I Samuel 17: 38-51
In the book of I Samuel the Philistines had a giant in their army whose name was Goliath. This giant was a mighty warrior in the Philistines army and he came against the children of Israel. David went up and fought against Goliath and he defeated him. How was the giant Goliath defeated? He was defeated not using man's armor but through faith in God. David believed God, he trusted God. He did not stand around patting his feet saying God will defeat the giant. He did something, he fought. The scripture says, faith without works is dead. When David came against Goliath he took off the armor of man, he took off Saul's armor and he put on the armor of God. He took off the natural and put on the spiritual.
What is a giant?
A giant is anything that has a stronghold on your life.
What is a stronghold?
Something you are in prison to, anything that has a stronger hold on you than God.
Suppose someone were to grab you. They hold you so tight you cannot get lose. That is a stronghold. You struggle and fight but without the right tools you cannot get lose. That is what a stronghold is. Something in our lives that have a hold on us so tight we cannot get free. We struggle and fight but to no avail.
These strongholds are built by Satan through lies. Satan is a liar, he does not speak truth. He is the father of lies. St. John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."
He takes a little truth and mixes it with lies. This is what he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Truth was there but Eve did not listen to the voice of truth. Satan also spoke lies when he was tempting Jesus, he said "if you be the son of God" he questioned Christ's divinity. And he also questions us. He questions our relationship with Christ. He is always bringing the spirit of condemnation on us about one thing or another. But the scripture says "there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit" Romans 8:1. That is the key to being in Christ and walking in the spirit.
Even though Satan tries to condemn us we are not condemned because sin was condemned in the flesh. It was put to death, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Satan has been defeated. He had the keys to death and hell, but now death cannot hold us. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus we are able to have eternal life. Before when a righteous person died that person went to Abraham's bosom. But now because Jesus rose from the grave the person goes to paradise to await the final resurrection of the body. In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man they both died but while alive the rich man lived sumptuously, while Lazarus was poor and the dogs licked the sores on his body. When they died the rich man immediately went to hell and Lazarus went to Abraham's bosom. The rich man was tormented in the flames of hell and Lazarus was comforted. The rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and bring him a drop but Abraham told him this was impossible because a gulf separated them. The rich man then asked Abraham if he could send someone to his brothers to tell them not to come to that place. Jesus said if they did not believe the prophets they would not believe someone who rose from the dead. (Luke 16:19-31).
How does Satan build these strongholds? He builds them through lies. He lies to us about ourselves. He tells lies to us about other people and he tells lies about circumstances that are not true. However, he does not tell the entire lie all at the same time. He tells it a little at a time. It is the little foxes that destroy the vine "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes" (Song of Solomon 2:15). Foxes are crafty and subtle creatures, mischievous, hungry and, full of deceit. He said the little foxes because they must be destroyed before they can grow and gain strength.
An example could be a person's sexual orientation. It begins with a thought, usually in childhood. I say childhood because this is when a person is most vulnerable and most people will tell you they struggled with their sexual identity in childhood. This stronghold did not happen overnight. Satan plants a thought here and a thought there. Situations also arise that could steer the person in the wrong direction. If they are not stopped, these thoughts continue until the person believes that is the way he or she is. But it is a lie. Satan bombards our minds with little nagging thoughts (thoughts that just will not go away. No matter how hard we try to get away from them). We cannot because we do not have power. Our minds have to be renewed through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Satan might tell you:
· You are worthless and will not amount to anything
· You should end your life
· Nobody likes you
· You're ugly
· Nothing will ever work right
· It doesn't matter
· You will not be healed
· God does not love you
· Go ahead and be intimate with that person, no one will get hurt
These are all lies. Satan knows if he can control your thoughts he can control your actions. David let Satan plant a thought in his mind and because of it he committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband to cover his sin, but God would not let it be covered and he lost his child to death.
Satan uses fear, doubt and theories and he tries to reason with you. All the time you believe that these are your thoughts but Satan cleverly disguises himself. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
He knows our weaknesses, our insecurities and our fears. He has studied us since childhood.
There may have been a situation when you were growing up where it seemed as if no one listened to you when you talked. You were already shy but this just exaggerated the situation. Satan fed you lies, telling you, you were not important; no one wants to hear what you have to say. But they were and are lies. You could have been in a situation where you were abused as a child, either verbally or physically or both. And now as an adult no one is going to push you around again. You could not control your circumstances then, but you can sure control them now. The abuse opened your mind to the devil.
You might be a person who just goes with the flow to avoid confrontation.
These are strongholds because you are in prison to these thoughts. Strongholds can also be; anger, rebellion, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness and negativism. Have you ever been around a person who is always negative? They are no fun to be around. They make you feel heavy. Their negative talk is a stronghold in their mind and they do not even realize it. Usually when we have strongholds we don't know it until a light is shown on the situation. Jesus is the light.
To be free from a situation, we have to face it, but facing it is usually difficult. No one wants to see the truth about themselves, because it is not pretty. If the blood did not cover us God could not look upon us.
These strongholds that develop in our minds become giants, but they can be broken. The scripture says in II Corinthians 10: 4-6 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war in the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exaltheth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
We have a choice, we can allow our strongholds to keep us as prisoners or we can be set free. We must study the word of God, we must continue in it. This will set us free. We must listen to the voice of truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life (St. John 14:6). He also said you shall know truth and the truth shall make you free" (St. John 8:32). Since Jesus is the truth if we listen to his words and follow him we shall be free from anything that has us in bondage. But some people do not want to be set free. They have become comfortable in their situations. They use their past and how they were raised and other excuses to justify their actions.
A person may be an alcoholic and is always saying. "I'm just like my father or mother, that's why I behave this way. We cannot use this as an excuse, God is not going to hear it because all excuses were nailed to the cross.
These giants, how can these giants come down?
· Our minds have to be renewed. Ephesians 4:23
· We have to think positive thoughts. Philippians 4:8
The scripture says in Proverbs 23:7 "for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he," If you think you are worthless, or that you will fail or if you think any negative thoughts about yourself then you will begin to believe the lies. It is not easy for a person to change their thought process, but it can be done. Changing the way we think is done little at a time. We have to think about what we are thinking about. That is we must be aware of, the thoughts that are going through our minds.
Everything will not always go well, but the scripture says in that "all things work together for good."
We all have a choice. If we want to bring down our giants we have to choose. The movie The Matrix comes to mind. In this movie the people are in bondage and they do not know it. The people think they are living in a real world, but it is actually computer generated. The world is not real and the people are believing lies. There is a character in the movie named Neo. He is searching for something. One day a man comes to him and offers him the truth. He has to make a decision. There are two pills which are placed in front of him, one is red and the other is blue. The red pill is truth and knowledge and will wake him from his sleep. The blue pill will allow him to stay in his condition. Which one will he choose? Which one will we choose? Do we want our giants to come down or do we want to stay in our condition?
In the movie there is a catch. If he chooses the truth there is no going back to his old existence. We on the other hand can choose truth and then go back, but if we do there will be consequences for our actions. A person who goes back after knowing the truth is like a dog turning to his vomit. In the movie Neo is being held captive in his mind. This is where Satan attacks us, this is the battlefield. Someone comes to us with truth, it can be truth about anything and we can choose the truth or we can reject it and stay where we are. The scripture says "choose you this day whom you will serve" Deuteronomy 30:19.
The mind is the battlefield. When we choose we are making a conscience decision. Sometimes when we choose life, when we choose to bring our giants down it seems like an impossible task, but God said with him all things are possible. That's the catch, it must be with him. The battle is not won overnight. It is won little by little, a little ground at a time. When two nations are at war, the battle is won by gaining a little ground at a time until one day the entire country or area has been defeated. We cannot give up; never quit, and never surrender.
Hebrews 12:3 says "do not be weary and faint in your minds"
If we fall we must not give up. We must get up and try again. Proverbs 24:16 says "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again"
When a person is learning to ride a horse if they fall off they are put right back on again. Why? Because if the person is allowed to stay off the horse, fear will set in and that person might not ever get on again. Thoughts begin to occur in the mind like, "if you get back on you might get thrown again, you could get hurt, you might break a bone or your neck, learning to ride is not worth the risk, or horses are dumb animals anyway, who needs them." If you do not get back on again a giant will grow and develop a stronghold of fear in your mind.
Let me tell you a story about my daughter after she had learned to drive a car. One day as she was coming home from work a car ran into the side of her car. This incident really shook her up and she said she was never going to drive again. Her father told her that she was going to drive again. He made her get back into her car and drive. Every time she got in the car there was some fear there, but one day she was able to drive again without fear. I agreed with her father, I believe he did the right thing because he did not allow a stronghold of fear to develop in her mind. Today she is a very good driver.
How can we defeat strongholds? Through prayer, studying the word of God, fasting and praise.
When some of Jesus disciples tried to cast a demon out of a child, they were not able to. Jesus told them "these kind goeth not out but through prayer and fasting" Mark 9:29. The demon had a stronghold on the child.
The first step we must take is pray and ask God to reveal to us any strongholds we might have. We have to recognize them first. Once we recognize them we have to accept it. There will be a struggle to deny it. The flesh and Satan wants to keep your giants from being defeated. They do not want them to come down.
We have to get the knowledge of God's word, his truth in us. We have to renew our minds. You can only renew something that at one time was new and has now through whatever circumstances have become tarnished. The scripture says in Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" and Ephesians 4:23 says "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind"
How can we be renewed in the spirit of our minds? By putting on the new man, by being clothed with Jesus Christ. By taking on his attributes and character. It means to intimate him and be wholly on this side. Colossians 3:10 says "And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."
We have to devote time to our renewing.
We have to praise. Read the story of Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles 20:3-28.
We have to think positive thoughts and have a positive attitude because wherever the mind goes the tongue follows. If you think negative thoughts, negative will come out. Whatsoever is in a person's heart will come out, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" Matthew 12:35.
We must change our mind, our way of thinking. We have to be aware of the thoughts that are occurring in our mind.
Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."
If we fall Satan brings condemnation and discouragement. He will say things like:
· What is the use in trying, it is too hard.
· I will never succeed; I may as well give up.
· Why pray, God does not hear my prayers.
But these are lies. You must change your way of thinking and say things like:
· I fell this time, but I am going to get back up.
· It may seem like my prayers are not being heard but when I pray in tongues and speak to God by his Spirit, the Spirit is making intercession for me. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" Romans 8:26. God also said in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
· I had a rough day today, but Lord help me to make it. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations James 1:2
But you can only say these things if you have the knowledge of God's word and you know who you are in him.
Say things like, I refuse to be discouraged, I refuse to surrender; never quit, never surrender. "I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord" Psalms 118:17.
We must decide to believe. We choose to believe, even though the old man is warring against believing. Speak God's word, "I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted" Psalms 116:10. "The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?" Psalms 118:6.
Another thing we must do for our giants to come down is to meditate on God's word. Read Psalms 1:1 & 2, 119:15 & 16.
Read Psalms 63:3-8, 77:12 and Proverbs 4:20. There are so many scriptures to help us and there are steps we can take to defeat our giants.
· We have to ask God for help
· We have to identify the problem
· Praise the Lord in the midst of the problem
· Listen to the Lord
· Pray for deliverance
· Seek God's wisdom, knowledge and understanding
· Last but not least, we must have faith
When we do these things we can say, Giants they do come down.