“Perspective is everything” is a phrase we commonly hear. While I think that is an overstatement, I do know that attitude and perspective go a long way in determining the outcome of our lives. Most of us spend a great deal of time trying to change circumstances and very little time changing perspective when that is what is really needed.
Perspective makes all the difference in the world in the area of spiritual victory. Lessons on Kingdom perspective are found in both the Old and New Testament. Let me share two stories from the Old Testament.
WE SEE THE PERSPECTIVE OF FEAR AND DEFEAT. In 1 Samuel 17, we see the story of Israel at war with the Philistines. You may remember in verse 10 how Goliath stood and said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” Then verse 11 tells the real story: “On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” Who was the king in this occasion? Obviously, the king was Saul, but was Saul willing to fight the giant? Was he willing to kill Goliath? He had a perspective of fear as did almost everyone else.
WE SEE THE PERSPECTIVE OF FAITH AND VICTORY. In 1 Chronicles 20 we see another encounter between Israel and the Philistines, yet this time the story is quite different. Verse 5 says that Elhanan killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath. Verses 6 and 7 tell how Jonathan, David’s nephew, killed a giant who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. Wouldn’t you agree these outcomes were entirely different than the last? In the first instance, everybody except one small boy was afraid to fight the giant. In the second instance, everybody seemed to be in the giant-killing business. What makes the difference between the two situations? Why is there such a different perspective between these two historical situations?
WE SEE THE PERSPECTIVE OF FAITH. The key to understanding this is to recognize who the king was in each of these situations. Saul was the king in the first setting, while David was the king in the second. The key difference between the two situations was that David had killed a giant himself. When a giant-killer leads, the troops want to kill giants too. As leaders of God’s people, we need to do the same. We need to lead by example, not only by word. We need to be in the giant-killing business. What can enable us as leaders to do this? The answer is faith. In 1 Samuel 17, David said, “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.” David placed his faith in no one other than the Lord God Almighty.
WE PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD. The difference in David’s situation and Saul’s was dependence upon armor. Saul put faith in his own armor while David had faith in God’s armor. In order to have a truly victorious faith, we cannot trust another’s armor nor our own ability. Paul knew this when he said in Ephesians 6:10–11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
I want to be a giant-killer and I believe you do too. This will only be done when we learn to kill giants while wearing the armor of God, fighting God’s battles. If we are truly going to be victorious, we need to have the same perspective that David did. We must trust in the Lord above all else and lead other believers to do the same.
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