There has been a subtle, but persistent spiritual attack --a cloud of unbelief– that has settled on a number of people. Some folks have not even noticed how unbelief has unnoticeably crept into their thought life; others have been in major battles, suffering from relentless questions concerning the validity of God's promises. People are finding themselves in circumstances that are far removed from what they hoped or envisioned.
If we look at the heroes of faith in the Scriptures, we will find people that, without fail, found themselves in circumstances that were unlike anything their faith expected. If we pursue our investigation, we will also see that it was in the "unexpected place" that God established character in His servants, which in turn released power that fulfilled destiny.
Here's the scene: You're in a battle with sickness, oppression or some similar need. However, you seek God and, in some way, the grace of God touches your life. Your victory may have come through a word or prayer or some other experience, but you absolutely know the Lord delivered you. Using the one of your five smooth stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath.
But then, a few weeks or months later (or perhaps, years), suddenly all the old symptoms return with a vengeance. If you were struggling with an illness, it manifests now worse than ever; if your battle was regarding a relationship, it seems like all progress has been lost and you are back to square one.
Have you ever been there? These negative experiences can drain the faith from your heart to such a degree that you feel you'll never recover the anticipation of faith again. A spiritual paralysis immobilizes your soul. You may still attend church, but your faith is unresponsive; when others testify of a healing or deliverance, you secretly wait, measuring the time until they, too, lose their healing.
For many, the result is one of severe disillusionment. The scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov 13:12). How can you trust God when it seems like He let you down or you just can't seem to keep the blessing? You wonder: Did I lose my breakthrough or was I only deceiving myself and never really had it?
Do not be so hard on yourself! It is very possible that what you are experiencing is an entirely new spiritual battle, not a loss of God's blessing. This new war is a very clever and effective deception that Satan uses to try and worm his way back into the lives of those delivered by God.
I had been praying about this very thing, this returning battle, when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "Goliath had a brother." I was immediately reminded of David's war against the Philistine giant. We all know that David became a great hero by trusting God and defeating Goliath. However, later in his life other giants showed up to war against the Lord's servant. Amazingly, all of them were related to Goliath! Three of these giants were Goliath's actual children; one, was Goliath's brother (See 1 Chr 20.). So, after defeating a giant once, David suddenly had to face another giant.
Get this point: Goliath had a brother that looked like him. We can imagine that the giant talked like Goliath, fought like him, and probably even smelled like him. Other than saying David was weary, the Bible is silent as to what might have been going through the king's mind. Perhaps he wondered, "I thought I killed you. What are you doing back?" But, Goliath hadn't come back. It was the giant's brother and children that returned; it just looked like the same battle! The truth was, Goliath was dead.
Likewise, you also have had many successful victories. Just because the current giant you are facing looks like one you defeated in the past, don't buy the lie that you never really won! By the strength of God's grace, you trusted the Almighty and conquered your Goliath. The first giant is dead. Satan is masquerading as your former enemy so he can slip past your faith and regain entrance into your life. Resist him. Stand in faith (Eph 6). Don't accept the lie that you were never delivered. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4). The Living God who helped you conquer Goliath will empower you to overcome his brother as well. These remaining 4 giants will also be used in your life to refine our character and release greater glory.
There is one major difference! With Goliath the victory was euphoric and public. The reward of this victory was second to none. On the other hand, it is these sorts of victories that cause people to 'worship' us and others to hate and envy us. The benefits of conquering the "No Name Giants" are not as public, in fact they are quite private. Nonetheless, the personal growth and revelation it produces in our lives is unequaled by any other victory. Sure, Elijah calling down fire from heaven was a big, WOW! Yet, his private struggle with Jezebel is what really shortened the life-span of his ministry and led to his replacement.
Consider Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. He wrote of his "great desire" to see the church and actually tried to go to this city more than once. Yet, he wrote, "Satan frustrated us" (1Thes 2:17-18). Paul clearly experienced a setback. This is the arena where the spirit of unbelief seeks to stop our progression in God. However, God will use the very thing that seemed like a disadvantage to release destiny.
Although he felt disillusioned and beat up by the enemy at times, God was watching. There, in dark, mildewed cells, Paul would allow the character of Christ to emerge: singing hymns at midnight, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing. In the crucible of the un-envisioned place, Paul's character was frequently refined. Inspired by the substance of Christ's actual life, which he found in the unexpected place, Paul wrote some of the most powerful, liberating words ever written by man.
Or consider the apostle John, exiled to a lonely life on the Isle of Patmos. If anyone was a "people person," it would have been John. Yet, there he was isolated on a deserted island. He could have become bitter. Certainly, this was not what God wanted for this man, the last one who had been with Jesus Himself? Yet, if he had not been exiled, we would not have been given the majesty of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Or what of Joseph -- betrayal, slavery and jail was not what he envisioned, but it's what the Holy Spirit used to transform a dreamer into a powerful man of God. Or did David expect after being anointed by the prophet Samuel, that he would find himself in a wilderness, a fugitive for seven years? No, but it was there, in the injustice of the wilderness years, that God forged in David and his followers the greatest sense of unity the Old Testament would attain.
So also with you. Your circumstances may not be what you envisioned, but they are no obstacle for God. Paul learned that God was fully capable to reveal Himself, not only in the expected places, but in that which was unexpected as well. Paul wrote, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place" (2 Cor 2:14).
Killing Goliath in the spotlight was great, but killing his Kin-Folk in your prayer closet, prisons, pits or deserted islands is unparalled. As you exercise your faith, as you rest in Christ, God will turn your apparent and deceitful setback into a setup that releases greater glory and manifested destiny. After handing Goliath on a silver platter, keep your other stones nearby, you'll soon be needing them. Have no fear, they will fall as well!. (2 Samuel 21:22).