Summary: Everyone wants to kill a giant, but David didn’t set out to kill Goliath. He was carrying cheese to his brothers at the time. Learn how faithfulness leads to greater usefulness.
(Also look at 1 Samuel 17: 32, 48-49)
There has been much preaching on the subject of faithfulness. There have been times, though, when we have used "faithfulness" as an excuse for being unproductive. We try to "spiritualize" our lack of results. And while we have excused inaction and ineffectiveness in this manner, there IS much that can be positively stated about being FAITHFUL.
We must remember that Galatians 5 teaches us that "faith" or "faithfulness" is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Faithfulness is one of the elements that the Spirit of God is at work cultivating in our lives. Or at least, He should be. And He will be if we let Him. He wants us full of faith - faithful - and then He wants us to live out what we possess on the inside.
The life of faith is often not an easy task. To live by faith is to, sometimes, not have a clear picture of what is coming, where you are going, or what is happening at the time - yet having a deep conviction that God is in control!
For some, faith is receiving a word from God, a promise, and then having to enter a period of delay, or waiting, for the promise to be performed. Just ask Abraham and Sarah. It is easy to see that those seasons are very difficult and trying times. And really, that’s the season that David is experiencing in this text. He has already been anointed to be king of Israel, but he had not yet ascended the throne.
The Bible says, though, that from the day of his being anointed by Samuel, "the Spirit of the Lord came upon him." I believe with all of my heart that the anointing he received was not for a later time, but was for right then! I believe that it helped him through the WAITING PERIOD. (Going to the mall, or Wal-mart, or to the drive-through window can teach you that sometimes you have to be anointed to wait!)
But God had not forgotten David, but He was, in fact, grooming him for something greater. God has a way of getting you where you need to be. And a situation had risen in the nation of Israel that God was going to use to promote David, bringing him a little closer to the fulfillment of his promised kingship. Israel was in a standoff with the Philistines. And there was a giant of Gath named Goliath, who cam out and taunted them daily. He challenged the army of Israel, which was terrified and faithless, and was therefore "stuck in a battle."
Many of God’s people are in similar battles. All of us have opposing giants. All of us have opponents of various degrees, which stand to hinder our progress, and bring us into defeat. Giants come to resist us when it’s time for us to enter the Promises of God. Remember Israel coming into Canaan? It was their fear of giants there that kept a whole entire generation from entering the Promise Land. And unless WE learn something from them, we may die in a wilderness ourselves, and never see God’s promises fulfilled in our lives!
The Bible says that "perilous times shall come." One translation says, "Times of great stress and trouble, hard to deal with and hard to bear."(2 Timothy 3:1). That reveals that we’re probably not going to "cruise into Canaan!" Days will not be easy. And if we are going to achieve any rate of victory, we’re going to have to fight for it! There are some things that you will never get unless you’ve got some fight in you!
And often times, the force of the enemy’s attack can overwhelm us. Like the waves of an ocean in a storm. The waves come in rapid succession, one right after another. And as soon as you think you can get up, here comes another one. And soon, you hear this voice in your head, saying, "Here comes another wave."
Life is the same way. One wave of struggle ends, and here comes another one. And the enemy begins to taunt you, and tries to convince you that you will never stand, never overcome, and never get out. And soon it brings you into a cycle of defeat. *LISTEN: THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE DEFEATED BY THE INTIMIDATION OF THE BATTLE, AND NOT THE ENGAGEMENT IN THE BATTLE.
That’s what was defeating Israel. Goliath got in their heads, into their mind, their thought process. He never threw a spear, never shot an arrow, never waved a sword - but he intimidated then through mind games. Israel was, as many people are, DEFEATED BY COWARDICE, AND NOT CONFLICT. Afraid to confront issues of bondage. And their real bondage is not the "giant" but their own cowardice, or being afraid to confront the issue!