All I need is five stones to slay my giants.

What are your Goliaths? How many Goliaths have you faced in your life? How many times have you heard the words of Goliath "I defy the armies and the God of Israel this day"?

Whatever is your Goliath. He can be slain! But remember, to be the victor, one must follow the path that David followed: 'David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.' (1 Samuel 18:14)""And David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off. 40 And he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine," (1 Samuel 17:39-40). David’s faith was born out of his experience of God’s grace and mercy in his life. The Lord had delivered him out of dangerous situations in the past, proving His power and trustworthiness, and David relied on Him to deliver him from the Philistine. David wrote later in Psalm 21:13, “Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.”

Goliath in modern days can come in many forms; diseases, financial crisis, broken marriages, loss of loved ones, personal crisis; goliath in our world can come in different forms and sizes. But in whatever form they come we can conquer them using these five smooth stones!

The first smooth stone is Prayer - As David went to meet Goliath he had a prayer in his heart. Let's read verse 45: Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. Prayer takes many forms, requires no religion and can happen anytime, anywhere. Think of prayer as a moment of intense, well-directed thought, if not a conversation with a spiritual being. It’s turning inward to find your deepest inner strength and your greatest place of comfort. Prayers helps in shifting focus away from what is hurting and toward something comforting. Every day you and I face different Goliaths, the enemy of God who challenge us and test us. Without the smooth stone of prayer each day, those Goliaths will wear us down and defeat us. Be prayerful. You cannot do it alone. You know that God is the source of all wisdom. You need His help, and you know that you need His help. You cannot do it alone. Get on your knees and thank Him for His goodness to you and express to Him the righteous desires of your hearts. The miracle of it all is that He hears. He responds. He answers - not always as we might wish. God is just and He answers however He pleases.  That is why He is sovereign over all things.  He is in control of all things. Psalm 37:4, says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Nothing happens outside of the will of God.

The second smooth stone is –fruits of Holy Spirit -David had the Spirit of the Lord with him. To be the victor, one must follow the path that David followed: "David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him." he was being led by the Spirit of God. Read Galatians 5:22-25.  The following fruits of Holy Spirit and You will be a conqueror no matter what circumstance you are going through. Love -Love will enable us to appreciate ourselves more and be in a position to comfort others who are suffering, hurting and in pain. Joy -Joy will allow us to enjoy my relationship with Christ, His creation, others, and our circumstances with an expression of delight and real, authentic happiness from and with harmony with God and others.

Peace- Peace is surrendering and yielding ourselves to the Lord to be in His control, for He is our ultimate peace!

Patience- Patience is showing tolerance and fortitude toward others, even accepting difficult situations from them, and God, without making demands or conditions.

Kindness -Kindness is the medium through which Christ's love becomes tangible through us. It is practicing benevolence and a loving attitude towards others.

Goodness- Goodness is the engagement of love! It displays integrity, honesty and compassion to others and allows us to do the right thing.

Faithfulness-Faithfulness is the "gluing" fruit that will preserve our faith and the other characters of the Spirit and identify God's will so we can be dependable and trusting to God and others.

Gentleness -Gentleness is the character that will show calmness, personal care, tenderness and the Love of Christ in meeting the needs of others.

Self-Control-Self-Control is allowing God to be in control of your will and heart and seeking the Spirit to enable us.

The third smooth stone is – Faith. David demonstrated great faith in God as he took on the giant Goliath. Read from 1st Samuel 17:33-37: David recognized that it was not by his own power that he had killed the bear and the lion, it was by the power of God. With that faith David met Goliath. When you’re hurting, or traumatized in some cases, you might think to yourself, "I still don’t understand." That’s where faith comes in. It doesn’t matter how big or how small whatever it is that has taken place in your life. Something small to others could be big to you, so take it all to The Lord and trust that He hears you and already knows everything you’re going through. In life we will have times of misery and we will have times of mercy. Look for the mercy. It will come. When you’re faced with difficult circumstances have faith that God is in it and that you and Him will get through it, You’ll be released from pain, from sorrow, from suffering, from depression, from fear. “He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good — tears gone, crying gone, pain gone — all the first order of things gone” (Revelation 21:4). All you have to do is have faith that God will help you do the right thing and represent him in the right way without asking why in your adversities.

The fourth smooth stone is – Obedience. The fourth stone that David picked up may be the stone of obedience. Through obedience we exercise the principle of faith. David was in the right place at the right time, because he obeyed his father. If David had not obeyed his father, Israel would of been under siege for a longer period of time. Let's read verse 20 of I Samuel 17: 20. And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight. During my time of despair, the Lord reminded me that the essence of a real relationship with Him is obedience. I began to take a fresh look at the place of obedience in the believer's life, and I saw several benefits.

1. God's faithfulness is unceasing when we obey Him. "Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments" (Deut. 7:9). None of us will ever fully understand the "whys" of the troubles and issues we face. But God is faithful in responding to our love and obedience to Him.

2. Obedience unlocks the door to prosperity and the pleasures of life. "If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures" (Job 36:11).

3. Those who obey Him become His special treasure. "Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine" (Ex. 19:5).

4. We have His protection when we obey Him. "But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries" (Ex. 23:22).

5. There is a marvelous freedom in walking in total obedience to God. It releases you from being concerned about the outcome. You just walk in faith and trust God to handle things. Though none of us likes to go through hard times, the truth is that suffering is the very thing that teaches us obedience. Even Jesus had to learn obedience this way: "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb. 5:8). His words to the Father when He was facing the cross reflect the agony He endured: "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matt. 26:39). In spite of the pain, He surrendered completely to the Father's will.

The fifth smooth stone is – Service.  The fifth stone that David picked up may well be the smooth stone of Service. Without service the stones of faith and obedience will have no power or strength. Service is the action associated with faith and the implementation of obedience. Verse 29 and 32 exhibiting his willingness to serve: And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in ways we’re not shaped. If you see a man fall into a ditch, God expects you to help him out, not say, “I don’t have the gift of mercy or service.” while you may not be gifted for a particular task, you may be called to do it if no one who is gifted at it is around. Your servant’s heart will reveal your maturity. No special talent or gift is required to stay after a meeting to pick up trash or stack chairs. Anyone can be a servant. All it requires is character. Until you experience the transforming power of God’s grace in your life, you’re too enslaved by your own hurts, habits, and hang-ups to think much about others.

Comforting thought for the week

Times of despair are tough and trying. But don't let these seasons destroy you. Allow them to refine and prepare you to fulfill your purpose and destiny. Disobedient resistance prolongs the tough times. Listen carefully to what God is saying. Daily strengthen your walk in obedience to His Word. Stay focused. Remain rooted and grounded in the faith. Practice and use the fruits of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in every decision you make. You will not be disappointed, for, as Paul says, "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed" (Rom. 8:18). It has been said that in God's economy we can't skip grades, no matter how capable or mature we think we are. God has a lesson for us to learn in each stage of life. But His Word promises that "tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope"—and that hope does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:3-5). The five smooth stones will help us "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). They are the key to finding victory over despair.

Our prayer for you today

Thank You for leading me, God. I pray that Your strength and wisdom would be with me as I make decisions that follow Your path. Help me to put Your Word to the test in my life so that my obedience will be a blessing to everyone who sees You working in me. Lord, help me to stay focused on You so the obstacles that come up won't seem impossible to overcome. I know all things are possible through You, and I thank You for the privilege of doing any small task that brings You glory. Let my name be forgotten, Lord, and Yours be remembered. Amen.