Some problems loom so large over the landscape of your life that they seem insurmountable. But, just as David defeated Goliath in Bible times, you can defeat modern giants like persistent sins, overwhelming fears, and powerful addictions.
God will give you some spiritual stones to kill these giants so you can enjoy the freedom He wants for you.
Here’s how you can crush persistent problems in your life:
Identify the giants in your life. Ask God to help you clearly understand exactly what’s threatening you. Is anxiety paralyzing you? Are you bogged down in depression? Do cravings for alcohol, drugs, food, or sex overwhelm you and lead you down the wrong roads? Are anger, pride, or laziness spoiling your relationships? Honestly examine your life so you know what to fight. Think about the origins of your giants. Pour out your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.
Look for God’s strength in your weakness. Realize that God can take your greatest failures and weaknesses and turn them into your greatest successes and strengths. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit each day. Understand that your problems can become powerful tools for your healing, helping you trust God more and open your mind up to the transformation He brings. Remember that, in Christ, you have been forgiven. So decide to think, feel, and act as a forgiven person. Know that there is real hope for your future. Confess your weakness to God and rely on His strength rather than your own.
Be determined. Understand that your spiritual battles in this fallen world will last your whole life. Ask God to give you the determination and endurance you need to keep fighting, and renewed courage and strength for each battle. Rest in the knowledge that God will walk beside you every day.
Know who God says you are. Don’t let the giant of shame defeat you. Fight it by embracing the truth of who God says you are – a person He has created uniquely and wonderfully to fulfill great purposes; someone whom He loves deeply and unconditionally. Base your identity on who you are as God’s child rather than what you have done in the past, what others say about you, your own feelings or temptations, etc. Have confidence that your identity rests solely upon the truth of who your Father says you are.
Gain a divine perspective. Don’t let the giant of discouragement defeat you. Ask God to give you His perspective on your problems so you can see that there is hope for you. Notice how God is working to bring good out of any bad situation in your life. Thank God for the creative ways He has engineered, and is still engineering, your life. Then face your circumstances from God’s point of view.
Tend to your wounds. Consider what the pain in your life is trying to tell you. Ask God to help you understand where you are hurting and how He wants to heal you. Memorize and meditate on Scripture verses that can be packed into your wounds to foster healing. Let your scars remind you of God’s healing work in your life.
Pursue intimacy with God. Don’t let the giant of fear defeat you. Know that you can enjoy God’s protection when you draw close to Him. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a glimpse of what your life would be like if you were free from all fear.
Enthrone God in your heart. Don’t let the giant of evil desires defeat you. Humble yourself and acknowledge that it’s God – not you – who should be in control of your life. Sacrifice selfish agendas and honestly seek God’s will. Worship God, and as you do, get a better sense of His love and majesty. Ask Him to give you the faith to you’ll need to trust and obey Him in all aspects of your life.
Pursue new dreams for the future. Don’t let the giant of enslavement to sin defeat you. Ask God to help you envision a future that’s much better than your present life. Ask Him to fill your mind with images of the future that will motivate you to set goals now for the things you want to accomplish for God – and begin working toward them. Begin using your God-given talents and seeking to live to fulfill your fullest potential in life. Don’t be limited by your own limitations. Instead, ask God for the resources you need (time, money, help from others, etc.) to accomplish His grand dreams for you.
Exchange lies for the truth. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas of your life in which you have believed a lie, and to lead you into all truth. Replace a wrong belief system (which leads to wrong feelings and then wrong behaviors) with a right belief system that will lead to healthy feelings and behaviors.
Listen for God’s voice. Tune out anything in your life that is distracting you from hearing God speak to you. Learn to be still and listen to God expectantly in prayer. Ask God questions. Listen for God’s voice calling to you from the pages of Scripture, circumstances, thoughts in your mind, and other creative ways. Consider the ways He has spoken to you in the past and ask Him to make you sensitive to His voice in the present.
Clear away whatever is blocking your progress. Ask God to reveal what sins might be hindering your relationship with Him – and therefore your spiritual growth. Don’t try to hide anything from God. Instead, decide to worship Him to gain the intimacy you need to break free of sin.
Give thanks. Tell God how grateful you are for all He has done, is doing, and will do in your life. Be specific. Then praise Him for who He is, mentioning some of His wonderful qualities and why they mean a lot to you. Acknowledge the worth you place on God because of who He is in your life.
Adapted from Giant Killers: Crushing Strongholds, Securing Freedom in Your Life, copyright 2005 by Dennis Jernigan. Published by WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc., Colorado Springs, Co., www.waterbrookpress.com.
Dennis Jernigan is one of the most popular and prolific worship leaders of our time, having written more than 2,200 songs, including “You Are My All in All” and “Hands Lifted High.” Dennis and his wife, Melinda, along with their nine children, live in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where they serve at New Community Church.