Almost everyone that attended Sunday school has heard the story of David, the shepherd boy, slaying the giant Goliath. You may be facing a Goliath in your life, meaning: a medical diagnosis (like my husband’s), a job loss, a competitor taking your business, a difficult relationship, any giant challenge.
Here’s a refresher on the David and Goliath story with four steps to show you how to overcome those Goliath challenges that you face in your life.
The Pure Size of Goliath
This story is found in I Samuel chapter 17. It involves the armies of the Philistines and of Israel. Speaking of size, the Philistines stood on one mountain and Israel stood on another mountain with a valley in between them.
Out of the Philistine camp came a champion named Goliath. In modern terms he was nine feet three inches tall. The tallest NBA players are seven feet, seven inches tall. My stepson is 6 feet 11. When we walk into almost any place he gathers attention. I can’t imagine how huge Goliath looked in person. He was also covered with armor and held a spear with the head weighing 16 1/2 pounds. Imagine the weight of a bowling ball. That was just the head of the spear. He was beyond intimidating.
Goliath comes out and addresses King Saul to send someone out to fight him. If someone was able to kill him, they would all become his servants. But if he prevailed, then Israel would be their servants.
Surprise, surprise, there weren’t any takers. So the next day Goliath came out with the same announcement. David, a shepherd boy and youngest of three sons ran over to see what was going on.
When David heard what Goliath said, David asked those around him, “How can he defy the armies of the living God?” He kept asking this until King Saul heard about him and sent for him.
David is Told Why He is Not Capable (How Often Have You Been Told That?)
Of course when Saul saw him, he began to tell David all of the reasons why he couldn’t slay Goliath. Goliath was a seasoned warrior. David was a mere youth and shepherd boy.
But David wasn’t accepting those words. He explained to Saul that he was used to keeping sheep for his father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, he went after it and struck it down rescuing the lamb from its mouth. He said that he killed both lions and bears and this Philistine would be just like one of them since he had defied the armies of the living God.
He went on to say, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.”
So Saul gave him the assignment. At first Saul clothed him with armor, put on a helmet and a coat of mail, and handed him a sword. But David was not used to them and found it awkward and hard to walk. So he told him, “I am not used to this,” and removed them.
David Proves Everyone Wrong
He took his staff in his hand, his sling and five smooth stones in his shepherd’s bag in the pouch. And with sling in hand he went out to meet Goliath.
When Goliath came forward with his shield he disdained him and said, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? Come to me and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the wild animals of the field.”
But David wasn’t intimidated. He said, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defiled. This very 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 Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God of Israel.” Not bad for a young shepherd boy.
Goliath moved in the direction of David and David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet him. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it and struck Goliath in his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead and he fell face down on the ground…
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead they fled.
We All Have Goliaths in Our Life
Some of these challenges are struggling with a job situation, having to make an important decision, mistakes that we’ve made, conversations that need to happen that we are afraid of as far as outcomes or confrontations.
My Husband’s Goliath
Other Goliaths can be a medical diagnosis, divorce, long-term unemployment. These are Goliath type situations, however, courage and trust in God will see us through.
My husband Robert has a new Goliath he is battling. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He’s fighting it by taking care of himself through proper nutrition, exercise, meditation, and a positive attitude. We are also trusting God to give us strength in regards to all outcomes.
Creating Our Own Goliaths
We can make a Goliath out of problems that if dealt with immediately would be small in nature. When we dwell on fear and all of the things that could possibly go wrong and let our imaginations run wild, we blow up those situations into Goliaths.
How to Face and Overcome Goliaths – 4 Steps
Step 1: Face your Goliath Head On (Pun intended)
David had dealt with challenges in the past. He became an expert at zeroing in on the most vulnerable place. In Goliath’s case, it was hitting him right between the eyes.
Step 2: Don’t Listen to the Outside Naysayers
David didn’t listen to the voices that told him he wasn’t qualified, that he was too young, that he was inexperienced, that he couldn’t do it. David knew in his heart that he was capable. He also knew that he was fighting for a purpose that was greater than himself. He wasn’t fighting for glory. He was fighting for others and for his God.
Step 3 – Trust Yourself – Trust God
He didn’t need to fight using muscle. He fought by trusting God, trusting his own instincts, trusting in his own abilities, assessing the situation, and seeing his opportunity.
Step 4 – Overcome Your Goliaths with Spiritual Muscle
Even though Goliath was covered with all of his shields and armor, his forehead was exposed. That was his place of vulnerability. David, using his awareness, was able to slay the giant in one single shot. It is not size and strength that matters. It is spiritual muscle that matters in the form of awareness, confidence, and trusting in God.
God gives us hope and encouragement through a young shepherd boy who slays a seasoned champion giant warrior. David went on to be King.
May you find the courage, confidence and trust in God to face, stare down, and overcome any Goliath in your life.
If you are holding onto the past and find it hard to let go, or you can’t still racing thoughts that cause you to retreat from your Goliath challenges, this Prayer for Letting go and cut 5 from my Meditative Affirmation CD called Letting God may help. Download both for free.