||The Giant of Fear
||1 Samuel 17
One of the most paralyzing of all human emotions is fear. It can rob us of reason and faith. It makes a bad situation worse than it really is, and it saps us of energy and confidence. David would write later on, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). But in our story today he faced a fearsome giant (literally) that his country was in dread of. Let’s consider how fear works and by what means it can be defeated.
Connect Group Guide: September 9, 2021
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “The Giant of Fear”
Text: 1 Samuel 17
One of the most paralyzing of all human emotions is fear. It can rob us of reason and faith. It makes a bad situation worse than it really is, and it saps us of energy and confidence. David would write later on, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). But in this story in 1 Samuel 17, he faced a fearsome giant (literally) that his country was in dread of. Let’s consider how fear works and by what means it can be defeated.
“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.... Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.’” —1 Samuel 17:45, 47
Talk about It
- Do you have any irrational phobias or fears that paralyze you?
- Crippling and debilitating fear can often grow when ruminating over the question what if? Can you identify any what ifs? that keep you up at night and consume you? What biblical truths come to mind that can replace the what ifs?
- Mental health expert Kristen Fuller noted that fear and anxiety can often turn to anger—a stressful environment combined with a perceived threat can lead to frustration and lashing out.1 Take inventory. Is there an area in life where you are angry or lashing out? Can you trace that anger back to an unidentified or unacknowledged fear? If you aren’t careful, your battle will be with the family of God; meanwhile the real Enemy of our souls is gaining ground.
“Fear is the greatest barrier to knowing God and fulfilling His purpose for life.” —Pastor SkipMake It Practical
- Remember the victories. If you have a good memory and a sound theology, you’re ready to fight. The good memory will remind you of what God has done in the past; the sound theology will remind you the battle is the Lord’s—what He did, He can do again.
- Realize your personal assets. Consider the God-given assets you have that can be leveraged to conquer fear. Never do what God hasn’t called you to do. What works for one will not necessarily work for another—find your own gifts.
- Rely on a powerful God. If you’re going to kill the giant of fear, you need a healthy respect for the size of the living God. With God, one is always a majority. Read 1 Samuel 17:25, 45 and compare perspectives.
Father, in You is the fullness of love. God is love. We choose to take up permanent residence in a life of love. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home, and matures in us, so that we’re free of worry. We admit how easy it is to choose fear; forgive us. We’ve often let it breed anger toward Your people, forgetting the real battle. You want the debilitating barrier of fear conquered. Thank You that You have proven Your capability in past victories, and that You’ve given us each our own assets with which to fight. Help us to rely on You, the living God. In Jesus’ name, amen.Cross references: Deuteronomy 8:2; 1 Samuel 16:7; Zechariah 2:8; Acts 9:4; Romans 12:2; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 4:18
1 Kristen Fuller, “When Anxiety Turns to Anger: Relationship of Anxiety and Anger,” Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program, accessed September 7, 2021, https://discoverymood.com/blog/anxiety-and-anger.
- Fear Is Intimidating (vv. 8-11)
- Fear Can Be Debilitating (vv. 21-24)
- Fear Breeds Squabbling (vv. 28-29)
- Fear Requires Conquering (vv. 45-47)
- By Remembering Past Victories
- By Realizing Personal Assets
- By Relying on a Powerful God
Keywords: afraid, battle, the church, the Enemy, fear, fighting, phobia, Satan, victory