Facing giants...

I am reminded of the story of David and Goliath. The picture I have in my mind is of a teenage boy dressed in armour far too big for him. Almost like a little boy playing dress up in his dad’s army uniform. Before him stands a giant! A man so big, so loud and so in your face that you simply can’t ignore him. Whilst the Israelite army are hiding away in fear saying, “he’s so big, there’s nothing we can do”; this young shepherd boy says, “he’s so big, I simply can’t miss.”  We all know this story well. David takes off the armour that’s too big for him (symbolizing man) and says, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). David then picks up five smooth stones and places them in his shepherd’s pouch; takes his staff and sling and walks towards Goliath. How Goliath must have laughed and scoffed. In fact, it says that Goliath looked down on him with disdain and contempt. He didn’t think that this youngster could do anything to him.

As David faces Goliath he shouts out, “You come against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of all Lords; I come against you with the God who leads Israel and who is mighty and strong. And today he will deliver you into my hands.” David draws on the strength of the living God, not his own strength. And God does the rest. David using a sling and one little stone takes a shot, hitting the giant on the forehead causing him to go down. David then picks up Goliath’s own sword and cuts off his head. Killing Goliath caused the Philistine army to run in fear. What a victory inspired by one little boy and one little stone. David, empowered by God, defeats Goliath and the Israelites are able to overcome their enemy. What lessons can we learn from this story?

The most obvious lesson we learn from this powerful account is that simply because we are Christians, and following God, doesn’t mean that we won’t face giants. We will face giants of all kinds, but we won’t face them alone. God is with us, in the good times and in the tough times. He promises to be with us in every battle we face.

Secondly, we learn that God will deliver us from our giants. He will make us victorious. We might not be removed from the battle, but when we stand in the strength of the Lord we will overcome. He gives us the victory!

Thirdly, we learn that there will always be the naysayers, the critics and the ones who are full of doubt and unbelief. But don’t listen to those voices. Say like David, “Let no man’s heart fail because of this giant.” Imagine if David had listened to his brothers and went back home; or if David had listened to King Saul and said, “Yes I am too young and too small, I can’t possibly do this”. The Israelites would have been defeated by the Philistines. Because as the saying goes, “as you think so will you be”.

Fourthly, we realise that there won’t just be one giant we face in our lives, there will be many; which means we’ll fight many battles along the way. Like David, to defeat our present giant we need to remember the past victories God has given us. David remembered how the Lord had delivered him from the lion and the bear, so why not Goliath?  When you remember what God has done for you in the past, you have faith for the battles ahead.

Fifthly, we learn to speak with faith and not with fear and unbelief. In verses 46-47, David tells Goliath exactly how he will defeat him. He reminds himself that the battle is the Lord’s and not his. He reminds himself that God’s weapons are not carnal, but are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. He remembers all that he was taught as a young boy, and he draws strength, encouragement and faith from that. Know God’s word, know His promises and stand on them when facing your giants.

Sixthly, David knew that victory came from God alone. He knew he was dependent upon God for deliverance and not on himself. He glorified God, not himself. When we have slayed our giants, stay humble and remember to give God all the honour. Only in God are all things possible!