Identity: Lessons from David and Goliath

In previous posts, we established that we are the Father’s glorious inheritance and at the same time we have been made co-heirs with Christ who is now seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father. ( Identity: God’s Glorious Inheritance – Part 1 and Identity:  Gods Glorious Inheritance – Part 2)

I John 5:19 lets us know that the whole world is under the control of the evil one (for now).  Satan has dominion over the world because Adam and Eve gave it to him in the garden.  He views everything as his and he can’t stand it when a child of the Father comes alive in his or her identity in Him, becomes aware of his or her inheritance in Him, and then forcefully chooses to establish the kingship of Jesus in his or her circle of influence.

The story of David and Goliath in gives us some really good insight into how the enemy constantly tries to redefine the identity of God’s people and how we must take an offensive posture to stay grounded in who the Father says we are.

In Exodus 23:31, God promised Israel that He would establish their borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the desert to the Euphrates River and that He would give them the people who live in the land to drive out.  In the Hebrew, the Mediterranean Sea refers to the Sea of the Philistines.  God’s promise to Israel included land currently occupied by the Philistines.

From the moment the Israelites settled in the promised land, they were at war with the Philistines.  In addition to minor run-ins and skirmishes, seven major battles between Israel and the Philistines are recorded in the Old Testament (they include the Battle of Shephelah (2 Chronicles 28), the Battle of Aphek (1 Samuel 4), the Battle of Eben-Ezez (1 Samuel 7:13–14), the battles at Michmash (1 Samuel 14), the battle involving David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17), the battle at Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31), and Hezekiah’s defeat of the Philistines (2 Kings 18:5–8)). 

The story of David and Goliath gives us tremendous insight into some of the tactics the enemy employs to try and convince us that we are less that sons and daughters of the Father.  Let’s look at some of these tactics, but first, you should read the entire account of David and Goliath in I Samuel 17 if it has been a while since you have last read it.

Lesson 1:  We are at war and always in enemy territory.  I John 5:19 again: the whole world is under the control of the enemy.  Anytime a believer exercises his or her faith to pull a super-natural truth into the natural, they are doing so in a natural realm that is currently and temporarily under the control of the enemy.

Lesson 2 (I Samuel 17:1 – 3):  The enemy has no problem trying to establish himself within your circle of influence.  The Philistines were already gathered on land that was given to God’s people.

Lesson 3 (verses 4 – 7):  The enemy will always try to make the situation as big and as bad as he possibly can.

Lesson 4 (verses 8 – 11):  The enemy will try to redefine our identity by associating it with something or someone worldly and powerless.  In this instance, he successfully redefined the identity of the men of Israel as servants of Saul instead of children of God with an inheritance.  It was a great tactic by Goliath and the problem with this for Israel was that Saul had already proven himself as prideful and cowardly.  If the enemy is successful at redefining our identity, he’ll do all he can to instill fear, uncertainty, and doubt into our hearts.  Prior to David showing up, there wasn’t a man anywhere in the army of Israel who had any faith in their identity and the inheritance promised centuries earlier by the Father.

Lesson 5 (verses 28 – 33):  The religious system will criticize believers who are alive in Christ, who are established in their identity, who stand on the inheritance and  promises of the Father, and who exercise their faith with authority.  Eliab, David’s older brother “burned with anger” at David when he started asking questions concerning what was going on and what would be the reward for defeating the giant.  In addition, Saul proceeds to tell David that he is not able to go against Goliath.  The religious would rather focus on the natural and even die in the status quo rather than contend for the reality that is the kingdom and promises of our Father.

Lesson 6 (verses 34 – 37):  We have rights, the enemy does not.  A believer who is alive in Christ understands 1. his/her identity as a covenant son/daughter of God,  2. his/her inheritance as a covenant son/daughter of God, and 3. has great faith in his/her identity and inheritance so as to overcome the enemy.  David was such a believer and it was critical that he identified Goliath as “uncircumcised” to Saul because it signifies that he understood that the enemy was not part of the promise and inheritance given by the Father.  When the enemy comes, it is crucial for us as believers to be confident in our identity and inheritance and to declare to the enemy that he has no right to operate in the circle of influence the Father has given to us.

Lesson 7 (verses 45 – 47):  Stand strong in your identity and in the promises of God.  David understood that he was a covenant son of God and was not moved by Goliath.  In fact, he was so confident in his identity due to his previous experiences with the Lord as a shepherd boy, he was actually perplexed by the entire scenario upon his arrival to the front lines.  He also properly redirected the identity of the men of Israel from “servants of Saul” back to covenant sons of God when he declared to Goliath, “…I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel…”

So when the enemy shows up in our circles of influence, we as believers confident in our identity and in our inheritance as sons and daughters seated with Christ in heavenly places exercise our faith to overcome him!




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