November 7, 2014
By Skip Heitzig
The story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 is a story of perspective—the perspective of faith versus the perspective of fear and pessimism. King Saul and his army were frightened, but David's perspective enabled him to encourage them: "Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine" (v. 32).
That's why it's great to be around people of faith. They lift us up. Faith is contagious—but so is pessimism. Ten of the twelve spies sent out by Moses discouraged the people with stories of giants in the land, while Joshua and Caleb said the Israelites could overcome them. And the ten prevailed.
David had big faith. He said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine" (v. 37). Where did he get this almost reckless confidence in God? Simple: David had seen God vanquish lesser enemies in the past, so he figured, "If God could do that, I'm ready for giants now."
You don't start out in life slaying giants. You begin with lions and bears, with the daily hassles that come to you. How you handle those tell a lot about how you'll handle something big in the future. If you flunk lesser classroom tests, you're going to flunk Giants 101. But if you can handle lions and bears, you'll do fine with giants.
Jeremiah said to the people of Israel, "If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?" (Jeremiah 12:5). If you can't handle it when it's easier, you won't be able to handle it when it's a lot bigger.
Faith and perspective are developed by lesser battles, as David demonstrated. He told Goliath, "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand…. For the battle is the Lord's" (vv. 46-47). David's perspective was to compare the size of the giant to the size of God.
If you're going to kill giants, you need a healthy view of the size of your God, not your enemy. You have to realize He's the God who created the heavens and the earth, and there's nothing that's too hard for Him (see Jeremiah 32:17). Martin Luther had it right when he said, "With God, one is a majority."
What kind of people will face the giants in their lives—the difficult sins, the fears and insecurities? People who have a healthy view of the size of their God. People who are prepared by God with the aptitudes He has given them and who are actively serving Him right now. People who have seen God deliver against lesser enemies in the past.
It doesn't begin on the battlefield; it begins in the sheepfold, the daily stuff of life. So, face the challenges in your life now so that when something more intimidating comes along, you'll remember how faithful God has been already. You serve the mighty God. Have confidence, not in sword or in shield, but in Him. The battle is the Lord's, and "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
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