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How to Overcome Your Giants | Heroes of the Bible

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2023 3:00 am

How to Overcome Your Giants | Heroes of the Bible

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 2, 2023 3:00 am

God has never encountered a problem or a crisis too big for Him to handle. He’s never said, “Uh-oh.” So when we encounter something we can’t handle, we need to look to our God who can handle anything. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, as Pastor Greg explores stories of the heroes of the Bible, we’ll see what happened when David faced a giant-sized problem. It’s a familiar account, but sometimes we miss the practical application. That’s Pastor Greg’s focus as we begin today’s study.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners .

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie has encouraging insight for all of us living under the shadow of problems and pressures that seem like giants. God has never encountered a problem or a crisis too big for Him to handle.

He's never said, uh-oh. So when we encounter something we can't handle, we need to look to our God who can handle anything. And today on A New Beginning, as Pastor Greg Laurie explores stories of the heroes of the Bible, we'll see what happened when David faced a giant-sized problem. It's a familiar account, but sometimes we miss the practical application. That's Pastor Greg's focus as we begin today's study.

Grab your Bibles and turn to 1 Samuel chapter 17. The title of my message is How to Overcome Your Giants. How to Overcome Your Giants. So we all have giants that we face in life. By that I mean something that is dark and sinister prowling around the perimeter of your life.

It could be an insurmountable problem or some kind of an issue. You've tried to fell this giant, but it only seems to loom larger with the passing of time. Maybe you overcame your giant, so to speak, for a month, two months, maybe even three months, and you thought you would beat him, but then he came back with a vengeance. Now you're beginning to wonder if that giant you're facing is even stoppable.

For instance, it could be a giant of fear. There's something that is frightening you right now, something that keeps you up late at night and it just grips you and it doesn't go away. And you're constantly asking, what if this happens?

What if that happens? Maybe it's a fear of the future. Maybe it's a fear of the unknown.

That's your giant. Or it might be the giant of a personal sin. A certain area of your life where you are weak and vulnerable and you fall in that area over and over again. You have victory over it for a few weeks, maybe for a month, but then you fall again. It could be pride, envy, gluttony, pornography. The list goes on and on. In a related way, you could be facing a giant of addiction.

You know, you've been clean and sober for three years and then suddenly you fell off the wagon and you can't believe this has happened to you. And so this thing is a giant and it taunts you day in and day out. It could be a giant of a threat, if you will. Someone is threatening you. Maybe it's online. Maybe it's a lawsuit.

Maybe it's even a physical threat against your life. Or it might be a different kind of giant. What seems to be an insurmountable problem, an unsolvable issue.

Maybe it's an unsaved child or a husband or a wife that doesn't believe and it doesn't seem like they'll ever believe. Listen. Your giant is basically anyone or anything that seeks to control you, hurt you, destroy you, and torment you in life. And your giant seems too big to overcome.

So how do you overcome a giant? We're going to look at the very familiar story of David and Goliath. Many of us have heard this since our childhood and because of that it takes on sort of a fairy tale way about it. And it is not a fairy tale.

It was a historical event. There really was a king named David. There really was a giant of a man, nine feet six inches tall, made of solid muscle named Goliath.

But I want to point out that it has a lot to say to us today. Now as we've already seen, David was a very complex person. He was both a warrior and a worshipper.

He was both a lover and a fighter. He was the unknown shepherd boy living in obscurity in the tiny little village of Bethlehem that was handpicked by God. Not just to be the greatest king in the history of Israel, but to be a part of the most exclusive genealogy in all of human history.

The genealogy of Jesus Christ. And we remember the story of how the Lord had rejected King Saul from being the king. And the Lord instructed the prophet Samuel to go to Bethlehem and there in the house of Jesse he would find the next king.

And as Samuel arrived in town it was a big deal. Prophets didn't show up in little places like Bethlehem. Jesse proudly paraded his seven strapping sons.

They indeed were the magnificent seven. And as the prophet looked at each one the Lord said no, no, no, no, no that's the one. Finally after he reviewed all seven sons the prophet said do you have any other sons? Jesse says yeah I've got one more son. He's out in the field watching his flock of sheep.

He's a little weird. He's a musician and writes songs about God. Yeah bring him in Samuel says. So in comes David bounding with enthusiasm and energy and the Lord says to the prophet that's my boy. Anoint him. So Samuel the prophet pours oil on the head of King David and now he is officially anointed to become the king of Israel. But time passed and nothing really took place after that.

David just went back to watching the sheep. Well as it turns out a new conflict was developing between Israel and their long time enemy the Philistines. And so they came to a place called the Valley of Elah. The Philistines were on one side.

The Israelites were on the other side. And in the middle was this giant hulk of a man as I pointed out nine feet six inches of solid muscle covered in body armor challenging someone from Israel side to come and fight him. He basically made a deal. He says come on let's make a deal.

Send your best guy out here and let's fight. And if he wins we the Philistines will serve you. But if I win you the Israelites will serve us. And no one wanted to take him up on this offer. By the way don't believe the promises or the threats of giants.

They'll lie to you. King Saul would have been the likely candidate. He after all was head and shoulders above everybody else. But there's no way he was going to go down there in the Valley of Elah and face off with Goliath. So meanwhile David's father Jesse said son I want you to go to the front lines and visit your brothers. Take them some food. Here's some bread. Here's some cheese.

Take it to your brothers. So basically it was a pizza delivery or a quesadilla delivery if you will. So David shows up. He's looking around. He hears this giant man bellowing from the Valley of Elah asking for someone to take him on. And David's looking at how no one is answering his call and he's perplexed. Meanwhile his brother Eli sees him and says why are you even here. You're here because you're proud. And did you leave your little flock of sheep to come play with the big boy.

Sort of a loose paraphrase there. And David's thinking I'm kind of thinking I might go down there and face off with that guy. I think he can be brought down. After all David was a courageous young man. He had killed lions and bears protecting his little flock of sheep. He wanted to volunteer and go down and face off with Goliath because in the eyes of David though Goliath was big God was bigger. You know we have giants. They're big but God's way bigger than your giant. That's how David saw it.

So let's see if we can identify some principles of giant killing. Let's look at 1 Samuel chapter 17 starting in verse 40. By the way I'm reading from the New Living Translation. David picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd's bag. Then armed only with his shepherd's staff and sling he started across to fight Goliath. Goliath walked out toward David with a shield bearer ahead of him.

Snearing in contempt at this ruddy faced boy he roared at David am I a dog that you come at me with a stick. And he cursed David by the names of his gods. Goliath yelled come over here and I'll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals.

I love the response of David. David shouted in reply you come to me with sword spear and javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord God Almighty. The God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. Today David says the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals and the whole world will know there is a God in Israel. And everyone will know the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people.

It's his battle not ours. The Lord will give you to us. I love this verse. As Goliath moved closer to attack David quickly ran out to meet him. Verse 49 reaching into a shepherd's bag taking out a stone he hurled it from his sling and hit the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank in and Goliath stumbled and fell face downward on the ground. Now David finishes the job.

First Samuel 1750. So David triumphed over the Philistine giant with only a stone and a sling. And since he had no sword he ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath. And David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw their champion was dead they turned and ran. Is that not an awesome story?

I love it. What a victory. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites are reinvigorated.

David the shepherd boy had cut down the giant Goliath. Pastor Greg Laurie will have more from this triumphant message in just a moment. I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home.

Exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this we even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at harvest.org. Well we're standing on the sidelines today watching David emerge victorious in his battle with Goliath from 1 Samuel 17. Pastor Greg continues his message now. So what do we learn from this about defeating our own giants?

If you're taking notes here's point number one. We all have giants. We all have giants. We all face severe hardships. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Temptations that come our way. 1 Corinthians 10 13 says remember temptations come into your life. They are no different than what others experience but God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it.

When you are tempted God will show you a way out so you will not give into it. So while it is true that we all have giants it is also true that every giant is defeatable. Let me repeat that while it is true that we all have giants it is also true that every giant is defeatable as shown in this story. Giants don't start out big they start out small. It is hard to imagine but Goliath was once a newborn baby. Probably a really big baby. Nobody wanted to change his diaper. Time to change Goliath's diaper dear. I did it last time.

It took me two days you know. He was a very aggressive baby I would think. And a high need baby probably. And then he ultimately became a child. Then he became a teenager. Then he became an adult man.

As I said nine feet six inches. So in the same way our giants our problems start out small then they become big. Little things turn into big things.

Listen. Little liberties. I will put that word liberties in quotes. Little liberties can turn into big vices. I read an article the other day about a problem they are having in Florida with giant African snails.

Did any of you read this? And I by the way I think snails are gross. Ok. And this it is even grosser when they are giant. Giant African snails. They reproduce quickly. They lay twelve hundred eggs in a year. And if that is not gross enough they carry the parasite lungworm that leads to meningitis.

So here it is. But then there is some lady I read about in this article that made a pet out of the snail. I mean why would you make a pet out of a giant snail?

Come on lady. What is happening here? It has even gotten worse. Now they are pushing snails around in strollers. That is even worse than pushing a dog in a stroller. But then again snails are very slow. So if you took it for a walk it would be a very slow walk.

Come on snail. No they don't push it. Probably someone pushes it in a stroller. I don't know. But you know it starts off little then it becomes big. That is what sin is like. Oh I can handle this sin. I can handle this vice. I can handle this issue. And then one day it has complete control of you. Right.

That is the point I am trying to make. You make sin your pet then it consumes you. And it can be big problems too. Maybe it is like this child you have that won't turn to Christ. Or this husband that wants nothing to do with your faith or going to church with you. Or a wife that could be that way. And you pray and you pressure and you nag and you threaten and nothing happens. And days turn to weeks and months turn to years and years turn to decades. You give up all hope that they will ever come to Christ.

But that brings us to principle number two. David knew the battle belonged to the Lord. David knew the battle belonged to the Lord. Look at verse 47. It is His battle.

Not ours. The Lord will give you to us. What are you facing right now? The battle belongs to the Lord.

Committed to the Lord. Let's go back to when you wake up in the middle of the night and you are flooded with all these issues and fears and such. Commit each one to the Lord. Lord there is nothing I can do laying in this bed right now. But I am committing this to you and I am asking you to intervene in this situation. Don't worry about anything Paul reminds us. But pray about everything and the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. The battle belongs to the Lord.

Number three. Attack your giants. Attack your giants. Earlier in the story we read that the Israelites said, how is this man Goliath come up into our camp? That is 1 Samuel 17 25. In other words Goliath wasn't just down in the valley.

He had climbed up and was walking through the camp of Israel. Hey hey who wants to fight me? Come on. You are big enough to fight me.

Let's go. So he was right up in their face. Up in their grill as they say. And he wasn't going away. And that is what happens with giants. You compromise here.

You compromise there. Now they have invaded your life. They are in your front room. They are in every room.

And they are becoming even more powerful. So what do you do? You don't run from giants. You attack them. You don't negotiate with them. You don't yell at them. You kill them.

You don't say I will get to this one day. You deal with your giant right now. Look at verse 48. As Goliath moved closer to attack David ran out quickly to meet him. He didn't run from Goliath. He didn't just hold his ground against Goliath.

He attacked Goliath. And you must do the same. Let's say you have a problem with drinking.

Let's say you have a problem with drugs. And this is an ongoing problem that has not gone away. You have got to deal with it. Stop rationalizing it. Stop hiding it. Stop making excuses for it.

Take it out of the dark and put it in the light of day. And deal with it. And that brings me to my next point.

Point number four. Finish the giant off. Finish the giant off.

So David thought I am not going to give this guy a second chance. I think he had seen the familiar scene that often shows up in movies. And the scene is the hero enters the story. He defeats the villain.

Right? And then the villain is dead. And the hero always turns his back on the villain.

Maybe he is calling somebody or he is doing something else or saying a line. He is facing the camera. And we know it is going to happen. All of a sudden the villain who is surely dead stands up. And he has the knife. And he is coming at the hero. David already saw that movie.

He said this is not going to happen to me. I am not going to give this giant a second chance. 1 Samuel 1751. He ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath. And he used it to kill the giant.

And cut his head off. Now by the way Goliath probably had a pretty thick neck. So I don't think it was one fell. It was more like.

I am sorry. But you know he was a big guy. He had a thick neck.

It may have taken a few moments. Why did he cut off his head? Because Goliath was still breathing. Now you might say, but the poor giant.

No, no. No poor giant. You don't coddle giants. You kill giants. Well why should I kill my giant?

Listen to this. If you don't kill your giant, your giant will kill you. That is your choice. You kill it or it kills you. Kill or be killed.

He cut off his head. Pastor Greg Laurie reminding us we're in a battle. A life or death battle. And we have to take decisive action to overcome the giants in our lives. Glad you're along for our series called Heroes of the Bible here on A New Beginning.

So much good insight is coming our way. And Pastor Greg has a final comment before he wraps up today's study. Well Pastor Greg, my wife and I saw Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon in the theaters some months ago. And we both loved it. There's so much about his life that we didn't know.

And with so many interviews with those who knew him best, you know, other entertainers and family members, we really felt like we knew him after the film. Excellent. I see you have a copy of the new DVD on the table.

I'm hoping you won't notice me walking off with it when the broadcast is over. Yes, well we want everybody listening to walk off with one of these if they want to because for the first time ever we are offering a very exclusive version of the Johnny Cash DVD. It's called Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon.

I wrote a book by the same title. This is a major documentary film produced by Lionsgate, the Kingdom Story Company. And it's out there. Yes, it's streaming on platforms, but I'm offering you this new Johnny Cash DVD for your gift of any size. And it also has bonus content.

And this is really important because you won't find that on the streaming platforms. But we filmed a special wrap-up message where I talked about Johnny's life. I brought the gospel into it, complete with a presentation of the gospel and how a person can come to Christ and even a prayer. So when you order Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon and DVD from us, you will get that bonus content and also you'll get a streaming code.

So what that means is you can download it into your phone, your tablet, your computer and have the DVD, which you can keep or give to someone. Be a great gift, especially to someone that does not know the Lord. Seems like everybody loves Johnny Cash. You know, he's an iconic figure. There's not that many icons out there, but Johnny's one of them. He was loved by my grandparents' generation.

That's where I first heard about him. My parents, my generation, and the young generation today. It seems as though each new generation discovers the man in black and loves his music.

It just transcends time. You know, to describe his music and say, well, it's country music. Well, it is in that category, but in reality, it's kind of just Johnny Cash music. There was only one Johnny Cash. Only one man that spoke is, he spoke and sang is, he sang that familiar boom chicka boom sound, you know, that he developed and actually toward the end of his career produced some of his most amazing music and his spiritual life is similar. It's sort of like bookends.

He started strong, had a lot of lapses, and he finished strong. So it's an inspirational story. This is not just a music documentary. This is a story of the man. The man who was transformed.

The man in black who was changed by the Lord. And it's a story of hope and redemption that I think anyone who watches will be inspired by. So order your copy of Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon that includes bonus content and a streaming code for your gift of any size. One word about that, we have to pay a little bit more for this resource than we would normally pay for something we would offer you. So I'm going to ask you all to be very generous in what you send to Harvest Ministries. And when you send this gift, we will invest it in evangelism and the teaching of the word of God. So order your copy of Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon now out on DVD.

Yeah, that's right. And we're eager to get a copy on its way to you. Thanks for your generosity as you partner with us so these daily studies can continue to come your way. You can call us anytime 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300. Again, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time Pastor Greg has more insight on defeating the giants of our lives. But he offers this closing thought before we go for the day. I was just watching one of these Star Wars reboots that's called Obi-Wan Kenobi. And it's really quite good. So in this particular episode that I saw, Obi-Wan is having a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. And Vader is prevailing. But suddenly Obi-Wan makes a comeback and he's beating Darth Vader down. And he brings his lightsaber down on the helmet of Darth Vader and splits it open.

And you can see the face of Anakin in there. And then all of a sudden Obi-Wan Kenobi says, I'm sorry Anakin. Don't kill him. Kill him. Well he doesn't kill him. And guess what? Darth Vader comes back for more, right?

So don't apologize. Finish the giant off. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-02 05:21:10 / 2023-08-02 05:31:06 / 10

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