Slaying Goliath

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Slaying Goliath

By Larry R. Lasiter

1999

The battle lines were drawn. Across a great valley, the army of the Lord faced their enemy, the Philistines. The mighty army of the Lord was in full battle array, shouting the war cry, and waiting anxiously for the sound of the trumpet! The Philistines had invaded Judah and were standing on holy ground defiantly challenging the God of Israel to do something about it!

It was a tense moment, adrenaline was rushing through the veins of each soldier. Hearts pounding, they were determined to defend the honor of their God and His chosen people.

Then suddenly a single Philistine warrior stepped forward onto the plain. He stood upwards to thirteen feet tall, wearing a two hundred pound breastplate, and holding a spear weighing about thirty pounds! He was the Philistine Champion of war. His name was GOLIATH, meaning "exiled, raging spirits!"

The hearts of the Israelites melted at the sight of Goliath, and they trembled in fear. For thirty-nine days Goliath had humiliated and demoralized the Lord's Army. Each morning, the Israelites would summon up the courage to ready themselves for battle, only to shrink away in fright and disgrace.

But day forty would prove to be very different. Forty is the number of trial and testing. For thirty-nine days not one Israelite had overcome the trial and passed the test. For thirty-nine days Goliath had taunted the Living God and no one had answered his challenge.

But on the morning of the fortieth day, a young shepherd boy named David was delivering goods to his brothers who were soldiers in the Army of the Lord. He arrived in the camp as Goliath began his challenge and taunt. David was enraged and asked,- "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the Living God?!"

Twice each day Goliath had offered the challenge,- "Face me!" "Defend your God!"

For forty days not one had answered his challenge, they all trembled in fear before him.

This young shepherd boy was delivering goods to his brothers, he was not there for battle,. . .but David answered immediately! He had no doubts, he was convinced that his God was faithful.

Though not trained for warfare, David was courageous and anxious to face the challenge while trained soldiers cowered in fear and shame. David's trust was in his God, not in his personal training or ability.

David sought permission from King Saul to answer the challenge, notice- "And David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." 

 

SATAN TRIED TO PLANT SEEDS OF DOUBT

(1) ELIAB, David's older brother: His anger burned against David saying,- "Why have you come down here?" "YOU ARE ONLY A SHEPHERD BOY, who is watching the flock?"

(2) KING SAUL: "You ARE NOT ABLE TO GO AGAINST THIS PHILISTINE." "YOU ARE JUST A BOY, YOU ARE TOO YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED." "GOLIATH HAS BEEN A WARRIOR SINCE HIS YOUTH." "HE IS TRAINED AND HAS KILLED MANY MEN." "HE IS A CHAMPION!"

(3) GOLIATH: "AM I A DOG THAT YOU COME TO ME WITH A STICK?" "I WILL FEED YOU TO THE BIRDS!" 

 

Notice David's answer in faith,- "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I COME TO YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HOSTS, the GOD OF THE ARMIES OF ISRAEL, whom you have taunted. This day the LORD WILL DELIVER YOU UP INTO MY HANDS, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, THAT ALL THE EARTH MAY KNOW THAT THERE IS A GOD IN ISRAEL, and that ALL THIS ASSEMBLY MAY KNOW THAT THE LORD DOES NOT DELIVER BY SWORD OR BY SPEAR; for the BATTLE IS THE LORD'S and He will give you into our hands."

David was not shaken. He met Goliath's challenge with a STONE. (Isaiah 44:8) He refused to approach the giant with the armor of men, but clothed himself with the spiritual armor of the Lord. Protected by the "Shield of Faith" (Ephesians 6) the Devil was unable to pierce him with his fiery darts of doubt and fear.

David knew that it was not the size or the might of the enemy, but the might and power of the Lord, to whom the battle belonged. . .David knew IT WAS NOT THE NEED, but WHO THE PROVIDER WAS. . .David knew IT WAS NOT THE PROBLEM, but WHO THE DELIVERER WAS. . .David knew IT WAS NOT THE SICKNESS, but WHO THE HEALER WAS. And he faithfully placed his faith in Him who is always faithful. 

 

WE BATTLE AGAINST SPIRITUAL FORCES

Jesus said that if one has the FAITH the size of a tiny mustard seed, he could say to this "MOUNTAIN" "be removed and be cast into the sea" it would happen! (Matthew 17:20)

About three thousands years ago, this young shepherd boy named David faced a "mountain" of a man whose very name means "exiled, raging spirits", but prevailed over him because of his faith in his God. He spoke to the "mountain" and said, "THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S."

As Christians, we have SPIRITUAL GOLIATH'S to slay. Our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against "exiled, raging spirits!"

2 Corinthians 10:3-5,- "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

Satan seeks to build a "fortress" or "stronghold" in a person's life. He wants you to believe that a problem or a sin in your life is too big a mountain for you to overcome. The Devil is a liar and is the father of lies. He and his demons are lying spirits sent forth into the world to deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. But we are assured by God's Word that if we resist him, he will flee from us! (James 4:7) Notice,- "SUBMIT therefore TO GOD. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. DRAW NEAR TO GOD and HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

James tells Christians to "cleanse" themselves and stop practicing things that are not pleasing to God, stop being "double-minded." He is saying what Paul told the Corinthians,- "You cannot partake of the cup of demons and the cup of the Lord." And also what Jesus meant when He said,- "You cannot serve two masters" and please God.

Notice, as we read in 2 Corinthians 10, in spiritual warfare, you must guard your mind and thoughts, taking every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ. WHY? Because many of our thoughts are notreally our thoughts, but are demonic spirits tempting us with suggestive thoughts. WHY DOES SATAN AND HIS SPIRITS USE THIS STRATEGY? Because. . . . .

(1) THOUGHTS produce FEELINGS

(2) FEELINGS produce ACTIONS

(3) ACTIONS become HABITS

(4) HABITS produce CHARACTER

(5) CHARACTER determines your DESTINY

We all have GOLIATHS that stand in the way to eternal life. If we are truly traveling the little used, narrow road, we cannot take a detour around them, we must overcome them.

The giant Philistine that David slew was not always so mighty and powerful. Like any of us, he began as the seed of man, born as a helpless baby who had to be carefully nurtured by his mother. OVER TIME, Goliath grew to be the mighty mountainous warrior he became.

Likewise, many of the "mountains" that we face began very small. When they were small, they would have been much easier to overcome, wouldn't they? That is why it is so important to "CAPTURE EVERY THOUGHT",before it becomes a "feeling", an "action", a "habit" and our "character."

A demonic spirit may tempt your mind with a "desire" that will become a "lust" if left unchecked.

EXAMPLE: A desire is like saying "a glass of wine sure would be good." Lust becomes an additive need, such as alcohol is to an alcoholic who would believe,- "I MUST have a drink to get through the day."When desire turns into lust, it can cause you to believe a lie and do and say what is unlawful, such as,- "Alcoholism is a sickness that I suffer from. . .God understands." The truth is, ALL DRUNKARDS will have their part in the LAKE OF FIRE!" (1 Cor.6:10 / Gal. 5:21)

Alcoholism is not a sickness but a sin that will destroy not only your physical body but your eternity. If this is a "mountain" in your Way to the Kingdom, put your faith in God, and submit and commit to change, and He will help you in time of need. Stop being "double-minded" and determine that you will resist the Devil at this point of temptation. If you truly resist, he will flee from you and God will set you free. "It is for FREEDOM that Christ has SET US FREE. STAND FIRM, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

Goliath (SIN) is always crouching at the door, you must slay him with the spiritual weaponry of the Lord. (Genesis 4:7)

Israel followed God out of Egypt (type of SIN), God did not follow Israel. God must go forth and we must follow His lead.

EXAMPLE NUMBER TWO: A person's marriage may become a "Goliath". A person who is unhappy with their marriage may begin to dwell on how much they desire a happy marriage to the point of becoming discontented. Remember, Paul tells us to learn to be content in our circumstances. The Apostle Paul himself desired a wife but because the Church did not support him adequately he could not financially provide for one,- "Do we (Paul and Barnabas) not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?(Peter) (1 Corinthians 9:5) But Paul did not let his desire for a Christian wife become a lust, he was content and accepted his situation,- "Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." (Philippians 4:11)

If a person unhappy with their marriage becomes discontented, they will develop a lust for what they don't have. If this goes unchecked, over time this lust will consume them as an alcoholic is consumed and driven by his addictive need for alcohol. Succumbing to lying spirits, they will become convinced that they cannot be happy as long as they are in this situation.

As addicts find themselves doing things that they would have never even dreamed of doing to satisfy their unlawful desire, -one who is discontented in their marriage may soon find themselves lusting for a happy one, and doing things they would have never thought they would do.

They develop a mind-set where they are "SELF-Centered" rather than "GOD-Centered." It becomes "WHAT THEY WANT and what they perceive they need", rather than "WHAT GOD WANTS AND REQUIRES."

They soon find themselves standing at the "CROSSROADS OF LIFE", one leading to BLESSING and LIFE, and one leading to CURSING and DEATH.

They will either deny themselves as Paul and Barnabas did, or they will pursue the lust of their heart.

They may drop out of Church services, Bible Study and fellowship, or they may allow lying spirits to convince them that they can pursue their unlawful desire, leave their spouse, find another who will"Make them happy." "After all, it is God's will, because He wants me to be happy."

From this point on this is the motivation for all their actions. It becomes all about self, instead of God.

Then they expect God to follow them, bless them, when in reality, they have made a mockery of being obedient.

A person who succumbs to practicing sin often replaces obedience to God's will with sacrifice, as King Saul did. The Prophet Samuel told Saul,- "Behold, it is better to obey than to sacrifice. . .for rebellion is as the SIN of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as the SIN of idolatry." (1 Samuel 15:22)

God is Love, and love and obedience must be our motivation for what we do. All the Commandments are summed up by Love toward God, and Love toward your neighbor. Without the love of God any sacrifices we may make will profit us nothing, Jesus will still say- "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"

Notice also,- "And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:3)

Self-righteous Pharisees once asked Jesus why He had fellowship with sinners? Jesus answered,- "It is not the healthy who are in need of a Physician, but the sick."

Two thousand years ago this Physician was called to prescribe for a world of sick people. After examination, He discovered that they were filled with poisons that would destroy them. He saw that they were filled with the poisons of disobedience, self-righteousness, lust, bitterness, envy, jealousy, selfishness and hate. The wise Doctor prescribed the medicine of LOVE. "But now abide FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, these three, but the greatest of these is LOVE." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

THESE ARE DIVINELY POWERFUL WEAPONS AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF DARKNESS. THEY ARE NEEDED TO SLAY THE "EXILED, RAGING SPIRITS" (Goliath)

The Shield of FAITH will protect us from the missiles of doubt the Devil fires at us. It will enable us to believe God, being convicted that He is always right and is faithful to His Word.

HOPE is the anchor of our souls. It keeps us from being tossed here and there by every trial or problem that arises. Notice,- "This HOPE we have as an ANCHOR of the soul, a HOPE both sure and steadfast." (Hebrews 6:19) We understand that ALL THINGS work to the good of those who love God. Sometimes it pleases the Lord for us to suffer patiently. (1 Peter 2:19)

LOVE is the most powerful force in existence. God is Love and Love gave God the Father the ability to give His own Son as a sacrifice for sinful man. It is His divine nature, and must become ours. Love gives us the right motivation, it destroys the fortresses the Devil tries to establish in our lives. Love is patient and kind, and is not jealous. Love produces self-less-ness, as opposed to selfishness. Love does not seek its own interests, but produces HUMILITY. And Love never fails in the day of battle. Goliath is always defeated by Love exercised properly.

After giving a lecture on humility, Dwight Moody was asked,- "Am I to understand that you are saying that a "humble man" does not think much of himself?" Moody replied,- "No, I am saying, a "humble man" does not think of himself at all."

As Christians, we all have "Goliath's" in our lives that need to be overcome. It may be lying, sexual lust, anger, lack of self-control, impatience, unsubmissiveness, discontentment, not releasing the Lord's tithes,hatred, unforgiveness, envy, a drinking problem, a smoking problem, illegal drug use, gossip, etc.

God does not want us to be enslaved by any of these things, because we become servants to what enslaves us.

Let us commit ourselves to be as David when confronting the Philistine giant. He was anxious to defend the honor of his God and the Army of the Living God. When Goliath rose to meet the young shepherd, David RAN QUICKLY TOWARD THE BATTLE LINE! (1 Samuel 17:48) There was no cautious, sizing up! David was driven by FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE in and for his God. There was no, "This is going to be too difficult."David simply committed and trusted the Lord to deliver.

Make your commitment to RUN QUICKLY TOWARD YOUR BATTLE with your Goliath, and do it today. Don't size up the situation, nor take into account the strength of the problem. Don't be cautious but courageous. Say No! to Satan now, and resist him.

You may feel you are stuck on the road to the Kingdom because Goliath is in the way. You may be afraid to face him. But you can overcome. If you will place your faith, hope, love and trust in God, He will enter the fight. Let Him turn your fear into faith through your obedience to His will.

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries