This Sunday, Pastor David preached the first message of his new series, “My City.” During his message, he said something that really struck me: “King Saul wouldn’t fight Goliath, so why would his men? Some of you are kings. And if you don’t fight the giants in your life, the people you're discipling won’t fight those giants either.”
What a profound statement! We all naturally look to our leaders when something goes wrong. As children, we look to our parents. When I was 9 or 10, my parents took my brother and I to the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Florida. At M.O.S.I., there was this super realistic storm simulator. My brother and I were terrified to go in it. But my Dad loving told us that if we were ever scared, look at him and mom. If they weren’t scared, then my brother and I didn’t have to be.
We are all called to be disciples, and in turn there will be people God puts in your life for you to disciple. A great way to help others face their Goliath, is for us to lead by example and fight the Goliath in our own lives.
So where do we start? It’s so easy to get energized about facing our giants when we’re at church. But then tomorrow comes. And often, we don’t feel like the same brave warrior we were on Sunday. So we go back to being shepherds.
How did David walk in that courage? Let’s look at his life and see what he did.
The first key in David’s life is his worship. Worship music and time in God’s presence each day is an incredibly powerful thing! Worship does many things. It encourages us and makes us come alive. It reminds us of the truth, of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Worship is also one of our best weapons against the devil. He can’t stand the sound of worship, and when we sing and declare the truth in those lyrics it puts him to flight!
The second key is that David knew his true identity: He was a child of God! It’s crucial that we know who we are because the world constantly tries to impose different titles and identities on our lives. In this battle, David’s brother, King Saul and Goliath all attempted to label David.
1 Samuel 17:28 - But when David’s older brother Eliab heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!”
1 Samuel 17:32-33 - “Don't worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” 33”Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
1 Samuel 17:41-43 - Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods.
David was accused, belittled, and cursed. Yet, he wasn’t discouraged because he knew the truth. He was a child of the mighty God, and if God had come through for him before, He would come through again!
1 Samuel 17:44-47 - “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. 45David replied to the Philistine, “you come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies - the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. 46Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will feed you to the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47And everyone assembled here will know that this is the Lord’s battle, and He will give you to us!”
The third key, is that David declared the truth over his situation. You’re temptations will tell you that you’ll never be free, your fears will tell you that you don’t have what it takes, your giant will curse you and tell you that victory is impossible and your efforts are pointless. But when you pray, you send the angels to war on your behalf. (Daniel 10) When you sing praise and worship, you are declaring who your God is and who you are. When you dig into your Bible and you search for the truth, you’ll be able to stand face to face with whatever is blocking you and boldly claim your victory.
When you declare Scripture, you speaking God’s own words over your life! God’s words brought this world into existence and gave you your breath. Those words you’re speaking have life-giving, world-changing power!
1 Samuel 17:38-40 - Then Saul gave David his own armor - a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I am not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
Collecting those stones was one of the most important things that David did through this whole ordeal, because in doing so he was choosing to do things God’s way. He didn’t rely on himself, or what was the typical solution. He was totally open to what God would have him do. And that’s not to say that God will never have you use the normal solution to things. David used swords in many, many battles. But that wasn’t the method God had for this specific moment.
Sometimes in life, it’s very easy to assume what we should do. Especially if we’ve faced a similar giant before. This was a war, and wars were fought with swords and spears. But God will use the unconventional things to bring Himself greater glory.
1 Corinthians 1:27 - Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
Additionally, the tools David needed to fight Goliath were the very things that God had already given Him. God had already equipped David with what he needed that day. David didn’t wake up that morning and think to himself, “I am really in the mood to go find a giant today!” That day started just like any other day. But David was open to God’s guidance. And when God put it on his heart to speak up and stand up, David said yes. He hadn’t “prepared” in the ways of war or practiced how to use armor when he said,”Yes.” It was his obedience in the little areas of his life had prepared him.
Don’t forget that God can use anything, and He wants to use everything you’ve been through to equip you for the task at hand. Maybe it’s hard to grasp that idea. Maybe you’ve asked yourself, “How could God possibly use my life? What about all I’ve said and done?”
God knows what happened. That’s why He died for you and me. Despite the imperfections and the brokenness, God loves you.
Don’t disqualify the very things that can become your greatest testimonies! Revelations 12:11 - “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.”
Testimonies aren’t always pretty, but neither are weapons. And your unique story, every single part of it, can be just as powerful as a two-edged sword when it comes to defeating the enemy and liberating those in your sphere of influence.
Finally, if you want to slay giants, get around other giant slayers. David’s closest companions and most loyal friends had also slayed giants. Whatever giant you’re facing don’t face it alone! Later in his life, David was attacked by a relative of Goliath’s that would’ve killed him had a friend not intervened. David needed people around him who could help him fight when he grew weary. Connect with friends who pour life into and will help hold you accountable.
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Whatever giant you may be facing, whether it’s depression, addiction, lying, fear, sickness… get around people who have already beaten that giant. And then in your victory, God will use you to help someone fight their giant.
No matter what things look like right now, be encouraged. God’s got a great plan for you, and this battle will become a testimony. To quote Pastor Bryan Moore, “If things don’t look great right now, it just means that God’s not done yet!” Don’t give into the lies and don’t quit! Your Heavenly Father, who conquered death and brought the world to life, is fighting for you. And if He’s fighting for you, who could stand against you!