Five Smooth Stones
HOW do we slay the giants in our day of atheism, individualism, narcissism, sexism, racism, Capitalism and all the other “isms” that have brought humanity to the point of self-destructing? David answer was:
It is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.
Ask yourself this: Have you ever stood on the threshold of something new or painful or difficult in your life and wondered if you were up to the challenge of dealing with it or enduring it or overcoming it? I don’t consider myself to be terribly courageous but there are some days when I feel unstoppable at anything I put my mind and hands to and other days when getting out of bed without saying or doing something stupid is the only thing that resembles success for that day. Maybe this happens to you as well. You’re great at your job and everyone thinks you’re perfect at what you do. Then you receive a promotion that is well deserved and suddenly all the people who thought you could do no wrong question whether or not you can do anything right. You love your spouse more than anything and you seem to relate and communicate at a level reserved for only the most blessed relationships. Then, with the passage of time you no longer relate or communicate at any level except at a destructive level and every day seems like a battle to try and get back to the way things used to be. You’re certain that you’re following God’s call for your life but the obstacles seem insurmountable.
It would seem that we all go through periods in our lives when we feel like life’s warriors and conquerors and periods when we’d prefer to lock ourselves in a closet and hope life doesn’t find us until next week sometime. Why do you suppose this happens to us? Well, it’s probably a combination of a number of things: Stress, fatigue, or maybe something we ate last night. Most likely, though, it is because we fall into the trap of relying exclusively on our own frail strength, distorted wisdom, and foolish guile to accomplish life’s tasks or overcome life’s obstacles. I know that sounds strange—how else would we accomplish life’s task except through our own strength, wisdom, and guile? What if you knew, with relative certainty, that your actions were according to God’s will? What if you were confident that you were acting in obedience to God? Wouldn’t your strength, wisdom, and guile take on a different dimension; a divine dimension? Who, then, would be responsible for the outcome of your sincere efforts—you or God? How do we get to the point where we can say that no matter the outcome, we are acting according to God’s will and trust that He will use our efforts to accomplish His purpose? What would it take to have such courage and confidence that God will work in us and through us to accomplish His specific task? What if I told you that all it takes is Five Smooth Stones (I Sam 17:40) and God can accomplish anything he wants through you? King David learned this lesson very early, even before he was king and received the promised perpetuity of his throne.
We must learn that when God acts, He makes a statement that is unmistakable and David’s battle with Goliath was no different as we see in (I Sam 17:51-52). The message of killing Goliath wasn’t loud enough so David ran to where Goliath was lying face down in the dirt, drew Goliath’s sword from its sheath and cut Goliath’s head off with it. Now that’s a statement! And the Philistines heard it loud and clear because, either in their fear or in confusion, they forgot the surrender terms established by Goliath and ran for Gath and Ekron; two of the five cities in the Philistine confederation of cities. I’m guessing that surrender would have been a better option for the Philistines because the armies of Israel chased them all the way to the gates of the two cities all the while littering the roadside with dead Philistine soldiers. Think about this for a minute. Less than an hour before these events, the great and mighty armies of the Lord were cowering in their tents! It would be a mistake to think that it was because of one skillfully placed stone delivered by the hand of a handsome shepherd with a nice tan that the entire Philistine army was on the run. Think about it, they weren’t losing the fight, they didn’t even engage in the fight! They ran the minute they recognized they were overmatched. Not by a simple shepherd but by a God so mighty that He could use anyone or anything to accomplish His purpose—even a simple shepherd armed with just Five Smooth Stones.
We are confronted with giants every day of our lives at school, at work, and at home. Some of us battle giants within ourselves as well every day—substance abuse, addiction, self-hatred, depression, anxiety, cancer, MS, paralysis, or some other malady that taunts us and threatens to destroy us. Let me encourage you to do something today, tomorrow and every day for the rest of your life—face the giant or giants in your life, and with Five Smooth Stones in your arsenal tell your giant that “today the battle belongs to the Lord!”