Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath, and how David slew the giant with a smooth stone by his sling. David of course was sent to the battle site by his father with victuals for his brothers and their comrades. And after none of the men of the army of Israel were willing to meet the giant’s challenge, David convinced Saul, the king of Israel, to allow him to go forth and fight the giant. And after Saul begrudgingly agreed to let David fight Goliath, he had his own armor placed upon David, as well as a battle helmet, a sword, a coat of mail, as he went out to meet the Philistine (I Sam. 17:38). But David was not comfortable with wearing Saul’s armor, saying, “I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him” (I Sam. 17:39).David was not confident in going to battle with someone else’s armor and weapons because, as he said, he had not proven them. But after he had chosen for himself five smooth stones for his sling, he was very confident to go to the battle, knowing that God would deliver the Philistine into his hand (I Sam. 17:40). So then, the question is, why was he confident with five stones and a sling, but could not be confident with Saul’s armor and the supporting cast of weapons and protection? For the answer let’s look at what he told Saul, that convinced him to let David fight the giant: “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (I Sam. 17:34-37).
The answer is indeed evident by David’s testimony that he gave to Saul. The only thing that David could be confident in was the testimony of his own experiences with God, and how God had given him victory before. He had fought against great adversaries before, and God had been with him to overcome these adversaries by the simplistic means that he had on hand. He could not have confidence in going to battle with the giant with what someone else may have proven, but was yet unproven to himself. And of course I think we all know who won that fight that day. The point here is that nothing has changed. We as believers in Christ battle against spiritual adversaries, and the only way we can truly be confident, and gain victory; is if we battle our adversaries with what we have proven. And like David, the only means that any of us have proven are the testimonies of our own personal experiences with the Lord. The scripture says that we must overcome the Devil “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony” (Rev. 12:11). We can’t overcome anything by someone else’s experiences or words, including the things that are written in the scriptures. If we do not have, or do not rely on our own personal deliverance experiences with God, then we simply have no means of confidence with which to face our trials and obstacles that we must face. If we are true followers of Jesus, then we will “overcome the world,” even as he overcame the world (I Jn. 5:4; Jn. 16:33). And overcoming the world means overcoming the spirits of this world, and our own fleshly nature which naturally follows after those spirits. Friend, if God has taken you through anything difficult before, and you came out of it with peace; he both can and will do it for you again. And again. And the beauty of it is, the route to take is always the same. Just lean heavily on him, “keep [your] heart with all diligence,” and trust God for the remainder (Prov. 4:23; II Chron. 20:13-17). Amen.