth a future harvest of miracles. Our faith is compared to a mustard seed by Jesus in Mathew 13 where he talks about how the kingdom grows and Mathew 17 where the power of it is revealed.
Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” Matt 13:31-32 NLT
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matt 17:20 NLT