Principle #7: Have an Eternal Perspective

Principle 7 calls us to maintain an eternal perspective in the midst of life’s trials and battles. This is powerfully illustrated through the iconic story of David and Goliath. The Philistine giant Goliath taunted and defied the Israelite army, threatening to kill any soldier who opposed him. Young David arrived merely to deliver food to his brothers, only to hear Goliath’s intimidating challenges day after day. King Saul and all Israel cowered in fear, lacking the faith to confront this formidable foe. Yet David evaluated the battle through a lens of eternity. Despite impossible earthly odds, he courageously volunteered to face Goliath after being granted permission by King Saul. David’s eternal perspective enabled him to boldly confront and defeat a giant when all others trembled in fear. As we walk through modern day battles and giants, keeping an eternal focus provides the courage, strength and hope to stand firm.

Fix Your Eyes on God’s Power, Not Circumstances

“Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?'” (1 Samuel 17:26)

When facing an intimidating trial or challenge, our natural tendency is to focus on the sheer impossibility of the circumstance through human eyes. Just like Saul and the Israelite army, we become paralyzed by fear when evaluating the situation logically. No one could withstand a giant over nine feet tall!

But David demonstrated the eternal perspective by fixing his eyes on the power of the living God rather than earthly limitations. While others saw Goliath as an invincible foe, David saw the battle as an opportunity for God to display His might and glory.

With bold faith, David rushed headlong into a fight that seemed suicidal by human standards. Why? Because he understood that the battle belonged to the Lord, not himself (1 Samuel 17:47). God would be exalted through David’s weakness, not his strength (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we face modern-day “giants” like financial crisis, health issues, or relational conflicts, we must lift our gaze above the circumstance to the One who has all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). He is not limited by worldly constraints. Our focus must be on His supreme authority and ability to accomplish the impossible. Fixing our eyes on Christ will instill eternal courage and perspective to stand firm.

Trusting God’s Strength, Not Man’s Armor

When King Saul heard of David’s faith-filled willingness to face Goliath, he attempted to outfit the young shepherd boy with his own royal armor and sword.

But David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:39-40)

Though Saul meant well in offering his armor, David discerned that victory would not come through traditional military strength. The giant would not be defeated by spear or sword or the armor of man, but through faith in the power of the living God.

David refused to adopt Saul’s earthly perspective which relied on human wisdom and effort. He maintained an eternal focus, knowing the battle belonged to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47). Victory was assured through obedience to God’s direction, not fleshly strength.

So David approached Goliath bearing only the simple tools of a shepherd – his staff, sling, and five smooth stones from the brook. To human eyes, this seemed laughably inadequate against the military might of the Philistine champion.

But David walked by faith, not sight. He understood that God required utter trust and dependency on His power to show Himself strong. Through David’s weakness and foolishness in the world’s eyes, God’s mighty strength would be revealed.

When we face modern day battles, God often calls us to lay down earthly tools – whether money, influence, skill sets, or credentials – because He wants utter reliance on His Spirit. He gets no glory from human effort and wisdom. Like David, we find courage through an eternal perspective that counts on heavenly resources rather than earthly ones.

Recall God’s Faithfulness in the Past

“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.'” (1 Samuel 17:34-36)

In the heat of battle, it is easy to forget the faithfulness God has demonstrated time and again in past seasons. Our minds fixate on the impossibility of present circumstances while forgetting the miraculous ways He has come through before. Just like the Israelite army, we fall prey to doubt and fear in the moment.

But David recalled specific examples of how God had strengthened him to defeat lions and bears while protecting his flock. Through these past victories, David gained courage that the Lord would surely deliver him from Goliath as well. He learned to trust in God’s power and protection.

As believers, we must cultivate this eternal perspective by regularly remembering God’s faithfulness demonstrated throughout Scripture and in our own lives. Rehearsing past prayers He has answered and obstacles He has overcome on our behalf breeds deep confidence in His continued provisions. Just as He delivered David from the paw of the lion, He promises to rescue us from every trial as we walk in His ways.

When facing present giants, take time to recall specific times when God miraculously provided, healed, protected, or guided in the past. Remembering His proven track record of faithfulness will renew strength and boldness to stand firm in the battle before you. The God who did it before will surely do it again!

Recognize the Spiritual Battle

While Goliath appeared to be just a physically imposing enemy, David discerned the true spiritual battle at hand.

Goliath – A Nephilim Descendant

“There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33)

The Nephilim were the notorious offspring of the “sons of God” (potentially fallen angels) and human women before the Flood, according to Genesis 6:1-4. This forbidden intermingling produced giants of superhuman strength and colossal stature.

Numbers 13:33 describes the Nephilim as fierce giants who made the Israelite spies feel like “grasshoppers” in comparison. They possessed extraordinary size, capabilities, and battle skills far beyond natural human limits.

Goliath, the champion of the Philistines who taunted the Israelite army, exhibited traits that strongly suggest Nephilim descent. While Scripture does not explicitly state Goliath’s ancestry, compelling evidence indicates he belonged to those ancient supernatural beings.

First, Goliath stood over 9 feet tall – a height only possible through some kind of non-human intervention. 1 Samuel 17 provides his detailed proportions: “six cubits and a span” which equals roughly 9 feet 9 inches.

Second, Goliath’s armor and weaponry required massive human strength to bear. He wore heavy bronze armor, greaves, and an enormous bronze helmet. His spear weighed over 15 pounds with an iron head weighting 600 shekels (over 15 lbs).

Third, Goliath’s hometown further points to Nephilim heritage. He came from the Philistine city of Gath, one of the centers of Nephilim giant clans like the Anakim. The Anakim giants were specifically identified as descendants of the Nephilim in Numbers 13:33. The Philistines likely intermarried with the Nephilim, producing giants like Goliath.

Fourth, Goliath possessed exactly the superhuman battle skills and strength the Nephilim were infamous for. His massive frame struck sheer terror in the Israelite army because no ordinary human could withstand his power (1 Samuel 17:11). His battle résumé included defeating every previous challenger with ease.

Fifth, parallels exist between the description of Nephilim and Goliath. The Nephilim’s extraordinary size made the Israelites feel like “grasshoppers” (Num 13:33), while Goliath taunted the cowering Israelites as seeming like mere “dogs” (1 Sam 17:43). The parallel language further links Goliath to the ancient Nephilim giants.

In conclusion, strong exegetical evidence supports Goliath belonging to the Nephilim giants, though Scripture does not state this explicitly. His extraordinary physical features and strength align with the biblical descriptions and traits of the Nephilim. While clearly not a normal human, Goliath fell within the category of a battle-hardened, giant Nephilim warrior.

Yet David maintained perspective – no matter Goliath’s dark spiritual origins, God retained supreme authority over all spirits and forces. The living God of Israel reigned over any demonic powers behind Goliath. With faith in God’s sovereign power, David defeated the giant through divine strength. Recognizing the spiritual forces involved in our battles allows us to stand firm in Christ’s victory.

God’s Supreme Authority Over All Spirits

Despite Goliath’s supernatural strength, David knew that God’s power and authority remained supreme over all spiritual forces.

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.'” (1 Samuel 17:45)

He did not rely on arms or armor to defeat Goliath. Rather, David came in the all-powerful name of Yahweh, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Though the enemy seemed unconquerable in the natural realm, David fixed his eyes on the One who spoke the universe into existence.

1 John 4:4 assures all believers in Christ:

“Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

No matter what demonic powers may arise or how intense the spiritual forces aligned against us, God retains supreme authority over every principality and power (Colossians 2:10). The Creator is infinitely greater than any created being.

Standing firmly on this eternal truth, David defeated the giant not by military might or physical strength, but through faith in the unmatched power and sovereignty of the living God. When we recognize the spiritual forces involved in our battles, we can stand unwavering in the victory Christ has already accomplished over all evil powers. His supremacy surpasses all.

Stand Firm on God’s Promises for the Future

God’s Covenant Promises

“This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:46-47)

David stood firmly on God’s covenant promises to defend Israel and grant them victory over their enemies. Though the Philistine army appeared undefeatable in the natural realm, David was confident that the omnipotent Lord of Hosts would honor His word to fight for His people.

Rather than relying on military might, David relied on the certainty of God’s faithfulness to His promises. He knew that Yahweh would glorify His name through a miraculous demonstration of power.

The Assured Future Victory

“Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.” (1 Samuel 17:50-51)

David looked ahead with prophetic clarity to the victory God would give over Goliath that very day. Though he stood empty-handed before a battle-seasoned giant, David could already envision Goliath being defeated by God’s power. This was not presumptuous confidence in his own ability, but unshakable faith in Yahweh’s promise to deliver.

Just like David, we can stand unwaveringly on God’s assured final victory, regardless of our temporary earthly circumstances. Our confidence rests in the eternal promises of Christ’s triumph.

Keep an Eternal Perspective

Despite the fearsome sight of Goliath, David kept his eyes fixed on the eternal God rather than this earthly foe.

Eyes Fixed on the Eternal God

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.'” (1 Samuel 17:45-46)

While the Israelite army shook with terror at Goliath’s threats, David’s gaze remained steadfastly uplifted to the eternal God who authored salvation with His mighty hand.

He did not boast in his own abilities or weapons. Rather, David focused intently on the supreme power and faithfulness of Yahweh to defend His glory and keep His covenant. His eyes fixed like flint on the Lord’s sovereignty to prevail against any foe.

Standing Firm in God’s Strength

David also demonstrated the eternal perspective in the posture of his heart – regardless of circumstances, he refused to waver or retreat in fear.

Psalm 27:1-3 proclaims his steadfast spirit:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear.”

David understood that with the invincible God of Angel Armies fighting for him, no earthly giant could touch him. This eternal perspective produced rock-solid courage to stand unwavering even in the face of enormous odds.

When we keep our eyes fixed on the eternal power of Christ, we can stand firm and unshaken against every spiritual and earthly attack. No weapon formed against us can prosper when God is on our side.

Application Questions:

  1. In what current situation do you need to fix your eyes on God’s power rather than earthly limitations? What shift in perspective does this require?
  2. When has remembering God’s past faithfulness helped you stand firm in a present trial? How can you regularly rehearse His track record of provision?
  3. What “earthly armor” or human strength are you tempted to depend on rather than trusting God’s power? What does it look like to rely fully on Him?
  4. Do you recognize any spiritual forces seeking to intimidate you right now? How can David’s example encourage you to stand firm in God’s authority?
  5. How can you practically keep your focus on the eternal rather than immediate circumstances this week? What benefits result from this eternal perspective?
  6. When has clinging to God’s future promises given you courage in spite of temporary trials? How can it shape your perspective right now?
  7. What area of your life currently requires an eternal perspective to persevere and stand strong? Ask God to renew your mind to His eternal realities.

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