CONQUERING MY GIANTS 1 Samuel 17
Every one of us have been fighting against giants in our lives over the past few months. These are actually NEW giants because we have always had giants to face. Each of these giants have names – they are not strangers to us.
Whatever the name of your giant is, it has impacted your life.
Giants can stifle our motivation to move ahead in life.
Giants can cause us to be fearful of the unknown.
Giants can shut down our efforts before we get started.
Giants can damage our faith, our families, and our futures.
“First thought of the morning, last worry of the night—your Goliath dominates your day and infiltrates your joy.” ― Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants
You might have guessed that today we are going to spend a few minutes in 1 Samuel 17 – the best known of all of the stories of David. It is the introduction of David in many ways and it sets the scene for his iconic rule as the second King of Israel.
From that story I’d like to share three obstacles to conquering our giants and three advantages we have in our spiritual battles.
Three OBSTACLES to Conquering Our Giants
Our Giants Can Be Fierce!
Goliath was a giant – he was fearsome, intimidating, blasphemous.
1 Samuel 17:4 says he was nearly ten feet tall. He stopped even the bravest warriors of Israel in their tracks.
He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds.1 Samuel 17:5-7, NLT
Along comes the shepherd boy David, bringing his brothers some lunch. Compared to Goliath, David was a weakling. He didn’t have the strength, weaponry, nor battle experience to face such a challenger.
We may feel like weaklings in the shadow of some of the giants we face. Some things are out of our control. We can be uncertain about how to proceed forward. We can think that even our best efforts are not effective.
Whatever giant you are facing in your life right now, one obstacle to victory is that the giants are fierce!
We Can Lack Experience in Facing Giants!
Every one of us have overcome some difficult things in life. At times, though, we come up against a new giant. We may not be prepared. David was not exactly known as Giant killer – yet!
As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel. As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked.1 Samuel 17:23-25a, NLT
No doubt Goliath was a huge challenge. David was disturbed at what he heard about this giant. 1 Samuel 17:26: Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God? Nobody would believe that David could defeat this giant. They even tried to put him in Saul’s armor – and he couldn’t function like that.
Whatever giant you are facing in your life right now, it may seem impossible to overcome it because it is fierce and we are not experienced in defeating it. Another obstacle David faced was of a different sort…
Criticism from Others Can Hold us Back!
David was criticized by…
His brothers (1 Samuel 17:28)
King Saul (1 Samuel 17:33)
Goliath (1 Samuel 41-44 )
In spite of all of that, he was not disheartened.
Critical remarks of others might hold us back in making progress against our giants. It is too easy to be catty and sarcastic with each other. Let’s make sure we are building one another up, and not keeping one another from a victory we would have otherwise.
We have a hard time conquering the giants in our lives. They are Fierce. We often do not know how to defeat them. Sometimes discouragement from others shuts us down. But this account from David also teaches us…
Three ADVANTAGES For Victory Over Giants
The Power of God
David did not attack Goliath on his own power – he knew he could not defeat him that way. He appealed to the power of God to help him win over Goliath.
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.Joshua 1:9, NLT
The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?Psalm 27:1, NLT
The power of God to take away our fear is not based on our own ability, but on His presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit. When faced with one of those giants that can alter your life, turn your prayers and focus on the power of God who promises to be with you.
We are not alone in our battle against the giants we struggle against. God will be our strength and help us to be able have the advantage for victory.
The Power of Faith in Action
There are several amazing things to be found in this story. One of them: David Ran to meet Goliath. He believed, and he lived out his faith. Faith is more than emotion or thought – we put it into action and that gives conduit to God’s action and plan in our life. James is the textbook for active faith.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? … So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.James 2:14, 17, NLT
We do not even need to see the end of the story to act in faith and know that God is at work. Instead of letting a Giant shut you down, let your faith lift you up in obedience, service, love for others, and compassion for the hurting. Faith in action is about serving God by serving and loving others. The advantage we have over the giants in our lives is that God is our strength and help, and our faith is combined with action to produce the victory.
The Power of Heart
One of the keys to the life of David is that he had a heart that God noticed.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7, NLT
But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David … a man after my own heart. …Acts 13:22, NLT
David was not perfect, but his heart belonged to God. Giving God our heart is not about perfection but devotion.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Mark 12:30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
Keep your heart focused on God, not the size of the Giant in your life. Return to the Bible and the prayer closet. Never let the enemy distract your heart and mind from the God who empowers and lives within you. .God desires for us to give him our heart – to be fully devoted to Him. When we do, we will have the strength to face our giants!
David had three obstacles: The giant was fierce, He had no experience, he heard critics.
You might identify with those disadvantages and obstacles.
David had three advantages: the power of God, His faith in action, A heart that belonged to God.
Today I encourage you to live in the provision of God’s victory that comes …
- even when we can’t see it coming
- even when it seems impossible
- even when others tell us it won’t
- even when we aren’t sure of the next steps
David ran to Goliath and slew him – and we run with God and never give up.