Have you been facing giants in your life? Sometimes I feel like that. It isn’t a huge, overbearing human giant, it’s more situational. A decision to make that has consequences, a financial burden, a problem that’s just too complicated to sort out, a loss that’s left an empty place where a relationship used to be. Giants, my personal Anakites. I’ve noticed that my giants start appearing just after a cycle of periodic successes, especially when there was the right mix of progress, fun, and faith. That’s when it happens – FEAR. My mind starts chiding me with what-if you can’t; what happens if; how are you going to resolve; you can’t do that! Those Anakites are huge to me. Zig Ziglar defines fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. Let that sink in for a minute. False Evidence Appearing Real. If I were a detective I would be looking at the evidence, not the emotion framing my situation. Isn’t God bigger than any of my giants? Do I really want to expend energy on fear when faith is where God works?
Back in the book of Deuteronomy, God’s people faced giants that made them appear like grasshoppers – and they and won. Chapter 1:28-31 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’” Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
David defeated Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Then look what happens in verses 45-47 Goliath, in a split second, right on time, is defeated! “ David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty … This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands …and the whole world will know that the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” Then David’s giant moved to attack him and David, wearing no armor or shield, ran to confront him. He took out his sling and stone and slung it with such force when it hit Goliath’s forehead the stone knocked him dead. In verse 50, David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
There are other stories, like in Joshua, where God drove out the giants that were against his people. But that’s a story for another day. Here’s the point, none of those victories would have happened without the people doing a total makeover of their FEAR and turning it into FAITH. So how can this possibly apply to our story today? Well – those giants we face? Yes, the ones that seem dark, huge, and insurmountable? The bill on your desk, that life altering decision, that project that seems too difficult to complete, that deep sadness that never leaves you, yes that one. There is no answer to why we go through these trying times, but there is no value in letting fear consume us when faith is the attainable solution. In these trying times, faith, not fear is where our focus needs to be. Today, I’m saying to those giants – get off my path, stay away from me, because there might not be instant relief, but in the background God is working everything out for good, because I love him.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Chris Tomlin – Whom Shall I Fear?