How many people today do not obtain the prize because they will not press through to victory? What is the prize? The prize is God’s promise to His people, and when we do not have a “God-promise” present in our life, there is a pressing through required to obtain what has been promised. That promise may be good health. Or it may be financial security. It could be the promise of our children serving the Lord. And in today’s world, we see so many people who love God and yet do not have the promise of peace in their life. Many people remain in a place of captivity. When Jesus spoke in Luke 4:18 that He was anointed to set “captives free,” the word captive in Greek means “prisoner of war.” When we do not have all God has promised, we are held captive by the enemy in the prison of lack, defeat, and frustration.
I am reminded of the familiar story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. It reads that the giant, Goliath, would come out at the beginning of the day and again in the evening to “taunt” the Israelites. The word taunt means to ridicule, mock, or jeer. The devil does this to God’s people when he holds them in a place of lack or fear. He is reminding them of what they do not have, and the Israelites were fearful and shaking before the giant. (See 1 Samuel 17:11). But it took one man, David, who had a history with God and would not allow the evil giant to defy the army of the only living God, Yahweh. What can we learn from this story?
- David had experienced God’s faithfulness. David remembered how God had protected him from the lion and bear while tending sheep. (See 1 Samuel 17:37) God was present in David’s everyday life. David had a relationship with God, and David trusted God. The past victories created faith in David’s heart for the problem at hand. What victories from the past can you pull from to remind the enemy of God’s faithfulness? We cannot wait until the trial comes to develop faith in God. A relationship with God is essential in any battle we face!
- David did not use man’s methods to take down the giant. Saul attempted to counsel David and his first advice was to tell David why he should not face Goliath. He only offered negative words to David. But David would not listen to a man unsuccessful in his own battle. Saul, like the rest of the Israelites, had retreated in fear. When Saul realized that David would not listen to his negative counsel, he offered David his own armor. This is the armor that Saul was afraid to use for himself and the people he led. Others will often offer man-made strategies for God-designed encounters. Do not take advice from someone who will not face their own problem!
- David had a God strategy. He chose five smooth stones. The TWOT tells us that the word chose is not generally used in a common sense of choosing something, as someone would casually choose what they might wear for the day. Instead, the word expresses choosing with ultimate and eternal significance. David was making a decision that would have eternal significance in his life and in the plan of God for his life and for the nation. God strategies will sometimes make no sense to the natural mind. After all, what were a few small stones compared to a giant who stood over 9 feet tall and carried a 15-pound spearhead? But David had a strategy. Does our problem in life require a strategy? Could God not have taken down the giant with a word? Of course, He could, but God works through man on the earth, and as David stated in Psalms 8, God has given mankind dominion over the earth. We have a part to play. If we have a financial problem, is there a strategy that needs to be put into place that would resolve the issue, such as cutting back on spending or a temporary second job for a season? Or for our health. Is God wanting to release a health strategy for us? God will provide the strategy if we allow it!
- David spoke the promise rather than the problem to the giant. David confronted the problem, Goliath, and declared precisely what he was going to do. David spoke the promise rather than the problem. 1 Samuel 17:45-47 David replied to the Philistine, “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. 46 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! 47 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! How often do we speak what we see rather than the promise of God for our situation? David did not allow the enormous giant to be larger than the promise of God.
- David ran toward the problem. David did not shy away from the giant. As the giant walked toward David, David ran toward Goliath. Unlike the Israelites, who remained immobile in the middle of the problem, David ran to the problem and annihilated it from his life. Many people remain immobile in cycles of poverty, sickness, depression, anxiety, and fear because they will not press through and attack the problem. They are listening to all the reasons they cannot defeat the giant in their life. We have authority over the devil, and God has given us many promises of victory and success. God blessed mankind at creation, and His blessing is resident in our DNA. Expect the victory!
What do you need to happen today in your life? What repeated cycles of frustration are present? Where have you failed to press through toward victory? Many often state they are “waiting on God.” But, God is waiting for us to take His word and remove the enemy from our lives. We have the authority! We have the mandate from God! Trust God and watch Him release His strategies for victory. Never speak defeat but speak what God’s Word says about the situation. Say about your problem as David said about Goliath, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God” (See 1 Samuel 17:26). Anything uncircumcised represents what is outside of God’s covenant. Speak to that situation as David spoke to Goliath, reminding him of the true and living God and His promises. We must press through or we will remain in the land of lack and defeat as a prisoner of war to the devil. Press through to the prize promised in God’s Word!