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A Vivid Memory, A Sling and Stones

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

In prayer, one recent early morning, deeply troubled about matters of the heart, I told my Father that I did not want to be like the Children of Israel who—more often than not—feared and fretted, worried and what-ifd when faced with present-day crises, even though they had personally experienced past deliverances—deliverances that resulted from looking to God in their distress. . . of appealing to the only One who could change the outlook of their crippling situation. . .of crying out to the Most High and his covenant-keeping character.


No, I want to be like David, the young shepherd boy who assuredly declared, “God delivered me from the lion and the bear. He’ll deliver me from this uncircumcised Philistine” (I Samuel 17:37). I want to imitate this anointed servant who looked at present-day problems with a rearview mirror memory. As a result, David confidently faced Goliath, the enemy's roaring, terrifying champion who others had repeatedly trembled before.


In dramatic storytelling style, God’s Word tells us that this lowly shepherd boy—the anointed future King of Israel—triumphed over the daunting adversary with just a sling and a stone. Full of faith, this youth overcame the Philistine’s blasphemous warrior; then, with Goliath’s own sword, cut off his head, igniting the Israelite army's confidence and securing its victory.

 

I am nothing—just a mere shepherd boy—when facing the daunting giants in my own life. Giants that spew and scoff and try to convince me I don’t have a fighting chance when threatened by their menacing presence. Giants that mock the great name of my holy God. Giants that so many others have been beaten and broken by, time after time.


Even so, just like David, I possess the only arsenal I really need for a decisive victory:

a vivid memory and my sling and stones.


Because of Jesus and my declared triumphal position through my Savior's death and resurrection, the writer of Hebrews tells me I can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [I] may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:17). And because I’ve experienced my faithful God come through time and again, as I’ve cried out to him when the enemy has strategically "gathered his forces for war," I must choose to look back, purposely fixing my thoughts on past victories, choosing faith over fear.


I must choose to remind myself that in my life (and the lives of loved ones I’ve interceded for) God has never failed. Never.


Then, bolstered by the faith—my shepherd boy’s bag—that such remembrances stir within me, I must choose to use, once again, the resources I’ve been given to defeat the Goliaths I encounter on my personal Christian journey: the power of prayer partnered with the precepts and promises of the Word. Truly, this is proven strategic precision, equaled to David’s sling and stone.


 

God, in his awesome, unequaled power, could have knocked Goliath down stone-cold dead with just one breath. There’s no denying this. However, he chose a lowly shepherd boy—not great in stature but great in faith—to deliver the knockout. When challenged by a present-day crisis, young David, with only a sling and a stone, remained calm and confident. Instead of being fear-filled like all the others had become, he was faith-filled because he had contemplated the testimony of his past deliverances.


In every uncertain situation that naturally evoked fear, David had come to know God as the Unmatched Rescuer he truly is.


I have no doubt that David understood what the Apostle Paul would pen over a thousand years later: that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). Unlike Israel’s army of so-called fighting men—"servants of Saul”—this humble servant of the Most High God understood exactly whom he belonged to. And he utterly understood that “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s" (I Samuel 17:47), not man's.


As Goliath stood proudly and taunted loudly, “every morning and evening” defying the armies of Israel and demanding a man to face and fight him, David understood that it was really God that Goliath was defying. It was really the Holy One of Israel that this "uncircumcised Philistine" dared to mock and deride. And David understood that it would be the great God of angel armies (Revelation 19:14) that Goliath would have no chance against.

 

Fellow sojourner, I don’t know what particular matter might be weighing on your heart this day, or what giant might be spewing and scoffing and mocking, tempting you to fear and feel defeated. I don’t know if there’s a Goliath in your midst, persistently shouting its “usual defiance”—relentlessly taunting both morning and evening, taking its stand against you or another you’re doing battle for.


But, most assuredly, I do know this: that just as David had all he needed to defeat the overwhelming giant that others were too weak to overcome, you have all you need for the battle. You have your shepherd’s bag, slingshot and stones. With your rearview mirror faith, prayer’s power, and the Word of God, you have all the weaponry needed to upset the enemy’s relentless threats and calculated schemes.


And just like David, when you and I know to whom we belong, and when we utilize the weapons we’ve been given, God comes to our rescue, fights our battle, and defends his great name.


So, let’s keep remembering.

Let’s keep praying.

Let’s keep targeting the enemy of God with the crushing stones of God's True Word.


Victory is certain.





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