David said to Saul. “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
1 Samuel 17:32-37
Have you ever noticed at work just before you get that big promotion that you seem to be doing more than ever? You’re putting in more hours, you’re doing more than a few people’s jobs for them and you just seem to be doing a lot more work than you’re getting paid to do. You feel you’re never going to catch a break. The whole world’s out to get you and you’re not sure you’re going to see the payoff. Yet you remain faithful. You keep reminding yourself daily (because let’s face it if you didn’t you would’ve packed it all in by now) that you work for God and not for people (Ephesians 6:7) and you give it everything you have. Then finally you get the breakthrough you’re after, the promotion you’ve been working towards, the next level of competition. It’s daunting at first but you quickly realise that you can do this. It’s hard work but you feel like the worst of it was before you got to this point.
“Your servant has killed the both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them”. 1 Samuel 17:36
When David was putting in the work waiting for his promotion, he faced lions and bears. Big scary creatures guaranteed to put fear into the hearts of the most hardened men. But through God’s grace and power he defeated them. By the time he got to Goliath, he had every reason to be confident in his abilities to topple the giant. God had trained him and prepared him for this moment. Even though David was a shepherd, God had been building him up into a skilled warrior.
“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”1 Samuel 17:37
Yet even though he had the skill required to take down the giant, David knew where his strength lay and where his help came from. God was the one who delivered him before and he would do it again. David put his trust in God and also remembered the victories that God had already given him. He remembered all the times that God had come through for him, as long as he continued to put his hope in the Lord, he would surely win this battle as well.
Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 1 Samuel 17:33
Even though David was confident in his ability and in God’s victory, his king still tried to dissuade him. This must have been hard for David. His king, the highest earthly authority, was telling him he couldn’t do it. It would have been easy for David to submit to his king’s wishes. It would have been safer to bow out and let someone else fight the giant. But David knew that God had prepared him for this moment. And bristling full of confidence, he told his king that he would not listen to him and that he would follow God’s calling on his life instead. Just a few minutes later, the giant was dead.
Much like David, God is preparing you for a great victory. You may be going through trials at work, a personal crisis, health issues or a hectic season of life. Be encouraged that God is using all of these things to strengthen you and get you ready for the next battle. And when you get there, you can look back at everything he’s brought you through and be confident that you can get through the next struggle, the next battle, the next victory. You may have people tell you that you can’t win; your friends, parents, spouse, work colleagues or your boss. But by keeping your eyes fixed on God and his never-failing promises, you can silence all of the voices that tell you no and walk confidently in God’s yes.
3,000 years ago, a shepherd defeated Goliath. Today, God is calling you to cut the head off your own giant. He has been preparing you and shaping you for this moment. You’ve defeated the lion and the bear, now it’s time to take down the giant. Even if the world is telling you no, his word says yes. Walk confidently in that yes as you march to his victory.