The last couple of posts we have been talking about David and the giant in his life called Goliath. We noticed that the difference between David and Saul’s army was how they looked at the eight foot giant. The soldiers of the Israelite army only saw how small they were in comparison with how huge Goliath was, while David, not diminishing the giant’s size, just saw God as bigger.
So, how do we put into practice the slaying of giants in our own lives instead of running away in fear as Saul’s army did every day that Goliath came out to challenge them to battle?
In Ephesians 3:14-21 we have Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians and I think in that prayer we can find some principles that can help us deal with the dragons we face in life. Paul tells the Ephesians to get down on their knees when they talk to God. “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” (3:14,15) What is the reason that the Christians should bow their knees before God? The answer is in verse 13, “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”
Paul is suffering. He is in prison and separated from his travels, his preaching ministry, family and friends. But he is concerned over the Ephesians and not himself. He doesn’t want them to lose hope and give up because he is suffering. Instead he tells them get down on their knees, just as he does, and takes everything to God who slays giants.
I love the idea in verse 15 that God knows the name of every family in heaven and on earth. When we bow before the God of the Universe we are not talking to someone who has no idea of whom we are, but instead to the God who named us, and knows everything about us, and everything about everyone in our family. When we pray for family matters God knows the people we pray for and he knows they’re suffering and is more than willing to answer.
The other evening my friend Bill drew my attention to a powerful verse in the book of Job. “After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite; ‘My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.’” Job 43:7-9
Eliphaz and his two friends have said some things about God that were offensive and accusing. But God’s hand is stayed against them because of the intercessory prayer of Job. It is amazing to know that when loved ones speak out against God with malice and folly our prayers for them have an impact in their lives. When we face giants that are too big for us we need to go to our knees before God and humbly present our needs with the assurance that God hears and cares.
In Ephesians 3:16 Paul writes, “that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” Here is the key to fighting giants and that is to admit we are incapable of defeating them on our own. The real battle in standing up to the Goliath’s in our lives is to have the inner strength to stay firm in our resolve and trust that God is looking out for us. Paul’s prayer is that the Ephesians would receive strength through the Holy Spirit to let them have assurance in Christ.
In a world where everyone is looking for a systematic step by step guideline for dealing with suffering Paul’s words may seem quite nebulous, but they aren’t. He goes to the heart of the matter and that is accepting the power of the Holy Spirit into the very core of our being that allows us to deal with giants. When we come to a place where we realize we are not alone and that battle is Gods (1 Sam. 17:47) we can rest easier.
We don’t have space in this post to look at the rest prayer, but it is worth your while to study verses seventeen to nineteen. But it is verse twenty that sums up our relationship with God when facing giants. “Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” What a powerful promise to believe in. The power that is at work within us (v.14) allows us to trust in Jesus to do, “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.”
When we pray about our suffering or the suffering of others it is important to remember these giants are bigger than us and we need the power of God to know how to deal with them. This power is given to us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that gives us strength to put our lives into the hands of God. He is then able to do more than we could imagine in regards to our heartfelt prayers. God does not promise to make things work out the way we want them to necessarily, but He promises He will do more abundantly than we could possibly ask or think.
Kneel before God and pray your sincere request asking for the mercy and love of God to intervene. As the Holy Spirit gives you wisdom and power you will find solutions and directions on how to respond to the problems that are beyond your own wisdom. Please take a few moments to read Jeremiah 9:23, 24 to see that wisdom is to, “understand and know” God; to know God is to trust Him with our life.