fight

Five Smooth Stones

Who would have thought that you can take down a giant with a stone?  Yet a sling and stones were David’s choice of weapons as he went out to fight Goliath, the Philistine giant.  The other solders in Israel’s army and the Philistine’s army were equipped with swords and shields, but not David.  David’s weapons were different in this epic battle and still highly effective.

SCRIPTURES

“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.“ I Samuel 17:40

David’s choice of weapons showed that he was trusting in God for the victory.  It gives us some great insight for the battles in our own lives.  We use weapons today, but ours should be different, just as the apostle Paul advised.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”  2 Corinthians 10:3-4

Let me suggest to you some possibilities as to why David chose five smooth stones.  This is God’s way of speaking to us today using an Old Testament story about weapons available to us.  We have mighty spiritual weapons in God.  We have the weapons of prayer and praise and the weapons of truth and God’s Word to get our victories!  The scriptures don’t come right out and tell us why David chose five smooth stones, but here are some possibilities to consider.

IT’S POSSIBLE…

1.  David gathered five smooth stones because he always carried five smooth stones in his pouch.  What appears to be strange to us, was normal for him.

2.  David gathered five smooth stones because he was practical.  He gathered what he thought he might need.  Gathering five stones was not a lack of faith on David’s part, but it showed the practical side of his faith.  Our faith today has a practical aspect to us, it’s not all left to what we can’t see.  Yes we “walk by faith and not by sight,” but we do walk, and we do ask, seek, and knock.

3.  David gathered five smooth stones because he had heard of Goliath’s brothers.  But there’s not a word in this story to suggest this, and if Goliath had four brothers, they didn’t appear to be at the battle.  And David even asked, “Who is this uncircumcized Philistine?  It doesn’t appear that David knew who Goliath was.  

3.  David gathered five smooth stones for five opportunities.  When I worked for the sheriff’s department, I carried a 9 mm Ruger that held 15 rounds.  I also had two clips on my belt that held 15 rounds each.  That’s 45 rounds total.  I always had this thought that if I can’t do the job with 45 rounds, I just need to run!  David may have gathered five stones to give himself with distance five opportunities to take Goliath down. 

4.  David gathered five smooth stones because from a child that’s what he had been taught.

5.  David gathered five smooth stones because God told him to gather five smooth stones.

There is a reason David gathered five stones, and it should speak to us about how with only one stone, he had more than what he needed.  As a child of God, you have more than what you need to take down the giants that try to stop you in life.  Be encouraged today, don’t try to fight your battles with conventional weapons of your flesh, but use the mighty weapons in God to take down every giant.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”  —2 Corinthians 9:8

The LORD

Have great confidence in the Lord today!  Many today place their confidence in every other thing except the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.  In the story of David and Goliath, David completely aligned his life with the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, so much so that when King Saul questioned David’s abilities to fight Goliath, David said, “The LORD.”   “The LORD,” was David’s answer.  Think about it!

SCRIPTURES

“Moreover David said, “The LORD (YEHOVAH), who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” I Samuel 17:37

David’s confidence and faith didn’t come from a flash of emotion, but it came from a personal relationship with God.  David had killed a lion and a bear and was proficient with a sling and stones, but ultimately David looked to God as the answer.  I can tell you that the Lord wants to be your answer.  He wants to rise above everything in your life that you place your confidence in and He wants us to trust completely in Him.  We have to trust God more than we trust our own abilities and experience.  We have to trust God more than we trust our education and what’s in our bank account.  We have to trust God more than we trust our spouse or best friends.  He must become our answer, because everything else has the possibilities of failure, but God never fails!  He has never lost a battle and He never will.

The Lord may not always do what you think He should do, but He still has never failed those who completely trust in Him.  The next time you sense the call of God on your life to take on a challenge and your abilities come into question, respond as David did, “The LORD.”

Defining Moments

Your life will be filled with big defining moments.  Many of those big moments will be characterized as positive, transitional and life-changing, but there will also be big moments that challenge you to rise to the occasion.  Recently, while attending a high school graduation, I thought about the magnitude of the moment when the life of that student and family were about to radically change.  The same things happens when someone gets married, the birth of a child, a relocation for a job, which are all positive big moments, but other big moments will be characterized as negative, adding adversity and fear.  In the story of David and Goliath, David came to an unexpected big moment in his young life when he came to the battlefield and saw Goliath standing and all of Israel’s army falling away in fear.  David  rose above his own fears in that big moment.

SCRIPTURES

“Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” I Samuel 17:32

You need to believe this if you are a child of God, that you were made for big moments, especially those that cripple the lives of others.  You have been equipped through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to rise up and stand against giants.  Many of the big moments in your life will just come, and you have no options because they are built into the path and course of your life, but other big moments come with options.  You can turn away and do nothing as many do, or you can put your mind on God and confront, stand, fight, challenge and bear witness to the power of God in your life.  David was able to stand and fight against Goliath in this big moment in his life because it was time for Goliath to fall, and it was time for Israel to move forward, and it was time for David to be known.  That big moment for David paved the way for another big moment down the road when he would sit upon the throne of Israel as their King.  Remember that big moments like this are often God’s way of moving you to His plan for your future.  Be ready for the next big moment!

Take That Off

Knowing who you are in Christ is paramount to getting the victory over giants in your life. Giants like Goliath will stop you from taking a step of faith and doing God’s will when there is an identity crisis. In the story of David and Goliath, before David stepped onto the battlefield, there was an issue concerning his identity.

SCRIPTURES

“So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested [them.] And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested [them.]” So David took them off.”  I Samuel 17:38-39
I’m certain King Saul had good intentions in giving David his armor.  After all, what solder goes into battle without armor?  However, Saul’s good intentions were going to get David killed. David couldn’t even walk in Saul’s armor, much less defeat Goliath.  But the message here is far greater than what we wear into battle, it’s a message to us about our identity.  Saul was attempting to transfer his image onto David and to look like every other solder in Israel’s army. Please listen, this is what the world tries to do to every born again child of God, to find your identity in the world.  But God’s Word teaches us our identity is found in Christ and in God’s Word! The world wants to clothe you like Saul clothed David with the armor.
If you let the world tell you who you are, there will always be giants that stop you from doing great things and overcoming great obstacles. God’s Word says you are more  than a conqueror, that you are loved, accepted, adopted, forgiven, and righteous in Christ Jesus.  People around you will clothe you by speaking things into your life.  Instead, let God’s Word speak into your life.
Are you wearing something you shouldn’t be wearing?  If so, do what David did with Saul’s armor, “So David took them off.”  When you know who you are in Christ, you can take down every giant that comes against you!

Giants in the Valley

As you make your way through life, you need to remember there are giants in every valley ready to take you into bondage.  That was Goliath’s intention as he confronted Israel’s army in the valley of Elah.  The enemy always seeks to take every advantage against you, and attacking you in the confined area of a valley is one of them.  The valley represents the low points in your life and the seasons when you are not at the top of your game.  We all go through valleys, and some are longer, darker, and more challenging than others.  It’s in those valleys that you should stay on high alert for the enemy’s attack.

When you are in a valley, giants appear to be bigger than they really are.  Now Goliath truly was a giant of a man and his appearance was described in detail.

And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height [was] six cubits and a span. 5 [He had] a bronze helmet on his head, and he [was] armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat [was] five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And [he had] bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear [was] like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead [weighed] six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.“ I Samuel 17:4-7

It’s true that in our valleys we tend to notice the details of our enemy and we do that because our vision is not what it is when we are on a mountain and standing tall in our faith and full of strength.  The intention of the enemy is to capture your attention before capturing your life and taking you in to bondage.  Our struggle is all the same when we are in the valley.  We struggle to see that our God is bigger than the giants towering over us.  The giants want you to feel small in the valley, but David showed us that even though valleys make giants look unstoppable, you can still believe by faith that God is greater, bigger, and stronger than any giants you’ll ever face.  I can promise you there is a giant somewhere in every valley, but we can praise God today because He is not only God on the mountain, but He is God in the valley.  Who is like our God, creator of heaven and earth?  Who is like our conquering King, slayer of giants?  Be encouraged today, even if you’re in a hard place in your life, God is bigger than whatever comes against you.  Practice saying that over and over, “God is bigger!”

Not Every Battle

The truth is, you don’t have to fight every battle!  Let that be a continual source of relief and peace in your life.  But there are some battles you have been appointed to by God.  That means you don’t have to enter into every debate, or confront every opinion or position you don’t agree with.  That’s good news, because we tend to hear things and see things and swiftly jump into the middle of it.  You can “turn the other cheek.”  You can practice holding your tongue.  You can become a person of self-control, even when you know what’s right.  You don’t have to fight every battle, but only those you have been appointed to by God.

Israel’s army was at a stand-still in the battle against Goliath and the Philistines.  Not one solder was moving or volunteering to go against Goliath, but when David heard and saw what was taking place, he knew he was appointed to this battle.  David said to King Saul,

“The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”  I Samuel 17:37

David was not only appointed to fight against Goliath, David had been prepared by God for this fight.  David had killed a lion and bear while protecting his flock as a shepherd, but that wasn’t the extent or essence of his preparations.  God had prepared David to trust in Him.  Did you hear that?  That’s the essence of our trials and challenges in life.  Our trials are moments and seasons of preparation to trust God in a greater way.  David was not only prepared to go against Goliath, but David was permitted to fight against Goliath,  Saul said, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”  

If you try to fight a battle you haven’t been appointed to or prepared for, you will not have the resources of heaven available to you.  If you try to fight a battle you haven’t been appointed to, you may damage your witness for God and you may sever relationships unintentionally.  When you fight a battle you were not appointed to, you may get yourself hurt mentally and emotionally.  Learn spiritual discernment and live with the understanding that you don’t have to fight in every battle.

Is There Not a Cause?

Most people live with some kind of a cause.  It’s their passion and drive and what gets them up every morning to go do what they do.  But sadly, life can run over us and cause us to be so busy we completely forget our cause.  Sometimes it’s fear that causes us to forget or disregard our cause.  This is what happened to Israel’s army in their battle with the Philistines.  Goliath came out each day for forty days defying the army of the living God.  Goliath was the commander of the entire battlefield and he even set the rules in place.  The rules were as follows:

“Choose you a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.”  “If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants.
But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”  I Samuel 17:8-9

The shear fear of Goliath caused all of Israel’s army to forget the cause for which the challenge had been made.  Fear has a way of blinding us from our purpose in life.  Coming upon the fortieth day, Israel’s army even forgot about the challenge, all they could see and hear was the giant spewing threats morning and evening.  But David showed up willing to fight against the oversized Goliath and asked, “Is there not a cause?”  David was saying, “There’s something worth fighting for here!”  Think about it, the cause was embedded in the challenge and it’s the same thing we must fight for today—freedom.  If Israel wanted to continue to live in freedom, they needed a freedom fighter to kill the giant.  David believed the freedom of his family was worth fighting for and the freedom of his countrymen was worth fighting for. 

On March 23, 1775 It was Patrick Henry who said, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”  Many churches and followers of Christ today have forgotten our cause.  Our cause as a church is not to build big fancy churches or to have thousands attending our services.  Our cause is not to dress up and line up every Sunday morning ready for battle but never do anything.  Our cause is not to impress those who are watching.  Our cause is great and was given to us by Christ Himself.  He sacrificed and died on the cross so that we might be set free.  Our cause is helping those who are in bondage to be set free by the power and grace of God.  Our cause is in declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ by which all people can be set free.  There are those today who need to be set free from the Goliath of their sin, the power of darkness and even dead religious rituals.  

As you go out into the world today, remember you have a cause.  Jesus came to set captives free and your cause as a follower of Christ is to show captives the way to that freedom. You can be free in Jesus’s name and if you are free, do what David did, help someone else get free.  

Fear Stops Here!

In the epic story of David and Goliath, there is a very important lesson for every child of God to learn and live by.  The lesson is that what makes everyone else fearful and afraid, doesn’t have to effect you the same way.  David teaches us that fear should stop here, with you and me.  It should not transfer from us to those around us.  While the hearts of the men in Israel’s army melted at the presence of Goliath, and fear was passed from one man to the next like a viral disease, hear what David said,

“Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”  I Samuel 17:32   

While fear spread through Israel’s ranks for 40 straight days, when fear came to David, it didn’t phase him nor pass through him.  Goliath was a monster of a man, but David knew about the greatness of the living God.  David’s courage was not out of ignorance or self-determined arrogance, but it was out of complete reliance on the power and presence of Almighty God.  When you know God is with you, you have the power to stop fear in its tracks.  When you walk with God in a daily walk and experience Him in your life, you are much more able to keep your focus on God when fear comes knocking.

This may be exactly what you need in your life right now, to declare in faith and by the power of God, “Fear stops here!”  It should, you don’t have to receive it or spread it no matter what the source of that fear happens to be.  This only happens when you keep your focus on who God is, just like David did.  This only happens when you right-size what is coming against you with the living God who walks with you.  Fear stops here for those who are anointed by God to live different and to believe different than the rest of the world.  That means you believe God can win any battle and stop any opponent.  David believed God could stop Goliath because he had already experienced God in his encounters with the lion and the bear.  God is ready to be victorious in your life if you will keep your focus on Him and keep believing in Him.  Don’t transfer fear onto those around you, but transfer courage and faith in the living God.

Fighting Words

Many people have been provoked into a fight just by a few words that hit them the wrong way.  If you want to start something with someone, start talking about their children or say something negative about their mother, and see what happens.  When David was on the battle field in the company of Israel’s army, he heard Goliath defying the armies of Israel, words that provoked him to go against Goliath, the Philistine.

And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, thePhilistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of thePhilistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard [them]. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fledfrom him, and were sore afraid.” I Samuel 17:23-24

Think about it, David’s reaction to the mocking, defying, arrogant words of Goliath was completely the opposite of all of Israel’s army.  When Israel’s army saw and heard Goliath, they fled with hearts full of fear.  When David heard Goliath, his response was, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God.”  V. 26

Something rose up in David when he heard Goliath that didn’t rise up in the other men.  David heard fighting words!  David couldn’t stand by and do nothing while Goliath spewed out insults against God.  Because of the anointing on David’s life, he couldn’t walk away or cower down as the other men.

And as disciple’s of Christ, our hearts and ears should be tuned in and sensitive to what others are saying around us.  We should never go out looking to start a debate with anyone, but when the opportunity presents itself, be provoked in the name of Jesus.  We never want to have an argumentative spirit, but we can object and we can be a voice of truth. We can stand for what is right and we can stand for others who may not have the power or ability to stand for themselves.  David didn’t speak words of rebuke to Israel’s army, he just did what they were not able to do, fight against Goliath.  David reminds us of Jesus Christ, who was a defender of the weak and timid.  He was a defender against the religious bullies of His day, just like David was against Goliath.

As a disciple of Christ, you have something in you that causes you to react differently than others.  Live in your powerful anointing of God.

Fighting in the Valley

What some call fighting, may not be fighting at all.  When David came to the Valley of Elah, Israel’s army and the Philistine army had been lining up in battle array for 40 straight days preparing to engage in a battle.  Up until the 40th day, no swords had been drawn, no blood had been spilt, and who would be victorious was still to be determined.  Even on the 40th day, Israel’s army marched to their positions acting as though they were going to fight, but there was no fighting in the battle.

“Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel [were] in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took [the things] and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle.“ I Samuel 17:19-20

Israel was prepared to fight with each man armored up and lined up, but no one took a step towards the enemy.  They went out to the battlefield pumping each other up, “shouting for the battle,” but still there was no action.  What Israel’s army was doing is what many churches and Christians do today.  We get in our worship services and shout and get all worked up preparing for battle with the enemy.  We lift our hands and shout and we talk about the armor and how the battle belongs to the Lord, but we learn to live with the Goliaths.  We might wonder how long the stalemate would have gone on before David showed up.  The real fighting against the enemy only began when David showed up.  And as disciples of Christ, we must know that we are no match for the enemy.  We must also know that fighting against the enemy begins when Jesus shows up in our prayers and praise and He gives us the victory over our enemy.  He knows how the enemy stops us in our tracks and how we can’t move forward in life until He shows up.  So if you are in a battle today and find yourself lining up, dressed in your armor, invite Jesus to come.  Stand and wait on Jesus to come.  Give Him praise for the victory!  Spiritual fighting only begins when the King of Kings shows up.  Don’t go out against your enemy no matter how spiritually charged you are, only Jesus can defeat him.

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