Usually our first response to adversity is to run from it. We need to run toward it instead.
Every invitation to greatness is accompanied by obstacles and mountains that have to be faced. Adversity is nothing more than an incubator to process the destiny of men and women who are going to change the course of history.
Many times the very problems we think are going to destroy us become the platform for our promotion. We don’t like to admit it, but we need enemies in our lives. The enemies we face make us aware of areas of need in our lives that we would never have recognized had we not faced the enemy.
Some of the greatest discoveries in my own life have come as a result of adversaries who sought my demise. And who knows if we would have heard of David had there not been a Goliath, or of Moses had there not been a Pharaoh.
Your friends create comfort, but your adversaries bring creative movement. It is not until we get tired of being harassed or taunted that we rise up with decisive action to begin the process of maturity and growth. Creativity, boundaries, strategies all are born when a “giant” appears in our pathway. Our willingness to respond releases God’s power on our behalf.
I know what it is to fight giants that have come to hinder my progress and try to force me into boundaries of limitation and isolation. Several years ago my wife, Kathy, and I experienced one of the most devastating attacks of the enemy against our lives and ministry.
People we had trusted and loved targeted us with their bitterness and refusal to progress. While experiencing breakthroughs and fresh anointing on one hand, we were being taunted and harassed on the other. Our adversary was challenging our destiny.
Today, it is not shocking to me that David, after having been anointed king, was brought to a place of confronting a giant. However, when I have confronted them, I thought I was finished. I even prayed to die! Dying, it seemed to me, would have been better than living.
My confrontation with giants had taken place shortly before we took our family to the mountains for our annual Christmas vacation. While there, I slipped into the bedroom and got back into bed, not wanting to face my family or the future. The whole time I was trying to reason with the Lord, the voice of the enemy was heckling my mind. All I could think about was the challenge of these giants.
I whispered a prayer to God: “Father, I am empty, and I don’t know what to do. It seems that my enemies have triumphed over me. Maybe I only thought I was called to this place. Somehow, take away this pain inside me.”
As tears began to roll down my cheeks, I heard the Spirit of God speak inside me. It was not with blowing trumpets or a cloud of smoke but just a quiet voice, the kind that infuses your spirit with hope.
The Lord said to me: “The anointing that is in you is stronger than any force trying to bind you. Get up, fresh oil is on the way.” At that moment I recognized that I was born to conquer those giants. This mountain was going to prove to be the battlefield of victory for my future.
I got up and talked with my wife, who had stood by me faithfully. We decided: “We cannot run from this Goliath. We must face it head-on.”
It’s pretty normal to desire to run from trouble in life. When you get up in the morning and the voice of your oppressor speaks loudly in your ear, taunting you, daring you to come out or make advancement, it is natural to yearn to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over your head.
That is what happened to Saul and the soldiers who fought with him. Every morning they got up and dressed for battle and went out shouting the war cry (see 1 Sam. 17:20-21). When Goliath challenged them, they ran in fear to their tents and hid.
How often have you gone out, dressed for the part and saying the right things, only to retreat at the first sign of opposition? Saul’s warriors ran to their tents, but we run to our places of self-protection and safety–places of refuge where we will not be confronted or challenged; comfort zones where we make habitual choices and sound progressive, but end up going nowhere!
Comfort zones are no protection against giants. Neither is running from the giant. If you don’t run toward the giant and overcome it, you will find yourself running into a life of make-believe success and significance. Before long you will find that your success and significance are nothing more than tattered, worn-out “tents.”
Don’t cower in timidity from the mocking voices of your Goliaths–run at them instead. But never run at them with your mouth shut! That is a formula for defeat. Declare His name–Jesus! The mention of His name causes the forces of hell to tremble.
With his simple slingshot and a mouth full of confidence, David ran toward Goliath. With one release of the stone, the giant fell. David ran and cut off Goliath’s head for the king. A great victory had been won!
Friends, if you are always weeping over criticism and rejection, continually frustrated because somebody misunderstood you, or upset because some group of friends won’t let you in their group anymore, you must make the choice to break free today! Your progress and future potential demand it. Don’t allow the voices of a few to rob you of His voice saying, “Well done!”
Tony Miller is a traveling apostolic minister based in Greenville, South
Carolina. He recently released his first book, Journey to Significance (Charisma House), from which this article is adapted.