For our Y-Camps this year, we focused on helping the middle school and high school students conquer the giants in their lives. It has been inspiring to hear about the changes already happening in these young people’s lives.
But the truth is, you don’t have to be a middle schooler or a teenager to have giants in your life that need to be conquered. We all have giants, and we don’t always take time to find out how to defeat them.
If we take to heart the same lessons from camp, we can all experience the victory of conquering the giants inside us. Let’s focus on three main topics from the camps, each with a question to reflect on.
- Uncovering Your Giants – Why Do We Remain Silent?
- Confronting Your Giants – How Do We Fight?
- Conquering Your Giants – How Do We Impact Others?
Uncovering Your Giants
Why Do We Stay Silent?
Each day Goliath would come out and shout a challenge to the Israelite soldiers. He would say, “Why are all of your soldiers lined up ready for battle? You are Saul’s servants. I am a Philistine. So choose one man and send him to fight me.  If that man kills me, he wins and we Philistines will become your slaves. But if I kill your man, then I win, and you will become our slaves. You will have to serve us.”  The Philistine also said, “Today I stand and make fun of the army of Israel. I dare you to send me one of your men and let us fight.”  Saul and the Israelite soldiers heard what Goliath said, and they were very afraid.
1 Samuel 17:8-11 ERV
Fear stopped these soldiers from standing up to Goliath. They stood around and took no action; their fear made them silent.
We have giants in our lives that taunt us just like Goliath. These giants are things we feel are too big or too strong for us to face. We don’t want to face them because it is easier to ignore, avoid and stay silent about them. To conquer our giants, we need to first reveal them to ourselves and those close to us.
What is the number one giant you are facing in your life?
Reflect on these three main reasons why we remain silent:
- Pain – I stay silent because I fear feeling my pain or the pain of others
- Shame – I stay silent because of the fear of humiliation or embarrassment.
- Fame – I stay silent because I fear not being liked or losing popularity
We must learn to overcome our fears so we can break the silence about what’s really going on inside. Silence only makes our fears grow bigger. Decide you can talk to God and friends about your biggest giant and then move to confronting the giant.
Confronting Your Giants
How Do We Fight?
While David was talking with his brothers, the Philistine champion fighter came out from the Philistine army. This was Goliath, the Philistine from Gath. Goliath shouted things against Israel as usual. David heard what he said.  The Israelite soldiers saw Goliath and ran away. They were all afraid of him.
 David said to Saul, “People shouldn’t let Goliath discourage them. I am your servant. I will go fight this Philistine.”
 I killed both a lion and a bear like that! And I will kill that foreigner, Goliath, just like them. Goliath will die because he made fun of the army of the living God.
1 Samuel 17:23-24,32, 36 ERV
David’s brothers were experienced soldiers but they couldn’t face this giant. By looking at their example we can see three reasons we don’t fight:
- We let discouragement stop us
- We let unbelief stop us
- We let sin stop us
Is discouragement stopping you?
When we are discouraged long enough we won’t want to fight anymore.
Proverbs 13:12 NLT says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Have you ever been so discouraged that you just want to quit? Quit praying, reading the Bible, quit talking to people or quit confessing your sin? Discouragement can make us so heartsick that we can’t see God anymore. We start feeling cursed, like we will be tormented by our giants instead of conquering them.
Is unbelief stopping you?
When we stop believing that God can do more than we can ask or imagine and that he will fight our battles, we will quit fighting. Unbelief makes us focus on problems instead of looking to God for solutions. Unbelief focuses us on ourselves and our abilities so we stop fighting.
Is sin stopping you?
When we let sin rule our minds and hearts we will quit fighting. Giving into temptation again and again creates a huge amount of guilt, and the guilt alone becomes a huge giant. We begin compromising and stop confessing because we’re so used to whatever sin we are clinging to besides God.
God has faced many giants and has conquered them all. With him we are on the winning team and we can face any giant.
Decide to stop letting discouragement control you and believe again that God can change you. Once you confront your giants, you can give other people the courage to confront theirs too.
Conquering Your Giants
How Do We Impact Others?
 Goliath looked at David with disgust. He saw that David was only a handsome, healthy boy.  Goliath said to David, “What is that stick for? Did you come to chase me away like a dog?” Then Goliath used the names of his gods to say curses against David.  He said to David, “Come here, and I’ll feed your body to the birds and wild animals.”
 David said to the Philistine, “You come to me using sword, spear, and javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD All-Powerful, the God of the armies of Israel. You have said bad things about him.  Today the LORD will let me defeat you. I will kill you. I will cut off your head and feed your body to the birds and wild animals. And we will do the same thing to all the other Philistines too. Then all the world will know there is a God in Israel.  All the people gathered here will know that the LORD doesn’t need swords or spears to save people. The battle belongs to the LORD, and he will help us defeat all of you.”
 Goliath the Philistine started to attack David. He slowly walked closer and closer toward David, but David ran out to meet Goliath.  David took out a stone from his bag. He put it in his sling and swung the sling. The stone flew from the sling and hit Goliath right between the eyes. The stone sank deep into his head, and Goliath fell to the ground—face down.
1 Samuel 17:42-49 ERV
When you conquer a giant, people notice. They may wonder how can someone like you conquer a giant so big? When you rely on God instead of yourself it makes an impact on people.
Conquering your giants lets the world know how God can change and save you.
David had a confidence in God that had nothing to do with the challenge he faced. He also cared how Goliath talked badly and put down God which is why he stood up to him.
Do you believe that God can take down any obstacle in your life? Do you desire to please God more than you desire your own success or comfort? When we live that way, we not only change but can inspire others that they can as well.