One of my favorite stories in scripture is the epic showdown between David and Goliath. You can read about the entire account in 1 Samuel 17, but for me, the one verse that jumps off the pages is verse 23. It says, "Goliath ... gave his usual challenge. David heard him" (MSG).
The reason this challenge is deemed "usual" is because Goliath had given it for 40 consecutive days. This means that the big, intimidating giant bullied and taunted the army of Israel daily. By day 40, this routine smack-talk had become normal, and the army of Israel's silence had become normal, which ultimately communicated defeat.
Enter David. Enter day 41.
The second part of verse 23 says, "David heard him." This is noteworthy.
David heard the same words his brothers had listened to. David heard the same words the army of Israel had listened to for 40 consecutive days.
The difference is that David responded with faith.
The army of Israel heard the words of Goliath and, because of fear, responded with silence. David heard the words of Goliath and, because of faith, responded by stepping onto the battlefield.
In other words, it was the smack-talk of the enemy that ultimately revealed David's cause and motivated him to do something!
The question I want to ask you is this: "How will you respond to the Goliath's in your own life?" Chances are, if not now, at some point in your future, a giant will stand between you and your dream; a giant will stand between you and your destiny; a giant will stand between you and your answer to prayer. Will you respond with fear or will you respond with faith? Will you allow the devil's smack-talk to defeat you or motivate you to take action?
It's important to point out that when David defeated Goliath it was much more than a personal win. Yes, David did benefit personally—he won the girl and became a national hero—but his smack-down over the giant delivered victory to an entire nation.
God wants to use you to slay the giants in your life, not only for your benefit, but so that those around you can benefit as well!
Don't let the enemy bully and intimidate you. Don't let the enemy cause you to tuck your tail and run away from what God has for you. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Because of Jesus, you are the head and not the tail. Because of Jesus, you are going over and not under. Because of Jesus, you are not only a conqueror, but you are more than a conqueror.
Several years ago, before I was married, my roommate, Dave, and I had the opportunity to take our boss' 3-year-old son, Sumner, to Disney World. Because Sumner's hero was Indiana Jones, we went straight to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. The actor portraying Indiana Jones asked for volunteers in the audience, so when Dave was chosen, Sumner just about lost his mind! "Look Chuck! Dave gets to meet Indiana Jones!"
Immediately after the show, Dave went to ride the Tower of Terror while Sumner and I sat on a bench. I listened to Sumner chatter away about what he had just witnessed, and it was clear that he had just experienced one of the best moments of his 3-year-old life. The more he talked, the more he kicked his little legs back-and-forth. He got rocking back-and-forth so fast that he ended up launching himself onto the concrete. I knew he was about to start crying so, to avoid a scene, I scooped him up, looked him in the eyes, and said matter-of-factly, "Man, Sumner! You are as tough as Indiana Jones!" He swallowed his cry, gritted his teeth, stared into my eyes and snarked, "Tougher."
Thanks to Jesus, you are tougher than your enemy!
Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. And remember, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you!
Do you hear that? It's the sound of your giant hitting the ground.
Chuck Tate is the founder and lead pastor of RockChurch, a growing and thriving congregation in the heart of Illinois. Prior to planting RockChurch in 1998, Chuck worked for a national youth ministry in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In that role, he managed and spoke at conventions across the United States and Canada, and co-produced a national television program that aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network. His first book is titled 41 Will Come. For more information, visit 41willcome.com.
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