DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
As I walked into the great stadium, I felt overwhelmed. A friend who’d been there previously had said, “Sammy, remember that it’s God who has brought you to this point in your life. He will give you victory.” Another friend had sent me an e-mail saying, “Go forward by looking back. God has been faithful before. He will be faithful again.”
I was facing a giant. I was about to stand in Maracana, the world’s largest stadium, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt so inadequate. The task was too big. More than 50,000 people had gathered, expecting to hear a word from God. Over half had no personal relationship with Christ.
I must be honest. I didn’t have the faith to do what God had placed before me. But I did have a precious wife and many friends who prayed for me. As they prayed, God gave me courage and strength.
Leading up to the meeting in Maracana, I faced a multitude of doubts. I had almost lost my voice the previous week. It had rained the two days prior to the meeting. Doubts flooded my soul. I was just one small evangelist. I thought, Who am I to attempt such a large undertaking? I feared that no one would come to the stadium. Then I feared that many people would come — and I wouldn’t be up to the task. In short, I was facing one of the greatest giants of my life. What would I do? What should I do?
Long before I faced my giant — or you faced the giants in your life — a young Jewish boy stood face-to-face with a giant. The task was impossible. The giant stood over nine feet tall. When the giant challenged the warriors of Israel, everyone trembled. But when young David saw the giant, he was amazed. Yet not at the giant’s size. He was amazed at the cowardly attitude of the soldiers of Israel. Had they forgotten their past? Didn’t they remember that God had parted the Red Sea? Compared to what God had done in the past, killing a giant was nothing.
David took five stones and his sling and faced the giant. The rest is history. He killed the giant in the name and power of the Lord.
In David’s victory, several principles of battle stand out for the soldier of Christ. The most obvious is there’s no giant too big for God. All of Israel’s soldiers saw the giant and trembled. But David saw God and triumphed. The victory belonged to Israel. They just had their eyes in the wrong place. They needed only to look on their Savior and King. David had his eyes fixed in the right place — and won the victory.
The other soldiers had been in battle, and they knew the techniques of warfare. But they had forgotten that the battle belongs to God. It’s “not by might, nor by power,” but by the Spirit of the Lord. David had seen God give him victory against wild beasts. The God who had earlier given him victory was the same God who would give him victory against the giant. It’s like what my friend told me: “Go forward by looking back. God has been faithful before. He will be faithful again.”
But there’s another interesting facet of David’s victory. Saul wanted him to wear his armor into the battle. But David “fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine” (1Samuel 17:39,40).
David was a very wise young man. He knew he must do battle in the manner that God had given him. God had given David special abilities. He had to operate out of those abilities. He couldn’t be like Saul or any of Saul’s men. He just needed to be David. God would use him uniquely.
There it is: the secret to defeating giants. Trust in God. Look ahead by looking back. And go into battle with what God has uniquely placed in you.
Because of the encouragement of my wife and my friends, I watched as God gave a mighty victory in Maracana. I didn’t need to try to be Billy Graham. I just needed to be myself. God had prepared me for that day. I needed only to remember His faithfulness and trust in him. He gave a great victory. More than 25,000 people responded to the message. The giant wasn’t as big as I thought. Or maybe God was much bigger than I knew.
34) But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35) I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36) Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37) The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” 38) Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39) David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40) Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 41) Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42) He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43) He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44) “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” 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. 46) This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47) All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 48) As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49) Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50) So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51) David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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