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The fight of faith

David shouted in reply, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” — 1 Samuel 17:45

The life of faith is a battle. Jesus warned His disciples that the world in which they were living had rejected and persecuted Him, so they should expect to be rejected and persecuted themselves. In addition, a believer recognizes that his motives are not always lily-white, and his desires all too easily degenerate into lusts he has to counter. Added to that, the evil one, whose objective is to subvert the purposes of God, hates those who have become obstacles to his plans by allying themselves with Christ. So our typical enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil—ensure that the life of faith is a battle.

But how is the fight of faith to be fought? The account of David’s battle with Goliath holds many clues. There is no doubt about the immensity of the task that confronted David—otherwise, Saul would have settled the issue long before the precocious David arrived on the field of battle. But Saul and his men were thoroughly impressed with the power of the giant, and so they were terrified.

David, for his part, was fearless. He wasn’t concerned about the giant’s strength, because he saw God’s power as greater. He also saw Goliath’s bravado as direct defiance of God’s armies, and thus of God Himself. David could not accept this as the status quo, so he decided to act. Undeterred by the naysayers’ efforts to dissuade him from taking on Goliath, David reminded them of his own prior experience—that the Lord is able to save. He was calmly convinced that the Lord would continue to act mightily in this situation, too.

So, rejecting the trappings that Saul tried to lay on him, David carefully selected five smooth stones for his sling. Armed with this minimal arsenal, he approached the giant “in the name of the Lord Almighty” (1 Samuel 17:45). It is important to note that he did not just stand there waiting for the Lord Almighty to smite the giant. He took what he had in hand, utilized the skills he had acquired on the lonely hillsides of Bethlehem, and slung his shot. The result was stunning! Then He borrowed the stunned giant’s sword and finished him off.

The enemies of our soul are real and not to be underestimated; they are to be engaged and not avoided, and they are to be countered using the five smooth stones of Scripture, prayer, fellowship, worship, and discipline. Like David, we must develop our skills in handling our own smooth stones in the power of the Lord. The results will likewise be stunning!

For further study: 1 Samuel 17:32-51

Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.