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Friday, May 25, 2012

Giant Slaying Faith - Part 2

In the first part of our study we learned from David that when you focus on God you can slay your giant; you can do all things. Faith faces the foe. But we also learned from King Saul that if you focus on your giant you will falter and fail before you start. Faith faces the foe. Fear keeps us from entering the fray.  

 David was not merely a talker; he was a walker; he acted on his faith. He followed through on his words of faith and went out to face Goliath. Goliath tried to intimidate David going out to him in his great girth and speaking disdaining words to young David (17:41-44). David would not be intimidated. Faith that rests in God cannot be intimidated or deterred. God based faith runs into battle and goes on the attack (17:45-47; see Matthew 16:18). And that is what David did. He ran to the giant, took out a stone, put it in his sling, fired it at the giant and hit the mark. I don’t know what it sounded like when that stone hit its mark, but it silenced the fans of Goliath. The stone hit, sunk in, and down with Goliath in a heap like a demolished building (17:48-49).

 David acted decisively. He left no doubt about the outcome. He didn’t have a sword so he took the giant’s and cut off his head. Can’t you just picture David grabbing the head and lifting it up for all to see? (That’s maybe too gory for some.)  But defeating giants can be messy. The enemy Philistines needed to see with clarity that they had been defeated (17:50-51). The result was a rout of the Philistines by Israel and recognition of David by King Saul (17:52-58).

 What is giant slaying faith? What can we learn about slaying the Giants in our lives from this true account of David slaying Goliath?

 First, giant slaying faith is obedient. Obedience does not assure comfort but can bring us into a faith challenging situation (17:17-22). David was obeying his father’s instructions when he was introduced to the battle. Paul was inspired to write that all who seek to live godly lives can expect to face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Sometimes it is God’s will to face a giant in our lives (1 Peter 4:19). When that is the case we must always remember that God is in control. God will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond our limits (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 Second, giant slaying faith is attentive and alert. Like David we should be attentive to what is going on around us (17:23-27). We need to walk circumspectly and in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-21). There are giants lurking. Keep your head on a swivel. We need to have our ears open, eyes alert, and heart attentive to the instruction and still small voice of the Spirit. We are in a war and an enemy attack can arise at any moment. Our way of warring is not like the world’s (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We need to have our spiritual armor on (Ephesians 6:10-18). Fighting giants can quickly degenerate into a fight in our flesh. That spells defeat every time. If we fight, it is in obedience to the Lord. And if we fight, it must be in the power of the Lord.

 Third, giant slaying faith is not discouraged. Understand there will be those who are spiritually shortsighted. Some may try to discourage us or question the logic and motives of going up against our giant (17:28-30). A great impediment of faith is negativity. We need to trust in the Lord and positively follow Him. David’s brother accused David of being motivated by “pride and the insolence of your heart.” That didn’t deter David. There will always be those who try to pour water on the fire of faith. If God puts it into your heart to go out against the enemy, even though it is a huge giant of an enemy, go for it! Just make sure it is God who is directing you. Make sure it is His power in which you are going out to battle (Ephesians 6:10). 

 Fourth, giant slaying faith encourages the fearful.  David encouraged the fearful (17:31-32). Faith and fear are foes. The person of faith needs to speak encouragement to the fearful as they are strengthened in their own faith by God (e.g. Abraham - Romans 4:20-21).

 Fifth, giant slaying faith trusts in God not man. Faith that slays the giant focuses on God, not fleshly or human resources alone (17:33-40). Saul focused on his physical strength and worldly weapons. David trusted in the training God had given him; a sling. When you focus on yourself and worldly rooted resources you always limit and encumber yourself battle. The best strategy is to look to God. Remember how He has trained you through experience in your life. Remember how God has delivered you and used you in the past. Remember how God has worked in and through you in the past and draw strength in faith from that. If God has delivered you in the past, He will do it again. That’s the faith attitude David went into battle with. (See Psalm 18:28-50; 20:7; 33:16-18; Zechariah 4:6).

 Sixth, giant slaying faith looks ahead (17:40). By selecting five stones David showed he was prepared for the four brothers of Goliath (2 Samuel 21:15-22). We need to prepare and be ready for other contingencies of the enemy. Giant slaying faith anticipates the potential moves of the enemy. We should not be deterred if the enemy lines up another four, of fifty or a hundred giants to confront us. If we go out in the strength of the Lord it doesn’t matter how many the enemy brings out against us! (See 2 Chronicles 16:9).

 Seventh, giant slaying faith is courageous. Faith is not intimidated by the words and actions of the giant (17:41-46). Goliath was big, but not bigger than God. We need to approach our giants from a God perspective. One with God is a majority. One with God is bigger than any giant.

 Eighth, giant slaying faith glorifies God.  Victorious faith aims at trusting in God and bringing glory to Him (17:47). David put all his trust in God. His motive was to bring glory to God via that victory against his giant. We should always seek to glorify God in every battle we enter (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17, 23-24).

 Ninth, giant slaying faith acts and follows through to completion. Giant slaying faith takes action and follows through to completion (17:48-58). David took action and followed through in faith on what God had put on his heart. He did not leave any part of his venture in faith undone. He hit Goliath between the eyes and knocked him down. He went over and finished the job by cutting off Goliath’s head. He left no doubt that the giant was dead. All could see the outcome of the battle. When we face our giants we need to follow through to completion by the faith and strength of God (See 1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24).

 What is the greatest giant to slay?  The greatest giant to slay is sin. The only way sin can be slain is through faith in Jesus. Sin can only be forgiven when we admit it (Romans 3:23), acknowledge there is a penalty or debt of sin, death (Romans 6:23a), accept that Jesus alone can and did pay the penalty for sin (Romans 6:23b), and then put our full trust and faith in Jesus for forgiveness of sin (John 5:24; Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 5:13; Ephesians 2:1-10). Once we have received our new life in Christ by following these steps (2 Corinthians 5:17), we can continue from faith to faith victoriously over sin by God’s grace through faith in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 2:13; Romans 1:16-17; 1 John 5:4). Sin is the giant that needs slaying in our life.

 What are the giants in your life? Who or what has come out to challenge your faith? What intimidating actions has the enemy confronted you with? An anti-God coworker or family member?  A personal addiction or way of the flesh that intimidates you?  Some other life circumstance that has arisen to challenge and attempt to intimidate your faith? Whatever it is that has challenged you, trust in the Lord and follow through like David did. Slay your giant in the faith of the Lord for the glory of the Lord!

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