I was in the thick of the battle against the giants that I described in part one and I came across three different talks that demonstrated different strategies in terms of fighting giants. It was one of those times when things come together in a strange way.
What is your approach to fighting?
The young warrior type male speaker said that setting reasonable goals is the enemy of achieving all that you are capable of doing. Their answer was to raise your targets so that you have to try harder. OK if you have tenacity on you side you can take that attitude to the battle. However that approach does not suit everyone. Some people are so diminished so much when they do not reach goals that setting high unachieveable goals could do more hard than good.
The more mature male encouraged people to fight and keep on fighting. There is an issue with that though because the metaphor of fighting speaks more to men than it does to women. This is why products that are designed to attract men use different names often associated with strength and warrior-like behaviour.
The talk that I heard from a woman took a very different approach. Her background was clinical psychology and her experience was in the arena of helping people complete long term projects. Her approach was much gentler and made good use of the strengths often possessed by women. Her approach was to build a community where people could take a step by step approach to overcoming the obstacle. It was not so much take action and charge ahead but coming along side people and encouraging them. This reminded me of the story of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise kept plodding on and reach the end before the hare who surged ahead and then stopped only for the tortoise to overtake them
All these approaches have their success stories. All of them are unsuitable for some people as well. This is simply because we are all different people. We move forwards and overcome the giants in our own ways.
Giants in the Bible
There are two obvious stories. One is the giants in the land that deterred the slaves from Egypt from entering the Promised Land. Given the sort of battle I was facing this is the one that spoke to me. I was trying to go into my Promised Land and I was facing opposition so the idea of fighting giants made sense.
The other story that springs to mind is David and Goliath. David was facing a giant and fighting an enemy that was bigger than him with God’s help. Sound familiar, these stories do have some principles in common.
Another principle is using the right strategy for you and for your situation. A variety of strategies that were used to overcome the various pockets of opposition encountered. We remember the one used at Jericho because it is so visual and a story that is often told to children. Walking round the walls and then blowing a trumpet worked at Jericho but it would not work anywhere else.
David had a similar issue in terms of using the right strategy. In his case it was centred around what he worse and what weapons he carried. Saul offered David the chance to put on armour. When he tried it on it turned out to be more of a hindrance than a help.
Saul wanted him to use his strategy for facing the enemy but David was not Saul so it did not work for him. David realised that he had to face the giant using his strengths and doing things in the way that best suited him. His strength was using a sling shot and stones, not the sort of weapon a soldier would normally have taken into combat with him.
Problems that arise from wearing the wrong armour
We need to learn to fight but one reason why we struggle in the battle is we are wearing the wrong armour. We all need to wear the right armour. We as helpers need to wear the right armour when we help others. In addition we need to help others find the right armour for them to put on so that they can fight effectively.
I can think of people who have fought the battle against illiteracy. The reason why they have lost that battle early in life are many and varied. Yet when they put a stake in the ground and made the decision to overcome that giant and enrolled in a class many of them did overcome that giant.
Some of these people have been flattened by circumstances and they need help picking themselves up. Some of them need to try out different armour to see what they are comfortable wearing. In the beginning it will be very lightweight as otherwise it could catch their wounds. As they get stronger as their wounds heal they can try out new armour.
The hard bit is helping them learn to fight when wounded sore and desperate. It can be the last thing that they want to do. Yer unless they fight they will not recover. They cannot win unless they are wearing the right armour for their situation. They cannot win unless they have the right supporters by their side.
Think about it it was a group of people who walked around Jericho not one man! They had the right weapons in case of Jericho it was trumpets. Talk about weapons looking as thought they would not be very effective in a situation!
David was not on his own either as he knew that God was with him. In fact he told Goliath as much. He already knew what it was like to face difficult situations with God’s help. Well what else do you call facing lions an bears with simply a slingshot and a stone. He was taking his experience to use in a slightly different situation.
What we can learn from comparing these fights against giants
These were different situations that used different strategies that took advantage of the different skills and experience of those involved. The outcomes taught those taking part different lessons.
There were some things that they did have in common. One was they made the decision to fight the giants and then worked with God to make sure that it they were overcome. Another was that they used a strategy God had shown them and that left room for God to play His part. I just need to do the same thing!!!!