We all have giants that we face in life, things that may seem like insurmountable problems.
It may be something we’re afraid of or something we’re under the power of. It may be something that seems to always loom large and never stop bothering us. Maybe you overcame this giant for a week or even a month and thought you had victory. And then it came back with a vengeance and brought you down.
In the Bible we find the story of a young man who was able to bring his giant down. David was a study in contrasts. He was both a warrior and a worshiper. David was both a fighter and a lover. He was a king, and he also was a sinner.
But when we’re introduced to him in Scripture, he was a shepherd boy watching over his flock. He was one of the sons of a man named Jesse, who lived in Bethlehem. God had spoken to the prophet Samuel and basically said, “I’m done with King Saul. He’s out. My new king is from the house of Jesse, in Bethlehem.” So the prophet Samuel went to Bethlehem.
When a prophet showed up, it was a big deal. The whole town turned out, and they all were waiting to hear what the prophet had to say. Samuel offered a sacrifice, and then he asked Jesse to bring out his boys. Jesse had seven strapping boys, and he brought them before the visiting prophet. They were the magnificent seven for sure. As the prophet looked at them, he was wondering who the next king would be.
Then he saw Eliab, the tallest of the sons, and thought maybe he was the one. But God 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” (2 Samuel 16:7 NLT).
Among the whole gang of seven, not one of them was the right one. Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more boys.
Jesse said, in effect, “Yeah, I’ve got one more. He’s out in the field. He watches over the sheep.”
So they sent for David. And when David showed up, the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him” (verse 12 NLT). The prophet anointed David as Israel’s next king, and then he left.
Fast-forward, and the children of Israel are in a conflict with their longtime enemies, the Philistines. The Philistines and their army were camped on one side of the big Valley of Elah, while the Israelites were on the other side. David’s father sent him on an errand to take food to his brothers who were serving in the Israeli army.
Then David heard some overgrown man strutting around in the valley, posing a challenge to Israel to send someone to fight him. It was Goliath, a gigantic 9-feet-6-inches of solid muscle, covered head to toe in body armor. He was saying, “I’ll make you a deal. If the guy that fights me wins, the Philistines will serve you. But if I win, you will serve us.”
David basically said, “Why isn’t someone fighting him? He’s mocking God.”
“No one wants to fight him.”
“I will fight him!”
“You and what army?” they effectively said, probably after they got up off the ground from laughing.
“The Lord and me. I’ll face him by faith, and I’ll go now.”
So little David went out to face this warrior. The Bible tells us that he “triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran” (1 Samuel 17:50–51 NLT).
What we learn from this story about facing our giants is that the battle belongs to the Lord. David knew this. He said to Goliath, “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. Today the Lord will conquer you” (verses 45–46 NLT).
Giants defeat us again and again because we face them in our own strength – and we lose. The Bible tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10 NKJV). In other words, you can’t defeat your giants in your own strength. You can only do it through God’s strength. We rest in his strength when we face our giants, and we recognize that it is a spiritual battle.
Whatever your problem is right now, pray about it. Is something troubling you? Pray about it. Turn your worries into prayers. Turn your fears into prayers. Turn your problems into petitions. The Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7 NLT). When you pray, your perspective changes.
We also learn from this story that we must attack our giants. If you tolerate a giant, he’ll take over your territory. He’ll come right up onto your doorstep. That’s why you don’t run from giants, you attack them. That’s what David did. As Goliath moved closer to attack, David ran quickly to meet him. David didn’t just hold his ground; he ran in Goliath’s direction. And he didn’t just attack his giant; he finished him off. If you don’t kill your giants, your giants will kill you. So finish them off.
We all will face severe hardships in life. We all will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We all will deal with temptation. But every giant is conquerable. Let’s face our giants in faith and realize that God is bigger than any problem, than any obstacle we will face in life.
This article originally appeared on Greg Laurie’s blog. Used with permisison.
Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, an author of more than 70 books, and an evangelist leading Harvest America, a live nationwide event streamed to thousands of host locations. Read more at Harvest.org.
Read more at How to Conquer a Giant in Your Life.