GRACE TO OVERCOME
Learn from the world’s best. That’s the slogan of a new online tutorial website called MasterClass. It’s a genius idea if you think about it: If you want to get better at something, who better to learn from than the best? If you want to get better at basketball, there are not many better options than Steph Curry. If you want to get better at cooking, there aren’t any better teachers than Gordon Ramsay.
But who would you learn from if you wanted to learn how to overcome your giant? David, of course! The last section of 1 Samuel 17 gives us David’s example of how he overcame Goliath, and it provides a pattern for those of us trying to gain victory over the giants in our lives.
SEE THE BATTLE FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
What makes David stand out in this story is not just his choice of weaponry but the fact that he was the onlyIsraelite who seemed to take notice of Goliath’s blasphemous words against God Almighty. While the rest of the army saw a giant, David saw an enemy after God’s territory. The soldiers focused on the physical, but David saw the spiritual.
If you and I hope to win the battle over our giant, we have to see the battle from God’s perspective. Too often, all we see in our sin are the external issues: we don’t like the way it feels, we don’t want to face the consequences, or we want to earn the rewards of getting victory. But the battle is bigger than that! The battle is about God’s glory and not about you. Victory begins when our mindset shifts onto a purpose much bigger than ourselves.
PLACE FAITH IN GOD’S POWER
The scene of David walking down into the Valley of Elah to battle Goliath had to be dramatic. Nobody else in the entire army was willing to step out there except for David. They had to be thinking, “What is this guy thinking? Doesn’t he know he is gonna lose?”
But I love the confidence David showed as he talked to Goliath. Every word he spoke of victory was spoken with confidence rather than timidity, “I willsmite thee, I will give, this assembly shallknow.” How did David had such faith that he would overcome? He had such great faith because David already knew what God had said about the Philistines. David knew that God had promised that piece of land to Israel, and that God was going to keep His Word.
As intimidating as sin can be in our lives, we have to realize that our giant is already dead. Your sin lost power over you the day that Jesus rose from the grave. God has already made it clear, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Because of Jesus, we don’t have to sin! His power has promised the victory to all who are willing to take it.
TAKE ACTION BY GOD’S GRACE
One of my favorite things about 1 Samuel 17 is the fact that Samuel spends 46 verses building tension for a battle that only lasted 4 verses. Why was the battle so easily won for David? Because David’s decision to fight for God’s glory guaranteed that he would be backed by God’s power. David doesn’t deserve much credit for the victory in the Valley of Elah: he only won the battle because of God’s unseen grace accompanying him every step of the way.
It doesn’t matter how motivated you or I may be to kill our giant if we never take action! For some, the stone they need to pick up is the decision to get honest about secret sin. For another, it may be as simple as deleting an app on your phone, seeking out counseling, or breaking ties with a friend.
But whatever action you must take, just remember that God’s grace will be there to help you. When you are at a loss of words to explain your sin, God’s grace will be there. When everything within your flesh wants to tolerate this sin just a little longer, God’s grace will be there. When you’re scared to pick up the phone and ask for forgiveness, God’s grace will be there. When you fight for God’s glory, you will be backed by God’s power.
Did you notice the similarity between all three principles? Here they are again: See the battle from God’s perspective, place faith in God’s power, and take action by God’s grace. There are no cute tricks to defeating your giant. It all comes down to your willingness to let God do what only He can do. And that will only happen when you pick up your sling and your stone and do what only you can do. Fight for God’s glory, experience His power.