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Greg Laurie - How To Overcome Your Giants

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    Greg Laurie - How To Overcome Your Giants
TOPICS: The House of David, Giants

Grab your Bibles and, turn to 1 Samuel chapter 17. "How To Overcome Your Giants". So we all have giants that we face in life, by that I mean something that is dark and sinister, prowling around the perimeter of your life. It could be an insurmountable problem or some kind of an issue. You've tried to fell this giant, but it only seems to loom larger with the passing of time. Maybe you overcame your giant so to speak, for a month, two months, maybe even three months, and you thought you would beat him, but then he came back with a vengeance.

Now you're beginning to wonder if that giant you're facing is even stoppable. For instance, it could be a giant of fear. There's something that is frightening you right now. Something that keeps you up late at night and it just grips you and it doesn't go away. And you're constantly asking what if this happens, what if that happens? Maybe it's a fear of the future. Maybe it's a fear of the unknown. That's your giant. Or it might be the giant of a personal sin. A certain area of your life where you are weak and vulnerable, and you've fallen that area over and over again. You have victory over it for a few weeks, maybe for a month, but then you fall again. It could be pride, envy, gluttony, pornography, the list goes on and on. In a related way, you could be facing a giant of addiction.

You know, you've been clean and sober for three years, and then suddenly you fell off the wagon and you can't believe this has happened to you. And so this thing is a giant and it taunts you day in and day out. So how do you overcome a giant? We're gonna look at the very familiar story of David and Goliath. Many of us have heard this since our childhood and because of that, it takes on sort of a fairy tale way about it, and it is not a fairy tale, it was a historical event. There really was a king named David, there really wasn't a giant of a man, 9 feet, 6 inches tall, made of solid muscle named Goliath. But I wanna point out that it has a lot to say to us today. Well, as it turns out, a new conflict was developing between Israel and their long time enemy, the Philistines. And so they came to a place called the valley of Elah.

The Philistines were on one side, the Israelites were on the other side, and in the middle was this giant hulk of a man as I pointed out, 9 feet, 6 inches of solid muscle covered in body armor, challenging someone from Israel's side, to come and fight him. He basically made a deal. He says, "Come on, let's make a deal. Send your best guy out here and let's fight, and if he wins, we, the Philistines will serve you, but if I win you, the Israelites, will serve us". And no one wanted to take him up in this offer. By the way, don't believe the promises or the threats of giants. They'll lie to you. King Saul would've been the likely candidate. He, after all was head shoulders above everybody else, but there's no way he was gonna go down there in the Valley of Elah, and face off with Goliath.

So, meanwhile, David's father, Jesse said, "Son, I want you to go to the front lines and visit your brothers. Take him some food, here's some bread, here's some cheese, take it to your brother". So basically it was a pizza delivery or a quesadilla delivery, if you will. So David shows up, he's looking around, he hears this giant man bellowing from the Valley of Elah, asking for someone to take him on, and David's looking at how no one is answering his call and he's perplexed. Meanwhile, his brother, Eliab sees him and says, "Why are you even here? You're here because you're proud. And did you leave your little flock of sheep to come play with the big boy," sort of a loose paraphrase there. And David's thinking, "I'm kind of thinking I might go down there and face off with that guy. I think he can be brought down".

After all, David was a courageous young man. He had killed lions and bears protecting his little flock of sheep. He wanted to volunteer and go down and face off with Goliath. Because in the eyes of David, though Goliath was big, God was bigger. You know, we have giants, they're big, but God's way bigger than your giant, that's how David saw it. So let's see if we can identify some principles of giant killing. Let's look at 1 Samuel chapter 17, starting in verse 40, by the way, I'm reading from the New Living Translation. "David picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd's bag. Then armed only with his shepherd's staff and sling, he started across to fight Goliath. Goliath walked out toward David with a shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. He roared at David, 'Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?' And he cursed David by the names of his gods. Goliath yelled, 'Come over here and I'll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals.'"

I love the response of David. David shouted and replied, 'You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord God Almighty. The God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. "Today," David says, "The Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know there is a God in Israel. And everyone will know the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It's his battle not ours. The Lord will give you to us". I love this verse. "As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him". Verse 49, "Reaching into his shepherd's bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it from his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face downward on the ground".

Now David finishes the job, 1 Samuel 17: 50. "So David triumphed over the Philistine giant with only a stone and a sling, and since he had no sword, he ran over and pulled Goliath sword from its sheath and David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they turned and ran". Is that not an awesome story? I love it. What a victory. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites are reinvigorated. David, the shepherd boy had cut down the giant Goliath. So what do we learn from this, about defeating our own giants? We all have giants. We all face severe hardships. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles, temptations, that come our way. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "Remember, temptations come into your life, they are no different than what others experience, but God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, God will show you a way out, so you will not give into it".

So while it is true that we all have giants, it is also true that every giant is defeatable. Let me repeat that. While it is true that we all have giants, it is also true that every giant is defeatable as shown in this story. Giants don't start out big, they start out small. It's hard to imagine, but Goliath was once a newborn baby. Probably a really big baby. He was a very aggressive baby, I would think and a high need baby, probably. And then he ultimately became a child. Then he became a teenager. Then he became adult and adult man, as I said, 9 feet, 6 inches tall. So in the same way, our giants, our problems, start out small then they become big. Little things turn into big things, listen, little liberties, I put that word "liberties" in quotes. Little "liberties" can turn into big vices.

Now back when I was a kid, I don't know why this happened, but at Easter time, you used to be able to buy little baby bunnies and little chicks that they would be in all kinds of stores. And sometimes they would even dye the little chicks different colors. And so you would buy this cute little blue chick and a pink chick and take it home, but the thing you didn't think about is, that is going to turn into a chicken. It's cute as a chick, that will become a chicken. And that cute little bunny is gonna turn into a rabbit. All of a sudden rabbit stew and chicken fingers are sounding better all the time, right? But you know, it starts off little, then it becomes big. That's what sin is like, "Oh, I can handle this sin, I can handle this vice, I can handle this issue", and then one day it has complete control of you, right? That's the point I'm trying to make.

You know, the Apostle Paul in Romans 8 said, "If God is for us, who can be against us"? He goes on to say, "I'm persuaded in neither death nor life, to principalities or powers or things present or things to come or any other created thing will separate us from the love of God in Christ our Lord". Back to that statement of Paul. "If God is for us," it would better be translated, "Since God is for us". Listen to this, God is for you, he's not against you. Sometimes we feel like maybe God's against us or life is against us. Jacob once said, all these things are against me. Now listen, God is for you. God loves you. God wants to bless you. Hey, God wants to bless you, even more than you want to be blessed. So, if God is for you or since God is for you, who can be against you. And the answer ultimately is no one.

What are you facing right now? The battle belongs to the Lord. Commit it to the Lord. Let's go back to when you wake up in the middle of the night and you're flooded with all these issues and fears and such, commit each one to the Lord. "Lord, there's nothing I can do laying in this bed right now. But I'm committing this to you and I'm asking you to intervene in this situation". "Don't worry about anything", Paul reminds us, "But pray about everything and the peace of God that passes all human understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus". The battle belongs to the Lord.

Number three; attack your giants. Attack your giants. Earlier in the story, we read that the Israelite said, "How is this man Goliath come up into our camp". That's 1 Samuel 17:25. In other words, Goliath wasn't just down in the valley. He had climbed up, and was walking through the camp of Israel. "Hey, hey, who wants to fight me? Come on. You're big enough to fight me, let's go". So he was right up in their face, up in their grill, as they say, and he wasn't going away. And that's what happens with giants. You compromise here, you compromise there, now they've invaded your life. They're in your front room, they're in every room and they're becoming even more powerful. So what do you do? You don't run from giants, you attack them. You don't negotiate with them, you don't yell at them, you kill them. You don't say, "I'll get to this one day," you deal with your giant right now.

Look at verse 48. As David moved closer to attack, excuse me. "As Goliath moved closer to attack, David ran out quickly to meet him". He didn't run from Goliath, he didn't just hold his ground against Goliath, he attacked Goliath, and you must do the same. Let's say you have a problem with drinking. Let's say you have a problem with drugs. And this is an ongoing problem that has not going away. You gotta deal with it. Stop rationalizing it. Stop hiding it. Stop making excuses for it. Take it out of the dark and put it in the light of day and deal with it. And that brings me to my next point. Finish the giant off. David thought, "I'm not gonna give this guy a second chance".

I think he had seen the familiar scene that often shows up in movies. And the scene is, the hero enters the story, he defeats the villain, right? And then the villain is dead, and the hero always turns his back on the villain. Maybe he's calling somebody, or he is doing something else, or saying a line, he's facing the camera, and we know it's gonna happen. All of a sudden, the villain who was surely dead, stands up. And he has the knife, and he's coming at the hero. David already saw that movie. He said, "This is not gonna happen to me. I'm not gonna give this giant a second chance". 1 Samuel 17:51. "He ran over and pulled Goliath sword from its sheath, and he used it to kill the giant and cut his head off". Why did he cut off his head? Because Goliath was still breathing.

Now you might, out do your poor giant. No, no. No poor giant, you don't cuddle giants, you kill giants. "Well, why should I kill my giant"? Listen to this, if you don't kill your giant, your giant will kill you. That's your choice. You kill it or it kills you. Don't apologize, finish off your giant. Coming back to drugs. Let's say your problem is drugs, what do you do? Get rid of your drugs. Booze, pour it down the toilet, then flush. 'Cause if you're desperate, you might go back later. "Is it still drinkable"? Trust me, I've heard worse. If you've fallen into sexual sin, admit it's sexual sin. Stop rationalizing, stop excusing it. Stop calling it a mistake or a human weakness, it is a sin. After David's sinned with Bathsheba, will get to this later, in Psalm 51 he said, "Against you Lord and you only, have I sinned". That's what it means to confess your sin.

1 John 1:9 says, "If you will confess your sin, God is faithful and just to forgive you your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness". The word confess, means to acknowledge it, and it means to agree with God. So let's say you and I are standing on the beach and we see a beautiful sunset. And I say, "That was an amazing sunset". And you say, "I agree Greg, it really was". So God says, "That is wonderful, I love it". And we say, "I love it too Lord". And then the Lord says, "That's horrible, I hate it". And we say, "I agree Lord, it's horrible". To confess your sin is to align your will with the will of God, and see sin as God sees it. God hates sin, he loves a sinner, but he hates sin. So to confess our sin, is to acknowledge how horrible it is, and then of course, to repent or turn from it.

We like to gloss these things over, "Well, I'm human and I make mistakes". Yeah, that's true, we all do. Call sin, sin. Bring your giant out in the light of day. But before you can do this, the Lord may strip you down to nothing. So you will see when your giant is defeated, it's not your strength, but his. I love this little part of the story. 1 Samuel 17 verse 38. Before David goes and faces off with Goliath, Saul says, "Well, you need to wear some armor boy. I'll tell you what, you can wear my armor". "And so David put on a bronze helmet, a coat of mail, strapped the sword over it, took a step or two to see what it was like, because he'd never worn things like this before and he says, 'I can't go in these.'" It's like a little kid playing dress up, right? Big breast plate, poof, helmet, poof, shoes, even too big, and he's got this sort of, rrr, you know. No way he's gonna go against Goliath of all that stuff.

So he strips it all off, he's not gonna wear Saul's armor, it was gonna be God or nothing. There was no plan B. If God did not come through, he was done for, but David knew God would come through. See, the problem in our minds is Satan is the giant, and God is small. When the very opposite is true. Satan is powerful, but God is way more powerful. Again, he's bigger than your giant. So, there's also a picture here for us sharing in the victory of Jesus Christ. Remember, whoever won then the other people would share in the victory. So because David won, everyone was excited. The Israelites then had the courage to attack the Philistines, which they lacked before, so they shared in the victory of David. The greater David, if you will, the son of David as he called himself.

Jesus Christ, went to the cross and defeated Satan and his demon forces and we share in that victory. Because Colossians 3:14, excuse me, 2:14 says of Christ, "He canceled the record that contained the charges against us, He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross, in this way God disarmed evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory, over them on the cross of Christ".

So I don't fight for victory, listen to this. I don't fight for victory, I fight from victory. I don't have to go take the devil on in my own strength. I will fail, you will fail. Satan's way more powerful than Greg. He's way more powerful than you. But O, the Lord, O he's so much stronger than Satan. So I stand in the Lord and in the power of his might, and that gives me the boldness, and that gives me the strength to do what God has called me to do. They shared in the victory of David, and we share in the victory of Christ. I love how they attacked the Philistines. So, we share in this great victory. "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world". So let's recap, and land this message.

If you missed these points, point number one was; everyone has giants. There are no exceptions. It's just a matter of what, where, or who your giant is. Point number two; the battle belongs to the Lord. Rest in the finished work that God has done. It's his spiritual battle and it must be fought with spiritual weapons. Number three; attack your giant, force your giant, your problem, your addiction, your vice, whatever it might be, into the light of day. Call on God, pray for his power, then attack your giant. Point number four; finish your giant off, cut off its head, burn your bridges, and break with the past. Draw lines. Make yourself accountable to others.

You see, a lot of times we'll say, "Well, I don't wanna live that way anymore, but we still hang out with the same people, leading us to do the same things". You need new friends, you need godly friends. The Bible says, "Flee youthful desires and follow the Lord and all those that call upon him with a pure heart". If you hang around godless people, they'll pull you down. I'm not advocating having no contact with nonbelievers. How else will we evangelize them? But having said that, we need godly people who will spur us on. That's why the Bible says, "Don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but encourage one another and so much more, as you see the day of the Lord approaching". We need to be together in person. This is what the Bible teaches. We spur one another on, we encourage each other and things happen when we're gathered together in person that just don't happen elsewhere.

So, this is a very important thing to remember. The battle belongs to the Lord. Call out to the Lord. He can defeat your giant. Let me come back to a point I raised earlier. The greater David, the Lord Jesus Christ, went to the cross and died for our sin. This is where we find the power to live the Christian life. Listen, some people say, "You know, it's hard to be a Christian". I would disagree. It's not hard to be a Christian, it's impossible. It is impossible to be a Christian in this world today. Dot, dot, dot, apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. I need God's help. Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing". But the flip side of that coin the words of Paul, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". "Yes, but I'm tempted above my capacity to resist".

Actually you aren't because we already look at 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says, "God won't allow you to be tempted above your capacity to resist, but will with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it". So, there's always a way out, God will give you the power. The question is, do you want to utilize that power? Do you want to be free of that addiction? As Jesus said to that one man who was disabled, "Do you want to be made whole"? What kind of question is that to ask? Of course he does.

No, not every drug person wants, a person who's addicted to drugs wants to be free. Not every alcoholic wants to stop drinking. Not every person living on the streets wants to get off the streets. There are people that have made a decision to live that way, and that is the way they want to live. They're never gonna change if they don't wanna change. So the question is, do you want to be made whole? Do you want to change? You like this lifestyle you're in, or do you wanna get out of it? If so, Jesus extends his hand and he'll pull you up just like he pulled that one man up. But listen, I can never overcome Satan or sin in my own strength. The only thing that will keep Satan from controlling you, is the power of Jesus indwelling you.
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