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Killing Giants (or giant problems) Like David

A closer look at 1 Samuel 17

J. Knowlton, Christian Life Center March 15, 2006

· Thanks to pastor Brooks for invitation.

· We’re fairly new here – came from PFUMC; some friends from previous church came to visit. Acknowledge visitors. Shows we can still love each other even when God gives us a new assignment.

· Acknowledge Julie “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” Proverbs 31:30.

· Message from 1 Sam. 17 – we’ll see how David took on a giant problem, and how we can kill the giants in our lives.

· Pray

Set the scene for Chapter 17:

· 1,000 years B. C. Israel has first king, named Saul.

· Jesse from Bethlehem had 8 sons, family involved in raising sheep

· King Saul had called up the army to fight the Philistines – Jesse sent his oldest three boys to join army

· Youngest son was David. Had to stay home and watch the sheep.

· After a while Jesse sent David to take food to his brothers and find out how the war was going.

· When David got to the army, there hadn’t been a battle yet. Israelites on one hill, Philistines on another hill with a valley between them. Instead of fighting, they had been yelling at each other for 40 days.

Read vv. 3 to 11

Goliath was a huge guy, with incredible armor and fearsome weapons. Goliath asked for a man to fight, but instead he got a boy, filled with the Spirit of God!

Now you may not face Goliath in hand to hand combat, but everybody comes against giant problems from time to time:

·       Financial

·       Addiction

·       Medical/health

·       Relationship—marriage, family, friends, or enemies

A giant problem is one that you know you can’t solve on your own. If your transmission goes out and you’ve got $20,000 in the bank, it’s a bummer, not a giant problem. But if your transmission goes out and you just bounced the check for your rent, you’re probably facing a giant. Did anybody think David could kill Goliath by himself? No. Not even David. He knew he needed God to deliver him. When you face a giant problem that you know you can’t solve on your own, come back to 1 Sam. 17 and find these 8 steps that God’s going to reveal to you.

1. Approach problems quickly and head-on; don’t avoid them.

vv. 19-22, v. 48

          Saul had avoided Goliath. Maybe he hoped Goliath would get tired and go away. But Goliath was persistent and kept it up for 40 days. Giant problems are like leaky plumbing. You can ignore it for a while, but it keeps getting worse. First a leaky pipe, then the flooring rots, then the joists. Ends up 10X bigger than when it started.

          Tell story of Mitchells: they owed a few thousand in taxes because of self-employment income. IRS didn’t discover it for a couple years, then they didn’t have the money to pay it, then they tried to ignore the letters, and by the time I knew the family, their taxes, penalties, and interest were over $70,000. By stalling, their small problem got so big they had to sell their farm to cover the bill.

          Disciplining children is also an area it is important to address right away. Tell story of Ross McNeal: dad died, mom raised three kids and kept up a farm, Ross came up wild. My dad taught 4th grade, first male teacher Ross had.

·       Yogurt in dad’s desk drawer. Made Ross clean it up, yelled at him a little bit.

·       Then when recess time, dad found yogurt in his tennis shoes.

·       He said in 28 years Ross was the only kid he actually kicked out of his room!

By giving swift attention to the problem, he didn’t have any more yogurt incidents.

          Approach giant problems quickly and head-on; don’t avoid them.

2. Focus on the victory, not the problem. Vv. 23-27, 30

David doesn’t ask, “how tall is Goliath, how big is his sword?” Instead, three times he asks about the money, the girl, the freedom from taxation. This 8th son of a poor family wanted a chance at wealth and a fine wife. He focused on a victorious outcome, not Goliath.

Bob Harrison says, “Your life will move in the direction of your dominant thoughts.” In the first Star Wars movie Milleneum Falcon with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo came into view of the Death Star, a moon sized space station run by the evil empire. While they were staring at the size of the thing they got caught in an invisible tractor beam that drew their ship into the Death Star. Your dominant thoughts, the things you focus on function like that tractor beam; pulling your life in one direction or another. If you focus on your debt, your disease, your marriage problems, your singleness problems you will be pulled further in that direction.

Instead, set your eyes on:

·       Prosperity

·       Health

·       Wholeness

·       Peace and contentment

Philippians 4:8: “whatever is true, whaterever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Focus on the victory, not the problem!

3. Ignore people who put you down, say you can’t do it, or question your motives. Vv. 28-29.

          Eliab was afraid to fight Goliath, and as long as nobody fought Goliath, he could continue to believe that it couldn’t be done. As soon as David started getting serious about killing the giant, he was a threat to Eliab’s beliefs about himself. David showed that fighting Goliath was a matter of will and courage, not an impossibility.

I learned this in 8th grade band; I played Trumpet. Prep for Solo & Ensemble. Students play a piece of classical music for a judge and receive scores: 5 is worst, 1 is best. There was a new kid who played trumpet, and he chose a difficult, challenging piece of music. I remember talking to other kids after he announced his selection. We knew he was going to bomb, we thought he was crazy for picking such a hard piece, we knew he bit off more than he could chew. In the end, he earned a 1 and turned out to be one of the best players in the band. When I was telling other people that he couldn’t play that piece, I really meant that I didn’t think I could do it.

You may have Eliabs in your life. People who are glad to have you around as long as you’re not doing better than them. Then you start to achieve success: Health improves, start getting out of debt, stop complaining about your wife, stop abusing alcohol or drugs, and hands reach up to pull you back down. Don’t just ignore these people, avoid them! If you are sick, hang around marathon runners. If in debt, find rich friends. If addicted, hang out with fun sober people.

If your friends are better at commiserating about your problems than celebrating your victories, you need new friend! God wants you to succeed: Deuteronomy 28.

Ignore people who put you down, say you can’t do it, or question your motives.

4. Build on your past successes. Vv. 31-37

          David remembers God helping him defeat bears and lions when watching sheep, and he believes God will help him defeat the giant.

1954 Roger Bannister – ran the first 4 minute mile

1955 – 37 people ran 4 minute mile

1956 – More than 300 people ran 4 minute mile

2001 High School mile record set by Alan Webb. There were three other HS students under 4 minutes.

What changed? Gatorade hadn’t been invented in 1955. It was the mental attitude; the belief that it could be done. The main thing holding you back is between your ears. Bring into your mind previous successes and victories.

Climate determines what grows or dies. Desert = cactus. Temperate climate = forests. Plant an oak tree in desert and it will die. Why? The climate is wrong. When you are facing a giant, you need a mental climate where success can thrive. Remembering past successes creates a climate for victory.

5. Use the skills and tools you already know well. Vv. 38-40

          Saul wanted David to wear Saul’s armor, but David couldn’t even walk in it. David took his staff, his pouch, his sling; the weapons and tolls he was used to. God has already given you the tools and experiences you need to kill your giants. You don’t need to act like somebody else, copy Pastor Brooks, or pretend you’re Stormie Omartian. In fact, some of the things you have gone through in the past – things you may be ashamed or embarrassed of – can be redeemed by God.

          I was talking to a man yesterday who had lost a business and gone bankrupt. But instead of being bitter or beat down, he identified things he learned about himself and about business. The most powerful thing that bankruptcy gave him is fearlessness. He now can face any business challenge and not worry about not making it. The thing he went through in the past is a tool for success against giants in the present.

          David had used his sling hundreds of time before. The only thing different this time was the target. When facing your giants, use the skills and tool you already know well.

          In these same verses (38-40) is another point: 6. The best defense is a good offense.

          David didn’t wear any armor. He trusted in his sling and in God to provide a victory. Compare difference between defensive thinking and acting and offensive thinking and acting:


·       I hope they get tired and give up

·       I hope it doesn’t get any worse

·       Bad marriage: I’ll tiptoe around my husband so he doesn’t get mad

·       Financial arena defense: I better stick with my current, miserable, low-paying job b/c I don’t know if the next opportunity will work out.

·       Financial arena offense: Start a business, go back to school for another degree or certificate.

Offense takes a new job with more potential, starts a new career, takes a chance for more prosperity.

In 1998 I started my 3rd business. The first two had produced subsistence level poverty! My 2005 revenue was 12 ½ times greater than the job I left. That’s offensive thinking! You don’t kill giants by hiding behind walls. You go out, attack, and let God give you the victory!

7. Speak your desired outcome into existence. Vv. 45-47.

          Before the battle, David declares the outcome. Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” The words you say have power. What comes out of your mouth affects the outcome of your life. You need to say, “I’m a winner. I’m victorious. I kill giants.”

I am an amateur runner and cyclist. When I compete in a 5 kilometer race and there is hill I repeat the following phrase: “In the name of Jesus, I’m great at hills.” And to my knowledge I have never been passed going up a hill.

At a conference I attended for my business was a speaker named Geri Pell. She is a very successful financial planner in New York. Several years ago she noticed that her average client had about $100,000 invested with her and she wanted to raise the average. So she started telling people that she only took on clients with at least $250,000. It wasn’t true before she started to say it out loud. But after a couple months her new clients started being quarter million dollar clients. So she changed what she said to, “I only take on new clients with a half a million dollars.” And after a few months her new clients all had at least $500,000. So she changed what she says to $1million. All her new clients have seven figures to invest with her. And her annual income is about $2 million.

Your words have power, so be sure to speak the desired outcome into existence.

8. If you are doing God’s will, the outcome is certain despite any appearances to the contrary. Vv. 50-51.

          It didn’t look like David would win, should win, or could win. But God wanted him to win. And God wants you to win, to be victorious, to kill the giants in your life. Isaiah 54:17: :No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD.:

Stand up and let’s kill some giants:

Say: I kill giants.

I’m a giant killer

David killed Goliath and I kill my giants

I’m a giant killer

If you thought of a giant in your life during the message, I’m going to ask you to name it. If you don’t have one, just say “giant” so you’ll be in good practice when you need to kill one.

(Name your giant), You come to me with your weapons, but I come to you in the name of Jesus. He died and rose, so the power of the resurrection, could be released in my life. You will not defeat me. This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand. And I will strike you down!

The reason David could kill Goliath was because of his deep relationship with God. He was good with a sling, and he had the right attitude. But his real key to success was that his heart was right with God. We’re going to pray a prayer of salvation, acknowledging Jesus as lord and asking him to save us from sin and empower us to kill giants. After this prayer if it was your first time, come on down to the front and let us celebrate with you and help you stay close to God.


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