Reading the early chapters of my physical anthropology textbook, I had a sense of what David must have felt upon seeing Goliath. The text painted Genesis’ human origins account as just one of many cultural myths, an ancient belief which the ignorant faithful still accept only because religious authorities say to, despite the findings of ‘Science.’ As our professor explained, “God didn’t create people. People created God.”
Here, I came face-to-face with the Giant of Humanist Education, champion warrior of secular camps, defying the armies of the living LORD. The gravity of its messages left heavy boot prints impressed in my soul after classes. And while studying textbooks on the beach, as I often did, I could almost feel the ogre’s acrid breath in the sea wind on my neck.
Just to think of the countless other giants THIS one fathers! Sanctity of life issues, political disputes against Christianity, fear and ineffectiveness in the church, “strongholds…arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”
I slammed shut my textbook and gazed across the surf.
“It’s too big, Lord,” I said. “How can anyone slay a giant?”
“It’s simple really.”
I spun around on the driftwood where I sat, my startled eyes meeting a pair of brown ones. Set in a sunburned-turned-tan face, they held the gentle twinkle of a soul who knew the Holy Spirit.
“Sorry,” the newcomer smiled, “I’m Dave. Mind if I join you?”
I slid over, allotting him a patch of driftwood. He set down the walking stick in his hand and plopped beside me, squinting against the sunlight which glittered on the sea. Just a teenager, I surmised. Average height. Ruddy. Boyish good looks. Half the girls in his youth group probably had a crush on him.
“God slew a giant through me once,” he said, leaning to select a smooth stone from between his sandals. “I could give you some pointers.”
I grinned. It couldn’t be. But it was!
“I’m all ears.”
- Be faithful to your slingshot.
“Really,” said Dave, “it comes down to being faithful, everyday, to the tasks which God has set before you to do right now. For me, it was watching out for my dad’s sheep. For you,” he glanced at the backpack, binders and textbooks scattered on the beach, “it’s probably being a student. Sure, it might seem ordinary or mundane. But it’s what God’s called you to do. He knows the future He has in mind for you and might be equipping you for it in ways you can’t begin to imagine. Like I was faithful to the ordinary task He gave me, sharpening my slingshot skills as part of my shepherding duties, you need to be the most faithful student for God that you can be. Learn what He sets before you to learn. Study what He sets before you to study. And do it all for Him, rather than just for your professors, because it’s what He’s created you to do right now. Be faithful to your slingshot and let Him do what He wants to through you, with the tools He supplies.”
- Get to know God
“While developing my slingshot skills,” continued Dave, “I learned not only to be a faithful shepherd, but also a faithful disciple. Life in the pasture gave me a lot of time to seek God, to worship Him, to write Psalms, to pray. Prayer, after all, is one of the most powerful giant-slaying forces there is. And truth—that is, Scripture—is a formidable weapon. So if you want to slay giants, get to know God and His word!
You might not think you have much time for this as a student, or employee, or whatever you’re doing, but it’s about the most important time investment you can make. You can’t afford not to. After all, knowing God’s character, goodness and might gave me the confidence to face my giant, assured that he was no match for God. And knowing God’s heart gave me the passion to stand for His people and His name, and to hate what He hated.”
- Stand up and fight
“Of course,” said Dave, examining the stone in his fingers, “preparation is only so useful without action. I could have been a Mutton Rodeo slingshot champion, praising God all the way, but what good would that have done my nation if I hadn’t stepped up to the battle line?”
Uh oh. I could sense a call to action brewing. Please, not conviction. Anything but that!
“When the taunts of that blasphemous giant reached my ears,” Dave’s voice hardened, the brown eyes sparking, “how could I remain silent? Was there not a cause? Clearly, the battle must be fought, and there would be no need to wage it in the oversized armour which the king gave me. God had already equipped me with all that I needed to defeat the giant though His strength and good purpose, for His kingdom and glory. But I had to obey His call to do it when the opportunity came.”
Dave fell silent, flinted face set toward the sea. Then he rose, picking up his staff. “I’ll let you get back to your slingshot practice,” he motioned toward the array of texts around me.
“Thanks for your advice,” I offered him my hand, “Good words!”
His calloused hand clasped mine in a firm shake.
“Be brave,” Dave said. “Be strong. Be obedient. Go with God and face your giant.”
With that, he handed me his stone and left.