Over this past week I have been reading a book called ‘Goliath Must Fall’ by Louie Giglio. Louie is the Pastor of Passion City Church in the USA. He is a renowned speaker and writer and I was expecting big things from this book. Let’s just say I read all 242 pages in 9 days, so it is safe to say it did not disappoint! If you do not have this book, I would say get your hands on it.
Throughout the book Louie talks on how Jesus holds victory over our giants and that they have no power over us but just as a snake still wriggles when his head has been cut off, so our giants still have the ability to whisper in our ears and make us feel negative emotions contrary to the truth of God in our lives. Louie talks of how in the story of David and Goliath, so many times it is mentioned that we need to be David in the scenario and face our giants with a stone and sling, but he says that this shepherd boy- David, is an image of The Shepherd, Jesus Christ found in Psalm 23. It is not for us to slay our giants but for Jesus to slay them on our behalf and for us to stand in that freedom given to us via the cross of Jesus.
Aside of these two amazing points there was one specific chapter that caught my attention; the chapter on addictions. I would not have said I am a person who struggles with addictions, but once you read the Goliath must Fall book you will see that we probably all stray into the Valley of Elah in one moment or another. What I loved about this outlook is that when David was offered to cover his vulnerabilities, his short stature, his youthfulness, his inexperience, his lack of military training, his ruddy ways, he refuses, he takes of this armour given by Saul and instead declares in 1 Samuel 17:39;
“I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them”
David shrugs of Saul’s attempts to cover him over with armour not made for him. Saul tries to make David look better before Goliath and the Philistine army. Saul tries to hide his own fear and instead of wearing the armour himself he tries to pin it on David, but what he doesn’t realise is that he is weighing down David. He isn’t allowing David to be himself and nor is he trusting that David can do the job without Saul’s help.
We could be really hard on Saul here, let’s be honest as king it was his role to get out and fight Goliath, he should never have been standing in his tent for 40 days in fear and trembling, but he was. Why we will never know, but one thing is for sure Saul was not stepping up to the plate but how many times is that us? Can we be really honest for a second? Can we look inward and see what is really there? In our lives among the fear, anxiety, approval, and addictions; to name just a few Goliaths we face. How many times does God offer to come into our lives and deal with our giants, and we try to give him tips on how it should done while quaking in our boots at the thoughts of dealing with those sore spots we have a love hate relationship with?
I have to admit I am person who likes to give God direction. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say sometimes we feel God needs it. How untrue that thought is, but we’ve all been there, we can all be there. This is when we need the reminders found in Ephesians 6; Put on the armour of God!
We don’t need to give God direction as to how he should slay our giants for us, no we need to stand in his truths and recognise the words of Ephesians 6:11
“Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes”
And verse 13-14
“Therefore put on the full armour of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then…”
That’s the faith and Christian life I want, one that can come against the enemy, one that can stand against him, but while we are standing against him, we are standing in Christ! The armour of God is so specific; it covers a multitude of things, the belt of Truth, the breastplate of Righteousness, shoes of readiness eager to spread the Gospel of Peace, shield of faith to extinguish flaming arrows of the evil one, the helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit which is the Word of God, praying in the spirit always.
Do you notice anything about these pieces of armour? None of them are about our abilities. None of the list above is about our strength, but Gods alone. It is Gods truth, Gods righteousness, and Gods gospel of Peace, Gods Faith and Gods Word. In our vulnerability we need to dress appropriately in the armour of God and allow him to wash over us and to trust Him to win our battles for us, we do not stand in our own strength but we stand in the finished work of Christ. We stand in the Victory won for us at the cross, and the redemption found for us in an empty grave. We stand in glorious salvation. We do not need to bear the giants that are found in our closets, no we need to push them out-of-the-way and once again bring out the armour of God that surrounds us and keeps us safe.
As we allow the truth of God to wash over us it disarms those giants, as we cover ourselves in the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith we protect ourselves from the empty yet piercing words of the enemy. When we are ready to run with the gospel of peace we are busy with Jesus and unable to listen to those voices in our head and heart steering us from Jesus. As we read the word of God regularly and listen as His Spirit speaks we find our God is much bigger than the Giants and this puts our lives back into priority, for as 1 John 4 puts it ‘He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world’. The helmet of salvation will cover our minds and our souls and remind us of our stance In Christ and the defeated giants because of the victory in Jesus.
Verse 12 of Ephesians 6, tells us why this is of significance, because we do not battle against flesh and blood. We do not battle the everyday familiarity that we can see with our own eyes, no, instead we battle the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. We cannot do that alone, just like it is written in Zechariah 4:6 “not by might not by power but by my spirit, says the Lord.”
We need to be people who stand in the promises of Christ and pray them over our circumstances. We need to be people who trust God to throw down and slay those giants before us, and to allow us to go on living in freedom so that God can be glorified.
In our vulnerabilities, writes Louie Giglio, we have the option to give God instructions and try on an armour that is not our own or we have the choice to remove the VulnerABLE and see Jesus ABLE. Standing in God leaves us not only able, but victorious; we can know that victory and we can live it out defeating those giants who come against us.