Mountain climber looking at the next summit
Encouragement

The Warrior of Faith

by Katy Kauffman

Two armies stood on two mountains. The army of God’s people stood arrayed in armor and shields, bows and spears, but they were too afraid to fight. The army of the Philistine giant Goliath, stood on the opposite mountain. He taunted Israel and their God by hurling insults across the valley. For forty days Goliath challenged Israel to send a man to fight him—a champion. The two champions would fight, and the outcome would be binding on two nations. No Israelite dared to fight Goliath. Except one. Only one “soldier”—one shepherd boy, that is—stepped forward as the warrior of faith. David’s love for God moved him to volunteer to fight.

When King Saul doubted his ability to win, David explained to the king why he couldn’t lose.

32Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

 33And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

 34But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,

35I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.

36Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

 37Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” (1 Samuel 17:32-37 NKJV)

Because God had previously delivered David from two strong enemies, he had faith that God would deliver him again. The king weighed the shepherd boy’s courage and faith, and made him Israel’s champion.

So David took his place on the battlefield. Goliath’s size, Israel’s fear, and the gravity of the situation didn’t discourage or dismay him. Fear and doubt had no place in David’s mind and heart. Scripture tells us that David didn’t just walk toward Goliath. With no armor or sword—just five stones, a slingshot, and faith—David ran to meet the enemy (1 Sam 17:48). With one hurl, the stone flew straight to Goliath’s head, and struck him. The taunting giant was dead. God worked a great victory for His people through the faith and courage of a shepherd boy who was willing to champion His reputation.

Spiritual giants in our lives test our faith and courage—giants such as fear, what ifs, the pain of past failures, and the taunting doubts of our ability to overcome. Extraordinary victories can be won when we refuse complacency and fight for victory by faith. A love for God moves us to overcome giants that try to hinder our relationship with Him. A love for people enables us to move past fear and complacency to reach out to help them. When love fuels our faith and courage, we won’t allow selfishness or our own agendas to rule our lives. We will live for God, and “cast off the works of darkness, and … put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). God needs champions who are strong in love, fervent in prayer, and trained in the truth. Since He has called us to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12), He will train us and equip us for battle. With God on our side, we can overcome our spiritual giants, and walk in victory.

Three principles arise out of David’s encounter with Goliath. May we be inspired to face our giants with the same zeal and courage of a shepherd boy who became God’s champion. 

  1. A passion for God moves us to be courageous for His name. (1 Sam 17:45)
  2. Faith remembers past deliverances and trusts God for present victories. (1 Sam 17:34-37)
  3. Faith doesn’t look at the size of the enemy, but at the greatness of God. (1 Sam 17:45)

When we wallow in anxiety and doubts, we subject ourselves to fear. But when we focus on the greatness of God, we make fear subject to faith. Let’s nurture within ourselves a passion for God that overcomes fear and wins spiritual victories. Let’s remember how God has helped us in the past, and trust Him for the present. Let’s have faith like David, to focus on the greatness of our God instead of the size of the giant.

David didn’t run from Goliath. For God’s honor and his people’s well-being, he faced the enemy and won. Let’s be inspired by his example and live as a champion of God in courage, faith, and love.

Questions

  1. Have you had a David-and-Goliath moment when you trusted God to face a challenge and He defeated a spiritual giant in your life?
  2. If so, what was your giant, and how did you overcome it?
  3. What do you think are the characteristics of a spiritual champion?
  4. How can we each become one?
  5. What other people in the Bible had courage to face their enemies, and what made them courageous?

Prayer

Dear God, our Warrior and Champion, please build within us a faith that faces every giant and depends on You to defeat it. Help us to take our place on the spiritual battlefield and to hold our ground in courage and determination. You and Your people are worth fighting for. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

*This post is an adapted excerpt from Katy Kauffman, Faith, Courage, and Victory: The Stories, Struggles, and Triumphs of 24 Characters of the Bible (Buford, Georgia: Lighthouse Bible Studies, 2015), 26-29.  

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