Thursday, April 23, 2015

How To Be A Giant Killer

GBM Gateway - 12 April 2015 – by David Bong

 * No copyright. Use it if you can, for the glory of God. 

Main Scripture passage: 1 Samuel 17.

The story of David killing the giant Goliath is very familiar to us. We have heard about it in Sunday School or even read it in Christian books. Yet, for many of us, it is something that we don’t or can’t relate to our own problems/challenges or battles in life.

David was called the “man after God’s own heart”. That title or description is well exhibited throughout David’s life. It is David’s own conscious choice in relating to God and in how he responds to problems in his life. It will take many hours of studies on the life of David which will benefit you if you chose to do so. However, today I would like to revisit the story of David and Goliath and try to learn from David. Here is a good example in the OT of one who is living in the supernatural realm and we can gain much by learning from him.

Many of us want to be a giant killer. Many of us want to have that description in our spiritual resume. Some of you have already killed many giants in your life while others are still struggling to kill the ants in your life.

In brief: the story in 1 Samuel 17. Battle in Valley of Elah – Goliath challenging the army of Israel – Jesse sent David to see his 3 oldest brothers – David’s conviction – Eliab’s accusing David – King Saul agreed to let David fight – armor too big and heavy – 5 stones – ran and slung the stone – cut off Goliath’s head.

How then can we be a GIANT KILLER? What is it about David that he is able to reach a level where he can confidently kill a giant?

1.    David is FAITHFUL in the small things – verse 15.
  - taking care of a few sheep at the backside of the desert.
  - David risked his life and his future to care for the sheep. He needs not to risk his life and his father Jesse surely does not want to risk David’s life for one sheep. But David proved himself faithful even in the small tasks entrusted to him.
  - in chapter 16, we read that David was anointed as king by the prophet Samuel. Even after being anointed as king, David still have to do the tasks assigned to him by his father. Just because David has been anointed as king, it does not mean he can now order people around. He still have to do the small tasks given to him.

  * Are you faithful in the small things? Are you honest in your workplace? Do you take small things (stealing) from your office? Is your attitude of working in the office is as though you are working for the Lord Jesus Christ or you are just working for the monthly salary? Jesus said that if we are not faithful in the small things (one talent), how can we be entrusted with the bigger things? This is one spiritual principle that we cannot ignore in our spiritual walk with God. Just because we know God has anointed us with certain spiritual gifts, it does not mean we can straight away perform that calling. Starts with the small tasks first, then God will promote you to bigger ministry. One does not go from 0km to 1000km/hour in less than 5 seconds. That would be a wreck/explosion, and it will kill you.

  Be faithful in the small things that God has entrusted to you. That’s the first step in to build yourself up to be a giant killer.

 2.         David PROVED God while doing small things. Vs 34-36
  - by David’s own words, he said that God has helped him slay the lion and the bear while taking care of the sheep. Even while doing the so-called menial tasks of looking after the sheep, David use whatever problems that come his way to prove God power and promise.
  - Do you think a boy of maybe 10 -15 years old can kill a lion or a bear with his own strength? David did because he trusted God to help him overpower the lion and the bear.
  - I believe David trusted God to help him in many other instances, so much so that it becomes a normal thing for David. Even other people can attest to the result of David’s trust in God.
1 Samuel 16: 18, 18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”

* Many Christians have the desire to be the superhero for God. We wish that God will use us supernaturally to heal the sick, raise the dead, and do miracles. We wish one day, we will be in front of thousands of people and God will supernaturally anoint us. Then we will have the faith to be able to perform healing and miracles.
But have we proven God in the small things? Have we proven God to heal our headache, our stomach ache, our sickness? Have we proven God to be our Jehovah Jireh in the small things that we need? If we are not able to prove God’s power and promise even in the small things, where we just take the easy way out by popping a pill or drinking to down our worries, how can we then trust God in bigger problems like cancer or financial problems or depression?

3. Knowing Your Covenant with God – verse 26.
- David’s reference to Goliath being uncircumcised was pointing out that Goliath didn’t have any covenant rights like he did. In fact, every Israelite soldier was one of God’s covenant people, but they didn’t act like it.
*We Christians have a better covenant than David does. All true believers have covenant rights to health, prosperity, joy, peace, etc., but not all look at their circumstances through the covenant.
These Israelite soldiers were looking at Goliath and not at God’s promises. The Lord had promised them that no man would be able to stand before them (Deut. 11:25). Goliath was a man. He was a big man but a man nonetheless. While others only saw the giant, David kept his attention on the promises of God.
* What are the problems that you are facing right now? Do you continuously look at the problem and are afraid, just like the Israelite soldiers? Or do you look at the problem from your new status in Christ. What are the promises that God has given to us the new believers for every circumstances? We need to face the problems according to what the Word says, and not to what our carnal senses tell us.
Philippian 4:19 – God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches.
2 Peter 1: 2 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
Psalms 27:1 - The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Deut 28 – you shall be the head and not the tail, you are blessed wherever you go.

* Knowing the promises of God and believing in such promises does not make the problems disappear. The Devil is not intimidated by you knowing God’s promises. Knowing your covenant merely positions you to a better fighting position. You are now facing the problem, having your front facing the giant. If you don’t know your covenant, you will be standing with your back facing the giant. Remember, you don’t have much protection for your back.  And the fiery darts of the enemy will easily hurt and kills you. Instead of hiding behind rocks and caves, you can now stall tall facing your giant. 

4. Standing Firm in your belief
- after Eliab heard what David said, Eliab became angry at David and accused him of being irresponsible. (Eliab became angry maybe because he was not selected to be anointed as the next king.) Yet, David continued with his conviction/belief. David has a cause that is greater than his brother’s criticism.

* Many Christians are glad to find a certain truth of God’s Word and they eagerly share their conviction. However, at the first criticism by others, they back out and no longer share their convictions. Has God asked you to stand firm on certain matters based on His promises? Stand firm then and continue to live out that conviction no matter what others might think or say about you.
* Be wise when received criticisms. There are constructive criticisms. Eg. Appollos being inadequate in his preaching about Christ, therefore Aquilla and Priscilla instructed him privately in their home. Eliab’s criticism is against David’s personality and character, where such type of criticism is generally to bring down a person. 

- As David continued to share his conviction with the other soldiers, the other soldiers are also convicted by its truth. I believe the soldiers started to talk about it and that is why they reported it to King Saul. David may not be a prophet that speaks the oracle of God like the prophet Samuel but David’s words are based on God’s covenant with the people Israel. In the olden days, the words of the prophets can give great encouragement to the king and soldiers before a battle. I believe David’s words have similar effect on the soldiers and as such they dare to tell it to King Saul. There is hope in David’s words.

- after David deflected his brother’s criticism, he has to face doubts by the highest authority in Israel. King Saul told David the facts, the real facts, - that Goliath is fighting machine and David is only a boy, a pretty boy. If being criticized by your own family members is not bad enough, David now faced doubts by the king himself. What do you do when the doctors say that your sickness is incurable, your bank says that your bankruptcy is for sure, your psychiatrist tells you that your depression is permanent or your boss says that you will also be lay off in the company’s restructuring plan?  
David stood firm in his convictions and rehearsed to the king what God has done in the past. If you have been able to prove God in the small things in the past, you will be able to be like David when facing a big problem. Then you can consider what God has done in your life that has proven Him to be the God Almighty.

- David also stood firm against the insults and threats by his enemy Goliath. Even when facing a deadly threat by his enemy, David did not waiver in his faith. Instead he countered it with a counter-threat. (You want to kill me, hahahaha, I will kill you instead) WOW! David is really sure of what God can do through him.
So the next time you face insults and threats by the enemy, stand firm and let the enemy know what God can do through you in that obstacles. I can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13), I can tread Satan under my foot (Rom 16:20), I am more than a conqueror (Rom 8:37).
* From the worldly view, it is really unfair for the small David to fight the giant Goliath. However, in the supernatural realm, Goliath does not have any chance at all against David. A TOTALLY UNFAIR fight against Goliath when God Almighty stands with David.

 5. Faith without work is dead. Conquer your giants.
At the end of it, we will still need to face our giants in life. Look at David’s preparation for that moment.
- King Saul recommended David to use his armor. But David has not proven it and therefore David cannot move in it. If King Saul’s armor does not do him any good to go fight against Goliath, why would use such armor. Some people would be eager to help you fight your giant by recommending something or some methods. Face your giants according to the way you are comfortable with.
- David brought his staff and chose 5 stones. This is the weapon that David is familiar with, a staff and a sling. I’ve heard a sermon that David chose 5 stones because Goliath has another 4 brothers and David is ready to slay all 5 of them if necessary. However, it could also be that David chose 5 stones so that in case he missed the first one, he still has 4 more stones to use against Goliath. Having faith in God does not mean that you will get it perfect all the time. You may get it wrong at first, but you continue on and on until you slay the giant.
- When Goliath rose up to meet him, David ran towards him. David was not afraid. Your attitude toward your giants will be very obvious when it is time to face them. If you really believe the promises of God, you would not run from a fight – you will run to it. Do you really believe what God said or not? The giants are going to test what God has put in you.
- David attacked the giant. He is not going to wait and just trying to defend himself. David slung a stone at Goliath. Then God worked the supernatural, a miracle. A stone in the natural would never be able to pierce a metal helmet. With whatever “feeble” effort that you can do, God would supernaturally empower it to defeat your giants.
- David made sure the giant is dead by cutting off his head. When David cut off his head and held it up, all doubt was removed, and the enemy fled. Then the Philistine army ran and the Israelite chased after them and had great victory. Make sure your giants are dead so that they will not come back and challenge you again.

People don’t like to face giants, but David wouldn’t have been a hero if he had slain a midget. The giants in your life are actually great opportunities for God to show Himself strong on your behalf. Your greatest tests will become your greatest testimonies.
David’s victory over Goliath catapulted him into his destiny. Likewise, whatever giant you are facing can become the greatest victory in your life as you stand on God’s Word and overcome it.

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