WHAT IS A GIANT?
A giant is an imposing figure or thing. It’s trying to destroy some aspect of your life.
It may be trying to devour your marriage or threatening to rip apart your family or a health crisis that you’re facing. Or the giant may be threatening to cause your children to become wayward and godless.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE
When we face giants, we have choices. Your choice is either to freeze, flee or fight.
I want you to learn how to fight when you face your giant.
Let me set up the text from 1 Samuel 17:4 historically. At this point in the nation of Israel, Saul has been king for a number of years. He was displeasing to God because he cared only about his own plans, his own agenda, and not about God’s plans.
David was prophesied over by Samuel, the prophet, that he would become king instead of Saul. Now, Saul didn’t know that, but David knew. David was just a teenager at the time. And David had seven older brothers, three of them were serving in the army of Israel.
Jesse, David’s father, gave him a care package and said, please take this care package to your brothers and let them know that we love them.
When David gets to the battle site, he’s surprised to see the Philistine army on one mountain and the Israelite army on another, with the Valley of Elah in the middle, and the armies are not doing anything or saying anything.
And then David, when he’s there, hears this:
1 Samuel 17:4-11 “A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing 5,000 shekels; on his legs, he wore bronze greaves and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spare shaft was like a weaver’s rod and its iron point weighed 600 shekels. His shield-bearer went ahead of him. Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine? And are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects. If I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel. Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
Goliath is issuing a threat. He’s saying we don’t need to have both armies fight, just choose one of your men to fight me—one on one.
None of the Israelites moved, they just froze.
Saul even tried to incentivize his army. He says anyone who goes out to fight, I’ll make sure that your father’s household never has to pay taxes again in Israel, nobody moved.
Saul added more. Whoever fights this Philistine, I’ll give them my daughter’s hand in marriage, nobody moves.
As David came on the scene, he finds out the lay of the land and what’s going on. And all of a sudden he starts thinking about taking on Goliath. Now mind you, he’s just a teenager at the time, but I want you to see that we all face giants.
Some of you are facing a giant right now, and there’s never a perfect time to fight a giant. I mean you don’t say I want to fight giants when I’m on vacation when I have more time. Nobody wants to fight giants at any time, but you have to learn how to fight a giant if you want to be a giant slayer.
MAKING THE DECISION TO FIGHT
David decided to fight. At some point, you cannot keep ignoring the threats of the giant. Goliath challenged the Israelites to fight on his terms. He’s saying man against man. In fact, verse 16 reads Goliath came out and gave his challenge every morning and every evening for 40 days.
When you have a giant in your life, you know it’s a giant because it keeps goading you. It keeps poking and prodding. It keeps antagonizing you. It’s there every single morning and evening.
I love the fact that the Bible is so exacting. It says that Goliath made his threat for 40 days and 40 nights.
Why 40? The number 40, when you read it in the Bible, from Genesis all the way to the book of revelation, that number 40 is lifted out of the texts. Forty days, there is a meaning behind that spiritually; 40 days represents a breakthrough.
It is a biblical number that means transformation.
Think about it for a moment.
Moses went to Mount Sinai and sought God for 40 days, 40 nights and at the end—breakthrough—he comes down the mountain with two stone tablets etched by the finger of God, bearing the Ten Commandments, consider it.
Jesus went into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. And when he finished, that was the inauguration of his ministry. And the Scripture says in the gospel of Luke, that he preached with power.
There’s a breakthrough that happens when you go through a 40-day journey or 40-day pilgrimage.
Giants also threaten us because they’re psychologically intimidating. They threaten to destroy our homes and our family. They threaten to destroy our bodies and our financial status. And the threat creates worry. The threat creates fear.
That’s why these Israelite soldiers were frozen. The psychological threat was so damaging. Think about it. You’re thinking about this: If I go out and fight that giant, think about what he’ll do to me.
He’ll rip me limb to limb. He’ll pull my arms out of the socket. He’ll rip my head. I’m not fighting that guy. And you just work up in your mind all of the psychological intimidation. I want you to see it threatens.
And that’s why, when you think about the giant that you’re facing, it’s creating a whole lot of psychological intimidation and damage in your mind, so much so that you have even forgotten to pray. You may even be thinking that God can’t do anything. You think that there’s nothing you can do and are just paralyzed. Giants threaten us because of their imposing side.
YOUR ENEMY IS POWERFUL, BUT…
You’re fighting a spiritual foe, Satan, who is very powerful, but you have to understand greater is He within you than he that’s in the world. We tend to forget that. We forget how powerful God is. We forget that God loves to fight.
The Bible gives us pictures of God, pictures that show God’s a father and we are his children. So we tend to pray the kinds of prayers, children pray to their father. The Bible gives us this metaphor. God’s a shepherd, we’re sheep. So we pray our sheep-like prayers. Jesus says that my father, in John 15, is a gardener. That means we are his garden. So we pray these plant-like prayers.
But sometimes we forget that in the book of Joshua we’re told that God is indeed a general. And so we must recognize God loves to fight. He does not run away from the battle.
So when you decide to fight, God says to you, I got your back. I want you to recognize the value of what it means when David decides to fight, he realized he’s not going on the battlefield by himself for himself. He’s going with God and, he’s going for God.
And where’s the battlefield? It’s in the valley. That’s where we fight giants—in the valleys.
CHOOSING YOUR WEAPON
You must realize that you have to decide to fight. And then you must choose your weapon.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they’re mighty through God. Paul says “to the pulling down of strongholds.” Sometimes we forget that we have weapons.
Goliath is a giant skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Don’t do that. Don’t fight the enemy on his terms. Goliath’s chest armor weighed 125 pounds. The tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds. And there was a Philistine soldier walking in front of him to carry his shield.
David was not physically prepared to fight the giant, nor were any of the Israelite soldiers. See the giant wants us to fight him on his terms. Hand-to-hand combat. I’m not fighting a giant with hand-to-hand combat. That’s a no-brainer. I’m going to lose if I do that.
When Saul finds out, David wants to go and fight, he tells him he wants him to use his armor. So David tries on Saul’s armor, it’s way too big. So David said, I can’t wear that, it’s never been tested. David decides to use good old faithful. In terms of every time you fight the enemy, God uses natural things. And there’s a spiritual weapon and a natural weapon.
David’s natural weapon was a slingshot. And if you look at 1 Samuel 17:40, it says, “then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and with his sling in his hand approached the Philistine.”
When you take your slingshot and start swirling it around it picks up momentum. And when you let it go, that rock, the size of a baseball or a sizeable golf ball, can actually be going 90 miles per hour.
David didn’t need to be close to Goliath to kill him. Goliath didn’t think that and didn’t recognize that. But David recognized it and you have to recognize it when you then choose your weapon.
David had faith in God.
David had experience with God.
David had prayer to God.
When you mold those three together you understand you have this implicit confidence in God’s ability. God has used you and has been victorious in times gone by and you have a history with God. Think about all the things that God’s brought you out of in the past. When you enter into this new battle against this current giant, you’re not entering it without any history or without any experience under your belt.
You can’t forget all the victories that God has brought you through.
David started to remember all the battles that God brought him through. He said that when a lion tried to devour the flock, God helped me to defeat the lion. When a bear tried to devour the flock, God helped me and slew the bear through me. So the God who used me to slay the lion and to slay the bear will also use me to slay this giant.
You have experience with God. Many times we get stuck though when we think about our spiritual lives. David’s character was a worshiper and a warrior. On one end, he’s worshiping as shepherds did under the nightlight. They’re playing their harp, they’re singing, making songs, but when it comes time to fight, they put the harp down, pick up their weapon, and fight.
And after they defeat their enemy, they go back and worship.
When you have faith in God, it speaks of this implicit trust in the Lord. When you have experience with God, it now moves you to another level. Not just having confidence in God, but having conviction. Conviction is like courage on steroids. Conviction doesn’t require a group of people to agree with you. Conviction doesn’t require group consensus.
David had conviction.
God is not looking for a million people. He’s looking for one person, one man, one woman that has conviction. One individual that’s sold out for Him. You have to say like Joshua of old, “as for me and my house.” God is looking for mighty soldiers, men and women that are kneeling warriors. Men and women that when they bend their knees, they have power.
You can face your giant on your knees.
1 Samuel 17:45 say, “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.’ ”
You have battles to fight. You have kingdoms to conquer. You have trophies to gain. You have giants to slay. You have to go into the valley and meet your giant there because you have business to do for God.
1 Samuel 17:47 says, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear. The Lord saves for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
You need to recognize the power of prayer. If you’re fighting some giant, don’t fight him in the world’s way, in the methodology of this world and this world system, drag your giant into your prayer closet.
If you want to see victory in the natural, get victory first in your prayer closet, in the spirit, it’s there we take the fight. Prayer is a weapon and we must use it.
You have to become comfortable in prayer. You have to become an expert in prayer. You have to become skilled in prayer. You have to become a warrior when it comes to prayer. And when you become a kneeling warrior in prayer, you’ll be so surprised because you’re not using natural means to try to defeat the enemy.
Do you think God is responding to pity? Do you think God feels sorry for you?
God doesn’t respond to pity. He doesn’t respond to when you walk around feeling mopey and depressed, like when parents respond to kids when kids hang their head and walk real slow, and then we say, “What’s wrong, honey?” God doesn’t do that.
God responds to prayer.
The language that moves God is prayer. The way God responds is through prayer. He’s not moved through sympathy. He’s not moved through our depression. He is moved through our prayers.
So whenever you have to face your giant, you must decide to fight, you must choose your weapon and you must then enjoy the victory.
ENJOY THE VICTORY
There’s a victory to be enjoyed and you can’t leave that alone. The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 17:50, “So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand, he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with a sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.”
VICTORY OPENS THE DOOR TO YOUR DESTINY
This victory was David’s introduction, both nationally and internationally. I want you to see what victory does when you defeat your giant.
It aligns you with your destiny. It gets you ready for the things God’s got ready for you. If you don’t defeat your giant, you won’t sit on your throne. When David beat Goliath, he cut off Goliath’s head and the Scripture tells us that he took the head of Goliath, along with all of his weapons and he took them back to his tent. They were trophies of victory.
You must have trophies of your victory. What did the Lord do for you? What victories has God wrought for you? When David returned, all of a sudden, we see that Saul’s son, Jonathan, quickly becomes friends with David. How else can David learn how to carry himself like royalty, unless someone who’s of royal status befriends him and teaches him protocol.
And so that victory aligns him with strategic alliances. That victory motivated the others in Israel, the Israelites soldiers chase the Philistines and slaughter them, and then went to their camp and stole all of their things.
Your victory is a lynchpin to a series of other victories. And if you sit back and choose not to fight, then you sit there being a prisoner of hope, hoping that you’ll get victory without ever going to battle.
You’ll wonder why those around you are enjoying the spoils of war and you are not. It’s not because they’re more powerful than you. It’s not that because God loves them more than you. It’s simply because they chose to go into the battle. They chose the weapon of prayer and they’re enjoying the victory and you chose to freeze or flee and tell Satan don’t bother me and I won’t bother you.
But guess what? Satan is crazy. He’ll bother you. Even when you don’t want him to bother you.
That’s why you have giants in your life right now. The only way to get rid of your giants is to meet them in the valley.
In your mind’s eye, choose one giant in your life you want to conquer. Just choose one. The most ferocious, the craziest one, the biggest one. The one that will be that linchpin towards your destiny towards your future.
Whatever it is, you’re going to need to have your battle face on. You have to start making adjustments in your life right now. Anytime you go on a journey, you prepare. The longer the journey, the more you prepare.
What is the giant that you are going to be facing? The giant wants to sabotage your life, but you want to meet that giant in the valley of Elah. Get that giant in your mind right now and make this confession out loud:
Please God, with your help, I’m going to face my giant. I need your input. I need your power to join me in the fight. Help me to enjoy a great victory. A victory that’ll build your kingdom and cause your name to have more fame. I’m expecting great things from you. Lord teach me how to be a great fighter and spiritual battler in Christ’s name. Amen.