Throughout our lives there will be pivotal times when we must experience a growth spurt in our relationships with God.
Usually it will be related to a specific incident, sometimes a traumatic one. Responding properly to these opportunities is the key to growing into a productive useful tool in the hand of God.
In this passage, God instructs Samuel to choose a king from among Jesse's eight sons. After rejecting the first seven sons who are strong in man's eyes, God instead wants the youngest son, David, who is out tending sheep. God doesn't focus on the outward appearances that humans see. He sees directly to the heart of you - your ability to trust Him, your faith, and your potential.
1. See with your faith, not your senses. 1 Samuel 17:25
Now the Philistines are on one hill, and the Jews on the other, separated by a valley. Goliath is a giant, a champion of the Philistine who boasts of his power and strength for forty days (forty being the number of testing in the Bible), declaring that if anyone is able to defeat him, the whole Philistine army will surrender.
Goliath is a massive man who is feared by everyone as soon as they see him, yet David is unafraid. He sees Goliath not just with his human sight, but in light of God's power.
Though complicated and amazing, the sight of humans is very limited. You can't simply trust your senses because they cannot perceive everything as God can. When God calls you to face an obstacle that seems impossible and much bigger than you can handle on your own, the situation requires you to rely on God.
2. Fight to defend God's cause, not man's. 1 Samuel 17:29
In 1 Samuel 17:26, David's brothers are angry with him because he, as the youngest and smallest, has challenged Goliath. David's reply is, "What have I done but defend God's cause?"
There are battles that God wants you to fight, not for yourself, but for Him. David was all about God's business. He recognizes that Goliath is defying God and decides to do something about it. Christianity is not all about acceptance and being nice; the gospel cannot exist without death, pain, and self-denial, just as Jesus denied Himself and died on a cross.
3. Identify your 'used' to. 1 Samuel 17:34
In speaking with Saul about his challenge to Goliath, David declares himself as someone who used to tend sheep. This occurs on the same day that he was taken from the fields tending sheep! Though David's circumstances haven't changed, he has made a transition in himself, having been chosen by God to defeat Goliath. He realizes he's not a shepherd anymore; he's a giant killer.
You need to determine your own "used to." What things need to change in your life? If you recognize these and take the steps to change them, you can say "I used to , but now I follow God."
4. Focus on God's past victories in your life. 1 Samuel 17:35-37
In 1 Samuel 17:35, David says, The Lord who delivered me from lion and bear will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine.
He does not take pride in his own past accomplishments, but gives the glory to God and trusts that God can deliver him again in the battle with Goliath.
How has God delivered you in the past? From financial issues, depression, heartbreak, fear? If you have any victories over obstacles and pain in your life, acknowledge that they are God's victories and symbols of His strength and faithfulness to you.
5. Identify and confront your giant. 1 Samuel 17:38-51
Beginning in 1 Samuel 17:38, Saul clothes David with armor and weaponry to protect him from Goliath, but David proceeds to shed all the protection Saul has given him. Instead, he gathers his stick and rocks. He runs with confidence to meet the Philistine and defeats him swiftly.
God doesn't need men's tools to do big things in your life. He doesn't need your money, intelligence, or possessions. He can use these things, but He is much more interested in your trust and your faithfulness. God can defeat any Goliath in your life. Simply do what God tells you to do and trust Him to do the rest.