Seven Actions to Defeat Your Giant -- Part 4
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FOURTH ACTION -- As you fight your battle, you must declare, “The battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:41-47).
We can clearly see now that God prepared David mentally, physically, and spiritually to fight the giant. David looked at the giant from God's perspective (mentally). David remembered the victories of the past (physically). David put on the armor of God (spiritually).
Now, the moment of reckoning arrived. David stood before the giant and gave account of his God, his nation, his family, and himself.
THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT
David approached the Philistine. Goliath looked at his opponent and saw a mere youth and "he distained him." Goliath felt disrespected that a true warrior was not his adversary and cursed David by his gods. Note that Goliath viewed this battle as more than a physical encounter. When he cursed by his god, it became a spiritual war.
The Philistines did not want just to defeat the Israelites, they wanted to drive them into submission and dominate them. Thus, they attempted to crush the Israelites by stripping them of their religious beliefs and their national identity.
Goliath gave the ultimate "trash talk" to David by promising to give his opponent's flesh to the bird and the wild animals.
The enemies of Israel knew well of their victories in the past and how powerful their God was. Israel defeated Egypt, the major superpower of their day. Israel conquered their enemies time and again. Their reputation for victory preceded them and the power of their God struck fear into the hearts of their opponents. Yet, the Philistines and Goliath were mocking them as being weak and timid. If they defeated Israel then they would be perceived as undefeatable and unstoppable in that part of their known world.
But the servant of God would have none of this. David knew that God was on the throne and that His grace was still upon Israel, His chosen people.
In 1 Samuel 17:45-51, David declared, "'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand.’”
In so many words, David declared that "my God is greater than your god" and that the true God would bring victory. He announced that his upcoming victory comes not by physical dominance, but because victory was granted by God. He ended with a summation, "For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand."
Later, the Psalmist wrote, "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies” (Psalm 118:6,7, NIV). David did not fight alone. He was on God's side and God triumphed.
FIGHTING THE BATTLE
The second series of three actions (this article and two following), are your directives as you fight in the battle. The first directive is: As you fight your battle, you must declare, “The battle is the Lord’s.” (v. 41-47).
As David stood before the giant and the enemy army and declared, "The battle is the Lord's" so you must also make the same declaration. This public declaration is necessary for the following reasons:
First, just as David reminded Israel of their identity as children of God, you must declare your identity as a follower of Jesus Christ. Israel neglected their spiritual identity. They chose not to remember that God was their Father and watching over them. They accepted the lies from the enemy and became cowardly and timid.
When you make this declaration, you are doing the opposite! You remember who you are in Christ — to whom you belong. You remember the promises of God and that He will never leave you or forsake you. "The battle is the Lord's" powerfully announces to your giant that God is your source of strength and you are fighting by His rules.
Second, just as David rejected being dismayed and fearful, you can respond in the middle of your battle with "power, love, and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7). Reject your circumstances and the script that the giant is giving you. You choose the One whom you will serve. You choose how you will act and react for you have a sound mind as you follow Christ. You can act with intentionality and purpose. You can then live without regret.
Third, just as David gave God glory in advance, your declaration gives God the glory that He deserves. As we quoted earlier, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but we are engaged in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12). The One who is undefeated in spiritual battles is the Lord as seen in Zechariah 4:6, "'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts."
Fourth, just as David was not alone as he stood before the giant, you are not alone in your battle. No doubt, as David stood by himself, it looked very lonely, but the truth was that God was with him. As you stand before your giant, remember that God is with you as well. Countless believers have battled before you and found victory. As you stand on their shoulders and in their shadows, you can be assured that God is on your side and that He will bring victory.
Fifth, just as David was an Israelite, you belong to the family of God. This means that as you rightly respond, you are an example to others. Your actions will be an encouragement, a testimony, to those who need to see God's servant living in self-control and trusting in the Lord.
Also, your declaration will enlist like-minded believers who will journey with you in prayer and support you in tangible ways. God will send people your way, at just the right moment, to supply exactly what you need that day.
To read the previous posts of this series, click one of the following: Preamble, Seven Actions No. 1, Seven Actions No. 2, or Seven Actions No. 3.