US military analysts say attacking the enemy’s mind is among the chief strategies many modern armies use in order to catch their adversaries off-guard. They say that psychological warfare is actually capable of defeating the enemy without even engaging them.
Interestingly psychological warfare has existed in biblical times also. When Goliath challenged the Israeli army for 40 days he actually attacked their minds. We know this worked because the Israelites fled before him before David stepped forward in faith.
Now Most of the Satanic attacks are psychological too. (Ex: Diagnosis of cancer is psychologically more devastating than it is physically). It’s important that we win psychological battles in life before seeking to strike back in the spiritual realm because our mind is Satan’s primary target. In today’s sermon Let’s learn how David dealt with Goliath’s psychological attacks. [Companion PowerPoint slides for this sermon can be downloaded here]
1. Grasping the reality
A. The soldiers saw Goliath as a champion that stood against an entire army of Israel, (1 Samuel 17:24).
B. Saul viewed Goliath as an experienced soldier who had fought for a lifetime, (1 Samuel 17:33)
C. David alone grasps the reality. Goliath is just another Philistine. He asks “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?, (1 Samuel 17:25)
2. Knowing the identity
A. Saul and his soldiers had a twisted understanding of their own identity. They dismayed and terrified at the words of a mere man, (1 Samuel 17: 26)
B. David on the other hand asks another question? “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine defying the armies of living God?”
C. In his question, David remembers his own identity, the identity of his God and questions the identity of his enemy.
3. Trust in the Lord
A. Goliath was far more than a Lion or a Bear. But remembering the past sustained David’s faith in the present situation, (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
B. Goliath’s trust was in his strength and weapons. David’s however was with the Lord, (1 Samuel 17:4-7; 1 Samuel 17:38-40; 1 Samuel 17:45-46)
C. David foresees the future in faith. He prophesies against the Philistine and his entire army. (1 Samuel 17:47)
A. Grasp the reality: Satan uses our physical senses (eyes and ears) to escort fear into our minds. He picks up something small and makes it look bigger. At such times we need to interpret the situation in terms of God’s word because his word helps us to discover the true face of the problem.
B. Know your identity: Knowing our identity revives our faith. Faith creates momentum needed to retaliate Satan’s psychological attacks through means of spiritual warfare, (ex: fasting and prayer). What is our identity? We are the children of almighty God.
C. Trust in the Lord: Trusting invisible God over a visible situation could be difficult. This is why we need to remember God’s works in the past. The past assures us of God’s faithfulness. David himself wrote later, ‘Praise the LORD, my soul, and never forget all the good he has done’ (Psalms 103:2 – GOD’S WORD Translation) Faith also should kick into action. One of the ways we exercise faith is prophesying to the situation or our enemy, (Mark 11:24).