What Will You Do With Your Giants?

Good question. What will you do with your giants? What will I do with my giants? What are my giants? What are your giants? These are all great questions to answer. What are “giants”, what does this mean? I am not talking about literal giants, I am talking about things that feel impossible to get over, or do. Fears might be one way to describe a giant that you are facing. Or maybe a situation that you are facing that just seems way too big to overcome.

So what will we do about them? I think first we have to figure out what they are, and why they seem too big. Mine come mostly in the form of fear and anxiety. I am afraid of almost everything. I am afraid of rejection, of being thought of stupid, of death, of financial ruin, of being left alone, of my family splitting up and not getting along. I am afraid of the word cancer and all that comes with that, I am afraid of losing another child, or of Cam leaving me, I am afraid of failure, and of success. I am afraid that people might see whom I think I really am if they get too close. Most of these fears do not really live in reality, they just live in my what ifs. That doesn’t really help them go away though. If I can look at them from a distance, I can see that most of my fears are unfounded, but when I am not careful they creep up on me and they feel very real.

Most of my life I have lived with these giants ruling my life. They have held me back from living life freely. They have kept me locked up inside, prefering to sit in the darkness, afraid of the freedom of the light, afraid to show up. I have been a hidden woman so long. It is comfortable there, I have arranged this prison to my liking, I have padded my prison. It feels like home, this fearful way of thinking and living. This place helps me avoid situations that are too uncomfortable, it keeps me away from sticking up for myself, it is just easier to be a doormat. Now don’t get me wrong, it still feels awful being a doormat, but to me I have lived in this position for so long that it feels wrong to be in any other position (standing up). This expecting to be treated with respect and even valued feels unnatural. I worry that I am putting my needs before someone else, doesn’t God say that I am not supposed to do that? I believe my perspective of this is dead wrong. I don’t believe, from my study, that God asked us to be doormats. If He did, He would treat us a whole lot differently than He does. God gives us value, He treats us with love, grace and mercy, and yet this is not how I treat myself. I treat myself as the worst human being there is, like I don’t matter, like I have nothing to offer, like I am stupid, like I deserve to be alone, like I am a failure. I am my own giants, or a lot of them.

Some of these giants have come at the hands of others, bullies at school, situations where there was intended harm, intended ridicule. They have come from the hands of those I have loved, because of my own refusal to demand respect and acceptance because God says that I should be treated right. God has given me the utmost love and He understands me even more than I understand myself. So when I am telling myself I deserve less, He tells me that I deserve more than I think I do, not because of who I am, but because of who He is. He loves me, and because of that He has given me a value beyond my comprehension. What???? I don’t get it, but He gets me, He gets it.

He calls me a masterpiece. As an artist, I understand that. I see art and I see value in someone else’s work, I can appreciate true masterpieces. Do I appreciate my own art? NO!!! I don’t see any value in it. I see it as nice, but worthless. Take for example my jewelry, others have had to put a value on it. I still feel bad charging for it. As a teen, in school my favorite subject was art. I was successful at it, so because of the way I felt about myself, I didn’t really see as something good. My teacher however saw the value in it and wanted me to sell a picture I had painted to another art teacher who wanted to buy it. I thought it was stupid, so I didn’t. When my dad was in the hospital, fighting cancer, I would bring him a sketch that I had done that day. He valued them, even if I did not. I found out that He would show them off, He would talk about them to visitors, doctors, nurses, and other patients. I am glad he could use them to talk about other things than his illness or how he was feeling. My dad sold some of these pieces to visitors, to doctors, and even to a patient in the bed next to him. I didn’t get it. I was happy for the money, I was happy I could brighten up his day a bit, and it was a tangible way that he showed me how proud he was of me, how valueable he thought I was. I didn’t listen to it of course, he was my dad, he had to say that didn’t he? I have since found out that he didn’t “have” to. He really did feel that way about me. It is funny my girls question the validity of my opinion of them, the value that I see in them, for the same reason, I have to because I am their mother, don’t I. Unfortunately not every child is valued by their parent, so the answer is no I don’t “have to”, it is not mandatory. I do though, everything within me screams their value, I am proud of them and I love them so much my heart aches, not because of what they can offer me, but because of who they are, who God made them to be My girls are loved by God. I love Cam beyond words, I respect him, not because of what he can offer me, but because of who he is, who God made him to be. He is beloved by God, I feel it, and I see it, God placed incredible value on my husband, and who am I to argue. God has given me His eyes for the family that He gave me. So why do I struggle so much in understanding this about me? It has to do with my giants. I have many, and I freeze in fear of them, they feel too big to conquer, they feel so very real and impossible to get rid of.

I am like the fearful men that Moses sent over the Jordan river to scout out the land that God was about to give them. Moses gave them instructions to seek answers to the questions that he had. After careful observation they were to come back with the answers to his questions. God sent them on this mission. I wonder why? Why didn’t He just choose to tell them to cross and get ready to fight without knowing what was ahead? God was enough to get rid of anything in their paths, maybe God wanted them to see what He was about to do for them. Would they trust Him enough? The men that went were respected leaders.

Numbers 13:17-20 (MSG)                                                                                                                                             When Moses sent them off to scout out Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and then into the hill country. Look the land over, see what it is like. Assess the people: Are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? Observe the land: Is it pleasant or harsh? Describe the towns where they live: Are they open camps or fortified with walls? And the soil: Is it fertile or barren? Are there forests? And try to bring back a sample of the produce that grows there—this is the season for the first ripe grapes.”

What they found was everything that God had promised, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land overflowing with blessing. They also found giants, literally and figuratively. They didn’t see that to God these giants were like ants, or smaller. They didn’t see who God was, they didn’t trust Him. They trusted their own hands instead and found themselves severely lacking.

Numbers 13:26-33 (MSG)   They presented themselves before Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the People of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They reported to the whole congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told the story of their trip: “We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak. Amalekites are spread out in the Negev; Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites hold the hill country; and the Canaanites are established on the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan.” Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, “Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it.” But the others said, “We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are.” They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, “We scouted out the land from one end to the other—it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.”

There were two men who saw God for who He really is, they trusted Him above their own strength and because of they had no fear. They understood that if they were to fear anyone or anything, it would be God, hands down. The Israelites decided that they were too scared to go over and let God win the battle. Their lack of trust in God was overwhelming and so they stayed in the desert, wandering for 40 years.Eventually everyone besides these two men, Joshua and Caleb, died in the desert, never entering the land that God promised them. They did not have enough trust in their Maker. Their understanding of God failed them. I am like the other people, I question God’s ability to kill my giants and I think that it is by my own hands that they will have to fall, and so I stay stuck in this desert of fear. I am starting to see beyond the wall of my prison of fear. I am starting to see that God has the ability to kill my giants, I just need to place my trust in Him, and not in myself. Another place we see giants in the bible is in the story of David and Goliath. This is a story of ultimate trust in God.

1 Samuel 17 (MSG)                                                                                                                                  Goliath                                                                                                                                                                17 1-3 The Philistines drew up their troops for battle. They deployed them at Socoh in Judah, and set up camp between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes Dammim. Saul and the Israelites came together, camped at Oak Valley, and spread out their troops in battle readiness for the Philistines. The Philistines were on one hill, the Israelites on the opposing hill, with the valley between them.                                                                                       4-7 A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor—126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail—the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him.   8-10 Goliath stood there and called out to the Israelite troops, “Why bother using your whole army? Am I not Philistine enough for you? And you’re all committed to Saul, aren’t you? So pick your best fighter and pit him against me. If he gets the upper hand and kills me, the Philistines will all become your slaves. But if I get the upper hand and kill him, you’ll all become our slaves and serve us. I challenge the troops of Israel this day. Give me a man. Let us fight it out together!” 11 When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope.                                                                                 12-15 Enter David. He was the son of Jesse the Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse, the father of eight sons, was himself too old to join Saul’s army. Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who had joined up with Saul were Eliab, the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.                                             16 Each morning and evening for forty days, Goliath took his stand and made his speech.     17-19 One day, Jesse told David his son, “Take this sack of cracked wheat and these ten loaves of bread and run them down to your brothers in the camp. And take these ten wedges of cheese to the captain of their division. Check in on your brothers to see whether they are getting along all right, and let me know how they’re doing—Saul and your brothers, and all the Israelites in their war with the Philistines in the Oak Valley.”            20-23 David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock,  took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the army was moving into battle formation, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines moved into position, facing each other, battle-ready. David left his bundles of food in the care of a sentry, ran to the troops who were deployed, and greeted his brothers. While they were talking together, the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, stepped out from the front lines of the Philistines, and gave his usual challenge. David heard him.                                                                                                                                                       24-25 The Israelites, to a man, fell back the moment they saw the giant—totally frightened. The talk among the troops was, “Have you ever seen anything like this, this man openly and defiantly challenging Israel? The man who kills the giant will have it made. The king will give him a huge reward, offer his daughter as a bride, and give his entire family a free ride.”                                                                                                                          Five Smooth Stones                                                                                                                                    26 David, who was talking to the men standing around him, asked, “What’s in it for the man who kills that Philistine and gets rid of this ugly blot on Israel’s honor? Who does he think he is, anyway, this uncircumcised Philistine, taunting the armies of God-Alive?”          27 They told him what everyone was saying about what the king would do for the man who killed the Philistine.                                                                                                                                28 Eliab, his older brother, heard David fraternizing with the men and lost his temper: “What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!”                                                                      29-30 “What is it with you?” replied David. “All I did was ask a question.” Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before.                                                                                                                                                         31 The things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul. Saul sent for him. 32 “Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.” 33 Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced—and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.”                                                                                                                                                               34-37 David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” Saul said, “Go. And God help you!” 38-39 Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off.                                                                                                                             40 Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.                                                                                                                                                             41-42 As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David. He took one look down on him and sneered—a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed.                                                                                                                                           43 The Philistine ridiculed David. “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” And he cursed him by his gods. 44 “Come on,” said the Philistine. “I’ll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I’ll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice.”                                                      45-47 David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”                                                                   48-49 That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt. 50 That’s how David beat the Philistine—with a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. No sword for David!                                                                    51 Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant’s sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their great champion was dead, they scattered, running for their lives. 52-54 The men of Israel and Judah were up on their feet, shouting! They chased the Philistines all the way to the outskirts of Gath and the gates of Ekron. Wounded Philistines were strewn along the Shaaraim road all the way to Gath and Ekron. After chasing the Philistines, the Israelites came back and looted their camp. David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem. But the giant’s weapons he placed in his own tent.                                             55 When Saul saw David go out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, “Tell me about this young man’s family.”

What a story! There is a great deal that we can learn from the young man David. David wasn’t always like this, he was human and flawed like we are.

The warriors of Isreal and Judah were afraid of Goliath, they even described him, they listed why they were afraid of him. 9 feet tall, strong armor, his weapons. It talks about Goliath’s taunting and ridiculing of the people of God. Again a fear tactic. Goliath was willing to fight ONE man from the Isrealite army, assured of his success, notice Goliath didn’t say that he would take on the whole army, just one man. Goliath trusted that he would defeat that opponent. But I’m sure that he knew he wasn’t good enough to take on the whole army of his enemy. So to challenge in this way, really shows me that Goliath only had limited confidence, because he placed that on himself. The enemy is like that, he challenges us when we are weak, but he won’t challenge God, so when we are close to God, strong in the Lord, he leaves us alone. Our enemy also understands that he can not take on God, he realizes that he has limited power, although he likes to look like he has all power, he likes to terrify us, to shake our confidence in God, there is nothing he can do against God.

David was a young man, he wasn’t old enough yet to join the king’s army, so he took care of his father’s sheep. David had some older brothers who were in the army and that is why David was there and heard Goliath’s pathetic challenge. He came to bring them something from their father. This challenge of Goliath happened everyday and had been already for the last forty days, and no one from the Isrealite army stepped up to take on the challenge, they all listened in fear and even ran to hide. Isn’t this like us? We hear the challenge of our enemy and we are afraid that his lies might be true, so we hide from them and we don’t challenge him. When David hears the challenge and sees his peoples reaction he is disgusted with them. As he was trying to find out what was going on, his brother came up to him and gave him heck for asking questions about it. His brother was angry at him, and tells him to go back to his job of tending the sheep. David’s brother basically told him that he was stupid to think that he might be able to do something about Goliath, he accused David about being prideful and that he had just come to see the battle. David didn’t pay any attention to his brother’s accusations, I think he understood where the anger was coming from. It was coming from fear and from the lack of the strength that his little brother was showing. It made him look weak. David went to the king and asked him why no one had gone to meet the challenge, He couldn’t understand the fear. God had shown David through smaller things like killing a bear and a lion when they went after his father’s flock of sheep. David knew that those beasts were killed because of God not him. In these situation David didn’t run away and hide, he had faith that his God would rescue him, that God had ultimate power, and would use it to rescue him.

Saul allowed David to meet the challenge, if David was defeated the Isrealites would be slaves to the Philistines. Saul tried to put his armor on David. I guess he thought that David needed the armor, I am not sure what kind of protection this armor would have been against Goliath and his weapons if David went in his own strength. David told King Saul that he couldn’t fight Goliath in the man-made armor. How much like Saul are we, trusting in ourselves or human strength, not in God’s strength, so we feel like we have to put on our own defenses. David knew the truth, he knew that nothing he wore was going to guarantee success in battle. David knew not to trust in his own strength, his prowess. David went to meet Goliath in battle, not in man-made armor, but in God’s strength and protection. David had learned to trust God in the small stuff, God had never let him down, and so he was confident that God was with him in the big stuff. David went to be an instrument of God, to be used by God to show God’s people that God was worthy of worship, of complete trust and love. If David had worn man-made armor, the Isrealites may have attributed David’s strength with the armor. God proved himself in this battle because David was willing to put himself at risk, trusting God completely, completely at the mercy of God. David faced this scary giant, that everyone else ran from and because of God, killed this giant with a stone and a sling, not a sword and shield, but with the least of weapons. There is no way this small smooth stone could have killed the giant. This was proof of God’s supernatural power. There was no other way that the stone David threw could have killed this giant covered with incredibly stong armor.

As David went out on the field Goliath ridiculed him, and threatened him. David ignored all the name calling and threats because he KNEW God, he trusted God with his life. How often do we listen to the enemy’s ridicule and believe it, how often do we listen to the threats of our enemy and run and hide? I know that in my life, I was like the Isrealite army, I didn’t trust God farther than I could throw a stick, which isn’t very far. David countered Goliath’s words with words of how great God was, how powerful He was, how God would prove Himself to His people through Goliath’s death. He told the giant that the battle was the Lord’s and that God would win. David was right. God was the winner. David then went over to the body of Goliath and took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head. I have always thought that was overkill, but now I think I see it’s purpose. I think that it was a way to show God’s people that there was really nothing to be afraid of, that that fear was a lie, God was all powerful and the threat was not real. I think that it was a way to say that you don’t have to fear anymore, there was no way that Goliath could come back from the dead. David cut off any possibility of the threats, and it proved to the Philistines that the only real threat was aimed at them from the real God of the Isrealites. It proved just how real God is. David was unknown to the king before this, even David’s family was not known. After this David was known throughout the land. David became a hero, because He trusted God and let God do His work through him.

So am I willing to trust God, and trust who He says that He is? Am I willing to get to know Him, and let Him prove to me who He is? Am I willing to place my life, place my very identity in His hands and believe Him, when He speaks truth and love over me? Am I willing to go out to meet the giants that I am afraid of and with God fighting for me, slay them. Am I willing to speak the truth out loud against the lies of the enemy, and am I willing to follow through and believe the truth. With God I can fight the enemy, without God all I can do is cower in fear. The enemy knows this and so tries with all his strength to keep me weak. He knows that if I listen to the One who is truth and love, there is nothing that I can’t do. The enemy is terrified of God and my strength, our strength through Him. His best defense in a battle against God is to keep us afraid, keep us small, keep us relying on our own strength to get through life. What a lie. Why we believe it, I don’t know. I think we just get used to the lies, they pierce us to our very soul, they feel natural, they feel right. We need to put our trust in God, no matter how small, and let God work, let Him grow our faith through His faithfulness. He is GOOD, He is TRUTH, He is LIFE, He RESCUES, believe it. We are loved, we have been given the gift  of forgiveness, of a new life, abundant life, live it. Trust God and live it. You can’t defeat your giants by yourself, don’t even try to do it yourself. Trust God He can and will if you are willing to trust Him and let Him. So what are you going to do, who are you going to believe? I want to believe like David, no wavering in my trust. I want to know God so well, that there is no room for fear. I will start facing my giants, knowing that God is with me, He is in front of me, behind me, beside me and inside of me. I am surrounded by Him and His love. I have nothing to fear. I am human, and I forget sometimes, but as I learn who God is, as I learn to put my trust in the only One who is trustworthy the battle against my giants will be won. Join me on this journey of trust. God is trustworthy, now lets learn what that looks like in our lives. Let’s trust completely. God is our strength and protector. We are warrior women of God, lets ACT like it. Jumpinto this new life, God will catch us. Blessings on you. Praise GOD for HIS GOODNESS!!!!

 

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