Summary: These sermons served as the foundation for Max’s newest book, Facing Your Giants. Our Goliath is always stalking us. We need to focus on God, not on our giant problem.
“TAKE GOLIATH DOWN”
These sermons served as the foundation for Max’s newest book, Facing Your Giants.
THEME: Our Goliath is always stalking us. We need to focus on God, not on our giant problem.
Introduction: He vies for the bedside position, hoping to be the first voice you hear. He covets your waking thoughts, those early, pillow-born emotions. He awakes you with words of worry, stirs you with thoughts of stress. If you dread the day before you begin your day, mark it down: your giant has been by your bed. He goes with you through the day. He says: “You ain’t got what it takes.” “You come from a long line of losers.”
He’s your giant, your Goliath. Given half a chance, he’ll turn your day into his Valley of Elah, taunting, teasing, boasting, and echoing claims from one hillside to the other.
Goliaths still roam our world. Debt. Disaster. Dialysis. Danger. Deceit. Disease. Depression. Super-size challenges still swagger and strut, still pilfer sleep and embezzle peace and liposuction joy. But they can’t dominate you. You know how to deal with them. You face giants by facing God first (p. 166).
Transition: You know what David knew, and you do what David did. You pick up five stones, and you make five decisions.
I. The Stone of The Past
Goliath jogged David’s memory. Elah was a déjà vu. While everyone else quivered, David remembered. God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Wouldn’t he do the same with the giant (1 Sam. 17:34-36)?
A good memory makes heroes. A bad memory makes wimps. “Remember His marvelous works which He has done” (1 Chron. 16:12). Catalog God’s successes. Keep a list of his world records. Has he not walked you through high waters? Proven to be faithful? Have you not known his provision? How many nights have you gone to bed hungry? Mornings awakened in the cold? He has made roadkill out of your enemies. Write today’s worries in sand. Chisel yesterday’s victories in stone. Pick up the stone of the past.
Transition: Then select…
II. The Stone of Prayer
Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don’t face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer. Paul, the apostle, wrote: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).
Prayer spawned David’s successes. His Brook Besor wisdom grew out of the moment he “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1Sam. 30:6). When Saul’s soldiers tried to capture him, David turned toward God: “you have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Ps. 59:16).
How do you survive a fugitive life in the caves? David did with prayers like this one: “Be good to me, God – and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. I call out to High God, the God who holds me together” (Ps. 57:1-2 MSG).
When David soaked his mind in God, he stood. When he didn’t, he flopped. You think he spent much time in prayer the evening he seduced Bathsheba? Did he write a psalm the day he murdered Uriah? Doubtful.
Remember Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you…” God promises not just peace but perfect peace. Undiluted, unspotted, unhindered peace. To whom? To those whose minds are “fixed” on God. Forget occasional glances. Dismiss random ponderings. Peace is promised to the one who fixes thoughts and desires on the king.
Transition: Invite God’s help. Pick up the stone of prayer. And don’t neglect…
III. The Stone of Priority
Remember your highest priority: God’s reputation. David jealously guarded it. No one was going to defame his Lord. David fought so that “all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel…for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:46-47).
David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off! Did David know he would exit the battle alive? No. But he was willing to give his life for the reputation of God.
What if you saw your giant in the same manner? Rather than begrudge him, welcome him. Your cancer is God’s chance to flex his healing muscles. Your sin is God’s opportunity to showcase grace. Your struggling marriage can billboard God’s power. See your struggle as God’s canvas. On it he will paint his multicolored supremacy.
Transition: Announce God’s name and then reach for…
IV. The Stone of PASSION
David ran, not from, but toward his giant. (1 Sam. 17:48) On one side of the battlefield, Saul and his cowardly army gulped. On the other, Goliath and his skull-splitters scoffed. In the middle, the shepherd boy ran on his spindly legs. Who bet on David? Who put money on the kid from Bethlehem? Not the Philistines. Not the Hebrews. Not David’s siblings or David’s king. But God did.