When you look out over the land of sin in your life it probably looks terribly big and undefeatable. You have been contending with those sins your whole life and more than likely given up and given in because it’s what your heart desires to do. Most of the time we enjoy our sin, we think we will give up sin ‘some day’ but not today, today it’s too hard and we are too tired and people are so annoying. And we fear if we kick sin out life won’t be fun any more.
Instead of perceiving moving forward in the barren land of sin as something to be dreaded, we need to re-think it as the land of victory. God has already overcome sin and therefore as you move forward by his power you can be victorious, not by your power but by His. Look at the story of David and Goliath, a huge giant stood between David and victory, but he believed God would overcome his enemy…our enemies are Gods enemies…and he picked up five stones and by faith received victory.
I’ve heard it said David picked up five stones because Goliath had four brothers. If that is true then David was so sure of God’s victory he only picked up one stone for each enemy. Don’t you want to live like that? Instead of trembling at the prospect of once again falling in defeat at the feet of temptation and having the life crushed out of us by sin, we need to follow Davids example and prepare for victory. When Goliath crashed to the ground, the Israelite army rejoiced. Can you imagine their fear and trembling as a boy walked across the field with only a sling shot for protection to do the job of a grown man? A job they were too afraid to do? If he lost the fight, they would be servants of the Philistines.
The land of fear now rejoiced in freedom from the enemy and that is what happens when we rely on God to overcome our sin for us, we pick up our stones, we prepare to resist, our hearts desire victory and we know our God can defeat the enemy for us. We know our God will defeat the enemy for us because He has promised. Just like the Israelites when God defeats the enemy we rejoice in our freedom.
David’s weapon of choice was his slingshot and with God’s help he slew the enemy. We need to carry our weapons into the war against sin. I’m going to suggest to you that we will not get far in our battle against sin without putting on our shoes of peace. (Ephesians 6:15) Have you ever tried walking across gravel without your shoes on? Or maybe just across pavement that has little pieces of this and that on it? It’s frustrating and painful and annoying isn’t it? And isn’t that how life is when you aren’t wearing your shoes of peace? People are annoying, frustrating situations occur, but with Gods peace those people and situations are no longer annoying. So how do you attain this kind of peace? Only humility can give you this kind of peace. Without humility, when something annoying happens to us, we say something like this,”How dare they do that to me?” When you have Gods humility living in you it no longer matters that someone took your place in line or you were cut off in traffic or your husband never replaces the toilet paper roll. Humility allows us to live in the land of peace.
The five stones we need to pick up and prepare to fight the enemy with are humility, peace, strength, victory and joy.
The first stone we need to pick up when we face the enemy of temptation is humility. Humility admits we are unable to overcome Goliath on our own. Humility will allow God to slay our giants and create a land of peace for us to live in. Peace will give us strength…isn’t it true that in a roomful of chaos it’s the peaceful person who has strength because nothing can ruffle their feathers? They are not out of control because the peace of God is in control of their land. The strength they now possess will give them victory. Victory over the Goliaths in life. Most of our Goliaths really aren’t that big, they are more like the size of a small stone that has gotten in your shoe, but that small stone is incredibly annoying and inconvenient and might as well be the size of a boulder at the irritation it causes us.
David’s victory over Goliath caused great joy. Joy for David and joy for the rest of the Israelites. When we live in victory over temptation, including the small irritations of life, then not only do we live in joy but it will create joy in those around us also. So humility will give us peace and peace will give us strength and strength will give us victory and victory gives us joy and joy walks hand in hand with peace.
David walked out to face Goliath with humility knowing only God could slay Goliath. No one else would do it because they were relying only on their own strength to kill Goliath and they knew they couldn’t do it. We don’t need to worry about the death of Goliath, the only death we need to be concerned about is our own. Will we die to self and live in the land of peace or will we continue to shrink our land by holding tightly to what we believe we deserve? Do you want to live your life fighting for your place in line and grumbling about how unfair life is or would you rather live in the land where God fights your battles and you enjoy the rewards of His peace and joy?
Living in the land of peace does not mean Goliath will no longer tempt you, it also does not mean the little rocks won’t get in your shoes and try to annoy you, what it does mean is that the rocks will no longer annoy you and Goliath will no longer have the power to defeat you.