2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
I see far too much defeat in the body of Christ today! So when I read words like this in Scripture it stirs me up to seek this triumphant Christ. Imagine the divine impartation of grace given to us as we diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge everywhere we go. Let that sink in for a moment – stop here – meditate on this verse and let the fragrance of Christ and His triumph fill you up so that you can simply diffuse His fragrance.
Okay, now that you are smelling good, let me share how the Lord surprised me with a dramatic illustration (in my opinion) of how He leads us in triumph through David’s confrontation with Goliath. Every time I read this story I am convicted concerning David’s aggravation and prompt action in response to Goliath’s taunting while God’s people refused to put a halt to his defiance. David was offended by the insults Goliath hurled at Israel and at his God. He asked, “Who is the uncircumcised Philistine that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26b I want to be found faithful like David, not fearful like His people. David understood who he was, who the Israelites were, and Who God was, therefore their willingness to “receive” taunting was incredulous to David. He was not being presumptuous in his response to Goliath but was simply acting in the knowledge and relationship he had in the power of his God. He knew God was with him and with Israel, and he was confident in that fact.
You and I can be just as confident in our knowledge and access to the power of God to defeat any and every enemy we face, those who can kill our bodies and steal our souls. Though Goliath physically was taller and stronger than David, the seeming insurmountable odds that David would come out the victor were swallowed up in faith in a mighty and powerful God. There was no place for fear when facing a taunting giant. That is the place I want to be when facing giants in my life which taunt me.
Why did David have such confidence in God but the Israelites did not? The Lord showed me two reasons. The first is that the Israelites continued day after day listening to Goliaths threats and taunting, entertaining the “what if’s while David did not. In 1 Samuel 17:16 we read “And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.” That is no less than eighty times Goliath presented himself, a mammoth of a man with a booming voice, to the Israelites. Each time this is what he stood and cried out. “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us. I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” (1 Samuel 17:8-10)
What arrogance! What haughtiness! What disrespect! After hearing this threat and defiance eighty times, Saul and all Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid. (v.11) We would be too! Wait! We are! What giants are speaking into our lives? Illness? Disease? Lack? Unfulfilled hopes and dreams? Weariness?? Hopelessness? Frustration? Depression? Discouragement? If they are crying out and defying us, putting doubt into who we are no less than eighty times, guess what happens to us? The same thing as happened to Saul and all of Israel. We become discouraged, disappointed, in distress and greatly afraid.
Verse 23 of 1 Samuel 17 says “Then as he (David) talked with them (his brothers and others in the army), there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. SO, David heard them.” You see, Goliath spoke the same words for perhaps the eighty-first time, and THIS time David heard what was said. By now the Israelites were so petrified, they fled the scene and were “dreadfully” afraid. (v. 24) They had “listened” for so long that their fear had escalated, and they could not even be in the presence of Goliath. They ran! David on the other hand was shocked or perhaps appalled would be a better description. He spoke to the people about Goliath’s defiance, and then ended up face to face with Saul. In the king’s presence David said “Let no man’s heart fail because of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (v.32)
David did not let the words of the giant settle into his spirit and dictate his next move. He had determined he won before the battle was even waged. David tells Saul of how the Lord had delivered him from the lion and bear and would deliver him from the Philistine as well. He did not listen to the lies of the giant eighty times. He listened ONCE! Hearing Goliath’s words one time was enough for him to take action!
Beloved, we must not listen more than once to the taunting and threats of the giants in this world who stand before us. Hear it – then do something about it! Go to the King of Kings! Trust that just as He has delivered you in times past He will do it again and then move on!
The second reason for David’s confidence and the Israelites lack of confidence is discovered when we see what he did with his time when he was not fighting giants. David was a shepherd. He developed a love relationship with God in the wilderness through worship, adoration, communion, and prayer. While out in the fields God and David were alone together. It was during this alone time God convinced David of who he was in Him, including being a giant killer. David KNEW God was His protector, shield, and defense. He knew this “out” of relationship with the living God. David’s lack of fear was not because he was strong, mighty, or determined, but rather because he knew God was with Him and had already provided all he needed to overcome this giant.
What we do with our time when we are not fighting giants will determine whether we WILL even fight giants or not. Knowledge about something empowers us to walk in wisdom. When we know God, we know Who He is and what He can do. We do not even entertain the idea of losing. When we know He instructs us not to walk in fear we apply wisdom to our thoughts and actions, spending our time as David did while tending sheep, worshipping His Great Shepherd. Spending time with God fills us with overwhelming peace, joy, and boldness to go out in hope and faith, expecting miracles, doing the things Jesus did in full confidence of victory. Knowing God is with us causes fear to move aside and faith to rise up.
We witness two deliverances occurring in the battle between David and Goliath. David was delivered from the hands of the enemy and the enemy was delivered and given over to David. God was responsible for both deliverances! David defeated the giant in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel. David proclaimed the battle belonged to Lord, and the Lord would deliver him from the Philistine as well. (v.37) David shared his own deliverance with King Saul who also knew God to some degree. But to the enemy David proclaimed something a little different. David declared TO Goliath, the Lord would deliver him into David’s hand. (v.46) And again he reminds Goliath that God will give him into the hands of the assembly, God’s people. (v.47)
Why is it important to note the difference? When we believe in God and His power, we KNOW He will deliver us from all evil. We pray it in the Lord’s Prayer – Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever! Amen! We confidently yet humbly come before our God and proclaim with the saints our knowledge and faith in God’s ability and willingness to deliver us. But when we stand before our enemy, we stand in the authority of Jesus Christ, and we declare to the giants, they will be delivered and given over to us as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We stand in the authority of Jesus Christ and He chooses to not only deliver us from evil, but He delivers evil into our hands. Praise be to God!
THIS is how we need to approach our giants today! The victory is not in saying the battle belongs to the Lord, but actually believing and trusting the battle belongs to the Lord. He will deliver us and He will DELIVER and GIVE the enemy over to us.
If you are fighting a battle today – make a decision to trust God and spend time with Him – alone. If you are weary of coming at the giants in your life with spear and sword, lay those down, and pick up your faith in the Almighty God! Quit listening to the taunts and defiance of the enemy.
This could mean some drastic changes in your life! But what have you got to lose? Your life? Your reputation? Your dignity? Ah, we have nothing to lose! God ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ! Every place we go He diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge! Can you smell Him? Giants! Beware! Triumphant Christians are on the loose!