I’m so excited to launch a series on faith!!! I would encourage you to take notes so you can refer to them throughout the week (or weeks). Also, please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have. Through God’s guidance I will respond to you as quickly as I can. These will probably be longer than what I have posted in the past, but I know this is where the Lord is leading, so let’s get started!
I know faith is a term we’re all familiar with, yet it tends to be an area we seem to struggle with, at least in certain areas of our lives. I was listening to a teaching this week, and the Lord revealed some things to me about a particular passage in the Bible that I never really considered could be related to faith, and I felt it would be a great way to kick this series off. This starts off in I Samuel 17, yes the story of David and Goliath, which I’m sure you’re also familiar with, but let’s refresh our memory.
Saul and the men of Israel had gathered by the valley of Elah to battle against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side of the valley and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side and the valley was in between them. Well, the Philistines had a champion in their army named Goliath. The dude stood 9-feet 9-inches tall, wore a coat of armor that weighed 125 pounds. He had a bronze helmet on his head, bronze armor on his shins and a bronze javelin slung on his back. He had a spear, the head of which alone weighed 15 pounds. The guy was pretty much covered in armor, and then he had a man going before him that carried his shield. For forty days, twice a day, he would stand and shout before 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; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us. This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” (I Samuel 17:8-10 NIV). Needless to say, there were no takers.
Well, back on the home front Jesse called David and told him to take some things to his brothers and Saul and see how they were doing. When David got there the army was going out to fight again the Philistines, so David ran into the army and found his brothers. While he was there, Goliath came out and gave his usual challenge and David heard him. When the Israelites saw Goliath they did what they’d been doing for 40 days – ran. They said “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” (Verse 25) I love David’s response – “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (Verse 26) So they repeated back to David what Saul had said. Then David’s oldest brother got into it and it was pretty evident he didn’t want David there and thought his intentions were just to come and see the battle. David’s response to him was “Now what have I done? Can’t I even speak?” (Verse 29) At that point he turned from his brother and asked again, and again they answered him. Apparently there was some more conversation between David and the men and he was brought to Saul.
Verses 32 through 37 read “David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said “Go.”
Needless to say, David had no armor, so Saul tried to put his armor on David, but David ended up taking it off and he went out to meet Goliath with his staff in one hand, five stones in his shepherd’s bag and a sling in his other hand. Now you have to picture this. You’ve got Goliath, a 9-foot 9-inch man, fully decked out in his armor that probably weighed more than David himself, a spear and a man going before him with his shield, and David (remember David was a young man, probably even a teenager) shows up with his shepherd’s staff, a sling and a few stones. From all outward appearances, this wasn’t really going to be a fair fight – a massive giant versus a little shepherd dude. Amazingly, instead of seeing this as an easy victory, Goliath got mad; was insulted that this boy had come out to fight him. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” (Verses 43-44)
And here is David’s response “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. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. 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.” (Verse 48-50)
What a clear picture of faith!!! I want to point out a few things to you. Number one, David called Goliath an “uncircumcised Philistine.” Circumcision was the sign of the covenant God had made with Abraham. David realized that first of all he had a covenant with God which had empowered him to kill the bear and lion, and would empower him to kill Goliath, as well; and secondly Goliath had no covenant with God, rendering him powerless, no matter of his stature or how much armor he had. Number two, he ran right into the midst of the army; the NIV says he “ran to the battle lines.” Granted he knew nothing of Goliath at this point, but the fact that he was entering the battle lines didn’t scare him (and he also ran to the battle line against Goliath). Number three, when his brother came against him, he gave him a quick response and turned away from him. Number four, “David said”. When David met Goliath and Goliath gave his little spill to David, David didn’t just charge him with a sling and stone, he said “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, and this day the Lord will deliver you in my hands.”
Now, this is how we can apply this to our lives.
- We have a covenant with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Through that covenant we have been empowered and been made victorious (1 John 5:4). Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” We must realize that our enemy has already been defeated (Colossians 2:15)
- We face our battles head on, knowing that God is on our side. Isaiah 52:12 says “…For the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” The word “rereward” has been translated in some instances as “rear guard”, however, in the Hebrew it also means “gather you up.” Know that no matter what you face, you’re never alone. He has said He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
- There will be people who will try to discourage you because a lot of people don’t understand what it means to walk by faith. It doesn’t make sense to them. However, the Lord says that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8). You have to put your confidence in God and His promises and “turn away” from people who are going to discourage you in your faith walk.
- We have to speak. Even though the enemy comes against us in our thoughts and our mind, we must respond verbally. If you’ll go back and read Matthew 4, when satan tempted Jesus he responded to him with the Word, and this is exactly what we have to do. Whatever circumstances you may be facing, find scriptures that relate specifically to your situation, as well as the promises of God; write them down somewhere where you can easily access them and read them out loud; meditate on them so that when the enemy comes against you, you can quickly respond to him with the Word.
I pray that these blogs will encourage you and that your faith will grow even more than you could ever imagine in the coming weeks, that you’ll be able to comprehend the authority you have as a child of God, and live in the fullness of Him!