Today we had the privilege of hearing from a guest speaker, former lifechurch.tv Campus Pastor Scott Williams of Next Level Solutions, who inspired us to be giant killers like King David.
In 1 Samuel 17, the Israelites are in battle against the Philistines, where each army is positioned on the steep ridge of a valley. Each morning and evening (the times of the Israelites’ prayer), the feared Philistine giant Goliath comes out chanting his disrespect to the Israelites, who shy away, terrified.
Everyone has a giant to face in life. Whatever the giant is that we face, we must be willing to acknowledge its existence in order to overcome it.
Meanwhile, the Israelite Jesse is a sharecropper whose family has lost everything. His eldest three sons are out on the battle lines and his youngest son, David, is a shepherd boy of about 15 years old. Unlike his eldest brother Eliab, the heir and chosen one fashioned after the honorable warriors of the day, David is to stay behind and tend the sheep in the fields.
His story collides with the battle on the day he is asked to take food to his brothers at war and to bring back word of their condition. This day when David comes to his brothers, he is present when Goliath comes out to shout his insults. But David does not respond in fear when he sees the giant and hears his terrible threats. Instead, he is willing to A.C.T.
If you want to be a giant killer, you must:
Acknowledge there is a giant. 1 Samuel 17:25-26
Everyone has a giant to face in life, be it as small as a pill or a dollar bill or as wide as one’s thoughts, anger, pride, or feelings of inadequacy. Whatever the giant is that we face, we must be willing to acknowledge its existence in order to overcome it.
David’s response when he witnesses Goliath’s taunting is, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26) It’s important to note here that David acknowledges a giant that isn’t even his own, but a giant of the armies of the living God. You may be called someday to face a giant on behalf of a friend, family member, community, or even a nation.
2. Choose to trust God. 1 Samuel 17:33-37
In the face or impending fear or discouragement, we must choose to trust God instead of caving in to failure.
No one believes that young David is able to overcome the Philistine giant that has everyone terrified. Even King Saul discourages David from challenging Goliath to battle:
“You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” (v. 33)
But David is unmoved.
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” (v. 34-37)
David recognizes the God has delivered him in the past, so he chooses to trust God. Victory is always found on the other side of faith, so if we want to experience victory over our giants, we must know that faith in God comes first.
We will all have naysayers, but we also have all been eyewitness to God’s incredible faithfulness. Whatever the situation – relationships, jobs, infertility, financial trouble or family hardship, we have all had experiences in which we can see God’s protection and guidance. Think of an time that made you say, “The only reason I got out,” or “the only reason I avoided that,” or “the only reason I survived…is because of the Lord.”
As Pastor Scott says, overcoming fears is like learning to ski; it may be difficult and you may fall down, but if you choose to get up again, you will make it down the hill eventually! God asks us in the midst of our trials and fears, “Will you trust me?”
Everything is possible with God!
3. Take a stand. 1 Samuel 17:48-51
Your faith is what matters to God. He is not moved by the size of your giants, but by the size of your faith. Everyone around David thinks he is crazy for accepting Goliath’s challenge, but he is “too blessed to be stressed!”
When Saul is convinced that David will go to battle, he wants to ensure that David has the best armor and weaponry he can provide, but David refuses.
I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (v. 39-40)
When David meets Goliath in battle, he runs forward and nothing deters him from the fight, because his confidence is in the Lord.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. ( v. 45-51)
When you take out your giant, make sure it’s gone!
David was the youngest son of an average man, yet God took his faith and his slingshot and made him King over all of Israel, a man with a legacy that lasts even today. You may think you’re just putting down the bottle, but you’re actually setting generations free from alcoholism. You may think you’re just being brave during your cancer treatment, but you are actually a living testimony and inspiration to others. You may think you’re just patiently waiting for a baby, but you actually are a witness to many others about God’s faithfulness.
So decide today to stand up against your giants, be ready for battle, and trust in the Lord for victory!