Don’t Know How to Fight?
Fear has a way of overtaking us so that we feel there’s nothing we can do about it. Our fears contribute to our mental health issues such as our depression and anxiety and we feel we have no recourse against them, and no way to protect ourselves from them or to escape them. We feel paralyzed by our fears, whether they’re fears we’re conscious of, and we can verbalize what we’re afraid of, or fears that are unconscious, and we’re feeling overpowered by stress, worry, and anxiety that we don’t understand and can’t rationalize. When we feel paralyzed by fear, we feel powerless.
We feel like victims. We feel weak, vulnerable and defeated.
This must be how the Israelite s felt in 1 Sam 17, the whole army including the king was paralysed, camped on one hill, the Philistine army on the other hill. Every morning, Goliath, who is over nine feet tall, comes out to taunt Israel’s soldiers and he appears invincible to them. This had been going on for forty days. Morning and night, Goliath came out shouting at them, working at their minds, working at their hearts, building fear in them. Fear had settled into the hearts of the army and in particular Saul’s heart, who as the tallest man, the king, was most likely to be a match for Goliath.
Today, we have a Goliath-like enemy that walks around like a prowling lion, looking for whom he can devour. Our enemy will taunt us with similar questions: “Who do you think you are?” What makes you so great?” “What makes you think your God is going to come through for you?” “You may as well give up and accept your lot in life, slavery.” “There is nothing in this life for you, you may as well just give up, you are pathetic.”
When you allow yourself to listen to these words long enough, they eventually settle in your mind and develop a thinking pattern (an enemy stronghold in your mind), so that you are paralysed by fear.
When David, who has not been listening to Goliath, arrives to deliver food to his older brothers, Goliath steps out once more to shout his defiance at God’s nation, and the Israelite army quake in fear. However, David’s faith is immediately stirred and he says: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (verse 26). David is shocked at the situation, he recognises the enemy and immediately goes about finding out why this is happening and what needs to be done to straighten out the matter.
His faith is so stirred that he volunteers for the job, he himself stepping up to set things straight. David is totally confident that God will help him, he says to Saul (verse 37):
So Saul and his men immediately do what we all try and do. Following their own logic, they start to dress David in armor to match that of Goliath. (1 Sam 17:39-40) They give him armor, a sword, helmet and try in their own ability to prepare for the enemy, to equalize the odds between the two warriors. David tries to walk around in the armor because “he was not used to them” and imagine for a moment, what is going through David’s mind.
David must have wondered “What was I thinking!”
David must have started questioning his passion for God when he was obviously in a situation where he could not make a difference, it was impossible.
David in that moment had to make a decision.
Was he going to go to war based on his own limited abilities; what seemed the logical thing to do; based on the opinions of the people around him or was he going to go to war based on what he already knew about God.
He must have thought again about the lion and the bear incident, a time when he had faced off against an enemy that was bigger and stronger than him. He would remember how God enabled him supernaturally to have victory and get his sheep back. He remembered God’s faithfulness to Him and remembered that he just had to exercise his faith in that situation.
Now, he just needed to dig deep and exercise his faith once more to face Goliath, because he recognized that his faith had to be in “the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel.”
Go To War with What You Already Know In Your Heart To Be True of God
David had to make a decision to exercise faith based on what he really believed. We too, fight an enemy that is stronger than our own limited ability, but we fight for the God of the Angel Armies who has already established victory through Christ’s death and resurrection.
Who Is Your Goliath?
- Do you have a Goliath? Are You paralysed in fear? Be clear in your mind who/ what it is you are fighting – know your “uncircumcised Philistine” – identify your enemy.
- Stir your Faith! Remember your own “lion and bear” experiences of the past: – situations where God helped you, fought for you, delivered you and saved you in the past. God does not change: if He helped you before, He will help you again. Remember who is on your side (Rom 8:31-39)
- David started with what He had in his hands to take action (verse 40), we always have something that God provides us with. At times it may feel that it is only our convictions and the small logical steps we know we can take. But it is a start, because taking action is a choice to no longer be paralysed by fear, but to start moving.
- David prayed before He stepped out and then declared his faith for God to hear (verse 45-47). Declare your faith, start to pray and take action.
- David ran towards the battle: you can bet that as he was running towards Goliath he was not sure about his sling, but he was sure about God. His small action of stepping out, now built momentum in his faith so that he ran out to meet the enemy.
Go to War with what you know about God.
See How God WINS the battle.
When David did this, his small, insignificant human hands were able with God’s power and accuracy, to bring down a Goliath.
Father, thank you that you are mightier than any Goliath I may come across in my life. Thank you that You have established victory over my enemy and I merely need to remember your faithfulness to me in the past, stir up my faith and step out to face a conquered foe. You, my God, will deliver me from my enemy. I declare that I will not longer feel like a victim today, I will no longer feel as if I can do nothing. Instead I choose to stir up my faith, to pray and to go to war against my enemy.
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