In this spiritual survival guide, Kent Crockett provides biblical step-by-step methods to help you conquer twenty giants you will you. You'll discover how to overcome: Hopelessness, Fear, Rejection, Doubt, Temptation, Unforgiveness, Guilt, Worry, Anger, Depression, Jealousy, and much more Filled with inspiring stories, thought-provoking insights, and heart-warming humor, Slaying Your Giants will open your eyes to solutions that will help you enjoy the life that God desires for you. The Study Guide in the appendix provides questions on each topic for small group discussion.
|Publisher:||Hendrickson Publishers, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Kent Crockett is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently senior pastor of Fellowship Church in High Springs, Florida. For 17 years, he was the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Garden City, Kansas. He is the author of 3 books: The 911 Handbook, Making Today Count for Eternity, and I Once Was Blind but Now I Squint, and has been published in several Christian magazines. Kent is a featured radio guest and has appeared on At Home Live with Chuck & Jenni and other shows. He and his wife Cindy live near Gainesville, Florida.
Read an Excerpt
Slaying Your Giants
Biblical Solutions to Everyday Problems
By Kent Crockett
Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Kent Crockett
All rights reserved.
One in a Billion
And when they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter, and said, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?" When Peter said, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are exempt. However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me." (Matthew 17:24–27)
I went to McDonald's the other day. Their latest promotion was the Monopoly game where I had a chance to win $1 million if I could get the winning piece, Boardwalk. When I read the fine print on the official rules, I learned my chance of winning was one in 518,071,190. I figured there was only one winning piece printed for the entire country. Not good odds.
Even though I am not a gambler, I pulled the sticker off my french fries' container to see if I was about to become a millionaire.
Nope. Not even an "instant winner" of a small drink. I got Atlantic Avenue for the fifth time. Wasn't God's will, I guessed.
Maybe your odds don't look too good. You're getting desperate and losing hope. The candle is about to burn out. You are thirty-five years old and still not married. In your mind, the odds of finding Boardwalk are better than finding the right mate.
Perhaps you're climbing a financial mountain of debt that appears to be insurmountable. It could be you're in a situation that seems so hopeless that the solution will require nothing short of a miracle. If God doesn't intervene soon, it will be disastrous. Your predicament appears to be so impossible, it's hard for you to imagine how the Lord could possibly meet your need.
I hope that you'll grasp this important truth about God: He doesn't have to consider the odds when it comes to providing for you. With God involved, the chances of something happening really don't matter. This passage gives us an amazing example of how He can do miracles and provide no matter how impossible the situation may look.
Facts about God
Four facts about God are established in this passage that will help you during your desperate situation.
Fact 1: God knows your needs before you ask Him.
Peter received an unexpected bill. One day he was standing outside of the house when the tax collectors arrived. They wanted to know if Jesus was going to pay the tax to support the temple, which was a commandment found in Exodus 30:13. When Peter went into the house to inform Him, Jesus spoke about the tax before Peter could say anything. Even though Jesus wasn't outside to hear the conversation, He wanted Peter to know He had supernatural knowledge of this need even before he asked.
Sometimes we think that the purpose of prayer is to inform God of our needs. We think that He's unaware of what is going on in our lives, and if we don't tell Him, He will never know. We think He's too busy counting hairs on people's heads to be concerned about real needs.
However, Jesus said the Father knows what we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8). The purpose of prayer is not to inform God about all the things happening in our lives. We pray because God says our prayers will make a difference in bringing things to pass on earth. Some things will not happen unless we pray.
Shortly after Dallas Theological Seminary was founded in 1924, it almost had to shut down. The creditors were going to foreclose at noon on a certain day, and the leaders of the school were desperate. President Lewis Chafer met with his faculty in the office, praying fervently that God would provide. One of the men, Dr. Harry Ironside, prayed, "Lord, we know that You own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of them and send us the money."
In the meantime, a Texas businessman stepped into the seminary's business office and said, "I just sold two carloads of cattle in Fort Worth, and I feel compelled to give the money to the seminary. I don't care if you need it or not, but here's the check."
The surprised secretary took the check and knocked on the door of the prayer meeting. Dr. Chafer took it out of her hand and discovered it was for the exact amount of the debt. He turned to Dr. Ironside and said, "Harry, God sold the cattle!"
What are the odds of that happening? Without God, one in a billion. But with God, the odds change to one in one. The Lord knew the needs of Dallas Seminary before the faculty asked, and God prearranged for the businessman to sell his cattle and bring in the money.
God is also fully aware of your needs and prepares ahead of time the solution to your problems. And you probably aren't going to figure out how He will do it.
Isaiah 55:8–9 says,
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," declares the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
God's IQ is much higher than you could ever imagine.
My little dog Bandit has an IQ of one, maybe two. On a good day he can play dead. Sometimes he will tilt his head and look at me as if he were trying to figure out what I am thinking. But he will never be able to understand my thoughts, because people thoughts are so much higher than dog thoughts.
If I read Bandit every book in my office library trying to educate him, it would be a waste of time. If I opened the hood of my car and tried to explain to him how to repair it, he would comprehend nothing. He isn't capable of understanding these things, because dogs are not as intelligent as people. It would be useless to try to explain things to him that are beyond his ability to grasp.
In the same way that human thoughts are higher than dog thoughts, God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We can't comprehend how God supernaturally moves people and events when the situation looks impossible.
How does God cause a businessman to sell his cattle for the exact amount needed at Dallas Seminary, then lead him (without his knowledge of the school's problem) to donate the money right before the bank was about to foreclose? How does He guide two people, who don't know each other and don't know they are being led, to meet at a certain place and eventually get married?
We aren't capable of understanding how God does these things any more than Bandit understands how to read a book or repair a car. But just because we don't understand how God will miraculously come through doesn't mean He doesn't know how He will do it. He is able to do far beyond all that we are able to ask or even think (Ephesians 3:20).
Fact 2: God controls events that you can't control.
After Jesus revealed to Peter that He already knew his need, He told him to go to the sea and throw in a hook. When he caught the first fish, he would find a coin inside its mouth that would be used to pay the tax.
Now out of all the ways He could have chosen to meet this need, why did He choose this way? Aren't there easier ways to get money? Of course there are. He did it for a reason. God did it to demonstrate to Peter (and to us) that He controls events that we can't control.
Peter was probably thinking, Wait a minute, Jesus. I know how to fish better than You do. Remember, I had a fishing business, and the best way to catch fish is to use a net, not a hook. And Peter was right. It's much easier to use a net to catch fish.
But Jesus told him to use a hook for a reason. He didn't want Peter to catch a whole net full of fish. He only wanted him to catch one fish, the right fish. Out of all the fish in the sea, only one had a coin in its mouth.
If you are single, how are you going to find the right person to marry? There are nearly seven billion people in the world. But remember, you don't need to marry seven billion people. All you need is one. The right one.
The Lord is the only one who knows where that person is. If God can lead a fish to a man, then He can lead a woman to a man—or a man to a woman. Thousands of fish swam in the Sea of Galilee, but Peter didn't need to catch them all. He only needed to catch the one with the coin inside its mouth.
Peter had no control over the fish that he would catch. All he could do was hold the fishing pole and trust what Jesus had said. And God made sure that the right fish would bite on Peter's hook. Imagine being that fish under water trying to locate that tiny hook out of the entire sea. What are the odds of the right fish finding that little hook?
Without God, one in a billion. With God, one in one.
Jimmy Smith, a student at Houston Baptist University, was interested in becoming a missionary. Two missionaries had invited him to visit their work in Guatemala. Money was tight, so he and his wife knew the trip would be impossible unless God intervened.
Several weeks later Smith went fishing with a deacon in his church named Gene Alexander. They talked about an upcoming fishing tournament with a twenty-thousand-dollar prize for catching a particular fish. The deacon knew of Smith's desire to visit Guatemala and said, "I'll give you $5,000 for the trip if I catch the winning fish." Upon learning of the prize fish, Mrs. Smith logged it in her prayer journal and prayed for God to provide.
On the day of the tournament, Gene Alexander cast out his line and reeled in his first catch of the day. When he took the fish off the hook, he was surprised to discover it was marked as the twenty-thousand-dollar-prize fish! Not only did Jimmy Smith and his wife make the trip to Guatemala, they later returned to the country to serve as foreign missionaries.
Officials speculated the odds of landing that fish on his first cast were one in 6.8 billion. But that's without figuring God into the equation. With Him, the odds are one in one.
Fact 3: God's timing is always perfect.
Just as we can't apprehend God's thoughts or understand how His sovereignty works, we often miscalculate His timing. Because we are so impatient, we usually think God is either late or has forgotten about us. But God's timing is always perfect.
Peter went to the sea and threw out the line. It was no accident that the right fish was at the right place at the right time. God had set up a divine appointment for the fish to meet Peter when he arrived at the correct spot on the sea.
God specializes in making divine appointments. It was no accident that:
When Saul was looking for lost donkeys, he met Samuel at the appointed time set by God (1 Samuel 9:3, 15–17, 24).
The arrow shot by a soldier at random had the correct direction and timing to strike wicked King Ahab in a tiny joint in his armor, which fulfilled a prophecy (2 Chronicles 18:16, 33).
Mary and Joseph had traveled to Bethlehem for the census at the same time Mary gave birth to Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2 (Luke 2:1–6).
At the exact moment when Peter denied Jesus for the third time, the rooster in the courtyard crowed twice, fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus (Matthew 26:74–75).
The whale was at the appointed spot in the ocean at the right time to catch Jonah when the men threw him overboard (Jonah 1:15–17).
The ram was caught in the thicket at the exact moment when Abraham was about to offer up Isaac (Genesis 22:10–13).
When the disciples entered into the city, they met a man carrying a pitcher of water, who led them to the room for the Last Supper, exactly as Jesus had prophesied (Mark 14:13–16).
This proves that not only is God in control, but He also has perfect timing. He knows the precise moment when He needs to come through.
In the early 1980s, David Smith was the pastor of a small church near Farmington, New Mexico. He faithfully served and sacrificed but struggled financially to provide for his wife and small child on his $600-per-month salary.
One morning his wife, Jackie, pulled the last can out of the cupboard and served him a dish of hominy. He had no money left to buy groceries. Although David had often preached on God's faithfulness to provide, the Lord seemed to have forgotten about them.
David stared at his grits and then gritted his teeth. He could have chosen another profession where he could have made a much larger salary. This wasn't in the agreement when he surrendered to full-time ministry. He got up from the table, bolted through the kitchen door, and stomped across the yard next door to his church office. He was furious and wanted the Lord to know exactly how he felt.
"God, You promised to provide for me, but today we're out of food and money. Where is Your faithfulness that I've been preaching about? Why haven't You come through?"
For the next forty-five minutes, he continued his rant. As he thought about resigning and looking for another job, the phone rang. It was Jackie.
"David, you need to come home right now."
"Why? Is something wrong?"
"You'll see when you get here."
David hurried out of the church, but what he saw stopped him in his tracks. A woman was carrying groceries from her car to his front door. Her station wagon was completely filled up to the roof with cans of food and meat. The only space that wasn't filled was the driver's seat.
"I thought you might need these," the woman explained. "It was on my heart to bring them to you."
The Lord's provision came at the last minute, like the ram caught in the thicket for Abraham. God always does His greatest miracles when things look hopeless. Sometimes He waits until time and resources are exhausted before He provides.
A newly licensed pilot, Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, was flying from Vero Beach, Florida, to Longview, Texas. He met with bad weather over Mobile, Alabama, and air traffic controllers told him to fly north toward Jackson, Mississippi, to avoid the approaching storm.
As he rose above the clouds, the instrument panel lights flickered. A minute later the radio and instruments went dead; then all the lights went out. Franklin realized he was in a desperate situation, so he asked God to intervene.
He dropped below the clouds, hoping to see the ground. When he spotted the distant lights of Jackson, he headed for the airport's rotating beacon. He circled the control tower and, since he didn't have any electrical power, manually lowered the landing gear.
At that moment the runway's emergency landing lights came on, and he landed. As soon as he was on the ground, the lights went off. That's odd, he thought, at least they could have waited until I taxied to the ramp.
After he got out of the plane, a man from the tower asked, "Who gave you permission to land?" No one in the tower had seen the small plane circling overhead.
Why would the lights be turned on if they hadn't seen him? They "just happened" to be turned on by an air traffic controller who was explaining to his visiting pastor what he would do in case a plane ever attempted to land without radio communications! At the exact moment when Franklin needed the lights, the controller turned them on without knowing the plane was there. What are the odds of that happening?
Without God, one in a billion. With God, one in one.
Fact 4: God will supply your needs when you obey Him.
Jesus told Peter to throw the hook into the sea. That's not too difficult. But if he had not obeyed, he would never have caught that fish. It is essential that we fulfill our part in what God asks us to do.
Peter was responsible for only two things. The first thing was to find the right sea. He could have gone to the Dead Sea, but there aren't any fish living in it. It was pretty obvious that wasn't the sea Jesus wanted him to fish in. Some people aren't catching anything because they are fishing out of God's will in the Dead Sea.
The other thing he had to do was throw in a hook. God didn't make the fish jump into the boat. Peter had to throw out a line. Many times when God wants to provide, He asks us to do something, such as throwing out lines.
Excerpted from Slaying Your Giants by Kent Crockett. Copyright © 2013 Kent Crockett. Excerpted by permission of Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Hopelessness 3
One in a Billion
Chapter 2 Fear 13
How's Your Nervous System?
Chapter 3 Discontentment 25
May I Change Seats, Please?
Chapter 4 Doubt 37
Without a Doubt
Chapter 5 Temptation 47
Adam and Eve's Instruction Manual
Chapter 6 Unforgiveness 59
Who Is in Your Dungeon?
Chapter 7 Guilt 71
Conceling Guilt Trips
Chapter 8 Change 83
Breaking Out of Comfort Zones
Chapter 9 Worry 93
The Movies in Your Mind
Chapter 10 Self-Image 103
I Love Me, I Love Me Not
Chapter 11 Pessimism 115
Chapter 12 Anger 127
Chapter 13 Rejection 141
The Angel Inside the Marble
Chapter 14 Impatience 151
God's Waiting Room
Chapter 15 Burdens 161
Check Your Baggage Here
Chapter 16 Depression 175
Singing in the Dark
Chapter 17 Envy 189
The Possession Obsession
Chapter 18 Jealousy 199
A Sneaking Suspicion
Chapter 19 Discouragement 207
The End of Your Rope
Chapter 20 Death 215
Scared to Death
Discussion Guide for Group Studies 223
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
EXTRAORDINARILY READABLE. Noted author Kent Crockett continues his thought provoking insights and heartwarming humor in his latest literary success, “ Slaying Your Giants.” I have been impressed with the author’s ability to identify and simplify the solutions to twenty common obstacles many of us face in finding the life God has planned for us. Those seeking a more useful and fulfilling life should find “ Slaying Your Giants,” a valuable tool and a real blessing. A discussion guide is provided for groups or individuals wanting challenging questions to enhance their studies.