Defeating Our Goliaths
Categories: David, Expressing God, Perseverance, Personal Growth and Progress
Sometimes in life, we are confronted by rather big problems—a life-threatening disease, a financial crisis, a painful injury, a dysfunctional family relationship, an abusive situation, a loss of a dear one…. And sometimes we confront a few of these at the same time.
Long ago, the Israelites faced a rather big problem. His name was Goliath, and he was a 9-foot menace. Goliath defied them, shouting threats for days. He never let up. He kept challenging them day after day after day. The Israelites were mesmerized by Goliath’s size, his taunts, and his (seeming) power. Day after day, the Israelites cowered in fear.
No one challenged Goliath. No one except David—David who was not in the army, David who was a shepherd. A shepherd solved the biggest military problem the Israelites faced at the time.
And we can solve our personal Goliaths the same way. Just as the Israelites were easily impressed and fooled by Goliath’s size, so we are often impressed by the Goliath-like problems we face. Sometimes we get mesmerized by overwhelming situations which seem so big, strong, and powerful and that taunt us with terrifying images which seem hard, unlikely, and even impossible to defeat.
But we have one major advantage: we know what happened to Goliath. David struck down Goliath with one smooth stone slung from his sling right to the forehead. Precision! Goliath collapsed. What a fall that must have been. What a sound his crashing body must have made. Goliath’s defeat was total.
So how was David able to face Goliath in the first place, and how can we defeat the Goliath-like problems that loom large in our lives?
David was not mesmerized by Goliath’s challenge. Rather, he was offended. How dare Goliath defy Israel like this! (How dare this injury, disease, loss, Goliath-like problem try to defy my peace, my health, my well-being, my family!) So David decided to do something about it—to challenge Goliath and make him powerless, make the problem nothing to fear, in fact, nothing at all.
He did this by looking away from the problem and looking to God to find the solution. If we keep looking at the Goliaths, we could be gripped, even paralyzed by fear. We could be trapped by the image, the diagnosis, the words, and keep seeing the problem, noticing every little thing that’s wrong, getting more and more depressed or worried that we don’t know how to get out of a bad situation or heal an encroaching disease. That’s why we literally have to pull our eyes or our thoughts away from all the details of the problem and have the courage and conviction to trust God.
David turned to what he knew and trusted—God. David was absolutely convinced that God was more powerful than Goliath. He had proved it as he guarded his sheep, protecting them from a lion and a bear. He had practiced relying upon God for salvation, safety, protection.
And because David relied on God, he didn’t have to change who he was or go through some major transformation so he could defeat Goliath. He used what he understood (what he could do well)—his sling. He chose five smooth stones, but he only needed one. A lie doesn’t need thirty truths to defeat it. Just one truth accurately thrown, coming directly from God, will defeat a lie. Truth, God, is all-powerful and therefore able to defeat any Goliath-of-a-problem that’s on the attack.
We, too, can use what we know of God to defeat Goliaths. What we know of God’s all-powerful protecting and enveloping Love is enough. God—Love, Truth—gives us the necessary courage and conviction, accuracy and commitment to face our fears and defeat Goliaths (Goliath-like images) that would try to strip us of our freedom, our health, wholeness, well-being, or happiness.
Partnering up with God is enough, for God declares: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending … the Almighty” (Rev 1:8 KJV). When we begin with God, the All-powerful, God takes care of the ending. God ends the problem; God shows us the solution; God provides us with a blessed future. 1 Samuel 17 tells the story of David and Goliath.