“As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.”
1Samuel 17:48 NLT
The other night I had a spiritual warfare dream. In this dream, I had just moved into an older, two-story home with a large porch on the front. I found myself in the living room area immersed in fear of an evil presence. I tried crying out and rebuking the devil to cast out the evil but I had no voice. I felt helpless and paralyzed. I prayed for Christ to rebuke the enemy for me and to restore my voice. Suddenly I became bold and angry. Amidst a terror inside of me that was almost debilitating, I ran upstairs and started kicking in doors hollering at the enemy to show his face, daring him to come at me. I ran into dark unfamiliar rooms not knowing what would be on the other side of the door, terrified but determined to face my enemy. I was fed up with being afraid and I was chasing after this evil presence. There was a room at the end of the hallway with a light on. I never made it to that room. When I noticed the light on I called the enemy out again and told him to show himself. He came out of the lighted room cowering. When he appeared, he was nothing but a wiry, thin, pale faced thug-a thief who ran with his tail between his legs when I started ranting and thrashing at him to GET OUT!
Although I woke up exhausted, I had no doubt what my dream was telling me. I have lived in fear most of my life. Fear caused me to not try out for the softball team my freshman year of high school. Fear kept me from studying in France for 5 weeks when I was a college student. Fear kept me from pursuing my dream of being a professional singer/actor. Fear also kept me in an abusive relationship. It even still keeps me from visiting my dentist regularly. God used this dream to show me what I needed to do with fear. Face it. Run after it and kick it out of my soul. Fear has no place in ruling my life or yours.
I have read repeatedly that the Bible says “Do not fear” 365 times. Although I haven’t googled the validity of that statement, I’ve read enough of in Deuteronomy, Joshua and Isaiah alone to believe it’s true. In His word, God repeatedly tells us to NOT FEAR, to not be afraid and to be still. Each time He says it, He also adds, “for I Am with you…” The Great I Am is with us all the time, everywhere we go. Focusing on that alone should be enough to make us fearless. But for most, for me at least, it’s not. I needed God to show me how to not fear.
He not only showed me in my dream, He confirmed it this week through the story of David and Goliath. You don’t have to be a Christian to be familiar with the story of a shepherd boy who took on a 9 foot (2.74 meters) giant and killed him with a slingshot and 1 stone. Some probably think it’s simply a fictional Sunday school story. But the true believer knows it is truth because God’s word tells us so.
1 Samuel chapter 17 tells us David was Jesse’s youngest son. While his older brothers were at war, David went back and forth between the soldiers’ camp and the sheepfold to help his father keep watch on his older brothers and the family sheep. One specific day, Jesse, sent him to the camp with food for his brothers. When David arrived, the Israelites and Philistines were in the midst of war. David ran out to meet his brothers. This is the first time he sees Goliath taunting and terrorizing the Israelite army. Men older and “braver” than David were frozen in fear because of one enemy who towered over them and taunted them. To this point, anyone who had attempted to take on Goliath was murdered. In human thinking, their fear was completely valid.
David was a man after God’s own heart before he became King of Judah. What was David’s response to Goliath’s threats? “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?(vs 26b)” David had no fear of Goliath because David knew his God was bigger, stronger and mightier. He couldn’t understand why the Israelites were so afraid of this giant. David recognized who Goliath really was-He wasn’t an enemy of the Israelites, Goliath was an enemy of God. David knew no enemy of God’s ever wins-that confidence, made him fearless.
Even though David trusted God to defeat Goliath, he still received backlash from even his own family members regarding facing the giant. David’s older brother, Eliab, was angry with David for talking to the other soldiers and asked him, ““What are you doing around here anyway? “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle! (vs 28)” Eliab’s faith wasn’t as big as David’s and he didn’t see David as the man God created him to be. Eliab only saw David as his annoying little brother who was just an action-junkie going to get in the way and get himself killed.
I love David’s response to his older brother. “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question! (vs 29)” Then he walked over and asked other soldiers the same question. He didn’t bat an eye to his brother’s naysaying. I imagine David was already hearing God calling him to face this giant and he was determined to obey God. Nothing anyone said was going to deter David from his God ordained destiny or make him falter in his faith.
At this point, King Saul hears about David’s question and calls for him. When David meets King Saul, the young shepherd boy boldly and confidently tells the king, “Don’t worry about this Philistine…I’ll go fight him! (vs 32)” To which Saul replied, ““Don’t be ridiculous! …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. (vs 33)” And here’s what verses 34-37 tells us David’s reply was, “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!’” The best part of that whole passage is the first sentence, but David persisted. In spite of his own family not believing in him, in spite of the law of the land at that time having no faith in him, David persisted because he trusted God to defeat the enemy. His persistent faith is what prompted Saul to finally say, ““All right, go ahead…And may the Lord be with you! (vs 37b)”
Even though Saul consented to David’s request, Saul still didn’t see David as the warrior God made him to be. Saul tried to dress David up in protective armor that actual held David back. If he had worn the man-made armor, David would have readily been defeated because it was too heavy, weighed him down, and not what David was used to. So David refused the armor and prepared for battle-how? He used what he knew, his staff and his slingshot. His ammunition was 5 stones. He ran toward his enemy, fearlessly and was practically a laughing stock to his family, the army he was fighting for and especially his enemy. David looked square at his enemy and said, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us! (vs 45-47.) He loaded his slingshot, took aim and nailed Goliath square in the forehead, then cut off his head. Did you catch that-David, a small shepherd boy killed a 9 foot giant by knocking him down with a slingshot and cutting off his head! Why was David victorious? Because he knew it was the Lord’s battle and he TRUSTED God to deliver the enemy to him.
When we lay our fear down, face the giants in His way and trust His might through us, He moves in a mighty way and makes us victorious too. David had no battle plan. He was simply a natural born warrior and he used what he knew trusting God to do the rest.
As I write this, I’m listening to a sermon by Todd White, entitled, No Longer a Slave to Fear. In this sermon Todd says, “[We] are not victims of circumstance-[we] are victorious. We are sons and daughters of the King. Let us not be bound by [the enemy’s] lies. Don’t let your hope be deferred. If it’s deferred, it’s because your hope isn’t set on what God says you are. It’s impossible to have your hope deferred by circumstance when your hope is set on Jesus.” The Israelites lived as victims. David lived as the victor through Christ. The Israelites lived without hope. David’s hope was set on His God. He knew, deep in his heart, that he was a mighty warrior made by God and that no enemy would be victorious in destroying his God-ordained destiny. Because he was not a slave to fear, God’s destiny for him came to fruition over and over again. David only knew defeat when he sinned against God or handled life by his own might. But even then, when David repented, God raised him up again and made him victorious over all his enemies.
We all have a God-ordained destiny. The only thing that can keep us from achieving that destiny is paralyzing fear. We have a choice to be like David who ran after his enemy or be like the Israelites who doubted God and fought battles in their own human strength. We can live to know who God made us to be, or we can live with a hope deferred and sick hearts (Proverbs 13:12.) We should definitely pray and know God’s destiny for ourselves but once we know, we have to go. As Todd White says, “we’re not going to pray about where to go, we’re just going to go. Why? Cuz’ ‘go’ is two-thirds of God (G-O-D.)” If God is telling you to go-then go, fearlessly, and let God guide you along the way.
To blindly go, we will need faith like David and like Abraham. When God told Abraham to go in Genesis 12, He didn’t spell out the plan step by step or detail by detail. God only said, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. (vs 1)” God said GO then He promised to SHOW. Too often we miss out on what God is calling us to do because we’re waiting for God to show before we go. We need to take that leap of faith and go first. Then trust God to show us the way. We need to trust that God is moving mightily defeating every enemy that attempts to block us from His destiny for us. But remember, He calls us to first GO. He calls us to run after our enemy and trust Him to bring the victory His way, and in His time. Let us stop floundering like a wave tossed to and fro and let us go after what He has already laid on our hearts to achieve for His purpose and glory.