In a well-known Bible story, David, a shepherd boy, volunteers to fight a towering Philistine warrior named Goliath. Goliath had challenged the men of Israel to offer one of their troops to fight him, but they were all afraid to take him on. Goliath was decked out in the latest and greatest armor and battle weapons. Looking up at the heavyweight champion, David told 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” (I Samuel 17:45, New International Version). For his weapons, David took only his shepherd’s staff, a sling, and five smooth stones.
This story has a spiritual moral that is applicable to us all. Goliath can represent many things—a frightening situation, a false god, an illness, and so on.
Recently while teaching Sunday School, I noticed an interesting part of the story. David ran toward Goliath—toward what appeared so fearsome. Because of his previous experiences fighting off a bear and a lion that had taken lambs from his flock, David was unafraid. He knew God was with him and was all-powerful; therefore, David absolutely trusted that God would help him put down this new threat, too. And David won, proving that the stone of spiritual understanding takes down whatever Goliath we may be facing.
Understanding that God, divine Love, is ever present and all-powerful is our spiritual protection, too—the armor we need to defend ourselves in any fearful situation. The Bible tells us countless times that we should “fear” God, but this means to revere or be in awe of God—and only God! Any other kind of fear must be cast out of our thinking, because it falsely claims a power apart from the Divine. It helps to ask ourselves what we are in awe of. Is it the goodness and ever-presence of divine Love, or a mesmerizing, fearsome Goliath?
Understanding even a little of God’s allness and following God’s leading enables us to confidently face fear, and see its baselessness. Christ Jesus said, “I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Error, the opposite of divine Truth, has no power to defeat God or His fearless creation.
Understanding even a little of God’s allness and following God’s leading enables us to confidently face fear, and see its baselessness.
When faced with a “Goliath” or a frightening situation, we can fearlessly face the false claim, through the understanding that God, divine Love, gives of the false claim’s powerlessness. Fear seems to be our own thinking. But the fact is that we have only one God, who is our only Mind. Whether Goliath is seen as fear of the future, fear of being alone, fear of what others think, fear of the unknown, or fear of a bad outcome, we can surrender to God’s allness rather than to the fear.
It is the Christ—the Truth of God—that causes us to yield to God and overcome fearful worldly thinking. Referring to Christ Jesus, Mrs. Eddy said: “Of the lineage of David, like him he went forth, simple as the shepherd boy, to disarm the Goliath. Panoplied in the strength of an exalted hope, faith, and understanding, he sought to conquer the three-in-one of error: the world, the flesh, and the devil” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, pp. 162–163).
We too are able to disarm the Goliaths of their supposed power through our alertness to the false suggestions of the world, the flesh, and the devil. When we are battling something, let’s remember that God has given us dominion. False world beliefs that may have crept into our thinking can be overcome when we let go of reliance on material laws and put all our trust in divine law.
David sang, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Psalms 56:4). Overcoming the flesh means seeing with spiritual sense what’s true—that we are spiritual and that every aspect of our well-being, including our health, is protected by the law of God. We are not corporeal mortals fighting a hopeless battle. In God, we all have spiritual dominion over the flesh, including freedom from fear. Isaiah promises, “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5).
Even when a challenge feels too big, too scary, or undefeatable, God, Love, is with us. Every such challenge is simply a fearful lie boasting that it’s real and bigger than God. Mrs. Eddy writes: “We may well be perplexed at human fear; and still more astounded at hatred, which lifts its hydra head, showing its horns in the many inventions of evil. But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 563). Recognizing that error is a lie, we can be assured that healing and peace are natural and inevitable.
Sometimes the fear is about the Goliath we face, and sometimes it’s about the “what ifs” that the Goliath seems capable of bringing about in our lives. But whatever the error, lie, or fearful mental suggestion is, we can use the stones of specific truths to put the suggestion down by recognizing the spiritual law that negates it.
Armed with the knowledge that there is only one power and one Mind, and that there is nothing bigger or more powerful than God, we don’t have to be afraid of any Goliath that seems to be challenging us. Instead, we can run toward the boastful lie, confident that “the battle is not [ours], but God’s” (II Chronicles 20:15).