Faith: Who Threw the Stone?

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In the Academia Gallery in Florence Italy stands Michelangelo's statue of David. If you have seen it, or pictures of it, you know it depicts David with his sling, shortly before taking on Goliath. It is truly an awesome sight.

My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful trip to the Tuscany area of Italy which included some time in the beautiful city of Florence. When we visited the city back in 2001, our local city tour guide was a lady named Francesca. And this time, once again, to our delight, our guide was Francesca.

I have been told that there is no one who explains the statue of David better than Francesca. She's been doing it for quite awhile now. She is in her eighties. She is very knowledgeable. She is also very passionate and outspoken. She was flattered that we remembered her.

And as our group stood there in the Academia Gallery, gazing at this 17 foot masterpiece, Francesca pointed out many, many details. But what I found to be most interesting was her interpretation what Michelangelo was trying to convey in this sculpture.

She told us that the artist was doing something different than what the other artists of his time were portraying. Michelangelo was not showing David victorious, but rather showing him before the encounter.

She pointed out that David showed a little apprehension, but that he was focused and determined. She had us take note of his neck and the blood in his vein.

And then she said, 'David had to throw the stone. God didn't throw it for him. Yes, God can and will help, but He will not throw the stone!'

That statement is so accurate! People so many times forget that God has given all of us free will. He will not overstep our free will decisions. Yes, He is more than willing to help, but it is still up to us to believe and accept His help.

Francesca was making an important point that is contrary to the thinking of many Christians. Far too many are waiting for God to do it. People say things like, 'If God really wants me to have this or do that, then He is going to have to do it.' But if that is true, then what about free will?

It's like one evening on the trip to Italy, a huge dinner was prepared for our group. We all arrived and were welcomed to the restaurant. The atmosphere was very warm and friendly.

The abundance of food was staggering!

And yet, no one was forced to eat. We all made up our own minds to feed our own faces! Our host had done everything they could in making all of it available, but it was still up to us, by our free will, to decide to eat.

The Bible says that God feeds the birds. How does He do it? Does He go around every morning with a big bucket of worms? Does He then open their little beaks and stick the worms in? How silly! God feeds the birds by providing for them through the food chain. But it is still up to the birds to go out and get it.

And so it is with us! God has given us promises us and He has well provided for us. He has promised and He has provided. But He is not going to overstep our free will. That means He is willing to do His part but we must also be willing to do our part.

God was involved in helping David, but God didn't throw the stone at Goliath. That was David's job. If David hadn't thrown the stone, he would not have defeated Goliath.

Yes, by all means, we believe and expect God's help. But it is by our own free will that we take the action that is necessary having confidence and trust in His help.

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About the author: Listen to one of Michael A. Verdicchio's Pep Talks at http://www.MikesPepTalks.com/christians2free.html Michael has a free newsletter called, THE PEP LETTER, at http://www.christianinspirationalgifts.com/pepletter.html. Michael is a husband, father, minister, author, and broadcaster. He has been the voice on numerous productions over the years.