A shepherd boy stumbles upon a situation in need of attention. A giant defying the Lord’s army, and taunting God’s people for forty days, caused fear in the hearts of Saul’s followers. David, an unlikely candidate, at least in the eyes of his family and his enemies, recognizes a cause. When he is summoned and questioned by Saul, David volunteers to fight the giant for him. Saul reminds him he is young and inexperienced. However, David remembers in the past he fought for his sheep and quickly realizes his past has prepared him for this moment.
Saul clothed David with his armor and a bronze helmet, but it was too much and David couldn’t walk in them, so he removed the suit. He took his staff in his hand and picked up five smooth stones for his sling and confronted his giant with confidence.
If you have grown up in the church, most likely you are familiar with the story of David and Goliath. David is the hero that took down the giant with a sling and one stone. If you, like myself, feel as though you are walking in the presence of giants, working hard to strive and maintain a routine that will allow you to serve others for the glory of God, but, find yourself knocked down and trampled on and fighting to stay afloat just enough to breathe, take heart my friend and realize you are not alone. There is hope!
Your battle may not be the same as mine, but it’s just as real, no doubt. The giants of this life implode on us to rob, steal and destroy our very being. They come in the forms of illnesses, loss, change, financial stress, worry, anxiety, injustice, opposing opinions, distractions and confusion. Just like Goliath, they are loud and boisterous, taunting and threatening our well being. They prevail when we grow tired and become weak. It’s not that we grow weak from the fight necessarily, but, most likely we become weak because of the way we fight.
How can we fight our battles in a way that brings glory and honor to God and prevail against our giants without growing weary? Let’s look at how David went to battle with his giant and learn from his example.
David was minding his own business. He was simply living life as a shepherd boy keeping watch over his father’s sheep. His father asked him to deliver dried grain and to bring back news from his brothers who were at camp fighting against the Philistine army. When he arrived his brothers were actually at battle so David did as he was told and heard the giant defying the Lord’s army. Sound familiar? Just minding your own business, just going about life with content and then suddenly something much bigger than yourself lands on your plate. It wasn’t chosen. It definitely wasn’t wanted, or invited, but, there it is, so now what?
First, we must recognize the cause. There is a reason for your battle whether it be with another person or with an illness or disease, an addiction or maybe it’s as simple as guarding your time. Anything that is against God is not for us. While illnesses and diseases and many of our circumstances are not in our control, the attitude we possess as we learn to navigate life with them is. Others are watching and our enemy, or giant, if you will, would love nothing more than to rip us apart and cause us to turn away from God instead of toward Him. Sometimes it may even be something good in our lives that pulls us away from worshipping our Creator.
Second, we must identify who the battle is with. David understood this. The battle isn’t against us, but, against our spiritual well being. Yes, that is right. Goliath didn’t pick a fight with David, it was against God’s people and everything God stood for. Goliath wanted Israel defeated so they would be slaves under the weight of the Philistine empire. Friend, the enemy wants us defeated, so we are no good to the kingdom of God. If he can find a way to injure us and take us out, because the spirit of the Lord lives in us, then we aren’t doing God’s work. If we aren’t doing God’s work, then we aren’t a threat to our enemy. The enemy can leave and move on to the next victim.
Who Will Fight?
Next, we must realize who will fight the battle. David understood the battle wasn’t his to fight, it was God’s battle. He also recognized he had been prepared for this battle for most of his life. Because he was a shepherd, he protected his flock and when wild animals came to steal and kill one of them, he simply went after the wild animal and killed them. He explains this to Saul when Saul tried to discourage his going against Goliath. Saul reminded David Goliath was an experienced warrior, but, David told him because of his experiences, and, because he knew the One who delivered him from the bear and the lion, would be the One who would deliver him from the giant! God would be with him. David simply believed.
Go. Fight. Win. This was a cheer we chanted when I was part of the cheering squad. Sounds simple enough, after all, it’s just three small words. Three small words that are easy to say, but hard to do. David went, he fought in the name of the Lord, and he won! He defeated the giant and the Philistines fled. We too can have victory over our battles when they are fought God’s way. God receives the glory and honor and praise and His truth and purpose march on. When we surrender our will to God and recognize He is the source of our strength, our defender, our provider and our sustainer, others will recognize Him in us, and they will be amazed at the peace we have through our trials.
Finally, David used a sling and a small, smooth stone to take down his giant. Scripture tells us he took for himself five smooth stones from the brook. Unlike David we aren’t fighting against a physical giant, but, we battle against principalities and all things that rise up against God in our spiritual lives. Take courage because we too have tools we can use to help us through our battles and keep our hearts and minds focused on God through the process. Write them down on paper, stones, journals or wherever you will see them often and put them into practice daily so you may stand without growing weary during troublesome times.
- Praise…..I will praise you Lord. 2 Samuel 22:50
- Prayer…..I will pray with thanksgiving and supplication. Philippians 4:6
- Belief…….I will believe in Your word. Psalm 119:42
- Surrender…..I will surrender to You, Lord. Romans 12:1-2
- Bless……………I will bless those who curse me. Luke 6:28
Scripture tells us in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart for Jesus has overcome the world. John 16: 33. To simply grow in your faith as you walk through your land of giants, will take courage and strength we do not have apart from Jesus living in us. My prayer for you today is that you will put into practice the habit of praising, praying, believing, surrendering and blessing others and see where God leads you. I know it’s not easy and there are days I simply don’t feel like praying, much less praising and especially blessing others, but I am learning that when I do these things in spite of my feelings, my heart grows a little more peaceful and my pride fades a little more and a little more. God Bless.
Going a little deeper:
- Make a list of the battles in your life at this time.
- Make a list of the times God has brought you through something in the past. Pray and ask God to remind you of the times He has been faithful.
- Pray and ask God if there is something He wants to teach you through this trial.
- Get in God’s word and memorize scripture, write it over and over and speak it out loud often.
- Pray and ask God if there is someone you can be a blessing too. It may sound crazy and it’s not easy, but sometimes there is someone God may touch through your heartache and pain. It’s helpful not only to them, but to you as well.
- Reach out and ask others to pray with you about your situation or trial.
References: 1st Samuel 17: 16-58; Ephesians 6:12