In the Old Testament, we learn about the Philistine people and the giants that were amongst them. Now, these guys were massive, angry, and out to get the Israelites. Why was there so much strife between the two nations? It’s most likely that the conflict between the two nations is due to who has the right to occupy the land. The Philistines occupied some of the land that God granted to the Israelites after they were released from slavery of Egypt. So, time after time, we see Israel fighting against the Philistines, these guys would simply not give up. But, neither would the Israelites. And each time the Israelites faced these big, bad giants, the Lord gave the victory to the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 17 and 2 Samuel 21). However, pretty soon we would learn that the Philistines would come back again and again – just like the waves on an ocean shore – these guys were defiant in the face of God and determined not to be defeated.
“There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary.” (2 Samuel 21:15, ESV) Well, who wouldn’t grow weary having to face these giants time after time after time? I am sure that facing the same enemy over and over again is a tactic of the enemy. Satan wants nothing more than to weigh us down and beat us into submission. Satan does this because Satan wants to hurt God – and we are the tools to do that. Satan wants us hopeless and defeated – not defiant.
God provides us a very important insight through those stories about the conflicts between the Philistines and Israelites. God wants us to follow that pattern of staying the course during turbulent times. Now we might not literally face an actual enemy that is over nine feet tall in our lives on a battlefield, but we face those giants in our spiritual life each and every day.
But, just like in the case of the Israelites against the Philistines, God equips us with all that we need to not just defeat the attempts of the enemy to discredit us, but God gives us all we need to annihilate this enemy. Satan may be powerful, but God is all powerful. God knows what we are facing, and He will give us the victory. God gave us Christ, and Jesus was victorious over death.
But just what steps do we need to take to get rid of these giants that we seem to face time after time? That’s the question that popped into my mind that I feel must be answered to be successful. At least for me it is, perhaps it’s just the planner in me. Here’s the process that I think may work:
1. Admit that whatever you are facing is a problem. Admit it to myself, and admit it to God. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2, ESV)
2. Confess to God that this problem causes me to sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)
3. Realize that you cannot conquer this problem on your own. Ask God to partner with you in defeating the problem. Rely on God’s power and the power of the Holy Spirit to help you. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8, ESV)
4. Become determined to defeat the problem. Do not let myself become weary of the problem, but be defiant in the face of the problem. Never give up! “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, ESV)
5. Arm myself with Bible verses upon which I can draw strength. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, ESV)
6. Pray – pray – pray. “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV)
7. Be watchful. Satan knows that you’ve been subjected to the problem, and he wants nothing more than to trap you in it again. Avoid all situations that are likely to trigger a slip back into the problem area. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV)