32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine (Goliath); your servant will go and fight him.” 33 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.” 34 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, 35 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. 36 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. 37 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.”
In order to be ready to slay a giant, we must first slay the smaller opponents. There is just no getting around this. If we wait for the time the giant appears to get strong in faith and courage and in tenacity, it may just be too late. Yes God is on our side but we are responsible to do our part.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Many of us, me included, have not been ready in the day of battle, when the giant came and taunted. And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” But David was ready because he had already killed the lion and the bear that came to kill, steal and destroy his flock. And because David had these conquests under his belt he could look at Goliath and say “You’re going down too, dirtbag.”
But what if things were different in the earlier days of David’s life? What if, when the lion and the bear came to steal a sheep, David said “ who am I to defeat a lion or a bear, I think I will just let the bear and the lion steal a few of my sheep, I guess I’m just going to have to live with this, it’s too hard to kill a loin, it’s too scary to go up against a bear, I might be hurt, it might take all night or all week to track and kill.”
Many times in my life, when sickness or hardship or the taunt of the enemy came, I felt inadequate to stand and fight and win. In reality I had not exercised my faith muscles, applied the truth of God’s word and defeated the smaller opponents. When the big opponent came he overwhelmed me. But that is changing for me, and I am determined to defeat the smaller opponents on a regular…. even a daily basis.
For me, that means if I am going to be healed of a major chronic disease or affliction or adverse circumstances, I must defeat the smaller things. I cannot wait until the big bully, the giant, the Goliath (the big problem) comes my way. At that moment it is very difficult for me to get faith, to be strong and to see the battle through until the Goliath falls.
I’ve found a saying by Chris Valloton of Bethel Church to be true: “ What we tolerate will dominate” if David had tolerated the lion and the bear, they would have dominated and terrorized him and his flock, and when Goliath came David would’ve been afraid to go up against him.
How can we expect to fight and conquer major or chronic diseases, pain or other afflictions or adverse circumstances when we don’t even stand, fight, believe and win against colds, allergies, the flu, simple injuries, financial hardship, rejection or criticism?
Remember I am speaking to myself as well as to you. God is challenging me to defeat the lions and the bears in my life. Download this PDF