Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Slaying The Giant

Slaying The Giant
Posted by Sarah

“Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head…” 
 - 1 Samuel 17:46 (NLT)

I have always loved watching epic warriors in battle. Whether it’s medieval knights, courageous patriots, WWII soldiers, hobbits, or Lucy, Edward, Susan, and Peter in The Chronicles of Narnia, my eyes tune into the battle scene to watch the warrior fight.  I guess I’m inclined to see what happens. Will the solider retreat? Will the warrior prevail? Will courage ultimately overcome fear? 

When it comes to warriors, David comes to mind. The Bible recounts his story as a young teen who saw the injustice of a Philistine giant publicly mocked God and responded. When everyone ran in the name of fear (including Israel’s king named Saul), David stepped up. In bravery, David went to battle dismissing every naysayer who said it couldn’t happen because he was a “youth.” 

Armed with rocks and a sling, David proclaimed to the giant that the battle was the Lord’s and that He would have victory! Aggressively, David ran toward his opponent and with one precise shot, took down the giant!

Like David, I too have faced giants: Giants of fear, condemnation, guilt, insecurity, unbelief, temptation, pride, and various forms of opposition. 

While some of my encounters with the giant ended in victory like David, 0thers ended in miserable defeat like Saul. 

According to the Bible, Goliath, the Philistine champion first came on the scene calling out all of Israel to fight him. Standing six cubits and a span (nine feet, nine inches tall according to according to Thomas Nelson’s bible commentary), he was also armed and dangerous. Possessing a bronze helmet, coat of mail (overlapping plates of bronze sewn on leather), bronze armor on his legs, a bronze javelin between his shoulders (strapped onto his back according to Nelson,) a spear (where the spearhead alone weighed six hundred sheckles equaling seventeen pounds according to Nelson), and a shield barrier who went before him into battle.

Additionally, the Bible tells us that Goliath hated Israel and screamed out taunts against the nation, terrorizing and harassing the people continually.

One look at Goliath sent Saul into shear panic and I too have done the same. I’ve become intimidated, plagued with guilt, had failures haunt me, allowed fear to encroach me, and was lured by temptation. In short, I have been like Saul.

But unlike Saul, I have chosen to not withdraw in fear and to allow Jesus to dust me off and use my fumbles as lessons. In short, I chose to be like David.

Our adversary known as Satan (the devil) schemes to destroy and seeks our demise. He uses giants that come in a variety of weaknesses and forms (such as family members, cute guys, and bad thoughts) to trip us. He will capitalize on vulnerabilities, pounce on unpleasant scenarios, and shoot darts when we lest expect it. The bible calls him a roaring lion who seeks to devour (1 Peter 5:8, NLT). He will do anything to thwart our relationship with Jesus and get us distracted, disillusioned, and ultimately, derailed. 

Yet we don’t have to be a victim. The bible warns us to let Satan take advantage us by being ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11, NKJV). We can study and train for battle. I learned from David’s example that we must know our opponent and his tactics to gain ground. With God’s help, we can become aware of our weaknesses and seek to make them strong. I studied how David stepped up in courage and how He won the battle by fighting with spiritual weapons such as prayer, faith, and walking in truth, and proclaiming Christ. Additionally, I learned that the battle is won when our minds are set on victory placing our complete confidence in God (not ourselves) to know the battle is the Lord’s. Furthermore, I learned that the battle is also won when we are willing to be obey God, step up, and fight for what is right. When we ignore the naysayer’s and think big as David did, we too can experience victory! 

Yet, we must always remember that giants can resurface and revisit. When Jesus Himself was faced with temptation by the devil it says that he departed until an opportune time. The devil didn’t stop opposing him. Instead, he waited for an opportune time to attack. If he did this with Jesus, he will do it with us. But if I know he attack’s my weak points we know like David that when he attacks, he must be finished.

David cuts off the head of Goliath after he is dead in 1 Samuel 17:51. It’s blunt and gory but it’s a great illustration of what we should do with our giant. We can’t flirt with its agenda or run away. Instead with God’s help, we must be aggressive and slay the giant so the giant cannot get back up. If we want to have victory, like any great warrior, we must slay the giant.

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