Giant Killing

The story of David and Goliath is a familiar one. In I Samuel 17, Goliath poses a threat to the nation of Israel. He defies the armies of Israel. He defies the power of their God. For forty days, none rise up to face Goliath until David intercedes. Many tell him he is unable to overcome, even the king, but David places his trust in God. In his confrontation, David demonstrates faith and trust in God despite a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. His companions focus on the difficulty, but David focuses on God. His attitude contrasts from those who would shirk away or discourage him. Instead, David seeks to glorify God in facing Goliath, and he takes action. He meets his challenge with God on his side.

Facing Our Own Giants

We face giants in our own lives. We all come up against obstacles we perceive as insurmountable. These distract us from our service to God; they take our focus from Him; they derail our faithful service. We may be caught up in secular interests that consume our time and our energy. We may be consumed with desire and lust. We may be dealing with discouragement, or we may just lack purpose or focus, not knowing how to move forward.

I John 2:15 warns us against getting caught up in the things of this world, for all of it is temporary. Our time on this world is limited. Jesus, in Matthew 6, reinforces the temporary nature of this world, but we may be like the young ruler who is unable to simply let go of the power his possessions have over him. Luke 12:15 records Jesus warning us against covetousness, for our worth is not defined by our things. From here, Jesus tells a parable of a man who begins to trust in and focus on his material successes. He forgets all else in the face of his possessions, but that wealth does nothing to save him when his time expires.

Regarding our fleshly desires, I Peter 2:11 tells us these battle over our souls. Paul, in II Timothy 2:22, encourages the young Christian Timothy to replace those passions with faith, love, and peace. In Romans 13:11, Paul calls on us to wake up from the desires and immorality that might have guided us in the past. Rather, we should seek refuge in Christ, turning to Him to help us defeat that giant in our lives.

We may battle discouragement, but Isaiah 35:3 reminds us that God can strengthen and encourage us when we are weak or afraid. Acts 11:23 records a man named Barnabas who is well-known for his role in encouraging others. I Thessalonians 5:14 then reminds us that we should be fulfilling that same role. We should be looking for those who need encouragement, and, when we need encouragement, we should be able to know we can turn to one another for edification.

Finding Our Direction

One more obstacle is one of focus – or the lack thereof. Returning to I Samuel 17, David finds purpose in defeating Goliath. He discovers the rewards the king will bestow upon the one who defeats Goliath, and he also seeks to glorify God in removing the obstacle of Goliath. David sees a goal; he prepares for the upcoming conflict; and he runs toward his challenge. He identifies the giant in his life, but he does not hide from it.

We sometimes talk about what we should do, about what others should do. If we have the faith found in I John 5:4, if we have the trust we read of in I John 4:4, if we have the humble attitude we find in Philippians 2:5-8, and if we are able to put our faith into action as in James 2:15-18 – then we can rise up like David and face down the giants in our own lives. Philippians 4:13 assure us we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. David brings down Goliath with God’s help. We can face those giants in our own lives with Him.

lesson by Tim Smelser