“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, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.… All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” – 1 Samuel 17: 45-47.
Who doesn’t love the story of David and Goliath? One protagonist is a shepherd boy, the other protagonist a mighty 6’9″ Philistine warrior. Goliath is a big guy by modern standards, and he would have been absolutely colossal in Biblical times. Yet, the underdog chose to fight. He chose the weapon. He swung the weapon with deadly accuracy. But the main thing David did not do was to rely on his own strength or his own armor. His strength came from the strength of God. He relied on God’s strength. Psalm 89:17 says, “You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong.”
In David’s case, relying on God’s strength didn’t mean sitting on the side of the hill and waiting on God to take care of the Philistine. David trusted God’s strength and providence enough to take action. To the casual observer, it may not have looked like God was doing anything. But David was able to do what he did because he was actually relying on God’s strength.
If we want victory over the giants in our lives, we too have to learn to rely on God’s strength. We can experience His power. The power to change. The power to endure and persevere. The power to love the loveless. This power is available to every man, woman, and child who would put their trust in Him. If we want change in our lives, it won’t be by your power, but by the power of God. God never asks us to carry our burdens and fight our battles in our own strength. He asks us to give our burdens to Him. Psalm 55:22 says, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” God is always in control.
God calls us to be strong and courageous. Instead of worrying about our strength for the future, we need to rely on the strength we are given today. Just think for a second: if it was up to each one of us to make ourselves like Christ, if we had to work out our salvation and our circumstances on our own, most of us would have given up years ago. But God is in control. He has a plan for us, and even our weaknesses and failures can’t stop the One who is in control of all things from fulfilling His plans for our lives. This doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing. Instead, we trust the God who controls all things for His perfect purpose.
- Is there a way to measure the strength of God in your life? If not, how do we determine if God’s strength is part of our lives?
- What can you do this week to trust God and His power?