“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
// 1 Samuel 17:32-37
Because we are hearing this story well after it occurred, we have the benefit of knowing that this essentially was David’s entry into his public story of faith. He would become a “man after God’s own heart”. He would become king and Jesus would come from his bloodline.
This conversation with King Saul and the 14 year-old David shows us practical ways to slay the giants in our lives.
After David publicly questioned why the Israelites had not defeated Goliath, the king summons David. When David comes before the king, he confidently says he will defeat “this Philistine”. He explains why he can, and Saul consents.
What does this mean for us?
When David calls out the one the Israelites have been fearing, he does not call him by the tyrant names everyone has been using – Goliath! Giant! Man of War! He calls him a Philistine. Just another Philistine.
By doing this, he does not give in to the fear that has plagued the Israelite army. He takes the power away from the offender.
What is plaguing you with fear?
Is there someone or something that you continue to allow to take control? You try and face them each day, yet you retreat the moment your “Goliath” steps forward.
Do as David did.
1. Identify your giant. Do not hide from your fear.
How do you prove you are a worthy foe?
2. Claim back control. You must devalue the fear that has been ruling over your life. David did not buy into the fearmongering that was taking place around him. You do not need to either. If you need to give it a name of lesser value – “this Philistine” rather than “Goliath” – speak it out. Take the power back.
3. Persist. David did not give up. He proved why he could win. We know he defeats “this Philistine”. We know God was for David the entire time. The same goes for you. Take each step forward knowing God’s got this, God’s got you!
4. Pull out your resume. David recounted his many experiences as a shepherd protecting his flock from animal attacks. He presented his resume to King Saul, revealing he truly was a worthy opponent. He already was a giant slayer.
What is your resume? God equips each one of us for the tasks at hand. After we have claimed our place and devalued fear in our lives, we must strengthen our resilience by recounting our own skills and assets.
Leave fear behind and move forward using your God-given skills. Whether we have a slingshot or a mighty army, God will use what He has provided to help us slay our giants.
// Inspired by the “Giant Slayer” message at Bay Hope Church by Pastor Matthew Hartsfield