The young boy went down to the wadi and selected five smooth stones. That along with his slingshot was all he took into battle with him. Standing before David was a giant...literally. Scripture tells us that Goliath stood six cubits and a span...nine- and one-half feet tall. Goliath had been tormenting the Israelites for weeks, taunting because they were afraid of him. The battle between the Israelites and the Philistines had gone on for weeks but now they were at a standstill. No one wanted to face Goliath. Until David came along.
Many of us have giants in our lives. Money for next month's rent or medicine looms just as big as Goliath. Challenges at work, or at home or at school are big as well. Maybe we face giant addictions or self-esteem issues. Perhaps it's the kids. Maybe, like Charlie Brown we are facing giants every which way we turn. And we resemble the Israelites who stand far off, shaking in their armor at the thought of the giant. We need five smooth stones if we ever hope to have a chance of defeating our giants. So here are five smooth stones for your slingshot. They are courage, trust, faith, praise and obedience.
David went into battle with Goliath, trusting God would go with him. He volunteered to go into battle against Goliath. When we look at 1 Samuel 17:34-37 we see David and King Saul discussing Goliath. Saul insists Davis is only a boy and illequipped to fight a giant. We have days like that. We feel weak, frightened, puny. But David tells Saul how God has helped him as he fended off wild animals as a shepherd. David goes into battle with courage and confidence because he has seen God at work in his life before. There is history that tells David he can trust that God will go with him. Saul offered his armor, but it was too big for David. He was used to using a slingshot and smooth stones. Listen to David's confidence and courage here. 1 Samuel 17:45. Goliath is taunting David. He is but a child, a dog. This is Davids response. ” You come at me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.”That is how we face our giants...with courage that sees problems that are nowhere as big as our mighty God. We sing a song at F.R.O.G. Camp that starts off “Giant fears are really small when all you see is God.” Our God is bigger and more powerful thananything we could ever face...anything!
When we have that courage and confidence, we also have faith and trust that God will always go with us as we face our giants. But here is the thing, the power to face our giants is not in the sling or even the stones. The power to face giants lies solely in God. His power and strength never fail. He does not grow weary or weak. Sometimes the giants in front of us are tests of our faith. When we have no giants or challenges, we often become complacent. And when we grow complacent, we do not grow. Giants cause us to stretch our trust, our faith and even our courage.
We are called to be obedient as well. Part of our being obedient is trusting in the Lord. We read in Proverbs 3:5-8, ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.” Alone we have no hope of facing our giants, let alone defeating them. Sometimes being obedient means seeking help not just from the Lord but from others, like professional counselors. God will work through them to make us whole. But we have to trust. We have to have courage. And we will find that in the Lord.
Our last smooth stone is that of praise. It is easy to sing songs of praise when all is well. But even when giants lurk in our lives,we can sing praises. We sing praises because we know God goes with us. We sing praises because God has been active in our lives before and we can trust He is with us now. We sing praises as we face our giants and praise God for what He will do. Praise displays our true hearts, knowing the faith and trust we have in God and the courage and obedience it takes to result in triumph over the giants in our lives.
We may feel fear. We may be overwhelmed by our giants and how big they are. Some even seem insurmountable. David may have felt a bit of fear. But he chose to focus on what God would do rather than what the giant might do. We can do the same. David could have looked at Goliath and thought look how bigthis giant is. Who am I to go up against him? Instead, David said look at how big this giant is. How could impossibly miss? Each time we face another giant and we have more courage to trust in God, and we grow more confident for the next time a giant comes along. In God we never have to face our giants alone. He will go with us into battle, wherever and whenever we go.
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W