Facing the Giants in Your Life

READ THE TEXT:

Numbers 13:26-14:11

Tonight I would like to speak to you about Giants.

This is the story of Moses & the people of Israel as God freed them from their slavery in Egypt & led them to the borders of the Promised Land. When they arrive, God gives the command, & Moses tells the people, “Now it is time for us to go in & take the land which God has given to us.”

But first, he appoints a committee. He selects one person from each tribe, & tells them, “Go & spy out the land. Observe the people, their lifestyles, their cities & their produce. Then come back & report to us. Tell us if the Promised Land is everything God said it would be.”

So these 12 men take off & spend 40 days spying out the land. Then they come back to give their report.

Beginning in Numbers 13:26, we read these words,

Numbers 13:26-27 (NIV)

26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.

Doesn?t that sound great? The first part of their report was unanimous & very positive. “We looked at the land & it is exactly as God said it would be. It is a land flowing with milk & honey.” And they brought back a huge cluster of grapes & pomegranates & figs as evidence of its fertility.

But from that point on, their report was no longer unanimous. The committee was divided 10 to 2, & the majority begins the rest of its report with the word, “But”.

By the way, have you ever noticed that the word “but” often crops up whenever there is a discussion about the future? Whenever there is a crucial decision you have to make in your life? Or whenever there is a committee of people planning something? But is a word used most often by what I call Vision Vandals ? that is, people who think something just cannot be done, and therefore shouldn?t even be tried.

That is exactly what was happening here. Follow along with me as I read vs?s 28-33 where the majority continues with its report.

Numbers 13:28-33 (NIV)

28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Oh, oh – the majority is recommending that they disobey God & not enter the Promised Land as God has commanded. Why? “Because,” they said, “the people who live there are powerful, & the cities are fortified & very large.”

However Caleb & Joshua, even though they are in the minority, urge the people to go right ahead & do what God wants them to do. They argue, if God is leading the way, then why should they be afraid?

You would think that would settle the matter, wouldn?t you? After all, look at the miraculous things God had been doing on their behalf.

He had sent the plagues on Egypt & forced Pharaoh to let them go. He had divided the waters of the Red Sea for them, & then closed those waters upon the chariots of Egypt. He had given them water in the desert when they were thirsty, & manna when they were hungry, & quail when they wanted meat.

God had been with them all through the wilderness as they headed for the Promised Land. He had led them by a pillar of cloud by day, & a pillar of fire by night. They had even heard His voice in the midst of the thunder & lightning & smoke on Mt. Sinai as He prepared to give them His commandments.

But it is almost the old story of, “What have you done for me lately?” isn?t it? Ten of the spies are so fearful of what they have seen that they forget all about doing God?s will and that this is the object of their journey!!

Vs. 31 tells us that these fearful spies spread out among the people & began telling them, “We can?t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And each time they told it, the story got worse & worse.

In vs. 32 they say, “All the people we saw there are of great size.” And in vs. 33 they say, “We saw the Nephilim there!” Now that name may not mean much to you, but the King James Version translates that word as “giants.” These 10 spies are saying, “We don?t stand a chance because there are giants in the land! Everywhere you go there are giants!”

Now, if we were psychologists, I think we would decide that in the last part of vs. 33 these 10 spies told us more about themselves than they ever meant to when they said, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, & we looked the same to them.” Talk about an inferiority complex!

What did they see? They saw themselves as grasshoppers. They saw the enemy as giants. And they didn?t see God at all.

There are a few preliminary definitions I?d like to make about Giants tonight?.What is a giant?

1. A Giant is anything that STANDS between you and God?s plan for you

2. A Giant is anything that SEEMS bigger than you and your desire to serve the Lord

3. A Giant is that which is STRONGER than us and cannot be faced in our own strength.

I. THE TRUTH ABOUT GIANTS IN OUR LIVES

All of Us Have Them (David faced giants in his youth, mid-age, and prime)

There was a young man who went into a drug store to buy 3 boxes of chocolate. The pharmacist says, “What size? Small Medium or Large?”. “Well,” the young man said, “I?ll take one of each. I?ve been seeing this girl for a while and she?s really beautiful. I want the chocolate because I think tonight?s “the” night. We?re having dinner with her parents, and then we?re going out. If she lets me hold her hand I?m going to give her the small box. If she let?s me kiss her on the cheek I?m going to give her the medium box ? and if she lets me kiss her on the lips I?m going to give her the big box!” The young man makes his purchase and leaves. Later that evening, he sits down to dinner with his girlfriend and her parents. He asks if he might give the blessing, and they agree. He begins the prayer, but continues praying for several minutes. The girl leans over and says, “You never told me that you were such a religious person.” He leans over to her and says, “You never told me that your father is a pharmacist!” (Quoted in “Giants, Grasshoppers and Grapes” by Eric Snyder)

We all face giants in our life?

Sir Walter Scott was a cripple

Ludwig Van Beethoven was totally deaf.

George Washington found himself buried in snow and leading a seemingly hopeless war.

Abraham Lincoln was raised in absolute poverty.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was paralyzed.

Albert Einstein was called a slow learner, retarded and written off as a child. (Quoted in “Dying in the Dungeon of Discouragement” by David DeWitt)

Ambassadors of the Devil

They are tools of the enemy, they are soldiers of satan.

Allowed by the Lord

– Without giants we could never know the victory God can work in our lives. Without giants there would be no growth. Without giants we could not know what it means to be dependent on Him.

II. THE TROUBLE WITH GIANTS IN OUR LIVES

1. Giants can steal the peace of God?s people (Num.14:1)(I Sam17:11)

Numbers 14:1 (NIV)

1 That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.

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1 Samuel 17:11 (NIV)

11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

2. Giants can stop the progress of God?s people

3. Giants can seize the possessions of God?s people

These giants were in the land of Canaan ? which is what God promised to His people ? to His nation.

Genesis 12:1-7 (NIV)

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

III. DIFFERENT TYPES OF GIANTS IN OUR LIVES

The Giant of Difficulty (Gen.18:14)

The story of Abraham and God?s promise to give Him a son.

Genesis 18:14 (NIV)

14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”

The Giant of Doubt (fear) (Num.14:11)(Heb.3:12, 19)

God talks about this when He says to Moses?

Numbers 14:11 (NIV)

11 The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?

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Hebrews 3:12 (NIV)

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

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Hebrews 3:19 (NIV)

19 So we see that they [the Israelites] were not able to enter [the promised land], because of their unbelief.

This giant finds it?s power in fear. It find?s its power in insecurity.

The Giant of Division (The real Giants were their Friends, Family, Fellowship)

this giant finds its power in discouragement, disillusionment, and disowning.

The Giant of Delusion (Num13:33)

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Numbers 13:33 (NIV)

33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

IV. HOW TO TRIUMPH OVER GIANTS IN OUR LIVES

Remember that the Promises of God are True (Num.13:27)(14:8)

Numbers 13:27 (NIV)

27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.

Numbers 14:8 (NIV)

8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.

Look at the Giants from God?s perspective.

Numbers 13:30 (NIV)

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

Numbers 14:9 (NIV)

9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

Approach Possible Giants in the Name of the Lord (I Sam.17:45)

Numbers 14:9 (NIV)

9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

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1 Samuel 17:45 (NIV)

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

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CONCLUSION

Remember that giants don?t go away, they have to be faced and defeated. Don?t let the giants in your life stand between you and God?s plan for you. Don?t let any giants in your life seem bigger than you and your desire to serve the Lord. Don?t try to face those giants in your life alone BUT face them with God?s strength, vision, and victory and enter into the promised land instead of dying in the wilderness.

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