BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
There comes a time when you must face your Goliath and kill it. Until you kill your Goliath, you won’t become who God has destined you to be. If David had not killed Goliath, he probably would have remained an inconsequential shepherd! His stepping stone could have remained his resting place! He wouldn’t have become all God wanted him to be.
Goliath is a fact of life. By Goliath, I am not talking about flesh and blood. I mean a challenge or problem that others may be evading or running away from, but which God is stirring your heart towards, to solve.
It could be a great obstacle on your way to greatness or a formidable task or project before you. Goliath could also represent a spiritual battle you must win to move forward in life or principality and power that must be defeated for you to have your breakthroughs.
Goliath represents different things to different people. Nevertheless, a true champion is someone who has defeated his Goliath. You’re not a true champion until you conquer whatever Goliath represents in your life.
God will always show you your Goliath or, better still, you’ll always recognize your Goliath. You either face it and kill it, just like David or become immobilized by it like King Saul and his army. If you run away from your Goliath today, one day, you’ll still face it or its offspring.
It is killing your Goliath that describes you to your generation; it is running away from your Goliath that creates problems for the next generations. Solomon knew rest all around him during his reign, because David, his father, had fought all the battles for him; he conquered all the enemies that would have been a threat to his reign (1 Kings 5:3-4).
Always take the time of your training seriously, because you’re going to need the experience later in life. Jeremiah 12:5 says, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?” (NLT).
David was trained in the field and he cooperated with his period of training and preparation. God and you are a winning team when you don’t waste your years of training and preparation.
You will always have something to use to kill your Goliath. David had faith in God, and he also had a sling and five smooth stones. He used only one stone and Goliath was a dead man. With God, your diligent effort will be used to bring about an extraordinary feat. Don’t despise your supposed ordinary effort. Don’t ascribe the power of the Omnipotent to Goliath. It may have been defeating others, but your case can be different. This is the message that the defeat of Goliath, the Philistines’ champion, in the hand of a small, inexperienced, unknown, but covenant-conscious shepherd boy, David, tells us in 1 Samuel 17.
Principles for Killing Your Goliath
1. Kill your lion and bear first. This is your stepping stone, not your resting place. You must exert yourself where you are now; do all you need to do; learn all you need to learn. This means taking your training seriously. Face the challenges or problems you encounter during your training; don’t evade them because there could be bigger ones ahead. The experience you gather in solving them will be useful later.
What are you learning where you are now? It is your training ground. You may need the experience you gather later. Don’t despise the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10).
When you’re facing your lion and your bear, nobody may see you, acknowledge you, or celebrate you. But when you face your Goliath many will be there to see how you’ll perform, because it is a problem no one is willing or bold to solve, which God has prepared you for.
It is your success in doing what is difficult when no one is there to clap for you or criticize you that will equip you to face Goliath in the full glare of everybody. This is what is called experience.
2. Don’t be afraid of your Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:10-11 says when Saul and all Israel heard the words of the Philistine, Goliath, defying the armies of Israel and demanding a man to fight him, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Verse 24 also says when all the men of Israel saw Goliath, they fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.
But David was not afraid of Goliath. He was ready to confront what Saul and his soldiers were running away from. His statement, and especially how he described Goliath, showed his contempt for him. In 1 Samuel 17:26, David said, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (NKJV). That was faith speaking, not fear. And in verse 32, David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (NKJV). That again was faith, not fear. In verses 34-37, and 45-47, David, by faith, made declarations of victory over Goliath, and that was exactly what happened.
Be bold. It could be a project you’re faced with or an assignment that others before you have failed to accomplish, so nobody wants to attempt it again. No project or problem is bigger than God! Don’t be afraid of the reputation of your problem. Goliath had the reputation of being a man of war from his youth (verse 33). But that didn’t stop David, who was just a youth, a shepherd boy, not a soldier, from killing him!
Exodus 14:13-14 says, “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace’” (NKJV). Put your fear to flight! Don’t be afraid of your Goliath.
3. Be motivated by the reward – the compensation for your victory. David was motivated by the reward. He asked what shall be done for whosoever killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17:26). And he was told the same thing that had been said in verse 25 – the king would give whoever killed Goliath great riches and his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel. David was encouraged by what he would gain if he overcame. When you know what the reward is, you will be motivated too. That is why organizations grant incentives to workers in order to motivate them to a higher level of performance.
Don’t look at the problem; look at the reward. When a student remembers that after four, five, or six years he will be a graduate, he can afford to burn the midnight oil, suffer and deny himself some pleasure in order to come out with flying colours. But a student who is myopic, short-sighted or cannot delay gratification will not do that and will regret it later in life.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (NKJV). Jesus was motivated by the joy that He saw waiting for Him. He could see the reward ahead. He could lay down His life on the cross because He knew something great, something glorious, would come out of it. He knew He was not doing it in vain.
4. Have a covenant mentality or consciousness. David was conscious of the covenant. That is what his reference to circumcision means. Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants. David referred to Goliath as an uncircumcised Philistine (1 Samuel 17:26, 36). That means he had no covenant with God; he was a stranger to God. Therefore, God was not on his side to fight for him. He believed Goliath stood no chance against him because he wasn’t going to fight him alone.
God had a covenant with the nation of Israel already, which meant that He would be on their side fighting whoever would fight them. God had promised Israel, “You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you” (Leviticus 26:7-8 NKJV). David was conscious of this covenant of God with Israel.
Joshua 23:10 says, “One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you” (NKJV). David didn’t forget this and was ready to activate it by confronting Goliath. Every Israelite should have remembered this and not be afraid of Goliath, knowing that God was leading their army and, therefore, no Goliath could defeat them. Unfortunately, however, all of them did not remember this covenant except David.
Always remember the promises of God and you’ll not be afraid of your Goliath. God assured the Prophet Jeremiah, “‘And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible’” (Jeremiah 15:20-21 NKJV). You can claim this scripture for yourself, too. God is no respecter of persons. He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5).
David had a covenant mentality. That was why he described Goliath as an uncircumcised Philistine and expressed his desire to take the reproach from Israel (1 Samuel 17:26). He meant that Goliath had no relationship with God because He had no covenant with the Philistines. In Joshua 5:8-9, the Bible shows us there is a relationship between circumcision and the removal of reproach. “So it was, when they had finished circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp till they were healed. Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’ Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day” (Joshua 5:8-9 NKJV).
Indeed, God, through a robust covenant mentality possessed by David, removed the reproach for Israel in the hand of Goliath that day. And even today, the new covenant removes reproach from the lives of a child of God; it is still powerful.
Covenant by the circumcision of the foreskin was just a shadow of what was to come. The LORD said in Deuteronomy 30:6 that He would circumcise the heart of the Israelites and the heart of their descendants, to love Him with all their hearts and with all their souls so that they might live.
In Jeremiah 4:4, He told the men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem to circumcise themselves to Him and take away the foreskins of their hearts. So there was a progression from the circumcision of the foreskin (cutting off of the flesh of the foreskin) to the circumcision of the heart.
Today, the circumcision which is a mark of our covenant with God is not the circumcision of the flesh of the foreskin, as in Genesis 17:11, 14 and Leviticus 12:3, but the circumcision of the foreskin of the heart. Colossians 2:11 says, “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ” (NKJV). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “When you came to Christ, you were ‘circumcised,’ but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.” That’s talking about being born again.
Hebrews 7:22 says Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. According to Hebrews 8:6, Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. Be born again and walk in the consciousness of the new birth and the covenant implications on the part of God, His covenant obligations to you. You are not facing Goliath alone; your covenant partner (God) is there with you. Hallelujah!
5. Don’t succumb to mockery, rebuke, or discouragement. Mockery, rebuke or discouragement can come from friends, superiors, family members, etc. Be God-confident.
Goliath despised Saul’s men calling them Saul’s servants, but David knew better. He knew that they were the armies of the living God (1 Samuel 17:26b, 36b). Do you know who you are? Don’t let any Goliath lie to you about yourself. David knew that because Goliath spoke against the armies of the living God, there must be consequences – Goliath’s end would be like that of the lion and bear that God helped him to kill.
Eliab, David’s eldest brother, mocked him and rebuked him. He called all the sheep David was taking care of, jeopardizing his life against the lion and the bear, “those few sheep” (1 Samuel 17:28). He described him as “proud and wicked at heart” (verse 28b NCV). But David was not moved by that; he simply said, “What have I done now. Is there not a cause?” and turned from him to another person to ask again what shall be done to the person who killed Goliath. Eliab’s words were harsh and were capable of discouraging any unfocused person, but David knew within him that he had a date with destiny.
Saul also tried to discourage him, describing him as a youth compared to Goliath, who was a man of war from his youth (1 Samuel 17:33). But David was not discouraged. Goliath disdained him and cursed him in the name of his god (verses 42-44). However, David had faith in God and nobody could discourage him.
If you’re going to kill your Goliath, you must have the same attitude of mind. You must not be waiting for encouragement from people! Not many people will encourage you. The most unexpected person may surprise you with the kind of words he’ll speak and the attitude he’ll display before and behind you. You must be the greatest cheerleader of yourself! You must know how to encourage or strengthen yourself in the Lord, as David did after a particular setback (1 Samuel 30:6).
6. Be sensitive to divine opportunities presenting themselves as Goliath and accept the challenge of destiny. There was a stirring in David’s heart when he got to that battlefield. He knew within him that the problem facing the nation and the army was for him to solve. He could see God preparing him all the while for that moment. That was why he was making enquiries from one person to another, what would be the reward. That was why he could tell Eliab, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29b NKJV). And he could tell Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (verse 32 NKJV).
What is the stirring in your spirit moving towards? What is it that has continued to attract your interest and you’ve been asking questions about? What is that difficult thing that everybody is moving away from but it’s fascinating to you? That may be an indication of the Goliath you’re called to kill. Begin to respond to it today. It may be your turning point. It may change the story of your life.
7. Confess your faith in God for victory. Recall the faithfulness of God in the past. David recalled how God helped him to kill the lion, and the bear and that stepped up his faith to kill Goliath. Before Saul, he confessed his faith (1 Samuel 17:32, 34-37). Before Goliath, he confessed the same (verses 45-47).
Before Saul, he said God would deliver him from Goliath. And as he confessed his faith, I believe his faith increased so much that when he stood before Goliath, he no longer believed God to deliver him from Goliath, but had moved to a higher level of faith! He declared that God would deliver Goliath into his hands. He was not expecting any failure. Hallelujah!
Faith comes as you listen to the word of God from others and also as you speak it to yourself (Romans 10:17). You can believe God so much that you make no allowance for failure, because of the assurance that the Lord is with you. 1 John 5:4 says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith” (NLT). In other words, it is your faith that will give you victory.
8. Don’t use the armour of Saul. This means don’t use the wisdom of this world; don’t rely on the arm of the flesh. 1 Samuel 2:9b says, “No one will succeed by strength alone” (NLT). “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31 NKJV).
In 1 Samuel 17:38-39, Saul offered David his armour and other things along with it and after putting it on, he put it off. He was uncomfortable with them when he tried to walk. He told Saul he could not walk with them because he had not tested them. David chose to depend on God; he was sure of God, going by the results He had given him in the past.
There’s wisdom in the saying that you don’t change a winning team. David could trust God, but he couldn’t trust the armour of Saul. If the owner of the armour, Saul, was so sure of its invincibility, its capability to deliver victory, why didn’t he wear it himself and go to confront Goliath? David didn’t say he would wear Saul’s armour to show him some respect! He didn’t say yes to the king’s offer just to be politically correct. He said no to the king. It takes courage to do that. It takes a man who knows his God.
Victory in this kind of battle comes not by wearing a bulletproof vest. It was a battle between the God of the Israelites and the gods of the Philistines! And the Almighty God defeated the Philistine gods. Don’t depend on human help. Don’t rely on human wisdom and intellect. God can use man if He chooses to, but don’t put your trust in man. Jeremiah 17:5-8 says, “Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (NKJV).
Rather than use the armour of the flesh, use the armour of faith, which is the armour of God. That was what David decided to use (1 Samuel 17:40, 49). The arm of the LORD prevailed over the arm of flesh; the wisdom of God defeated the wisdom of man. King Hezekiah said, “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8a NKJV). Hezekiah’s words strengthened the people.
9. Confront your Goliath in fervent prayer and by taking physical actions you can take as you are led by the Holy Spirit. James 5:16b says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (NLT). God answers prayers! Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As another translation puts it, “Never stop praying” (NLT).
But while you must not neglect prayer, you must also give God something to work on. You can know everything I’ve discussed earlier, but unless you confront your Goliath, practically, it won’t be defeated.
David acted on his knowledge – his ability to hurl a stone from his sling. He might be small, but he wasn’t intimidated by Goliath’s huge size; David saw the size of this giant as an advantage. He put his faith into action, believing that with Goliath’s size, his sling couldn’t miss him!
God can bring an extraordinary result out of your ordinary efforts just as the rod of Moses became the rod of God, performing miracles, and just as the rod of Aaron also performed miracles (Exodus 14:15-18; 17:5-6; 7:8-10; 7:19-20; 8:5-6 5; 8:16-17; Numbers 17).
God is looking for those who have faith in Him to confront their Goliaths and He’ll do the rest. Otherwise, how could a small stone have passed through a little hole in the armour of an experienced champion like Goliath and made him slump? 2 Chronicles 16:9a says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (NKJV). What action is the Spirit of God moving you to take? Take action! Do what will make God act strong on your behalf. Faith without corresponding action is dead (James 2:20). The New Century Version says it like this: “Faith that does nothing is worth nothing.” Complement your faith with action, as the Holy Spirit leads you.
David had to step forward and face the risk of being killed. He could have been afraid like others but he was not. He knew his God; he was strong and did exploits (Daniel 11:32b).
1 Samuel 17:48-50 says, “So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David” (NKJV).
Take note of that phrase: David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. He didn’t waste further time – he was ready to do what he had come out to do. His confidence must have destabilized Goliath, who had his shield-bearer walking before him (verses 7b, 41b). But David was standing alone. However, Goliath didn’t know David wasn’t really alone! God was with him.
So David ran hurriedly towards Goliath. You must run towards that challenge and leave others behind to watch you as you move towards fulfilling your destiny. You must be prepared to back the crowd. Very soon, they will be clapping for you. But in the meantime, you have to back them to do what you must do. You must step out of the crowd. There must be that separation for now. When you return to them, you are elevated to a new status – you’re the same person, but you’re really not the same person!
10. Ensure total victory; avoid premature celebration. 1 Samuel 17:50-51a says, “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it” (NKJV). Goliath’s god failed him! When Goliath was hit by the stone from David’s sling, he fell to the ground. Your Goliath will fall in Jesus’ name. But David did not see that as something to celebrate. He ran towards him, removed the sword from Goliath’s side and killed him, cutting off his head. Goliath died. It was at that point that the Philistines fled (verse 51b). Until then, they probably thought that Goliath was pretending and would soon stand up to kill David!
But once his head was removed from his neck, which confirmed that he was dead, they knew they had lost the battle. They fled, and the Israelites pursued them. You’ll kill your Goliath and cut off its head in Jesus’ name. You’ll hold it in your hand as your trophy!
By removing the head of Goliath after he fell, David taught us a lesson to ensure total victory in any battle and not to start rejoicing prematurely. Don’t rejoice too soon; don’t lower your guard. Follow up unto total victory.
In 1 Samuel 14, because of Saul’s foolish vow that the people should not eat anything until all his enemies were destroyed, he messed up the victory the Israelites had over the Philistines, following the courageous attack by Jonathan and his armour bearer.
Jonathan had violated the vow in ignorance by eating honey and Saul’s attempt to kill Jonathan was resisted by the people. The soldiers were also distressed because they were hungry; they even had to eat meat with blood contrary to God’s Word. Saul wanted the people to pursue the Philistines who had fled, but that was not possible because he could not command the obedience of the soldiers (1 Samuel 14:45). The Bible says, as a result, Saul went up from following the Philistines and the Philistines went to their own place. Israel could not maximize the victory Jonathan got for the nation that day.
Make your victory over your Goliath total, not partial. You must not just get your Goliath on the ground, but you must also remove its head! Not only the horse must perish, but the horse and the rider must also perish. “I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” (Exodus 15:1 NKJV).
Conclusion: Get ready to kill your Goliath. Don’t be content killing your lion and your bear. David entered the battleground an uncelebrated, despised, shepherd boy, but left the place a national figure that even the women singers waxed an album for him! (1 Samuel 18:6b).
You can move from obscurity to national prominence, not by struggles or competition, but by taking up the challenge of destiny, by pursuing God’s purpose for your life, and by solving the problem God created you to be the solution to. Your Goliath can fall and will fall if you walk in faith and follow the principles I’ve shared with you from the Word of God.
I pray that the Lord will open your eyes to see your Goliath. I pray even more that you’ll be bold enough to face your Goliath and become who God has destined you to be. It is well with you in Jesus’ name.
If you want to give your life to Jesus, I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was resurrected on the third day. I confess Jesus as my LORD and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where you’ll be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. May the Lord be with you. I will be glad to hear from you.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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