I live in the Pacific Northwest, where stories are often told of a giant primate-like creature that lurks in the remote woods and is occasionally sighted randomly by the hiker or lone hunter. This giant creature is known by the nickname Bigfoot, a reference to the huge footprints he supposedly leaves in soft soil. Although it is probably true that people have seen something in the woods, I remain a genuine doubter—but I am very thankful that I have never encountered this hairy, supposedly rotten-smelling giant.

Whether we believe “Bigfoot“ is real or not, if you are like most people, you will probably have to face a number of giants in your life. These giants come in many different shapes, sizes, and types. Some are physical in nature, like disease, sickness, or infirmity. Others may be more relational in nature, like a loss of friendship, divorce, or some form of betrayal. There are also emotional giants such as pride, unforgiveness, anger or lust. The one thing all giants have in common is that they can overcome us if not properly faced and defeated.

Most people are familiar with the story of a young man named David and the giant Goliath.

David’s heart was so stirred when he heard the behemoth blaspheme the God of Israel that he ran to the battlefield and successfully slew the creature with a stone to the forehead, a perfect shot from his sling. With barely time to gasp, the giant fell like a mighty tree to the ground.  Like every other Israelite there that day, David could have run from the battle…but instead he chose to run to it.

There are many lessons we can glean from David’s example of courage. Here are four that I’ve thought of:

Face your giant
As much as we all may want to run from the fight, we will never be able to outrun the giant. One thing every woodsman knows is that you should never run when confronted by a bear, cougar, or other predator because doing so signals them that you are just like any other prey. Instead, you must wave your arms, yell, and try to intimidate them so they run. Facing our giant means we do not live in denial of it, as if the problem isn’t real or doesn’t exist. We must face the facts so we can FAITH the facts.

Don’t try to live with a giant
Stop accepting and stop excusing the giant, because giants are by nature an enemy and they hinder your forward momentum with God. You cannot successfully cohabit with the enemy if you seek to walk successfully with God. There is no compromise that works. Giants see accommodation as weakness and it only encourages and emboldens them to do greater evil. If you have an emotional issue, relational problem, or other problematic situation, then deal with it before it deals with you. Giants cannot be ignored or transformed.  They need to be confronted.

Prepare yourself for the giant
David didn’t run into the battlefield unprepared. He had the courage to face Goliath because he had spent many hours preparing himself with the sling. A sling is a very difficult weapon to master and it takes hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to become lethally proficient with it. David must have released the stony projectile from his sling at rocks and trees and other targets time and time again. Eventually he would have graduated to small predators until, finally, he had the necessary skill and courage to take on the bear and lion when they challenged his flock. Like David, we must prepare ourselves by successfully overcoming the small challenges of life, and then eventually we can graduate to the bigger battles.  We must train our hands and hearts for the battlefield of life, which we do by using wisdom, becoming skillful, and increasing our dependence on God. David shot the stone but it is God who gave him the victory.

Giants can be defeated
One of the most valuable lessons of Scripture is that there is no giant too big for our God. Whether it be financial calamity, persecution, disease & sickness, or even death, every giant can be defeated. To David, Goliath was just a big target with a bulls-eye painted in the center of his forehead. David knew that with God there was no giant who could prevail against him. All giants can be defeated!

Life will always present us with tough situations, but we must have the heart of a warrior; and like David, we too can declare against the giants in our lives, “…I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”