|DEAD BUT STILL DEADLY writes:|
The epic tale of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. On one side of the Valley of Elah stands the Philistine army, with their nine-foot-tall champion named Goliath. On the other side of valley stands the Israelite army, cowering in fear under the leadership of their king named Saul. For forty days Goliath has been taunting the Israelites and holding them in the grip of fear. Day after day he has been challenging them to send out one soldier to face him man to man. But so far, nobody has volunteered.
Perhaps you can relate to the plight of the Israelites. Some kind of giant is standing before you, taunting you, harassing you, and insulting you. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s anger. Maybe it’s a feeling of rejection. Maybe it’s the sneaky but all-too-familiar giant of comfort that compels you to live for something lesser. It might even be an addiction.
Whatever this giant is in your life, day after day it has been robbing you of power. You’ve tried to stop the taunts, but you feel immobilized. Held back. Paralyzed from moving forward. Ultimately, you know you’re not living the fullness and freedom of life that God intends for you.
The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. It starts with believing that even though the giant you’re battling might be big, it’s not bigger than Jesus. In fact, He has already defeated the giants in your life. When He came to this earth, He endured hell for you on the cross and rose from the grave so you could shake off the prospect of a doomed life. He came to set you free from the giants who rise up against you and hold you paralyzed in fear.
Jesus has already overcome the enemy. However, as we read in 1 Peter 5:8, the devil still “prowls around . . . looking for someone to devour.” In many ways, he is like a snake with its head cut off. When you kill a snake, you have to be sure to bury its head, because even after death the serpent holds a lethal dose of venom in its fangs. If you step on a dead snake’s head, you can still get poisoned. In the same way, even though Jesus broke the power of Satan at the cross, he can still inject his deadly poison into our lives. He is dead but still deadly.
The goal then, as we will discuss in this study, is not to step on the snake’s head. In practical terms, this means resisting the devil (see James 4:7), equipping the defenses Jesus has provided (see Ephesians 6:10–18), and leaning into his sufficiency (see Proverbs 3:5). It means remembering that he is your David in the story—and you can never bring down giants through your own courage, willpower, or efforts. It’s always Jesus who brings the giant down.
If you truly want to see victory over the giants in your life, you need to understand your dependency on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Victory is all about trusting in Christ and not about trying to succeed. To take the first step against your dead-but-still-deadly enemy, you’ve got to make this paradigm shift in your mind. Christ is the only force that brings change.
Here is today's additional segment:
When you read the story of David and Goliath in the Bible, one of the first things you notice is that the Israelite army was “dismayed and terrified” of the giant (1 Samuel 17:11). Goliath started each day with taunts and ended each day with taunts. As time went by, all that demoralizing and diminishing had an effect on the Israelites. They began to believe in spite of their best efforts, something undesirable was going to happen to them . . . their defeat.
This is basically the definition of fear—the belief that something is out there that is going to get you that you can’t do anything to stop. This fear can manifest itself in many different ways—anxiety, nervousness, worry, stress, dread, hopelessness, panic, to name a few—and can spring up in your life from a variety of sources. Perhaps you experience fear as a result of the environment in which you were raised. Maybe your family treated life like one big threat that never diminished. At any minute, something could go wrong . . . and it probably would.
Or perhaps you experience fear as a result of trying to conceal mistakes and imperfections in your life. You are ashamed of something you’ve done in the past, and you worry that one day it will be made public and brought to light. Or perhaps you experience fear as a result of trying to control too many things in your life. You’ve realized that most things in life are out of your control, and this makes you fearful about what will happen in the future.
The giant of fear can get a foothold in your life and begin to dominate you. It can demoralize you and ultimately diminish God’s glory in your life. It can chew away at your life, erode your sense of confidence, rob you of sleep, blind you, and steal your praise to God. Fear is a relentless giant. And it is one that must fall through the power of Jesus.
The solution to facing the giant of fear is not determination but faith in Jesus. It isn’t so much saying, “Fear, go away,” but confessing, “I have confidence that Jesus is bigger than this giant and has already defeated it.” In Romans 10:17, Paul states, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV). When you see and hear God in and through his Word, the Word allows you to see and hear that He is bigger than your giant. That builds up your faith, and your faith, in turn, becomes the stone that shuts up the giant that’s already defeated.
So today, identify the source of your fear and place it in the hands of Jesus. Remind yourself that with God all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26) and he is able to overcome this giant. Remember that Jesus has promised to always be with you (see Hebrews 13:5). Name what is keeping you up at night, and then offload those cares to the One who has promised to care for you (see 1 Peter 5:7). Then fill your mouth with praise because you see God’s might.. recognize his love for you, and know that he will always come through. His mercy will never fail (see Lamentations 3:22).
As you do this, even though the cause of your fear may not be removed, you will be actively relegating fear to its proper place: into the hands of Christ.
The opposite of fear isn’t courage but faith. What does faith in Jesus involve when you’re up against the giant of fear? What do you need to believe? What do you need to do?
What helps you become convinced that God is bigger than your fears and has overcome whatever you fear?
What role do praise and worship have in dealing with fear? Why are they so important?