Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Thursday, September 16, 2010

“Just a Sling and a Stone”

If you’re like me, you might be feeling a bit like David today. Totally out of your element, just a mere speck on the earth staring up at the 9 foot giant who scoffs and laughs at you. But unlike David’s giant, our Goliath does not sport a bronze helmet, a coat of armor, or a javelin on his back. No, our giants resemble cancer and other physical ailments, unemployment, a broken marriage, abuse, and the like.

But there is a similarity between our giants and the Goliath in David’s day. If you recall the story from 1 Samuel 17, you may remember how Goliath strutted in front of the Israelite army. For 40 days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Israelites heard his taunting. It seems as if our giants stalk us from morning till night; repeatedly hurling insults that wound us, that frustrate us, and that steal our joy. It’s a constant worry and a never-ending thorn in our side.

The question I pose to you today is this…Are we going to be like the Israelites? Are we going to cower in fear because the giant is all we see? Because he towers over us, will he cause us to tremble, tuck tail and run? Or, will we choose the path of David, a mere shepherd boy and a very young one at that. In verse 33 King Saul replies to David, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” We are merely little children compared to the giants we face… and those giants are so good at what they do! We continually hear and believe the voices of those that tell us we cannot stand!

So just what lessons can we learn from David? Here are a few things that I have observed:

Remember what God has already accomplished - David’s answer to King Saul catches my attention. In verse 37, David boldly proclaims, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Like David, I must remember all the ways that God has delivered me in the past. I must focus upon His strength in me and not my own, and trust that He will lead me victoriously once again.

Focus on God alone - When I read closely, I realize that David is the only one even remotely concerned about God. David is barely even on the scene when he blurts out, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” The army, his brothers, not even the king mention God. David continues his “God language” when facing Goliath himself. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” Do you find it ironic that David never even inquires about Goliath’s skill, his stature, his weapons, or even the number of men he has already defeated? God should be the center of my attention, the subject of my speech, and the focus of my heart!

The armies of God fight on my behalf – In the above scripture, David refers to the army“s” (plural), of Israel as not just the physical army of the Israelites. Instead, David recognizes that spiritual forces in the heavenly realms also fight for him this day. Legions of angels and unseen soldiers battle with spiritual weapons of war on my behalf as I face my giants. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Throw off everything that holds me back – Saul finally allows David to go and fight Goliath. But, before he sends him off to what he believes is certain death, the king clothes David in his own coat of armor. It’s almost comical to picture this puny little boy stumbling around in the king’s armor. And it’s not long that David realizes it will only be a hindrance. David throws it off and with staff in hand chooses his weapon…a mere sling and five smooth stones from the stream. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1) I must throw off every hindrance that keeps my focus on myself and my giant instead of on my God.

Run towards the challenge - “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.” Our gut reaction is to run away. We may drown our sorrows in food, alcohol, keeping busy, but those things only provide a temporary and superficial solution and cover up the deeper issues. When was the last time we shook our fist at our giant and ran toward him armed with the Word of Truth? How many times do we turn and run instead of loading up our sling?

Give God the glory - David comes against his giant “in the name of the Lord” and proclaims, “this day, the Lord will hand you over to me”. David recognizes that it is ultimately God’s battle and the Lord has merely chosen to work through this weak little boy. “And the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel”, implies that God will be recognized for Goliath’s defeat that day. Notice in verse 47, again David cries, “the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” David did not say the battle was his own. He gives full credit where credit is due. Take into consideration David’s weapon of choice, 5 smooth stones and a sling; certainly not the weapons of a warrior. I mean, he didn’t even choose sharp stones! Choosing unlikely tools just confirms that David’s victory was from the Lord and not of his own doing. Think of the giants that could be conquered in our lives if we challenged them in the name of the Lord; if we viewed each as God’s battle; if we were quick to give all the glory to God. And because we are weak people, God is made all the more glorious in our victory! 

What giant do you face today? Does he torment you day and night? Are you believing the lies the giant whispers in your ear, or are you hanging on every word that comes from the voice of truth? I encourage you to recall all the ways the Lord has proved Himself faithful in the past, to focus on God alone, to be aware that the Lord and His armies fight for your sake, to throw off anything that hinders you, to run towards your giant boldly, and to give God all the glory! In doing so, the giants of addiction, depression, abuse, financial ruin, and more….will be overcome with simply a sling and stone!


  1. WOW WOW WOW- Dayna- Beautiful Daughter of God...THANK YOU for this wonderful reminder- ALL of us have giants to face- and all of us need to be reminded of the RIGHT way to face them! Even in the midst of facing your own giants you have been so faithful to seek truth and life throughout the Word and then be used as a vessel to pour that very truth into the lives of others. It is life giving, sustaining, strengthening truth and it is a gift to me. Thank you for your humble, submitted,obedient spirit. What a blessing you are to the Body of Christ.

  2. Oh how incredibly precious you are to us all! What an amazing reminder that the "giants" come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. You also remind us how much BIGGER our God is, compared to these trials. Lift those struggles to Him, fully believe and place your hope into Christ alone and see the magnificient power God has. Thank you Dayna.. and Thank you God for using Dayna as an instrument to touch so many in her path.