Summary: Based on the story of David and Goliath this message focuses on step we can take to overcome fear.
“Facing Your Giant”
Doctors have now defined at least 322 different phobias. Here are the top nine:
9. speaking in public.
7. tunnels & bridges.
6. closed spaces
4. social situations
How many of you today would admit that you deal with at least one of these? . Someone has said that fear is the oldest and strongest emotion we know. I believe that most believers never achieve their maximum potential in life because they never conquer the thing they fear the most. The nation of Israel had a huge phobia, a huge fear called phee-phy-phobia..the fear of giants. Actually I made that one up..get it fe-fi-pho-bia? They were focused on giants. This is probably one of the best known stories in the Bible. The Philistines were the arch enemies of Israel and had gathered for battle. Notice v. 3. Neither side wanted to come down into the valley because they would be vulnerable.
Now admit it, we don’t like to go down in the valley either do we? Because the valley is the place where we face our fears. But for those of you who want to confront your fears today then I want to invite you to walk with me down into the valley and I want to share 6 strategies that I believe will really help...right out of the scripture.
1. Describe your fear. Notice verses 4-7. Goliath was over two feet taller than Shaquille Oneal. He is believed to have been 9’9" tall. His body armor weighed 125 pounds...he carried a javelin, a spear and had someone who went with him to carry his shield. He was well armed. The enemy by the way is always well armed.
Verses 8-10. Goliath puts out a challenge. Look at v. 10. In this picture we see the word defy 6 times...it means to taunt, to ridicule and to humiliate. Now here was the challenge If the Philistines won, then the Israelites would have to surrender ...if the Israelites won, then the Philistines would have to surrender. The problem was this: no one wanted to face their fear..no one wanted to face the giant. The Bible tells us in v. 11 they were terrified.
Here’s the deal..the giant wasn’t going away. V. 16. tells us that Goliath had come out and had challenged them every morning and every night for 40 days....a total of 80 times. So would they step up or run away. V. 24. Now why did they run away so quickly? It is this little thing called intimidation. We believe the object that makes us so afraid is much worse than it really is and we have it in our mind that we have lost before we even start. Now what is your fear? What overwhelms you? What intimidates you? Now here is an important principle to remember.
When we focus on our giants, we will stumble. When we focus on
God our giants will tumble.
2. Change your perspective. Haddon Robinson once said that in any situation what you ARE determines what you SEE; what you SEE, determines what you DO. It’s perspective. Everyone else thought Goliath was too big to hit. David saw him as too big to miss. A lot of how you deal with your fear is based on how you view yourself. If we focus on our giant we will not make it.
3. Overcome pressure from others. David arrives on day 40. The giant is bragging and cursing. In v. 25v he finds out that whoever kills the giant gets 3 things. (1) wealth/money (2) the king’s daughter and (3) tax amnesty-no taxes that year. Now here was the pressure. David’s older brother becomes angry and basically tells David to go back home and hang out with the sheep. Look at v. 28. Eliab (his brother) is a warrior. David counts sheep. One of the problems you will face when you start to overcome your giant is that you will be criticized and many times it will be by those who are closest to you. Look how David responds. V. 29 Is there not a cause? We must allow the cause to overcome any criticism we may be facing. Always, always try to look at the big picture. Saul hears about David’s courage so he sends for him.
V. 32. Saul says go for it. He offers David’s armor but it doesn’t fit. Here’s the point. Don’t try to fight you’re your giants with someone else’s solution.
4. Get prepared. At this point in the story we are introduced to David. He is the youngest of 8 boys and has been out taking care of sheep. David believed in preparation. In his past he had already killed a lion-he had already killed a bear. V. 37. When you are facing a fear it is very important to draw from your past. You see, God is preparing you today for the battles you will face tomorrow. David’s 3 oldest brothers were at the battlefield. His father, Jesse wants a report on how they are doing and he wants to send them some supplies so he sends David. David delivers 5 lbs. of grain, 10 loaves of bread and 10 chunks of cheese on top of that he ran all the way from Bethlehem to the valley of Elah-18 miles. He was faithful. He was prepared. According to v. 20 he left the sheep in the care of another shepherd.