Everyone has a story. Everyone has a Goliath to slay. The giant in our lives may be the circumstances of our birth or the culture of our community. The giants of our lives may be our own inner demons, or the voices in our heads that seek to control our emotions, perpetuate our fears and keep us hopeless, defeated. The giant of our lives may be our own physical bodies (too fat, too thin, handicapped) that make us “different” holding us back from competing in challenges of life.
Whatever the form our personal Goliath takes – Goliath’s purpose is the same – to defeat us, keep us captive, blind, deaf and lacking in the riches of God’s grace. Goliath will use any means, but his most popular tactic, at least in my life has be the use of fear and intimidation.
Good news. we have a way to defeat these giants – like David, we have at our disposal “five smooth stones” of belief that accompanied by faith will protect us from and defeat the schemes of the enemy. I learned this in a bible study, by Beth Moore and by faith, made it my own. Beth Moore called these five stones:
It is impossible to accept a promise from someone if you don’t even know or believe “someone” is real, alive or exists. How can you ask for or expect to receive from something or someone who doesn’t even exist. As a young Jewish girl, I believed God existed. It was a given. Even nature reflected an inexplicable awe that spoke “God” to my heart. This was my first stone. So at age 13, when my Grandmother became deathly ill, I prayed she would be okay and she was. This gave me the courage to later ask God why I was put on this earth and to believe He would answer.
It is sometimes difficult to see that God will do what He says He will do. We are often tempted to forget this stone because we look at our circumstances rather than at God. For example, when I prayed about marrying my kid’s dad, I felt God say our marriage would glorify Him. Eighteen years into the marriage, eighteen years of reminding God of His promise, I was broken and defeated and my marriage was in divorce court. Finally, when I didn’t think I could sink any lower, I managed to pick up that stone of believing God is faithful to do what He says He will do. It was another journey as I was lifted from despair. Over the years, I have seen time and time again, the lessons of life God taught me in and through my marriage has encouraged both men and women over and over through out the years. Indeed, He glorified Himself.
In a world that is filled with critiquing women based on their appearance, it is often difficult to believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I would venture to say, this may be a difficult stone for many women to handle. The struggle can become more intense by other circumstances in our lives, such as constant rejection or as in my case, an abusive relationship. My emotionally abusive marriage of 18-years compounded the negative beliefs I already held. I learned, to survive, let alone thrive, I had to pick up this stone and remind myself of who God says I am. To reprogram my mind I did the following:
From the time I was a little girl I was a very fearful person. First, I feared authority. I can remember my dad telling me, “Yours is not to question why; yours is but to do or die.” My marriage to my kid’s dad played on my fears and kept me paralyzed. I never knew when my husband would come unglued in a fit of anger or rage. I walked on eggshells as I tried to keep peace in our home. Divorce was not an option, I feared the displeasure of God, my family and my pastor. Even more than that, I feared I could not earn a decent wage to support myself and our children.
I worked hard to gain the strength to pick up the stone of believing I can do all things through Christ. It took the strength of Christ to draw healthy boundaries and even more courage to keep those boundaries even when it did not bring peace or reconciliation but separation and eventual divorce. Learning to use the stone labeled, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, took a lot of practice. Over the years, I have had bosses who, like my dad and my husband intimidated and played upon my fears. But practice makes perfect and with increased accuracy, we can hit the target and slay the Goliath of fear. (By the way, I have never had another ogre boss!)
Believing that God’s word is active and alive in us, is vital to continued growth and sustained victory in the circumstances of our lives. New circumstances begat new challenges and other giants. It is possible to knock down our Goliath only to see him pop up again like the puppets in that Wacko pop up game at the carnival. It is the process of capturing our thoughts and lining them up against the truth of scripture the encourages the process and solidifying of change.
Three and a half years ago my friends gave me a good-bye party. Among the precious things they gave me was a card with a message I will never forget. It reads:
You are more than brave,
The sea-parting, giant-defeating kind.
Oh, it may not feel that way in the day-to-day,
But it’s true.
Praying you always hear that often, find joy in it, and just keep on being
This was one of the biggest most amazing compliments, ever! I could not help but think, how much God had changed me.
Whatever your circumstances – whatever obstacles in your path, whatever choices you made in the past… Christ did not come to condemn, He came to save and to redeem.
I know, because I am one who once was lost, once was captive, and was once blind. I am one who by God’s grace and God’s grace alone was delivered from fear and hopelessness.
God is an equal opportunity promise keeper. He wants to do in your life what He did in my life and more! We just need to be willing. Willing to do the work of picking up the 5 small stones of believing God and taking Him at His word.
The willing soul receives the power of God. The person that says, “I am willing to be made willing to do Your good pleasure,” will know beyond a shadow of doubt the power to do what God is asking.
It may not happen over night. It is a process that starts with asking and is followed by doing. It means not giving into the voices that say, “this is what you are, who you are; this is what you will always be.” It means not letting your past define and dictate your future. AND, it requires picking up 5 small stones, aiming, firing and walking.
We serve a mighty God who enabled a young shepherd boy to slay a giant. Now it depends on you. Will pick up those 5 smooth stones and slay the giants in your life?