Tag Archives: david and goliath

Victory In The Valley

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

When reading the story of David and Goliath recently, I noticed something I had read over. I Samuel 17:3 says, “So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them” (NLT). I had never picked up that there was a valley between the two sides. Then verse 40 says, “He (David) picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.” David had to go into the valley to win the victory.

You won’t win victory standing where you are. You are going to have to make the first move. For 40 days, the Israelites were paralyzed by fear. Each day Goliath invited them to fight him, but they stayed put. When David heard Goliath’s taunts, he didn’t get fearful, he got a righteous anger. He knew that this was a spiritual battle that had to be handled in the physical as well. To win the spiritual battle, he’d have to enter the valley and trust God.

Fast forward 14 generations, Jesus was fighting a spiritual battle that required Him to enter a valley as well. John 18:1 says, “After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.” The battle He was fighting was to have the courage to do what God wanted while facing the fear of dying a torturous death on a cross. He could have stayed where He was, but He entered the valley to pray that God’s will be done.

Both David and Jesus recognized that the battle was the Lord’s. They both knew who was fighting on their behalf. That gave them the courage to walk into what seemed like certain death in order to obtain the victory. You and I have to have the same tenacity in prayer and desire to go into the valley if we are going to win our spiritual battles. We are going to have to let go of fear and embrace what God wants to do, enter the valley in front of us, and fight on our knees for victory.

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Spiritual Eyes

  
When I was in high school, I played basketball. We had a great team every year except for my senior year. We had a sophomore on the team who was 6’8″ tall. The problem was, he wasn’t very good either. Before every game though, while the other team was warming up, I would send him out to the court. I would say, “Here’s what I want you to do. Go out there to our side of the court, reach up as high as you can on the net, hold it, and just stare down the other team with a mean face. Do that for about a minute, then walk back in here.”

I knew that the other team would judge him by his size and not his ability. That’s just how we are wired. God knew that when He sent Samuel to Jesse’s house to find a new king for Israel. I Samuel 16:6 says, “When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!’” (NLT) He was looking for a person who looked like a king. God was looking for someone who would act like one.

In verse 7 the Lord said, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” He wanted Samuel and us to learn to see people the way He does. He doesn’t look at the brand of clothes we wear, the car we drive, the job we have, the neighborhood we live in, or the people we are connected with. God looks at our ability to serve Him and to be obedient to His voice.

In the next chapter, when the Israelites faced Goliath, they made the same mistake. When they looked at him, they saw a mighty warrior. When they saw David, they saw an inexperienced boy. David won the battle not because of who he was on the outside, but because of who he was on the inside. He had spent time with God in prayer and in worship. He had been on his knees long before this battle began. In the spirit realm, their size was flip flopped. David was the giant and Goliath was merely a little boy.

Whatever you’re facing today, let me encourage you not to be discouraged by what you see. It is not as it appears. Quit looking at it through your physical eyes, and learn to see it with your spiritual ones. You are more than a conqueror. You are a child of the King of Kings. You have the One who is greater than anything living in you. Rise up with the confidence of knowing who you are inside, fight, and win your battle. If God is for you, who can be against you?

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Victory In The Valley

  
When reading the story of David and Goliath recently, I noticed something I had read over. I Samuel 17:3 says, “So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them” (NLT). I had never picked up that there was a valley between the two sides. Then verse 40 says, “He (David) picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.” David had to go into the valley to win the victory.

You won’t win victory standing where you are. You are going to have to make the first move. For 40 days, the Israelites were paralyzed by fear. Each day Goliath invited them to fight him, but they stayed put. When David heard Goliath’s taunts, he didn’t get fearful, he got a righteous anger. He knew that this was a spiritual battle that had to be handled in the physical as well. To win the spiritual battle, he’d have to enter the valley and trust God.

Fast forward 14 generations, Jesus was fighting a spiritual battle that required Him to enter a valley as well. John 18:1 says, “After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.” The battle He was fighting was to have the courage to do what God wanted while facing the fear of dying a torturous death on a cross. He could have stayed where He was, but He entered the valley to pray that God’s will be done.

Both David and Jesus recognized that the battle was the Lord’s. They both knew who was fighting on their behalf. That gave them the courage to walk into what seemed like certain death in order to obtain the victory. You and I have to have the same tenacity in prayer and desire to go into the valley if we are going to win our spiritual battles. We are going to have to let go of fear and embrace what God wants to do, enter the valley in front of us, and fight on our knees for victory.

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How To Slay A Giant

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As I was reading through the story of David and Goliath in I Samuel 17, I was tempted to pass over it. After all, I’ve heard the story since I was a kid and have heard numerous sermons about it. I decided to read it anyway and to not just scroll through it. As I read through it, I stopped often and looked at the words that were used. I tried to imagine myself on the hillside with the army of Israel so I could see what I had never seen before. With that different perspective, I saw three things that I had never seen before in the story. Here are three of them.

For 40 days, Goliath came out every morning and evening to taunt the army Israel. The Philistine army would stand on one hill and the Israelite army would stand on the other ready for battle. No one fought though they were set up to because fear is a paralyzer. Too many times we go to do something and stop before accomplishing it because we allow fear to hold us back. We stand armed and ready to accomplish what God has put before us, but then we allow fear to keep us from action. II Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind. Take the power God has given you and conquer your fear.

The next thing I saw came from verse 26. David asks, “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” The word that stuck out to me was “allowed”. When I think of times when I haven’t done what God asked of me, it’s because I’ve allowed other voices to be louder than His. We accomplish so little in life because of the things we allow. When we quit allowing the voice of the opposition to dictate our every move, we’ll begin to live a more victorious life and others will follow.

The third thing I saw was in verse 40. It says that David picked up five smooth stones from the stream. I know I’ve heard sermons about Goliath’s four brothers and how David got a stone for each one of them. To me, I think David was being prepared. We fail in life and in doing things because we don’t count the cost ahead of time. David counted the cost and prepared for the worst possible scenario. He grabbed extra stones just in case the first one missed. He knew that God doesn’t always deliver us the first time we ask or open the door the first time we knock. What if He didn’t deliver the giant with the first stone? David had faith, but he also counted the cost.

If you’ve been paralyzed by fear, take a step of faith in the power that God has given you. If you’ve allowed other voices to be louder than God’s, quit listening to them and find that still, small voice that God speaks with. If you’ve gone into things without counting the cost and have tried to get by with the bare minimum, it’s time to get better prepared. God is ready to take care of the Giants that stand in your way, but you’ve got to move past your fear, listen to His voice and step out in faith prepared for whatever God may do.

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You Are Equipped To Do…

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the story of David and Goliath. It wasn’t long after David arrived to the battlefront that Goliath started yelling and scaring the Israelites. When he heard the taunts and the curses against God, David felt a stirring inside to do something about it. He started asking questions about what would be done for the man who killed him. It wasn’t long before he was standing in front of the king saying, “Don’t worry about this Philistine. I’ll go fight him!” After Saul was convinced, he tried to equip David for the job.

He gave him the king’s armor because it was the best. He knew that his country’s fate was now in the hands of a shepherd. If David failed, they would be killed and his people would be servants of the Philistines. Of course, the armor didn’t fit and David didn’t want it. Instead he went out and found five smooth stones out them in his bag, grabbed his sling and headed to the battlefield. Instead of letting someone else equip him for what God called him to do, he let God use what had already been placed in his hands.

So many times, we feel called to do something. We see a need and we also see everyone else around us just looking at it. People are so afraid they’ll fail if they try to meet it, that they never try. God then puts it in your heart to meet that need. He wants you to be the one to risk failure. He wants you to be the one to step out in faith and act in obedience. He put you in the right place at the right time so that you could be the answer to someone’s prayer. The problem is that either you don’t feel you’re properly equipped or trained to do it. You have a choice to make at that point. Do you join the others who merely look at the problem or do you believe that God will equip you to do it?

The writer of Hebrews wrote in chapter 13:21, “May He (God) equip you with all you need for doing His will.” It’s God who will use the skills He has already given you to accomplish what He has called you to do. You may need to pick up some stones to help you, but the tool to accomplish it is already in your hands. When God gives you a burden to do something for Him, He will equip you to do it. You just have to open your eyes to see how. David remembered that he had already killed a lion and a bear. He drew faith from those previous experiences that He could also kill a giant.

God will also use the Bible to build your faith and to help you accomplish what He called you to do. I I Timothy 3:17 says, “God uses it (scripture) to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.” If you’re facing the unknown in ministry then spend lots of time reading God’s Word. He will use that to prepare you. Reading it will build your faith as well. When David stepped onto the battlefield that day, he was equipped to do what God had called him to do and he was confident because he knew what God had done for His people in the past. He drew strength from God’s promises and you can to. Whatever God has put in your heart to do, He has equipped you to do it. Step out in faith today and trust Him to be true to his Word.

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Rental Gear

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My nephew is into Airsoft wars and invited me to go to one with him. If you’re not sure Airsoft is, it’s a lot like paintball only the guns look real and they shoot plastic BB’s at you. At this Airsoft war, we arrived early. I rented a gun, mask and vest. It wasn’t long before lots of other people started to arrive. Most were dressed in full U.S. Military fatigues or camouflage while I was in blue jeans and tennis shoes. As we were standing there waiting to start, a guy in his 20’s walked up and asked about my nephew’s gun. After talking about it, he started talking about his AK-47 and the history of how they were designed and manufactured. He spoke of how much his Airsoft designed AK-47 mimicked the real one.

As he spoke, I watched other people arrive with Sniper rifles, cargo boxes full of gear, grenades and smoke bombs. I began to look at my rental gear and realize I was out gunned. When the guy finished talking about his gun, I jokingly said, “I’ve got this standard rental issue so look out.” He didn’t think it was funny. Instead he said, “That’s an M4.” He then told me all about my gun. It didn’t make me feel better about my chances in the upcoming battles. I realized I had a gun that had been overused, a mask that had been worn a hundred times before by a hundred different people and no idea of what was coming.

I wonder if that’s how David felt when he went to meet his brothers on the battle front. Did he look around and see everyone in their military gear and then look at his everyday clothes? Did he look at their weapons for war and compare them to his sling? He didn’t go there to fight. We just wanted to deliver some food for his brothers. When he did decide he was going to fight, the others for sure looked at his clothes and sling as insufficient. Saul gave him rental gear to fight in. We all know it didn’t fit and would have hindered his ability in the battle. David gave up the rental gear for spiritual gear.

He realized that the battle in front of him was more than a physical one. It was a spiritual one. He knew that his physical gear wouldn’t help him in a spiritual battle so he gave back the rental gear. He was out gunned on the physical front, but had all the fire power he needed on the spiritual front. His victory wasn’t due to his slingshot or the stones he picked out at the creek. His victory was due to his ability to recognize when he was in a spiritual battle. He knew that when God is on your side, victory is assured. He knew that physical attributes don’t guarantee spiritual victories.

Are you in a spiritual battle today that is masked as a physical one? Have you felt out gunned as you’ve approached the situation? Don’t get caught up in the physical impossibilities of the situation. Don’t get lost in what the other side has versus what you don’t have. When we look at the physical side of a spiritual battle, it’s easy to give up or to be afraid. When we look at the spiritual side, it’s easy to be brave because if God is for us, who can be against us? We have all the fire power and tactical advantage we need. Give up the rental gear, God has given you all you need to win.

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