Everyone has a story. Everyone has a Goliath to slay. The giant in our lives may be the circumstances of our birth or the culture of our community. The giants of our lives may be our own inner demons, or the voices in our heads that seek to control our emotions, feed our fears and keep us hopeless, defeated. The giant in our lives may be our own physical bodies (too fat, too thin, handicapped) that make us “different” that hold us back from competing in the challenges of life.
Whatever the form our personal Goliath takes – Goliath’s purpose is the same – to defeat us and keep us captive. Goliath will use any means to accomplish his purposes, but one of his most popular tactics, at least in my life, has be the use of fear and intimidation.
5 Stones of Faith
Good news, we have a way to defeat these giants! Like the shepherd boy, David, we have at our disposal “five smooth stones”.
These stones are five core beliefs that when accompanied by faith will defeat our personal Goliath’s schemes and protect us in future encounters.
Beth Moore labeled these five stones as:
Belief in God
Belief God will do what He says He will do.
Belief “we” are who He says we are
Belief we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us
Belief God’s word is active and alive in us.
Belief in God – the first fundamental stone
The belief in God is fundamental to receiving an answer to prayer. After all, it is impossible receive something from a non-entity. It is a matter of simple faith. As a young Jewish girl, I believed God existed. Nature itself, reflected an inexplicable awe that spoke “God” to my heart. So at age 13, when my Grandmother became deathly ill, I prayed she would be okay. Within hours of that prayer, doctors informed of what they termed “a miraculous turn around”. This gave me the courage to ask God about other things and to believe He would He would answer.
Belief God will do what He says He will do – God keeps His word is our second stone.
It is sometimes difficult to see that God will do what He says He will do. We are often tempted to forget this stone because we look at our circumstances rather than at God. For example, when I prayed about marrying my kid’s dad, I felt God say our marriage would glorify Him. At the end of eighteen years of reminding God of His promise, I found myself in divorce court, broken and defeated. It took some time, but, eventually, I was able to grasp the stone of believing God is faithful to do what He says He will do. With that stone in hand, I began to recognize the love of God at work. , I was able to offer hope and encouragement to others. The story of my journey my marriage and the restoration of my life has been a living story that impacted both men and women out of their darkness and into His marvelous light. Indeed, He glorified Himself.
Belief I am who God says I am – the third and for some, the most difficult stone to hurl.
In a world that is filled with critiquing women based on their appearance, it is often difficult to believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I would venture to say, this may be a difficult stone for many women to handle. The struggle can become more intense by other circumstances in our lives, such as constant rejection or as in my case, an abusive relationship. My emotionally abusive marriage of 18-years compounded the negative beliefs I already held. I learned, to survive, let alone thrive, I had to pick up this stone and remind myself of who God says I am. To reprogram my mind I did the following:
I made index cards with the truth about who God says I am written on the cards.
I read the index cards out loud every day.
I carried the index cards in my pocket and whenever a negative thought or feeling arose, I took out the cards and read them – out loud, quietly under my breath if need be.
I purchased a continuous play tape recorder and recorded myself speaking the truth about who God says I am. I played the recording at night while I was sleeping.
Believe we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us – Stone number four.
From the time I was a little girl I was a very fearful person. First, I feared authority. I can remember my dad telling me, “Yours is not to question why; yours is but to do or die.” My marriage to my kid’s dad played on my fears and kept me paralyzed. I never knew when my husband would come unglued in a fit of anger or rage. I walked on eggshells as I tried to keep peace in our home. Divorce was not an option, I feared the displeasure of God, my family and my pastor. Even more than that, I feared I could not earn a decent wage to support myself and our children.
I worked hard to gain the strength to pick up the stone of believing I can do all things through Christ. It took the strength of Christ to draw healthy boundaries and even more courage to keep those boundaries even when it did not bring peace or reconciliation but separation and eventual divorce. Learning to use the stone labeled, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, took a lot of practice. Over the years, I have had bosses who, like my dad and my husband intimidated and played upon my fears. But practice makes perfect and with increased accuracy, we can hit the target and slay the Goliath of fear. (By the way, I have never had another ogre boss!)
Believe His word is active and alive in us… the final and fifth stone
Believing that God’s word is active and alive in us, is vital to continued growth and sustained victory in the circumstances of our lives. New circumstances begat new challenges and other giants. It is possible to knock down our Goliath only to see him pop up again like the puppets in that Wacko pop up game at the carnival. It is the process of capturing our thoughts and lining them up against the truth of scripture the encourages the process and solidifying of change.
The proof is in the pudding –
Three and a half years ago my friends gave me a good-bye party. Among the precious things they gave me was a card with a message I will never forget. It reads:
You are more than brave,
The sea-parting, giant-defeating kind.
Oh, it may not feel that way in the day-to-day,
But it’s true.
Praying you always hear that often, find joy in it, and just keep on being
This is why I know –
Whatever your circumstances – whatever obstacles in your path, whatever choices you made in the past… Christ did not come to condemn, He came to save and to redeem.
I know, because I am one who once was lost, once was captive, and once was blind. I am one who by God’s grace and God’s grace alone was delivered from fear and hopelessness.
God is an equal opportunity promise keeper. He wants to do in your life what He did in my life and more! We just need to be willing. Willing to do the work of picking up the 5 small stones of believing God and taking Him at His word.
The willing soul receives the power of God. The person that says, “I am willing to be made willing to do Your good pleasure,” will know beyond a shadow of doubt the power to do what God is asking.
It may not happen over night. It is a process that starts with asking and is followed by doing. It means not giving into the voices that say, “this is what you are, who you are; this is what you will always be.” It means not letting your past define and dictate your future. AND, it requires picking up 5 small stones, aiming, firing and walking.
We serve a mighty God who enabled a young shepherd boy to slay a giant. Now it depends on you. Will pick up those 5 smooth stones and slay the giants in your life?