In Biblical times, the valleys signified places of warfare. Many of the Bible’s most epic battles were fought in valleys. Many of our own battles are fought in the valleys of life, but they aren’t meant to be places of defeat and discouragement. We aren’t meant to wander aimlessly in uncertainty, doubt and fear. Valleys can be places of great transformation.
Last week I was in a hotel bathroom and noticed a mirror on the counter. I flipped on the switch, peered over the glass and immediately recoiled in horror! How did I get so old? I cautiously looked again and thought, “do I really look like that?” It took me a few seconds to realize I had looked through the magnifying side. It didn’t help that I was positioned over the mirror, which made face hang down. Later, as I unpacked my suitcase, I felt the Lord say, “That’s what my children do. They magnify their problems when they should be magnifying their God!”
I thought about all the ways we magnify our problems. Worrying, complaining, venting, comparing, competing, gossiping, arguing. Every one of these bad habits makes our problems bigger. We spend more time thinking about our problems than we do praying to our God. We exalt our problems over God and wonder why we feel anxious and alone.
When we enter His courts with praise, He will enter our valley with power!
David understood this.
Goliath was a formidable foe! He was a hulking, ten-foot giant who wore armor and weapons the average man could hardly even lift. He knew he outmatched the Israelite army by a mile. For forty days the Israelites stood paralyzed by fear, unable to advance against Goliath. He sneered and tormented them with insults while he and his army defiantly scoffed at their God.
Not one of the Israelites railed back with a proclamation of the power of their Almighty God!
When young David made it to the frontlines to bring supplies to his brothers, he heard the beastly giant yell insults at their God. He sprang into action. David demanded to know who would dare insult their God. He begged Saul to let him fight the giant. When Saul pointed out his youth, David boldly testified to how many times God had delivered him in the past. He convinced Saul to let him take on the giant and just before he dropped the giant with the famous stone in the slingshot, he yelled out, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands.”
Wow! What a powerful scene! David, a mere boy, took down the giant when not even the King’s best soldiers would take a shot.
What empowered David to take such a powerful stand against his enemy?
- He magnified His God instead of his problem. He didn’t give his enemy any power despite what he looked like. He chose to focus on the size of his God, rather than the size of the giant. We must not let our problems exalt themselves over God. Our minds are vulnerable to fear when we dwell on our problems. Praise God in the battle!
- He remembered God’s faithfulness. God has done it before and He will do it again. He has rescued, redeemed and restored you. He has been faithful to bless you and your loved ones. Look back over your walk with the Lord. Read old journals and talk with friends and family who remember his faithfulness in your life. Meditate on His character. Spend time with Him. You can trust Him
- He proclaimed God’s goodness out loud. What are you proclaiming out loud? Your words have power. Are you feeding your faith, or feeding your fear? Dig into the Word of God. Read it, meditate on it. speak it out loud. Every time you start to dwell on your problems, renew your mind by focusing on the Word of God and His promises. The Holy Spirit will help you and will empower you to fix your mind on Him. Confront your problems with confidence in Christ.
Remember, you’re not taking down your giants. The battle is His. Your job is to let Him fight for you. Praise Him in the valley and watch your giants fall!