Dr. Jackie Minor
Overcoming the Giant
Ever feel like you are fighting a giant? Giants in our lives take on many forms and can leave us running for cover. As I ponder our current situation, it is clear that there are a variety of giants people are facing—fear of starting school, meeting the academic and social needs of our students, racial unrest, contracting the virus, and financial hardships. Giants can be intimidating, often taunting us and threatening our way of life. No one knew this better than David. When faced with a giant of great proportions, David didn’t see a threat. Rather, he saw an opportunity for victory.
I know most are familiar with the story of David and Goliath (I Samuel 17). On the surface it may not seem applicable to our lives today. However, I continue to be amazed at how the Holy Spirit takes familiar passages and infuses meaning to inspire and provide guidance. Let’s take a closer look at this story. Perhaps we can glean some new insights on how to overcome the giants we may be facing.
In the unrest between the Philistines and Israelites, the giant, Goliath, was a major threat. He stood close to 10 feet tall and wore over 125 pounds of armor. His appearance was so horrifying that the Bible says Saul and his army were basically incapacitated. Their fear of the giant was greater than their faith in God. Instead of facing the giant, they chose to hide and wait it out, hoping Goliath and the Philistines would go away. This standoff lasted for forty days!
Insight #1: The giants in our lives can be crippling, causing us to live in fear. Giants are often frightening which can render us panicky and helpless. If we are not careful, we can lose sight of God’s promises. We cannot allow our fears to become greater than our faith.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Giants are real, but we weren’t meant to live in fear. When the giants come—and they will—we must shift our perspective. This is exactly what David did.
Insight #2: Giants are small compared to how big God is. David wasn’t phased by Goliath or the naysayers. When told it was impossible to take on this giant, David responded with great conviction. “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (17:37). Instead of fretting over the giant, David kept his focus on a powerful God who had been faithful in his past. David knew what God was capable of, and this knowledge kept his fear in check. He fixed his eyes on his God, not on the giant.
Insight #3: When faced with a giant, we have a decision to make: fight or flee. The Israelite army chose to flee. David chose to fight. Because of his faith, God gave David the courage and confidence the Israelites did not have. This really is remarkable when you think about it. From a human perspective, David’s odds were not good; surely he saw that. Somehow David realized this battle wasn’t about him and what he could do. I am amazed at his boldness.
Then David said to the Philistine, “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. (17:45)
And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (17:47)
Two key phrases I don’t want you to miss.
I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies.
This is the LORD’s battle.
We are not alone in the battle against our giants. No circumstance is too frightening when we remember God is sovereign over all. Declare it, and choose to fight!
Insight #4: Take what you have into battle; it will be enough.
Saul was certain David needed to “armor up.” He put a helmet on him, outfitted him with body armor, and gave him a sword, but David could barely move. This happens to us, too. We encounter a giant and often make things more complicated by procrastinating or seeking advice from books, social media, counselors, or friends. Please hear me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t seek counsel. There are times when this is totally appropriate. However, I wonder what would happen if we simply placed what we have in the hands of the God of Heaven’s armies! David used what he had—five simple stones. As it turned out, he only needed one.
This got me to thinking. What stones do we have available to overcome the giants in our lives? What is readily available to me that I can take into battle? My mind immediately went to Ephesians 6. To overcome our giants, we have to remember who the real enemy is. Then pick up our stones of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-18). We need all of them, but it may only take one to secure victory.
I realize things feel a bit overwhelming right now as COVID looms, racial unrest remains, and school is starting in the midst of great controversy. Conquering the giants in our lives is not easy, but remember God is in the battle with you. Let’s fight our giants with courage and confidence knowing the battle is the Lord’s. He will be victorious! When He is, just like in David’s time, everyone will know who our God is—the God who overcomes giants!