Defeating the Giants

Giant (n): a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc… (adj): unusually large, great or strong; gigantic; huge.

There are going to be giants in your life.  If you aren’t facing one today, you will soon.  I don’t say this to bring gloom and doom but to state the reality of living in a fallen world.  We can live in ignorance, hoping for a rose garden with no thornes or we can be prepared to fight the battles when they come.

The Israelites faced many difficulties in the desert (most of which were a result of their sin and disobedience) but they also faced literal giants; men that were bigger, stronger and much taller than they.  In Numbers 14 the first generation of Israelites allowed these giants to defeat them, not physically but mentally.  Standing at the edge of the Promised Land they could see the size of the armies they needed to defeat and they let the appearance of these great men overpower their belief in God’s promise to deliver them.

As a result, nearly an entire generation missed out on the blessings that God wanted so desperately to give them.

So what’s the solution? How do we overcome the giants in our lives?  The easy to say, yet complicated to accomplish answer is prayer and faith and they must be executed in this order.

The first thing we must do when we encounter a giant is pray and ask for wisdom.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given.”  James 1:5. God’s words says that when we pray for wisdom it will be given.  I have to admit there are times I’ve doubted this promise; this questioning arises because I read more into this verse than James intended.  It does not say that wisdom will be given immediately or that the answer will resemble anything that our human minds have concocted, it just says it will be given.  It may take years for the answer to come and our responsibility during that time is to continue asking and waiting for the answer.  (If you want to read more about praying for wisdom, check out 1 Kings 3:1-15.)

Once we know God’s plan for conquering our giant we must move forward, walking in obedience and faith.

In Exodus 14 we find the Israelites leaving Egypt, but with an entire Egyptian army hot on their tails.  “And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.  For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.  The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be silent.”  (Exodus 14:14).  A few verses later the entire Egyptian army is drowned in the Red Sea.

Yet when we go back to Numbers 14, we hear a completely different story.  The spies have just returned from scoping out the Promised Land.  Caleb and Joshua bring a wonderful report of delicious fruits and fertile soil, but the other men see only the giants living in the land and work to convince the people that they are too big to be defeated.  We pick up the story in verse eight, listening in on Caleb and Joshua’s side of the argument.  “If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into the land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.  Only do not rebel against the Lord.  And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread to us.  Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (14:8-9).  But the people were not to be convinced and verse 10 says “Then all the congregation said to stone [Joshua & Caleb] with stones.”  Even though the Israelites knew God’s plan was to take them into an abundant, life giving land, they refused to take that last step of faith and believe that God would again defeat their enemies (as he had done so many times in the last 40 years).

That being said, it’s time to examine where you are in the fight against the giants.  Do you still need to pray for wisdom or is it time to take that step of faith and watch God fight for you?  Do not fear!  Get your sword and shield ready and with God in the lead, charge head first into the giants that need defeated in your life!  The victory will come and when it does will you share it in the comments below?  We all need the reminder and encouragement that God is still defeating giants to this day!

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