We all know and are inspired by the story of David and Goliath. We love rooting for the underdog and we love it when the underdog wins, especially if the underdog represents right and the one with the perceived advantage represents wrong. We join the story of David and Goliath when the cocky, condescending giant defies the armies of Israel:
And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid (1 Samuel 17:10-11).
King Saul and all Israel lost whatever courage they had and were paralyzed with terror. Day after day the same routine happened with the same result: The Israelite army saw the Giant as an enemy too large to overcome.
In different ways, this is very common in everyday life: We size up our challenges or enemies and see them larger than they are. Our giants may be health issues, financial issues, relationship problems, addictions, guilt or whatever. We see the situation, whatever it is, as an unconquerable giant, forgetting that we have a God who is even bigger than the giant.
Back in Moses’ day 12 spies were sent to the Promised Land to assess the situation there and size up the enemy. They came back with a report about how big and undefeatable the enemy was. They said, “When we saw the Nephilim (giants), we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” The spies focused on the size of the enemy rather than the size of God. They also imagined that the enemy looked down at them and found themselves intimidated by the enemy’s superiority or perceived superiority. They enumerated the reasons why they would lose and the enemy would win. The glass was definitely half empty, or maybe all empty.
We often see our problems the same way. We often think they are giants that are undefeatable. We forget that millions that have gone before us endured and overcame these same giants. The solution to this problem of perspective is to train our eyes to see Him who is invisible; to see the solution instead of the problem, or at least see the solution conquering the problem. As it so often is, it’s about trust in a powerful and loving and trustworthy God. It’s about having faith that, with God’s help, we will win rather than faith that we will lose. We can either see the mountain and declare it unclimbable or we, even with the smallest faith, can command it to be removed.
Way too often we count on losing instead of winning. Our faith is actually in the enemy instead of God because our focus is on the enemy, not God. We see the enemy as bigger than our God or at least we see God as unwilling to overcome our enemy for us. Maybe we believe He can, but don’t believe He will. Part of ascribing to the Lord the glory due His name is trusting that He is a good, loving and willing God. Sometimes we unintentionally accuse or charge God with being a removed or distant God who cares little about our lives and needs. We may not actually believe that, but our lack of faith for victory suggests it. Like David, we need to presume willingness on God’s part and call upon Him in our time of trouble, fully expecting Him to intervene rather than be totally shocked if He does. We need to learn to wait with expectation for the deliverance of the Lord.
For me, trusting in the goodness of God and His willingness to help has come by knowing Him better. And there is only one way to know Him better; we must spend lots of time with Him. When we do we begin to see Him as bigger than our giants. We learn to trust Him more. To know Him is to trust Him. He really is a good, willing God who loves to bless and help His kids. By spending time with Him and getting to know Him, we come to believe and expect to see His help in our times of challenge and trouble. And expectation is a very close relative to faith. And faith in God is what gets things done.