#1 To Prepare for the Battle, You Must Look at Your Giant from God’s Perspective
I Samuel 17:26
Life would be much easier if it were problem-free. Like it or not, the truth is that problems do come our way. Financial pressures, relationship difficulties, and even spiritual battles are issues that we all face. Issues may not have started as a spiritual issue but when difficulties are evident in our lives they can become spiritual battles.
David is our Old Testament example of a man who was led of the Lord to take the challenge of defeating a giant personally. His course of action provides us with a strategic plan to battle the giants in our lives and to emerge victoriously. In I Samuel 17 we see seven actions that David took to defeat Goliath. If you follow these actions points, you will discover the help and comfort you need as you battle the giant in your life
THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
You know well the story of David and Goliath. This is portrayed to be the greatest victory for the underdog in the history of human warfare. Our story begins with the Israelite army situated on one hill of Valley of Elah to fight the Philistine army that occupied the other hill. The battle plan between the two armies was that each would choose a warrior to represent the army as a whole. The two combatants would battle to the death with the winner bringing victory for his entire army. Apparently, this encounter was common in those days.
The plan was acceptable until the Philistines revealed their champion. He was a giant! He was said to be over nine feet and nine inches tall. His armor weighed 125 pounds and the iron point of his spear weighed 15 pounds! No doubt, he was trained as a youth to be a killing machine! Humanly speaking, he was the most undefeatable foe ever!
For forty days, Goliath would enter the valley and stand before Israel. He would mock their army and challenge their manhood. “On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified” (I Samuel 17:11 NIV). Later in the passage, we read, “Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear” (I Samuel 17:24 NIV).
Meanwhile, there was a boy named David who was sent to the battle lines to bring food to three of his older brothers. Possibly, David was very young at this time. In Numbers 1:3, we read that you had to be at least twenty years old to be enlisted in the Israelite army. David had three brothers who were serving at this time. As David was the youngest of eight boys, this meant that four of his brothers were under the age of twenty. This meant that David was possibly around fifteen years old, or younger. This is conjecture on our part but it is reasonable to see David as being too young to be on the battlefield; he did not belong there.
King Saul tries to bribe his warriors to kill the giant by offering great wealth, his daughter in marriage, and tax-exempt status for the warrior’s family. There was no greater reward! The problem is that the Israelite warrior might die and, while his family would benefit, his life was over. A conundrum indeed!
What giant stands before you today? Who is mocking and challenging you? Your giant stands before you seeking to intimidate you; to make you timid. Like the Israelite army, you may be “dismayed and terrified” and in “great fear.” Like David, you realize that you do not belong in this encounter and maybe even feel that you do not deserve this battle. But, the giant stands before you. Sure, you can run but he will still stand strong against you. You must create a game plan and fight. Whether your giant is a financial burden, a relationship betrayal, a physically incapacitating illness, or a battle with depression, please know that you are not alone. God will fight for you. He is your defender, your healer, and your friend.
The episode of David defeating Goliath provides you with seven actions that you can take to defeat your giant. These actions are time-tested and will bring results. The first three actions deal with your preparation before you fight giant. The second three actions deal with your encounter with your giant. The final action is what you do as you bask in victory.
LET’S BEGIN WITH THE FIRST ACTION
#1 To prepare for the battle, you must look at your giant from God’s perspective (v. 26).
The warriors in Israel’s army looked at Goliath as a physical specimen who was a killing machine. They were already defeated, even before the battle, because their view of the giant paralyzed them with fear and caused them to lose all hope. But, David looked at Goliath from a different perspective. He saw human frailty intimidating God’s children; “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26).
We must note the juxtaposition of the inner voices that directed the key players in this classic battle. The Israelite warriors were paralyzed by the image and the glitz of Goliath and portrayed him as an undefeatable foe. But David saw the giant as a mere heathen mortal who belonged in a pagan army. The Israelite warriors battled their personal fears and bought into the idea that the giant would annihilate them. But David operated with a sound mind that focused on God and viewed the situation through the reality of who God is.
God’s perspective is that His will is always done! He is the great “I am!” God’s will is for His children to be in a relationship with Him at all times. God’s will is that we live in lockstep in obedience so that we can overcome the challenges of this world.
As we encounter the giants of our lives we must look at them from God’s perspective. God always brings hope. God always brings victory.
II Timothy 1:7 sheds light on what our mindset and life perspective should be in the moments when we encounter our giant face-to-face. “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Our giant will do all he can to intimidate us, to cause us to be timid, to shake with fear, and to be defeated even before the battle begins! We can reject these feelings immediately for they are not of God. God is not the author of fear, anxiety, or depression. Yes, we can respect our foe and take him seriously but our response is to draw even closer to God and allow Him to bring the victory.
When we align our heart’s attention and our mind’s affection with God then we are equipped to stand firm in the face of our giant. God’s Spirit enables us to be enabled by power. The presence of God’s Spirit motivates us to act in love. God’s Spirit brings stability to our emotions and thoughts as He gives us self-control. Some verses translate self-control as “self-discipline” or a “sound mind.” In our story, David was enabled with the power to fight Goliath. He was motivated by love to stand firm for God. He was in control of himself as he had a level-head, clear-eyes, and a pure heart.
This is your story, too! Check your inner voice to ensure that it is aligned with the truth of God’s Word and who God is. You know if God is on your side, no one can stand against you. You know that you love Jesus and that God does not condemn you. You know that nothing can separate you from the love of God. You know that you are more than a conqueror. All of this was provided to us in Romans 8:31-39 KJV for such a time as this! So, stand firm on these promises and believe them.
The cliché in the battle of David and Goliath actually rings true: “While some saw Goliath as too big to hit, David saw the giant as being too big to miss!” So, take heart with a sound mind! God is on your side. God was not caught unaware of your giant. He will battle with you and on your behalf. “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Let’s end this action with a story. There was a married couple who were expecting their third child. The results of the ultrasound shattered their hearts as they learned that there was a strong possibility that the child would have Down’s Syndrome. Later, the doctor told the couple that, based on these results, they could abort the baby. The feelings of helplessness flooded their souls and shattered their dreams for a healthy child. Terminating the child’s life was never an option but they questioned the quality of their lives as a family because they were to return overseas in missionary service.
But, a moment of enlightenment arrived and altered their family history. The husband stood steadfast on the conviction that this perspective was not from God. He cried out for wisdom and the Lord comforted his heart. God was not surprised by the ultrasound result. Plenty of people can thrive with children dealing with major issues, be it mental or physical. God was still in control. So, the husband drew the proverbial line in the sand and declared, “we are having this child, no matter what! He is our son and our gift from God!”
Later, the husband would tell you that it was that exact moment that victory arrived! God was alive and well! He would journey with the family. He would get the glory. If you could talk with the husband today, he would tell you that the child was born perfectly healthy and he gives God the glory. But, he would also remind you that their victory came the moment that he looked at the giant from God’s perspective.
YOUR ACTION RESPONSES
What is the giant that you are facing today? Here are two action steps:
- Consider your situation from God’s perspective. State how you think God looks at your giant. Then, state how you should respond to your giant knowing that God is on your side.
- State in your heart and mind how you will respond with a spirit of power, love, and of self-control.