God had not abandoned David.
David was the one to depart from the power of the Holy Spirit who had brought victory over Goliath. And he is left with nothing but Goliath’s sword. He is also hungry, so he asks Ahimelech, “Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found” (1 Samuel 21:3b). He explains that the matter of King Saul is so urgent that he was forced to leave in a hurry with no time to secure provisions or weapons for protection. So the priest gave him Goliath’s sword and the consecrated bread. And David fled to the Philistine town of Gath.
David’s choice of Goliath’s sword led him to the most embarrassing display of cowardice and humiliation in his entire life (1 Samuel 21:13-14). He literally acted as an insane madman to protect himself from the king of Gath. Oh, the depths of degradation men fall into when they trust Goliath’s sword of self-dependency rather than the Sword of the Spirit.
Now David is in great disobedience. This once heroic champion for God is not trusting, but running from his new foe, King Saul. It is not enough to receive the anointing of God’s presence for victory once. It must abide in us.
God always gives opportunity to rejoin the battle
Perhaps David relied too absolutely on what he previously received from God and neglected the daily renewal of the heavenly empowering God desires for each of us (see 1 John 3:24). But mercifully, God gave David another chance. He reminds David—do you remember where I brought you from? Do you remember how faithfully My Presence surrounded and strengthened you when the bear and the lion attacked? (1 Samuel 17:36). Do you remember how you defeated Goliath?
Is God trying to get your attention today? Have you stopped fighting and started running from something God wants you to face? Is there a victory you once enjoyed over the flesh, a place where you saw a mighty Goliath fall in your life, but now you are running in fear, having given up the good fight of faith?
God is saying to you as he said to David, “I haven’t left you, but you have left Me. You’re not in My Presence as you once were, and you’re not enjoying the victory you had in your life. Victory is found before My face as you fight to remain dependent upon Me and in My Presence.”
Are you fighting the good fight of faith? Do you look upon your adversaries as things to crush you, or do you accept their challenge and yield to God to make you a mighty, conquering champion for His glory?
Victory awaits the weakest person who trusts only in God’s provision
It is believed that Psalm 27 is associated with this period in David’s life. Listen to the lessons he learned:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?...
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
Though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”
(Psalm 27:1, 3)
These are the words of a man who learned to seek the face of God. He pleads for God’s mercy on these grounds. “When You said, ‘Seek My face’, my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek’” (Psalm 27:8).
Friend, are you in difficulty right now? Do you need guidance on which way to turn? Have areas of the flesh once under control of the Holy Spirit emerged to defeat you? Are you battling a giant in your life? Get before God’s face, trust Him to be there for you even if you don’t feel or sense Him. He knows your heart and your battle, and He desires to make you a conqueror.
Goliath’s sword may appeal to the human mind as the premier weapon of choice, but as David discovered, humiliation awaits those who select it. What’s more, running away from your problems won’t help you either. No means of escape—no matter how swift or adroit—provide deliverance. Having learned this lesson the hard way, David declares, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
When you have nothing to boast about except the living God within, you will wear the victor’s crown. When the giants in your life are brought to their knees and fall, you will rise up and stand firm (Psalm 20:8).
Originally published in the April 1998 issue of Reaching Higher