“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” – 1 Samuel 17:48 (NIV)
Traveling across the globe, the giant continues to balloon in size and momentum. In recent days, the escalating COVID-19 crisis has paralyzed many people into a fear-induced coma. But we’re not the first generation of people to be taunted by a giant and racked with fear.
Many years ago, the Israelites were preparing to go to war against the Philistine army. They ran into a roadblock when the Philistine’s sent out their ace in the hole, a nine-foot champion, who paraded himself in front of the Israelites. Day after day, Goliath tormented the Israelites with his mammoth size and threatening words. And it worked!
After hearing Goliath’s words, the King “and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified,” and “whenever the Israelites saw [Goliath], they all fled from him in great fear” (1 Samuel 17:11, 24). Only David, a young shepherd boy who wasn’t even serving in the army, had the boldness to take on the giant. When David questioned the hesitation of his countrymen, their response was “Have you seen the giant?” (1 Samuel 17:25, NLT). Roughly translated, “Hey David! Where have you been? Don’t you know how big this guy is?
The story of David and Goliath teaches us that there is a God-honoring way to respond to fear.
When faced with threatening circumstances, God desires for us to respond with a laser-sharp focus on Him.
It’s no coincidence that the Israelite army was rendered useless in the face of Goliath. They were all focused on Goliath’s size. But David’s eyes were fixed on his Rescuer. David replied, “The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37, NIV).
What are we fixated on today? Are our eyes fixed on our Rescuer, or are they focused on physical circumstances beyond our control? Through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness…” (Colossians 1:13). He deserves our attention.
When faced with threatening circumstances, God desires for us to respond with immediate obedience.
David didn’t waste time consulting with the military experts of his day, nor did He waste time weighing his options. Instead, David acted swiftly. 1 Samuel 17:48 tells us that as Goliath “moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.”
There’s only one fool-proof way to cultivate an obedient heart…by training! David’s training began long before Goliath ever appeared on the scene. While the Israelite army prepared for battle with strict physical training, David’s training was happening in the quietness of His heart as he pursued and prioritized his relationship with the Lord. In return, God responded by saying “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart…” (Acts 13:22). David was a man after God’s own heart because he loved, trusted and obeyed the Lord.
Like many in our world today, maybe you’ve given in to fear. It’s far easier to be fearful than it is to be fearless. But God is asking you to exercise obedience by trusting Him. It’s never too late to get in the game. Our God can redeem any ground that has been lost.
When faced with threatening circumstances, God desires for us to use the resources and abilities He provides.
So often, the resources and abilities God provides do not appear adequate to conquer the giants in our lives.
“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has defied the armies of the living God…’ Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:34-36, 40).
To slay Goliath, God equipped David with the following items: a sling and some stones, confidence gained by overcoming past adversity, and a cause—defending God’s army and ultimately the name of the Lord!
What are the resources and abilities God has given you? In one way or another, we can all offer up our praise to the Lord. I’m convinced that fear and praise are mutually exclusive. Fear has no room when we choose to praise God. What about adversity? Not one of us is immune to it. What has God taught you through past trials that can be used as ammunition for the battle at hand?
Lastly, when faced with threatening circumstances, God desires for us to respond with confidence knowing that the battle is not ours, but His.
This one is straightforward. David wasn’t focused on what he could do. Instead, he was focused on what His mighty God could do. Before he attacked Goliath, David told his enemy, “all those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).
Maybe the giant you’re facing today isn’t fear induced by COVID-19. Maybe the fear you’re facing is something entirely different. No matter what it is, there is hope. You can slay that giant if you respond with laser-sharp focus, immediate obedience, using the resources God has granted to you, knowing that the battle is ultimately not yours to fight.