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Unveiling Giants Perhaps you have become overwhelmed by situations that have gotten out of control. Small giants have grown and they seem to dominate your life, particularly your relationship with God. Be encouraged. No situation is able to resist the transforming power of God. Take a few moments to get into the presence of God and ask Him to prepare you to face your giants, as we unveil their strategies. He is always ready to give strength to the weak. Forty mornings and evenings may have seemed like a lifetime to the armies of Saul positioned in the Valley of Elah. The battle lines had been drawn as they faced the Philistine army, each occupying one hill with a valley between them. Day after day, Saul and his men arose to the taunting of their enemies, and at the end of each day they were reminded of the threat to their inheritance. How certain was the Philistine camp that their confidence was well placed in Goliath? Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. (1 Samuel 17:8-11) How easy it must have been at that moment to wish that Joshua had done a complete job the first time around. The entire army and their king found no strength in the memories of past victories. They were all terrified of the problem that would not go away. Goliath had succeeded in lowering their self-esteem and ability to envision any measure of victory. The battlefield array, in a general perspective, seems unique. However, under closer examination it resembles those that people, from every walk of life, will at some time find themselves standing on. Old giants will come knocking again and new ones will issue a challenge to stake their own claims. Yet, like Goliath, old and new giants will use the same ammunition of doubt, fear, lies and persistence to dominate those who fall prey to them. Doubt ­ Who are you? When Goliath issued his challenge to the Israelites, he knew who he was. "I am a Philistine," he said and "are you not the servants of Saul?" He gave them a half-truth by acknowledging that he was a Philistine but they were not servants of Saul. He was attempting to create doubt by misdirecting their focus to see themselves as servants of Saul and not as the servants of Almighty God. Our strength is not in self but in God! He wanted them to see themselves as servants of a mere man but the nation of Israel, though ruled by a king, belonged to the Sovereign God. And as they were servants of Almighty God, whoever opposed the servants also opposed their Master. All giants, whatever they may be called (depression, cancer, debt, lying or lust) see whom they oppose in the same manner. They challenge your human identity. They have no desire

to face or challenge the God you serve. So they focus your attention on yourself, your problems, your issues never trying to get you to understand that you are His servant. Would cancer ever say to the living God, you will be dead in six months? Does debt dare say to Jehovah Jireh (God-Who-Provides) I will leave you with nothing and no matter how many jobs you work, you will never have enough? They never do. Yet these same giants, like Goliath, feel comfortable enough to issue a challenge to us in these and like areas. "You will never own your own home," says Debt. "You've waited on God long enough. Go ahead and choose yourself a husband from the crowd," says Loneliness. The dialogue that each giant presents is unique to your circumstances. In questioning who we really are, giants create doubt of our ability to overpower them with the power invested in us by [Almighty God] El Shaddai. As the servant's of Saul, the Israelites could never conceive a vision of their victory over Goliath. As the armies of the living God however, their vision of victory could have been limitless. When faced with doubt the true child of God should always remember the promises of the word of God. Fear Goliath had issued no small challenge to Saul, his army, and the nation of Israel. His forceful speech and clear demands must have invoked old memories in the Israelite camp of their ancestors' four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. No one in Israel wanted to revisit this dreadful lifestyle. Yet it seemed inevitable. The giant was clear about his demands. If he won, they were doomed to slavery. In their limited vision they saw themselves being carried away: king, servants, man, child, old, young, and even cattle. Fear gripped the company. Every giant loves to paint the same picture: they are superior, confident that they cannot be taken out, and they control your future life. This indestructible image provokes fear in every person who is uncertain of their ability to deal with giants. Each challenge is seen as impenetrable, unyielding and enslaving. To counteract this tactic we need to remember we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind, and reject the images projected on the screens of our minds by the giant.

Lies Lies are the most effective weapons that giants use as tools of discouragement to enslave those whom they oppose. Many people will fall victim to giants because they accept the false self-image that is presented to them by their circumstances. Goliath painted a selfimage of servants of Saul [mere men] for the Israelites. You will see in later chapters that David would present the truer image of armies of the living God. Giants concentrate on deficient areas to disqualify you for the ability to drive them out of your life. There will be constant reminders of past mistakes and failures, to highlight an inability to handle any situation effectively. Condemnation is a constant companion to those who fall prey to this strategy. And the greatest challenge that any potential giant slayer will be faced with is the question of supernatural support. Over and over again many of us are defeated because we choose to believe giants who say to us that God won't deliver us out of challenges because of past mistakes. Ultimately you will have to choose whose report you will believe, that of the giant or that of the Lord?

Persistence The nature of every giant is to be persistent in its coexistence with you. For forty days, morning and evening Goliath would take his cue perhaps from the setting sun and the rising moon. Determined to wear out Saul and his armies, he continued his verbal defiance. Giants will continue to confront you until you confront them. If David had not shown up and responded to Goliath, he would have continued without relenting. The nation of Israel would have grown even more despondent and caved in completely. Every other giant will be just as persistent. Your time of testing and trial may extend beyond 40 days, to years, and even for many it goes on for a lifetime, until their giants eventually destroy them. What giant keeps you awake at night, eats meals with you, takes a vacation with your family, and sits at the head of your goal planning? Is it cancer that is so aggressive it has spread to other parts of your body? Have you been laying awake at night filled with worry, wondering how you are going to pay the bills and keep the house? You wake up from nightmares where you are being hunted down and there is no escape. Is the challenge of your college education driving you to drop out? Perhaps it is a failed relationship that has left you broken and hurt. So day after day you retreat more into your world and no one can reach you. And the most disturbing trait is that for many people, giants are able to stand between them and intimacy with God. When eyes are closed and hearts are bowed in prayer, there flashes a visual image of every giant demanding your immediate attention. Every believer and unbeliever alike should be prepared for a long fight if they are not prepared or capable of facing their tormentor. Giants will give no rest until they have completely destroyed your life and robbed you of every bit of joy you possess. You are the only one who determines how long it will be before you confront your giant and slay it. Remember God is always "now" and has promised you that today is your day of salvation.

Resolution Every action, spoken word, and visual image that giants project is aimed at weakening resolve. To the natural eye, the battleground tilts in their favor. They dominate the field and are very vocal about their prowess. 1 Peter 5:8 describes the daily onslaught. "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Wellpackaged arguments always terrorize and intimidate. Ask any believer if the devil has been defeated, and they will concur. Yet this defeated enemy still manages to whip upon those he can make afraid. They have not seen any action, but only hear the threats and become imprisoned by fear. But how do you turn the table around? It is a simple procedure. All it requires is a shift in your position from concentrating on self to being totally dependent on God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us; (Ephesians 3:20) Giants can be defeated based on the power that is within you. It is your inner relationship with God that determines what you can do with your life. Fear therefore has no hold over those who walk with God. It does not become you. God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) Had Saul and the

Israelites stood firm on their faith in God, they would not have been terrified and dismayed. Rather, they would have been confident that no matter the size of the opposition, God was more than able. Do not allow giants to be successful in getting you to focus on them rather than on God. Disregard every public relations war that they wage. Given to every believer is the confidence that though the enemy [giant] roars, those who are defeated are the ones that allow themselves to fall prey; not those who are alert and confident about their God. You are endowed with the ability to reject every spirit of fear. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9) Hurdles of fear are most commonly matched with those of self-worth and value. Again, that is a misdirection by the enemy. There is nothing in or about self that will cause you to triumph. You will triumph because of Christ in you. Realize that the ability to slay giants is not dependent on social status. Your present status does not negate or limit your future potential. You will discover in a later chapter that David refused to be defined by his status in life. He was a mere shepherd boy, but it did not matter to him. He was not relying on himself the day he faced his giant. You are no different. Right now it may seem like you are at the bottom. Nobody has confidence in you, but when God has anointed and laid His hand on you, you are already chosen for great works. Remember David whenever giants belittling you. When God has chosen you, no one can disqualify you. It does not matter where you are in life, you will eventually get promoted to the level God has ordained for you. To his family, David was a "nobody." Every other son but David was called out to meet the prophet, Samuel, when God sent him out to Jesse's house to anoint the future king of Israel. What must they have been thinking about their son and brother? Was he kingly material? Nope. He was only a lowly sheepherder. Whatever God wanted, it was not David. He lacked the social skills. After all, he spent all his time with sheep. His brothers were all better qualified. They were all wrong, including the prophet. But God knows exactly who you are even when no one else can see it. Your only responsibility therefore should be in taking the battle to the level it should be fought on. Picture for a moment the battle scene with the armies of Israel on one hill, the Philistines on another with the valley of Elah between them. The natural mind would conclude that they were equal and the battlefield is fair. Today, many people are buried under debt, broken by depression, and controlled by substance abuse. They have not used their privilege of calling rank on any situation that vies for control. Has God not ordained that you should live from a place of dominion?

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule [principalities (KJV)] and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:19-21)

John 10:10 clearly expresses the will of God toward those He loves. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Giants are the means by which the enemy seeks to rob us of that abundant life. But you must remember that giants only look big when compared to your natural abilities. But when compared to the strength of God, they are midgets. Contradicting situations are never best handled by logic. It is not sufficient to shut down the enemy's camp. Working three jobs to pay off debt only adds to the pressure of dealing with other giants. Allowing God to deal with your giants changes the rules. Those giants no longer battle a mere man but Almighty God. Who has ever come against Him and won? It doesn't matter which giant shows up today and issues a challenge when you learn to live beyond the rules of logic. Deal with all giants in the same manner. Think for a moment. Which is the bigger giant, a cold or cancer? You say, "Cancer!" Yet to God, they are both sicknesses that violate His will for divine health in your body. God can heal you of cancer as easily as He can heal you of a cold. The same procedure will work for every giant that attacks your mind, body, finances or relationships. Have faith in God to deliver you and give you a complete and total victory. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; God sends his love and his faithfulness. Psalms 57:2-3


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