Seven Actions to Defeat Your Giant -- Part 3
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THIRD ACTION -- To prepare for the battle you must put on the armor of God (1 Samuel 17:38-40).
The army of Israel was mocked and shamed by Goliath, the giant, for 40 days. A young man named David arrived at the battle front and brought life into the Israelite camp by reminding them that God was on their side.
We considered the first two actions that David took to prepare for his encounter with the Goliath: he looked at the giant from God's perspective and he remembered the victories of his past.
David was empowered to move to the battle line in confidence! This was not self-confidence, but confidence in the Lord Almighty. Today, we will consider the final action that prepared David for the battle — he was equipped by God to fight Goliath. Let's see how this unfolded and learn from his behavior.
THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
King Saul agreed to allow David to represent Israel and fight the giant. In fact, what other option did he have? David was the only Israelite willing to represent his nation. So, Saul gave him his own tunic, coat of armor, and bronze helmet.
We know that Saul was a head taller than anyone else (1 Samuel 9:2) and so there was a good chance that his attire was too large for David. So, why would the King make this offer? There are three speculations that we can make an effort to find an answer.
First, Saul offered his battle gear because he wanted David to have the best equipment possible. Second, some believe that David was near Saul's size because otherwise this would not have even been a consideration. Third, some scholars believe that if a warrior won a battle wearing the king's armor, then it would be the king who deserved the credit and no one else. The thought is that the warrior won because he was wearing the king's armor. But in this case, the king was not brave enough to wear his armor and fight on behalf of his people.
We do not know if David tried on Saul's armor or if he just looked at it and knew that it would not fit. David did decline the king's offer as he was not used to wearing it. Possibly, this was a polite way to inform the king that there was no way that he was going into battle wearing his armor. Instead, David was equipped in a manner with which he was familiar — he would fight the giant in the way that God had trained him. Though David was an Israelite, he belonged to God and he fought to bring glory to God.
So, David took his staff and went to the stream in the Valley of Elah and chose five smooth stones. He placed the stones in his shepherd's bag and went to meet Goliath. At face value, it was ludicrous to think that David was prepared. But, God delivered him from the lion and the bear and He would deliver him from the giant. I feel that David took five stones, not due to thinking that he would miss but, I believe he was ready to take on more people, should the need arise.
The armor that God used on this day was not man-made. The equipment was an obedient shepherd who wanted to fight to honor God and to bring Him glory. This was the man whom God used. This provides us with our third action: To prepare for your battle, you must put on the armor of God (v. 38-40).
MINDSET OF VICTORY
It behooves you to prepare for your battle with your giant by wearing the armor of God. This starts with a mindset of victory and not of doubt or fear. A mindset of victory knows that you are on God’s side and, therefore, victory will come. Here are some verses to consider:
• Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
• Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
• Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
• Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
A mindset of victory knows that God will fight for you and you do not enter the arena of battle alone. Here are some verses to consider:
• Deuteronomy 20:4, “for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
• Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?”
• Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
A mindset of victory knows that every aspect of your life up to this encounter has prepared you in some way for this battle. We noted how David was prepared for the battle. He served his father by tending the sheep. He killed the lion and the bear. He served King Saul as a musician and as an armor bearer. He was described in I Samuel 16 as, “glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features” (v. 12) and as one who “knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” David’s heart was in alignment with God as His servant. I believe that everything up to this point in his life prepared him to fight, and defeat, Goliath.
Consider what the Lord has done in your life. In our last action point we considered the victories of the past that God gave you. Now, consider every aspect of your life, the good and the bad, and consider prayerfully how God has prepared you for this moment. I believe that you are prepared and more than you realize!
The key passage we must apply as we put on the armor of God is found in Ephesians 6:10-20. We will not exegete this amazing passage now, however, please note the highlights.
First, our battle is actually not against flesh and blood but the spiritual forces of evil. Thus, we need a spiritual solution to our direct our physical battle. Second, we are to stand firm in our relationship with the Lord. Third, throw off the doubt and fear and put on truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests,” and pray “for all the Lord’s people.” These actions are game-changers.
While there is much more that we could discuss about how to be equipped to fight your giant, I will mention one more. To put on the armor of God you must fight by Jesus’ rules. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30).
When you take the yoke of Jesus upon you, you obey what He taught and you fight with the intention of bringing Him glory. Matthew 5-7 records what we call the Sermon on the Mount. I encourage you to read this and apply Jesus’ teachings to your life. It will equip you to fight your giant!
Here are a few of the topics that Jesus covered: anger, retaliation, love your enemies, do not be anxious, judging others, and the Golden Rule. When you fight your giant by following Jesus’ rules you will do so with a pure heart and avoid post-battle regrets. The key is that you consider your actions and reactions before your encounter begins with your giant. You will be equipped to press forward in righteousness and fight for the best possible outcome.
To read the previous posts of this series, click one of the following: Preamble, Seven Actions No. 1, or Seven Actions No.2.