Bringing down Goliath is the next part of our New Horizons for Success series. Any time you pursue a dream, especially a God given dream, you will face at least one probably more giants in the way.
This giant is big, he’s ugly and he’s in the way of your success. You have to be bringing down Goliath or he brings you down, He stands there, taunts you, mocks you and threatens you, jeopardising any chance you have of success in your vision. Maybe a pain, a fear, a person, a sin, a huge stronghold of some sort in your life. We all have to deal with them, or they deal with us!
A giant is a seemingly insurmountable barrier or difficulty in your life, but you can win against your Goliath. Turn to 1 Samuel 17, and let me buzz through the story, much of which you would, know …
DAVID FACED A GIANT PROBLEM
According to the Bible, Goliath stood over 3.2m tall, and wore heavy armour and had a big, nasty spear. He terrified everybody, but David was about bringing down Goliath …
1 Samuel 17:10-11 (ESV Strong's)
And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks 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.
David, a lad visiting his brothers at the front, refused to be scared and said,
1 Samuel 17:26 (ESV Strong's)
For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
David tried Saul’s armour on, rejected it and approached the giant with just 5 stones and a sling shot. You know the story. Then something entered Goliaths head that he never thought of before, and David defeated him.
What giant, what seemingly insurmountable problem do you face right now? A persistent sin is a giant, lack of faith could be a giant. Criticism, fear, depression, apathy, these can all be giants in your life. You’ll never walk into your destiny without defeating them, so today is the day we decide to take those suckers down. Today is the day we are bringing down Goliath, the day we put our giants to the sword. Are you with me? Let hunt Orc!
ARE YOU POSITIVE ABOUT BRINING DOWN GOLIATH?
Many people think if you’re just positive you can beat these guys, but positive attitudes, positive thoughts or even positive confessions on their own are not enough to defeat the giants in your life. However, having the right, positive mindset is a great start.
Hidden within the vast resources of our minds is a tremendous ability to store and retrieve data, so complex that scientists still do not know all its capabilities. However, one thing is clear: we view ourselves in light of what we believe to be true. If we construct a negative belief system concerning who we are, then we will act negatively. If we keep God central, we will have an unbelievably positive mindset…
Isaiah 26:3 (ESV Strong's)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
I remember Fiona going to church one day and someone asked her how her week was, and she replied, “Do you want faith or positive confession?” Some people really believe in positive confession to the point where is becomes fake it til you make it. I believe there is a balance between positive words with a positive mindset and being real.
Facing a giant in your life and confessing it isn’t there is fake faith, it’s flawed faith and ultimately it will let you down! As I struggled to learn faith years ago God showed me Abraham…
Romans 4:19-21 (ESV Strong's)
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
Abraham didn’t wish away barrenness, he didn’t positively confess “I am virile,” he looked the facts straight in the eye and didn’t fake it or lie about it but acknowledged his body was as good as dead. But, and here’s the But, He then said my God is bigger than my old, dead body.
You won't be bringing down Goliath by wishing he wasn’t there, confessing he doesn’t exist or pretending he is smaller than he is. Look him straight in the eye and say, “I know you’re there, you’re mean and you’re out to kill me, but my God is bigger and stronger, and in His power I will defeat you!
David stayed positive as he approached this battle, and as he headed to the showdown with Goliath, the first thing he did was go to a brook and select 5 stones. As we face our giants this morning, whatever they are, here’s 5 stones you can pick up to defeat and be bringing down Goliath in your life, the ones that stand between you and greatness in God…
STONE 1- THE PURPOSE
The first stone to pick up is the purpose you are facing the giant. What’s your reason, what’s your motivation? Why bother facing Goliath at all? We said last week that a great cause, a great purpose, a great vision for success can hold your commitment straight and true, even under severe attack!
PURPOSE in bringing down Goliath will cause you to have:
PRAYER- those with purpose pray more because their purpose is bigger than they are.
UNITY- the right purpose will drive you into the arms of those with a similar purpose.
RISK- When you have a purpose, you’re suddenly prepared to risk more… we call it faith! Moving from this property is a risk for this church, but we have a purpose, we have a dream, and no risk, no reward!
PLANNING- Having purpose causes us to plan more, and plan more carefully and effectively.
OBSERVATION- A purpose makes you observe more around you. Ever decide you wanted a particular car, and from that point on you sees hundreds of them on the road?
SACRIFICE- A purpose drives you on more than others, and you will sacrifice more to achieve it.
EXPECTATION- A purpose causes your expectation to rise. It drives you to expect miracles, and expect success!
Your purpose is the first stone, the start of defeating giants in your life. So check your purpose. What is it that drives the dream you have? Find your purpose for living in God, and you will conquer giants.
Proverbs 19:21 (ESV Strong's)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
The right purpose, God’s purpose, is the first stone to attack a giant with and be bringing down Goliath .
STONE 2- THE COST
Luke 14:27-29 (ESV Strong's)
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
People ask me how they can tell the difference between God’s voice, the devils and their own voice. Here’s a hint.. your own voice is always what you want, the devil always says, like Nike, “Just do it,” buy now pay later, and God always asks you to count the cost!
So before you charge in against this giant, step back, take a look at him and count the cost. Let’s look at any sin, say immorality. On one side of the ledger there’s a thrill, a risk and a few moments pleasure. On the other side is guilt, shame, loss of relationship with God, loss of reputation, loss of relationship with your spouse, your kids, your grandkids, your friends, venerial disease, unwanted pregnancy, losing your finances, destroying the trust people have in you. Count it.. it’s a no brainer!
To defeat a giant, especially a sinful giant in your life, step back and count the cost and suddenly you will see the consequences clearly. You’ve picked up the right stone! Weigh it carefully and realise that when you count the cost, when you weigh up the consequences of defeat by him, the resultant carnage makes you triumphing over him the only option.
And there will be costs to count along the way. There will be attack, there will be criticism at times, there will be people trying to undermine your faith as you reach for your dreams, but decide now that it is a price worth paying to defeat the giant, in bringing down Goliath .
STONE 3- THE COURSE
The 3rd stone to pick up is charting the right course to defeat the giant. Planning is not sinful, charting your course is smart, and if you fail to plan you plan to fail. However, in your plans, you need to seek God’s plans not your own, so read the Bible daily, get godly advice and be ever open and listening to His guidance.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV Strong's)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
When you know God’s course, you need to chart it, move towards it and declare it. Sharing what you believe is God’s purpose for your life is scary, because now others can challenge you on it! I’ve declared to you that my dream for Ignite is for it to grow, and as such we need to move from this building. It’s scary, but unless I step out and believe, no one will follow in bringing down Goliath!
So if you have a vision for your life, chart it out and share it with others. Yes, it’s a risk, and yes , it’s terrifying, but you won’t be bringing down Goliath by running away! David said,
1 Samuel 17:31 (ESV Strong's)
David said to Saul, “Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
Every person who has achieved a great dream knows the trauma of first publicly declaring it. And when you do, get ready for a fair dose of criticism and even worse, advice!
You step out in faith to face the giant, and someone always says, “Hey, let me tell you how to do it!”
1 Samuel 17:38-39 (ESV Strong's)
Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off.
David found Saul’s armour too big, too bulky and ill fitting. He couldn’t fight in that stuff! And you will find that when you declare your course, others will criticise and offer advice that is not God’s will for you.
I couldn’t tell you how much criticism I face as a pastor. Much of it is encapsulated in godly words, and often it comes from sincere hearts. “God told me to tell you to do what I want you to do.” As a pastor, even when I have a victory, someone feels compelled to tell me where I am wrong and how I should do it right, at least in their eyes.
My antidote to all of this confusing God Talk is to have a close, tight team I trust. I run everything by my wife, my team, my board, leaders and admin teams. That way I can stay on course and not be influenced by those who for whatever reason have an axe to grind about something. Ignite is going to stay the course and keep serving God as He leads us to.
Pick up that stone and chart your course with confidence, and listen for the Lord’s voice in His Word, in godly advice, closely following Him. But don’t listen to everybody! You will never kill giants in your life if you need everyone’s support. Give others time to understand and accept what you’re going to do, but don’t expect them to always agree with it. I’ve discovered that every person who has never killed a giant will tell you that it’s impossible. They will tell you it can’t happen. Stay the course and trust God, not man and not someone’s personal agenda nd soon you'll be bringing down Goliath.
STONE 4- THE CONCENTRATION
The 4th stone to pick up is concentration… what are you concentrating on, what are you focusing on? So many of us see the giant, and so we concentrate not on the solution, but on the giant himself!
Karl Wallenda was a world-famous tightrope walker, successful for many years. He died walking between 2 buildings in Puerto Rico in 1978, falling 75 m to his death.
His wife commented after his death, “All Karl thought about for three straight months prior to walking across the tightrope was falling. It was the first time he’d ever thought about that. And it seemed to me that he put all of his energies into not falling, rather than walking the tightrope.”
When he stepped onto the rope that day he was concentrating on not falling, so much so, that he did fall. When we focus on the pitfalls instead of the prize, we often fall. When we focus on the giant in front of us instead of the solution, we are destined to fall!
So what was David’s focus as he faced Goliath? What was he concentrating on when bringing down Goliath?
1 Samuel 17:45 (ESV Strong's)
Then David said to the Philistine, “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.
Was David intimidated by Goliath? He possibly was, but was he overwhelmed? No chance! Why not? Because David was focussed on God, not the giant!
What you concentrate on, what you focus on is the difference between positive thinking and positive faith. And my Bible says,
1 John 4:4 (ESV Strong's)
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Like Wallander, many people focus constantly on the problem, not the solution. They become obsessed by the giant, and the giant controls aspects of their life. Sickness is a classic example. You get seriously ill, and your whole life becomes a series of doctor’s appointments and taking drugs on time. It’s so hard to focus on Jesus when all that other stuff, none of it bad, demands constant attention.
So on the road to your destiny, giants will rise up. The giant of sickness, the giant of want, the giant of a persistent sin, or a demonisation or a loss, or an addiction, or a relationship collapse. These giants can be defeated, but not if you constantly centre on them! No, today it’s time to stop looking at that giant, shift your focus, move your concentration to Jesus, because He is greater and His power can break the bondage of those giants.
STONE 5- THE CHARGE
James 2:17 (ESV Strong's)
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
You can prepare, you can stare down the giants, you can plan and you can scream at them, but ultimately until you actually charge them, you will never defeat them. The 5th stone is to charge. In Hebrews 11, every example of faith given involves action. Faith is nothing without action. So don’t run away, don’t wait for them to bring you down, go get them and show them that the Lord is boss!
1 Samuel 17:47-48 (ESV Strong's)
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.” When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
David ran towards the giant, when everyone else had run away. Why did he run? Because he was so confident of victory, he charged! I’m believing that today you get so charged up that you decide to charge the giants you face.
So there’s 5 stones you can pick up like David to face your giant. The purpose, the cost, the course, the concentration and the charge! David had no sword, no shield, no armour, just 5 stones and a slingshot. Someone suggested that taking 5 stones instead of just one could be lack of faith on David’s part, but I don’t believe so. According to 2 Samuel 21:22, Goliath had 4 brothers, all giants. David was going to take out the whole family!
BREAKTHROUGH IN THE LAND OF THE GIANTS?
I remember watching a TV show years ago called, “Land of the Giants.” In it all the people were little and they faced giant people everywhere they went. Sometimes in your life, that’s what it feels like. Sometimes everywhere you turn has a giant on the road, not the jolly green variety, but the big, ugly, nasty and intimidating kind, and you need to be bringing down Goliath.
Ignite is here as a church to point you to Jesus. We are people who have walked the road, faced the same giants and seen our God triumph over said giants! Been there, done that, got the T Shirt. And many here have faced and defeated the same guy you face today. They want to stand with you as you face your own personal Goliaths. Today is the today of breakthrough for you, for bringing down Goliath in your life.
Psalms 27:1 (ESV Strong's)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
In 1954, there were medical articles that said that the human body can’t run a four-minute mile, that it was physically impossible for the body to withstand that much pressure. But in 1954, Roger Bannister, a young medical student, went out and ran a mile in under four minutes, and once he did that, in the next 2 years 213 men ran under four minutes… all because one guy broke the barrier.
One guy was bringing down Goliath, and then everybody did it! We are better together, and as believers, we are better together, conquering giants together!
Whatever your giant, people here have faced and beaten him, and they can help you do the same!
Have you been abused? People here have beaten that. Are you facing a persistent sin? People here have beaten that too. Fearful? Yep, some here have faced that. Bankruptcy, marital breakdown, loss of job, sickness, feeling hurt, all these have been conquered.
So today, what giants do you face? What major obstacle on the road to your dreams do you need to defeat? As believers, we are stronger when we stand together. It’s time to conquer your giant! It's time to be bringing down Goliath in your life!