One of the greatest sporting upsets in sports history came in February 1980 at Lake Placid, NY. A group of upstart amateur hockey players, mostly college players who hailed primarily from Minnesota, found themselves squaring off against the greatest international hockey dynasty ever seen on ice - the Soviet National Team. They were the closest thing to unbeatable the US team would encounter. A victory would give them a shot at gold.
What many people fail to remember was that in order to face the Soviets, the US team first had to play as huge underdogs against Sweden and Czechoslovakia. They tied the Swedes and soundly defeated the Czechs before reeling off three more victories and facing off against the mighty Soviets. Their unlikely upset against such a dominant opponent is often referred to as the last century's greatest sporting moment and the best example of a "David and Goliath" story. The team went on to defeat Finland two days later to win the gold medal.
Goliath, whose historical and biblical recollection is found in 1st Samuel chapter 17, was truly a giant, with historians estimating his height between nine and eleven feet tall. For forty days, twice a day, Goliath talked trash about David's family, the Israelites, and their God. David was simply a shepherd who was too small to wear body armor. With a courageous spirit and a worthy cause, he picked up five smooth stones, perhaps indicating that he didn't intend to stop fighting once he took down Goliath, and knocked him between the eyes, killing him and causing the Philistines to turn on their collective heels and run...
Most common in our lives are the giants of unforgiveness, loneliness, fear, shame, depression, lack, sickness, and doubt. What giants are you facing?
J. Sidlow Baxter said, “There is no opportunity without opposition.” Every time you take a step towards God's plan, you can expect that the enemy will resist your pursuit of a life of righteousness. Paul acknowledged this reality when writing to Timothy when he said, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..." (2 Timothy 3:12).
What is your cause? To simply get through the deployment without losing your soul? To win relationship battles so you can prove you were right, and at what cost? Or are you pursuing a life worth living, knowing that God is on your side as He was with David, loving and leading you into paths of righteousness for His name's sake as His servant and child?
Be encouraged: Before David could fight Goliath on the battlefield as a young warrior, he fought and killed a lion and a bear on his own - with God to guide him, strengthen, and protect him. God is in your corner for your biggest battles and will help you take down the giants in your life so can live according to HIS plan, and not YOURS. Remember God's faithfulness in the past, how He has brought you this far, and by faith, continue your fight!
LEADER PRAYER: Lord, the giants we face intimidate us into accepting defeat! With great boldness in the cause of serving you and your kingdom, may we stride daily into battle, confident in your guiding strength so that like David, we may become victorious and continue to sing your praises.
Blessings on your week --