Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Facing the Giant

              Many of us have read the story of David and Goliath. We have read it, heard sermons on it, taught it to children, and most of us can recite it pretty good. I found myself reading the story of David and Goliath again this morning. Some of us are facing giants today, some of us have faced giants, and every single one of us will eventually have to face giants again. Goliath was a man who stood over nine feet tall. To the Israelites he was a great warrior who could probably kill them with one swoosh of his sword. But to David, he was just a man who had defied God, and David was only a teenager at the time. How great David’s faith in the Lord was. Sometimes, I wish I could have such faith.
                1 Samuel 17 takes us on a journey of this faith of David. David had just been anointed king over Israel by Samuel. He was a young boy, tending the sheep of his father when the Lord called him to take the role He had destined David for. David didn't understand what was going on, but he was obedient to God and His calling on his life. He didn't question or fight it; he accepted it and learned to wait for it. But there just happened to be a giant standing in the way.
                We too are faced with giants. A giant doesn't necessarily mean it is a person; a giant can be anything that looms over us, anything that causes a thick dark cloud over our lives. It can be fear, doubt, condemnation, trouble, trials; anything that causes us to shrink back from God can be considered a giant. David saw the giant and he did not shrink back, in fact, he stepped out in faith and in the boldness of his God.
                David heard Goliath; he saw his great form and was not afraid. Unlike me, who sometimes shrinks back in fear when some giant comes up in my life, David did not. In fact, he encouraged his brothers and the people of Israel. While he was doing and saying these things, Saul heard of his confidence and called him to his tent. David steps into the presence of the king of Israel and says, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:32)

                We have a “Servant” who fights for us too. That Servant is Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that we are to not let our hearts be troubled.(John 14:1)  Just as David was confident in the power of God, we too are to be confident in His power to conquer any giant that comes into our lives. Has Christ not delivered you from the power of sin and death? Has Christ not conquered the world? Has Christ ever failed you? David knew that the Lord was with him, he knew that God had called him for a purpose and a reason and not one hair on his head would be harmed because of God’s protection and power was upon him.
                But doubt seeps in doesn't it? We see the giant and we know the power of God, but doubt creeps its way into our hearts. David stood against the doubt as well. As David is speaking boldly to Saul, Saul (a picture of our flesh) tries to plant that doubt into David’s heart. “And Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.’” How many times have we stood before giants in our lives and had the same doubts? We say to ourselves, “Lord, I am too young, I am too weak, I am not….” Doubt is a weapon used by the enemy to keep us from stepping out in faith and in the power of God. The enemy does not want us to win this war, even though Christ has already won it for us. If the enemy can get us to shrink back in fear, then the Lord God’s power and glory cannot be seen- that is his goal, to quench God’s glory.  
                But David did not allow doubt to take root. When the doubts tried to creep in, when they tried to take root, he did something that I believe all of us have to learn to do. He remembered the faithfulness of the Lord his God. “Moreover David said, ‘The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine.’” (1 Sam. 17:37) David remembered the faithfulness of God, he remembered His protection from times past, and he knew that His God was able to deliver him from the hand of the enemy. God’s faithfulness gives us the confidence and the boldness to step out in faith and to face the giants in our lives.
                David knew what he had to do. He knew that God needed him to boldly face the giant that was looming over him and the people of Israel. But then, the flesh tried to take over again. We know and remember and believe the faithfulness of God and we begin to step out in that. But then what happens? We try to do it in our own strength. We try to put on our own armor and forget that God has already given us all the weapons we need to face the giant before us. Saul gives David his armor, David accepts it. Now, David could have not put it on at all. But he did, he chose to try to do this in his own strength. What happened? David couldn't walk, he couldn't see, he couldn't fight in armor that was not meant for him. So, David says to Saul, “I cannot walk with these…” (1 Sam. 17:38)
                David knew that the weapons he needed to face the giant was not found in fleshly armor, nor in his own strength, he knew and believed that only the Lord God through his faith in Him was able to defeat and conquer Goliath. So David put on the whole armor of God. Wait, you say, he did not put on the whole armor of God; he picked up 5 stones and only took a sling shot. (1 Sam. 17:40) Your right, but there are five pieces of the armor of God and I found it interesting that David took 5 stones and a sling shot. Follow along with me for a minute.
                “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” Ephesians 6:14-17
                What did David take? He took 5 stones and a sling shot. What are the pieces of the armor of God?  Waist girded with truth (1st stone), breastplate of righteousness (2nd stone), feet shod with the gospel of peace (3rd stone), shield of faith (4th stone) the helmet of salvation ( 5th stone) and we cannot forget the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God- the slingshot, the weapon David used to slay the giant in His life, was in his hand.

                David did not doubt in God’s faithfulness nor did he run away in fear. We are going to be faced with giants, we are going to have some trial, or tribulation come against us, but we, like David can step out in faith and face the giant, putting on the whole armor of God and using the weapon the Lord God provides for us- the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. David did not say he hoped God would deliver him, (1 Sam. 17:45) he spoke confidently that God was God and that God who had been faithful in the past would be faithful towards him again. He never doubted nor wavered in the promises of God; he never doubted nor wavered because he knew, saw and had experienced the power of God in his life. As we too have experienced the same power and presence of God in our lives.
                No matter what giant we are facing today, or no matter what giant will come against us tomorrow, we can be confident in the power of God in us and through us. We can take upon us the whole armor of God, our 5 stones, and place in our hands the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God and be confident in the name and authority of the Lord God our Father in heaven. We have nothing to fear, for fear itself has been conquered by the Lord Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world and all that is in it. 
                To God be the glory, and through His deliverance, power and might, may the giants in our lives be defeated through His Name, amen and amen.