DEAD BUT STILL DEADLY

The epic tale of David and Goliath is one of the most well known stories in the Bible. On one side of the Valley of Elah stands the Philistine army, with their nine-foot-tall champion named Goliath. On the other side of valley stands the Israelite army, cowering in fear under the leadership of their king named Saul. For forty days Goliath has been taunting the Israelites and holding them in the grip of fear. Day after day he has been challenging them to send out one soldier to face him man to man. But so far, nobody has volunteered.

Perhaps you can relate to the plight of the Israelites. Some kind of giant is standing before you, taunting you, harassing you, and insulting you. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s anger. Maybe it’s a feeling of rejection. Maybe it’s the sneaky but all-too-familiar giant of comfort that compels you to live for something lesser. It might even be an addiction.

Whatever this giant is in your life, day after day it has been robbing you of power. You’ve tried to stop the taunts, but you feel immobilized. Held back. Paralyzed from moving forward. Ultimately, you know you’re not living the fullness and freedom of life that God intends for you.

The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. It starts with believing that even though the giant you’re battling might be big, it’s not bigger than Jesus. In fact, He has already defeated the giants in your life. When He came to this earth, He endured hell for you on the cross and rose from the grave so you could shake off the prospect of a doomed life. He came to set you free from the giants who rise up against you and hold you paralyzed in fear.

Jesus has already overcome the enemy. However, as we read in 1 Peter 5:8, the devil still “prowls around . . . looking for someone to devour.” In many ways, he is like a snake with its head cut off. When you kill a snake, you have to be sure to bury its head, because even after death the serpent holds a lethal dose of venom in its fangs. If you step on a dead snake’s head, you can still get poisoned. In the same way, even though Jesus broke the power of Satan at the cross, he can still inject his deadly poison into our lives. He is dead but still deadly.

The goal then, as we will discuss in this study, is not to step on the snake’s head. In practical terms, this means resisting the devil (see James 4:7), equipping the defenses Jesus has provided (see Ephesians 6:10–18), and leaning into his sufficiency (see Proverbs 3:5). It means remembering that he is your David in the story—and you can never bring down giants through your own courage, willpower, or efforts. It’s always Jesus who brings the giant down.

If you truly want to see victory over the giants in your life, you need to understand your dependency on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Victory is all about trusting in Christ and not about trying to succeed. To take the first step against your dead-but-still-deadly enemy, you’ve got to make this paradigm shift in your mind. Christ is the only force that brings change.

RESPOND

How do you respond to the notion that Jesus, not you, is the David who has defeated the giant in your life? What are the implications of this for the way you live your life?

Jesus came to earth to crush the power of sin and death, and he has already overcome the enemy. What difference does this make as to how you view the giant in your life?

What are some ways you go about drawing close to Jesus so that you won’t step on the venomous head of your defeated enemy?

Excerpt from the book Goliath Must Falll: Winning The Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio.  

Four Steps to Victory in Forgiveness

You cannot make wrong feelings go away any more than you can make right ones come, but God can and will. If you will simply do what Scripture instructs you to do, you will be able to work through the process of forgiveness.

The first thing you decide is to forgive those who have hurt you; the second thing is to pray for them. Another thing God tells you to do is to bless your enemies. To bless someone means to speak well of them and want good things for them. Refuse to talk unkindly about those who hurt you. Don’t keep talking about what your enemies did; it only keeps the pain stirred up in you. The fourth thing you must do is wait. Don’t give up. Keep doing what is right, and wait on God to change your feelings and He will.

Power Thought: Forgiveness is a process; God gives me the strength to walk it out.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Receive His Grace

Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit coming to us freely, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own. You might find other definitions describing grace as God’s divine favor, and that is certainly true, but His grace is also the power you need to live in victory. Grace can be received only through faith, and that is one of the main reasons we must resist fear. When we allow fear to rule us, we unwittingly receive what Satan has planned for our lives. But when we live by faith through grace, God is able to work His divine plan in us. Whatever you need to do today, lean on God and let Him empower you to be successful.

Power Thought: By God’s grace I have the skills to do all He asks of me with ease.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

More Than Enough

Paul tells us God will “liberally supply” all of our needs. He doesn’t promise God will give us everything we want, but he does assure us God will meet our every need.

Many times we think of needs in terms of the basic necessities of life. These represent our physical needs, but I believe God created us to need more than these essentials. We don’t simply need money, nourishment, a roof over our heads, and clothes to wear. We also need wisdom, strength, health, friends, and loved ones; and we need the gifts and talents and abilities to help us do what we are supposed to do in life. We need many things, and God is willing to meet all of our needs when we trust and obey Him.

Power Thought: God liberally supplies all of my needs.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Remain Stable in Every Situation

God’s Word teaches us to remain stable during every storm of life. The first mistake we often make is listening to the “This is just too hard” lie. Satan is a liar, and he always puts thoughts into our minds that say we are not capable, can’t, won’t, and never will be able to do what God has asked of us. The devil is a glass-half-empty guy, but God always sees the glass as full and overflowing. Choose to adopt God’s attitude and be an I-think-I-can person, instead of an I-think-I-can’t person. If you believe you can remain stable and control your emotions even during times in which it is difficult to do so, you will find God working through your faith and enabling you to do what you believe.

Power Thought: God gives me the strength I need to remain stable in all circumstances.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Adding Value to Others

There are people who are gifted by God with a special ability to encourage others (see Romans 12:6-8). However, even if encouraging others is not a gift you particularly have, you are still responsible to do it. God’s Word teaches us that we are to encourage one another daily!

We have been entrusted with a great power. When we encourage others, it builds them up and makes them strong (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11). However, without that encouragement they might become weary and give up on something they need to finish.

God is “[the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement)” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Since God is an encourager, we should be the same way. Anytime you do what God does, you can be assured you are doing the things that are right and that will produce joy, peace, and power for your life.

Power Thought: Today I will encourage and add value to everyone I meet.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

More Than Conquerors

As Christians, we often hear people quote Romans 8:37, which says we are more than conquerors. For years, I have pondered what being “more than a conqueror” actually means.

I’m sure other people have different interpretations, but I have come to the conclusion that being “more than a conqueror” means you have such confidence that no matter what comes up in your life, you know that through Christ you can handle it. You know before you are ever faced with a problem that you’re going to have victory over it. You believe you can do whatever you need to do in life. Therefore, you don’t dread things, you don’t fear the unknown, and you don’t live in anxiety about what’s going to happen. It doesn’t really matter what the specifics of each situation are, you know you will be victorious through Christ.

Power Thought: I am more than a conqueror through Christ.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Transform Your Mind

Don’t think as the world thinks. If you want to experience the good will of God for your life, you have to learn how to think the way God thinks, see yourself as God sees you, and renew your mind through studying His Word.

Renewing the mind is a process that takes time, but you can get started right away—getting excited each day about the progress that you have made. Learn to agree with all that God says to you in His Word and to disagree with all the lies of Satan. God has a good plan for you, and He desires to release it in your life.

Power Thought: My mind is being renewed daily, and my life is changing.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Be “God Loves Me” Minded

I remember when I began my ministry. When I was preparing for my first meeting, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to teach, and what came to my heart was, Tell My people I love them.

“They know that,” I said. “I want to teach them something really powerful, not a Sunday school lesson out of John 3:16.” The Lord reminded me that if people really knew how much He loves them, they would act differently than they do.

As I began to study the subject of receiving God’s love, I realized I was in desperate need of the message myself. I had a subconscious, vague sort of understanding that God loved me, but I needed deeper revelation. The love of God is meant to be a powerful force in our lives, one that will take us through even the most difficult trials without our ever doubting God’s love.

Power Thought: I am actively aware of God’s love for me.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

The Lord Is My Rock

Why do you think Jesus is referred to as “the Rock”? Because He is stable and never-changing, just like a rock. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever—and we’re supposed to imitate Him.

Waiting to see how you feel each day is never a good idea. Has anyone ever invited you to do something and you responded, “Let me wait and see how I feel”? That just gives the devil room to make sure you don’t feel like doing what you need to do or what can benefit you. We will sometimes have unpleasant times, but we don’t have to live by our feelings; we can choose to stand firm and be stable when we find our strength in the One Who never changes.

Power Thought: In Christ, I am strong and stable.

From the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.