How to Fight Your Battles and Win
Happy New Year! Twenty twenty-one promises to be an exciting year. I am looking forward to every good thing God has for me and for you! I love the New Year as much as I love Mondays. Yes, I really love Mondays. Always have. There’s just something about beginnings that energize me. I am inspired just by knowing something new is on the horizon and I can shape it in some way or, at the very least participate in it. I am sure we will face our share of challenges on the way. The storming of our nations Capital is proof of that! But that’s life as we now know it. No one could have anticipated that a pandemic would put a snag in 2020 but it did. So, if anyone has figured a way around the monkey wrenches life throws into our plans, please let me know. I would like to patent that! The thing amazes me about life’s Cath-22’s is that each challenge seems to be more difficult than the last.
Did you ever get to the other side of something that you believed would take you under and thought, if I made it through this, I would make it through anything? I sure have. There were times in my life when it was a long, tedious climb just to get to the bottom. But I made it. Catastrophic injuries and recovery, death of loved ones, loss of job and financial insecurity. Heartbreak. Betrayal. You name it, I’ve been there. I made it and you can make it, too. I want to share a few lessons from the beloved David on how we can face our Goliaths in 2021. You can find the story in 1 Samuel 17.
Just in case you are not familiar with the story, at the time David faces Goliath he is not a king, but an insignificant shepherd boy sent to deliver victuals to his brothers who were at battle. In a conversation with his brothers, David overheard the giant, Goliath the champion warrior of the enemy Philistines taunting the army of Israel. Goliath was almost 10 feet tall and everyone in Israel’s army was afraid, including King Saul. What a fitting metaphor for the vicissitude of life. Sometimes we must face monstrous circumstances that leave us as scared as the army of Israel. But David, the kid who herded sheep and played the harp was not afraid.
The situation was so dire that King Saul offered his daughter as wife, a cash prize, and tax exemption to the warrior who would take Goliath on. Not one soldier took him up on the offer. Young David, however, was highly offended. How dare anyone defy the army of the living God? David said to Saul, tell your men they do not have to be afraid, I got this. (Well, not exactly, but you get the point.) The first lesson we learn from David is that to face gigantic circumstances, we must be certain who our God is. You see, while herding sheep was a menial and insignificant job, David was able to cultivate a relationship with God. Tending sheep is a lonely, thankless job. In that solitude, David directed his attention to God. I imagine that prayer and worship occupied a good part of his time. Afterall, he did write 73 psalms.
David was ridiculed by his brothers for not being an experienced fighter. But while no one was looking, David was able to kill a bear and a lion with the jawbone of an ass. He knew the source of his victories was God. Lesson two, know that everything you have experienced has prepared you for your giant. God is not haphazard, and God wastes nothing. Every lesson learned in the dark and the victories no one sees is a steppingstone to purpose. You have what it takes for the battle for the battle’s not yours, it is the Lords. Remember what he has already brought you through and then “faith it”! Move forward in faith.
Finally, King Saul offered David his armor for the battle. David tried it on but realized not only did it not fit but it was heavy and uncomfortable. The third lesson David teaches is to stay in your own lane. Other people may have had similar problems but what worked for them may not work for you because the children of light do not war in the same manner as the children of darkness. Saul’s armor did not fit David, but David had two things that he had tried, tested, and found to be dependable; a sling shot with five smooth stones and a tried and tested faith. David trusted God to do what seemed impossible for Saul’s army to do.
David shows us that the key to winning the battle is not to rely on your own strength but to put our trust in God. In a world where we can solve problems in an instant with Google or YouTube that may not be our first instinct. However, at the end of the day our strength and intellect are not enough. For it is not by might, or power but by my Spirit, says the Lord. (Zechariah 4:6). God gives the victory to those who trust Him.
As long as we live, we are either in a battle, retreating from a battle, or preparing for a battle. Sometimes the battle is around us, like a pandemic or political unrest. Sometimes the battle is in us. We can wrestle issues of fear, lack of confidence, unhealed traumas, etc. and sometimes the battle is with the enemy, spiritual forces of wickedness. So, it’s not a matter of if you will fight, you will. The question is how will you fight? Join me and Transformation Church of Trenton, NJ as we prepare for battle with the 21 Day Prayer and Fasting Challenge. Get fortified for your battles. Face your giants and win!