Often we feel like the Israelites in the Valley of Elah fighting the Philistines. We keep trying with all our might to prevail against our obstacles, trials, and circumstances. No matter what we do, nothing seems to work. We are trying to fight with our own power. You have to remember that all the things that are happening are often bigger than you. You can’t do it on your own.
“We fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.
Like the Israelites we are arrayed and perceived to be ready for battle. We are dressed in our armor, we have our weapons and we have taken position. However, on the inside we fear and tremble. We go into battle and stand toe to toe with our enemy but we can’t find a weakness. They seem to be impenetrable. Then their champion arises and presents himself. Looking at his tall stature, we are sure that we are to be defeated because now our enemy, our circumstances, our trials are bigger than we ever imagined. They appear to be stronger, they are heavily protected against assault that we can muster, so we lose heart and don’t even attempt to fight. We give up, willing ourselves to be victims of circumstances and dwell in the valley in fear.
We have to remember that while we are in the valley of Elah there is nothing to fear. Yes, there is a big battle ensuing and a challenge has been thrown down. You have to keep in mind who made the valley. To whom do you belong? In whose name are you coming? You can’t do it on your own, so you can’t come in your own name. Your enemy may be arrayed for battle, but if you come in the name of your Father, surely he will fight on your behalf.
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.
1 Samuel 17:45
David had faith that God would help him win the battle and free Israel from the tyranny of the Philistines. He knew that He could do it without a spear and without a sword. The battle was ultimately in the hands of God and if it was His will, Israel would prevail. We often forget when we are our in our own Elah’s to whom the battle truly belongs.
We often give our circumstances much more power than they truly deserve. I am guilty of that myself, a lot more than I really care to admit. When you are in the valley it is hard to see your way out. We are often so busy looking at the walls around us. When we do that, it is easy to feel like you’re surrounded. We often just want to keep our heads down and try to push forward without drawing more attention to ourselves than we already have (especially if it is a mess of our making), but we are commanded to look upward for help. If you don’t look up, how can you see where you are going or the terrain ahead? You won’t know that you are walking off of a cliff until it’s almost too late.
God on the mountain is the same God in the valley. The same One we take for granted during our success is the same One we plead with during our trials. Circumstances don’t change Him, He changes the circumstances. The valley didn’t change God’s power and David was confident. He knew that the God that helped him in the wildernes fight the lion and the bear would be the same one to help him fight this giant. Where is your faith? Is it in the size of your giant? Or is your faith in the size of your God?