Lions, Bears & Giants.

Photo by Yassine Khalfalli

Winning Your Private Battles.

And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion or a bear and took the lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.

1 Samuel 17: 33-36

This whole story begins in 1 Samuel 17, The Philistines had come to fight Israel. But instead of the army going head to head the Philistine put Goliath in the valley and asked for a man to volunteer to fight him. If the Israelites won then the philistines would be Israel’s servants. If Goliath won they would be their servants. There was no way they could win this battle because Goliath was a 10-foot tall giant. No man could come against him. For 40 days, Israel’s army stood on the battleground shaking in their boots.

Until David came in convinced that Goliath could be defeated. The hysterical thing was David was young and inexperienced in war. Saul tells him, it’s your funeral. But David goes on to narrate how in the back of nowhere while taking care of sheep he had killed lions and bears. This was his preparation ground for battle. David knew that God was with him while he fought lions and bears and would give him victory against Goliath too.

We learn something from the story of David. His time in the wilderness was a season of preparation for this day. God grew David’s faith and courage through different obstacles. Every time David overcame one, his faith and courage grew. And on the day when no one in Israel had no courage David stood well prepared and full of courage.

Lions and bears were David’s personal battles. Goliath was Israel’s enemy. Before David could deal with Israel’s enemies, he had to first win some private battles.

I want to encourage you with this. Your private victories will give you public authority. The battle we win in private becomes the very thing that gives us authority to win other people’s giants.

David had no authority to deal with Israel’s enemies until he had won his own battles.

Sometimes we are trying to win other people’s battles without any credentials of winning any battles for ourselves. God allows us to face some formidable enemies in private to prepare us to win against bigger public enemies.

What lions and bears are you facing? What private battles are you winning? Whatever you are struggling with, in private is a direct sign of the public battles God has called you to win for others.

Some people have to go through harder things than others. Lions and bears aren’t your everyday problem. They are scary and I believe they were scary for David too, but David had a call on his life. He was meant to be a giant killer. In fact, he and his mighty men took out all the remaining giants in the land. Therefore, his preparation was different. God allowed him to fight lions and bears to prepare him to fight giants.

If God has called you to be a giant killer for other people your private battles will be different. Sometimes we get so discouraged when we face trial after trial not knowing we are on a training ground. The bigger your authority; the bigger your private battles will be.

Maybe your lion and bear is rejection. You have faced a lot of rejection in your life. God allowed it so you can heal and set people free from the giant of rejection. You will be able to help people fight this giant in their own life. Maybe your lion and bear is depression and anxiety. You have fought this all your life but if you’ll win the battle, you will defeat this giant for other people. Maybe your struggle is lust and you can’t seem to win against this lion but you winning the fight will set other people free. The enemy will come against us in our places of authority. It doesn’t feel like it but God has given you authority in this area and your private battles are only a preparation ground for the battles you are called to win for others.  

Few things to remember:

Be faithful in little. Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10 David had to make a choice to go after the lion and the bear. He could have said, well God it’s only one sheep. Because he could be trusted with one little sheep, God could trust him with a nation. Sometimes what we are going through is a test before God to see whether we will be faithful to choose faith and courage in little things or not.

Trials grow our faith. For you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1: 3 Steadfastness is defined as being firmly fixed in place. We become firmly fixed in faith through trials. We become firmly fixed in courage through trial. We are firmly fixed in endurance through trials. When Goliath showed up all Israel scattered but one person remained firmly fixed. David had trained himself not to run from difficulties. He faced hard things with courage. And even when no one had the courage to face Goliath David could face him without fear.

It is impossible to show up with courage in big things until we learn to show up with courage in small things. Small things build our faith muscles for greater things.

Your private victories will give you public authority. David had no authority to stand against Goliath. He had no authority to meddle in the army’s affairs. But something had Saul’s attention when he spoke his private victories. What David had won in private gave him an authority that no one else had. Your private victories will give you authority in places you have no business being in. It will open doors you wouldn’t open otherwise. It will give you access to people you wouldn’t have access to.

Keep winning against those lions and bears, and other people’s Goliath would be a walk in the park for you.

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