#5 As You Fight Your Battle, You Must Do What You Know to Do
I Samuel 17:48-50
In previous articles, we discussed how David was prepared by God mentally, physically, and spiritually to enter the battlefield. Then, he stood before the giant, and, in the first battle action, he declared that the battle was the Lord’s and victory was ensured. Now, comes the moment of truth! David must fight! The anticipated battle would indeed be short and decisive. But, the outcome was not what the spectator armies predicted. Let’s look at what happened and apply our second battle action.
THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
“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 face down 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” (I Samuel 17:48-50).
Let’s highlight what David did in this intense and personal battle. First, David followed the battle plan. He “ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” Since the battle was inevitable, David took the offensive and charged the giant in confidence. David did not allow doubt and fear to enter his thoughts. He had a battle to fit and a victory to win. He approached Goliath with confidence. Please note that David did not allow Goliath to land the first blow. If David had hesitated or cowered ever so slightly, Goliath would have attacked and crushed him straight away for the giant was that powerful.
Second, David relied on his training. No doubt, he had slung a stone countless times in practice and also in battle against a lion and a bear. He knew that the sling in his hand was a lethal weapon. David’s mind was battle-ready and his body was battle-tested. He relied on muscle memory and his training; all in preparation for this exact moment!
When the battle started, David did what he knew to do; attack and kill. The season of preparing personally and strategizing the battle plan was over. This was not the time to hesitate nor to second guess. This was the time to enact the plan and to do so in confidence. David was called by God for this mission and he did what he knew to do to complete the mission.
#5 As You Fight Your Battle, You Must Do What You Know to Do (I Samuel 17:48-50).
Like David, you followed our first three actions to prepare you for the battle. As the battle began, you declared that the battle belonged to the Lord. Now, in the second battle action, you do what you know to do; you must follow the battle plan and you must rely on your training. Let’s apply these truths to our lives.
So, let’s say that you have followed our action plan so far. Now, you must do what you know to do and follow the battle plan. The starting point then is to determine whose battle plan are you going to follow? Will you follow God’s plan that is revealed in His Word, the Bible? Will you follow the mindset of the world that we read online and in tabloids? Or, will you combine these two options and just follow your heart?
In the last hours of Jesus’ life on earth, as recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus is being interrogated by Pilate, the Roman Governor. Pilate is attempting to learn why Jesus was brought before him and if he should get involved in the impending trial. Their verbal interaction leads Jesus to say, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37). Then, Pilate asked a question that reverberates through the centuries, “What is truth?” (John 18:38).
This is fascinating to me! Pilate has the very definition of Truth standing before him and he is blinded spiritually and cannot recognize who Jesus is. The truth is that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
As you formulate your battle plan and then do what you know to do, I encourage you in the strongest way possible to build your plan upon the Truth. Truth is found in God’s Word. Read it, memorize it, and live it. You will then build your house upon the rock and not upon the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). This house will withstand the rains, floods, and winds of life that see to destroy you. And, the truth that Jesus taught is that “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” When the storm came, his house was destroyed.
As you face the giant in your life, you must build your battle strategy upon the truth of God’s Word and act accordingly. Here are some ways this is applied in your life.
First, pray, fast, and call on the Lord and ask Him what you should do. Jeremiah 29:13 teaches us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God is on your life journey with you. He knows what you are to do and how He will bring you victory. As you stand toe-to-toe with your giant, you must know that you have heard from God and that you are following His commands wholeheartedly.
Second, ensure that your response is motivated by love. If your motivation for fighting your giant is revenge or done from unrighteous anger then you are not aligned with your God-given assignment. Your motivation is to obey God’s will and allow Him to balance the scales of justice. God will bring the victory. Now, as we mentioned before, we are to fight our giant by Jesus’ rules and not by the world’s terms of engagement. I remind you of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 and specifically what we call, “the Beatitudes” in Matthew 5:3-10. I will not take the time to unpack them now, but please read this sermon for it is how you are to engage your giant.
Third, seek to have your behavior bring honor to God. Since your identity comes from God and you are a member of the family of God you, therefore, represent God to other people. So, your actions and reactions, as you engage the giant, must honor God.
Fourth, fight in a manner that you will not regret later. Do not be driven by anger or revenge. Do not allow the heat of the battle to mute the filters on your tongue and your mind. Practice self-control. If you are not careful then regret will overshadow your victory and make your feel shallow.
Five, be led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught His disciples, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit lives in you! He is the Comforter and the giver of hope (Romans 15:13). Please know that if you are led by the Spirit that He will guide you in these moments.
So, we are to do what we know to do as we fight the giant in our lives. If we are to pray, then pray! If we are to sacrifice, then make that sacrifice! If we are to examine our hearts and repent (James 4:8), then we are to repent! We do know that we are to act righteously at all times so we must do so even while we battle. At the same time, we must remember that God is still in control. Proverbs 16:9 NLT teaches us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Take comfort to know that we are accountable only to do that which we know to do. When we follow wholeheartedly after God, He will direct our steps.
The second aspect of David doing what he knew to do was that he relied on his training! One had better be well-versed and battle-tested when attempting to fight a giant with a slingshot! Certainly, David was a master at this type of warfare and his slingshot was a lethal weapon. In the same way, you must rely on your training as you encounter your giant.
The question is, are you in training now? What are you doing on a daily basis to strengthen your relationship with God? What spiritual disciplines are you practicing (prayer, fasting, loving your neighbor, loving God)? Are you expressing your love to God by the way to treat other people in your daily life and in your monthly giving? When chaos strikes and the surrounding noise of life is deafening, can you hear the still, small voice of God (I Kings 19:12)?
If your life is in tune with God then you can do what you know to do and do so with righteous confidence. God is with you. His relationship with you is built to withstand attacks from your spiritual enemies. Your trust, your faith, and your obedience to Him will bring ultimate victory. So, as Paul wrote, do not give up! “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
The sudden and unexpected news crushed the man’s world. Due to the hardships of the economy, he was released from his job. Yet, his bills remained; mortgage, car loans, student loans, credit card debt. His heart sank. A rush of fear and panic overcame him. How would he provide for his family? What are they going to do?
Rather than allowing his emotions and circumstances to dictate his response, the man determined that he was going to fight his financial giant in a spiritual manner. He will pray and believe, by faith, that God will provide. He will continue to tithe and give to world missions. He would reduce his spending and delete unnecessary expenditures until further notice. He will eliminate future spending by closing all credit card accounts except for one. He will spend only if the money is in the bank. He will do all that he knows to do and do so in confidence that God will direct his steps. Sure, the coming days would be difficult but, God was still in control and He is always faithful.
YOUR ACTION RESPONSE
- How have you trained spiritually to battle your giant?
- What actions must you take spiritually, emotionally, and physically in your battle?
- What is God telling you to do now and are you being obedient to His direction?
- What must you do to resist the temptation to battle in a way that is not from God?