By Rev. Joe C. Washington Christ Community Church Have you ever felt like everything and everyone in your life is bigger or greater than\u00a0you? Have you ever felt as though you live in the land of giants? The truth is that we do\u00a0live in a land of giants. There are things that are bigger than we are, things which seem to\u00a0stand between us and the place where God wants us to be. In the Old Testament, God\u00a0sent His people, Israel, to a place called The Promised Land. It was a great place to live\u00a0flowing with milk and honey, but it also was inhabited by giants whom they would have\u00a0to face and defeat. We, too, live in a land of giants which we must face if we are to\u00a0reside in the place God has for us. The course or road the Israelites had to travel\u00a0is the same one we must traverse if we are going to inherit our promised land. They had\u00a0to be willing to face, fight and defeat the giants who stood in the way of their promises\u00a0from Jehovah God. In order to reach our promised land, we must all face the fact spiritual warfare is\u00a0a necessity. God never glosses over the fact that there is going to be warfare for His\u00a0children. He told Moses there would be blessings and enemies in the Promised Land\u00a0(Exodus 3:16-17). He promised Joshua the Land but told him he would have to be\u00a0strong and courageous to face its challenges (Joshua 1:1-7). He promised Gideon he\u00a0would save Israel but he would have to face the Midiantes (Judges 6:15-16).\u00a0He\u00a0anointed David to be king as a youth but David still had Goliath and Saul to fight (1\u00a0Samuel). Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was no less forthcoming with His disciples and with\u00a0us. Jesus said, \u201cIf the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If\u00a0you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the\u00a0world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the\u00a0word that I said to you, \u2018a servant is not greater than his master.\u2019 If they persecuted Me,\u00a0they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.\u201d (John\u00a015:18-20). In other words, there is great joy and blessing in following Christ, but there\u00a0will be battles to fight and giants to slay. These battles are a necessity and they are very\u00a0real because we live in the land of giants. Since we have to face our giants and fight these battles in the land of the giants\u00a0to receive our inheritance from God, what is the nature of our warfare? In 2 Corinthians\u00a010:3-5, the Apostle Paul warned, \u201cFor though we walk in the flesh, we do not war\u00a0according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God\u00a0for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts\u00a0itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the\u00a0obedience of Christ.\u201d Therefore, we are to be engaged in offensive warfare. We are not\u00a0called to hold the fort against the giants of life. Unfortunately, that is the plan many of us\u00a0seem to have. We want to circle the wagons at the church building and hold off the devil\u00a0until Jesus comes back. That is not God\u2019s plan for our lives! When Goliath challenged\u00a0Israel,\u00a0Saul hid in his tent and just hoped everything would work out. When the Midianites\u00a0were destroying Israel, Gideon was hiding in a wine press. We are not called to run for\u00a0cover either. When faced with the giants of life we far too often panic and make a mess\u00a0out of things in our lives. Instead of running and taking cover from our giants, God has called us to face\u00a0our giants in this land by 1) pulling down strongholds and 2) casting down imaginations.\u00a0The Greek words pull down mean to dethrone. In other words, we are asked and\u00a0equipped by our God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to pull down, or dethrone the\u00a0stronghold of any false god or anything that has risen above the knowledge of our God. We live our lives with major strongholds which replace the true Jehovah God with a\u00a0false god. We must dethrone anything and anyone who tries to replace our God. We are\u00a0called to engage in this type of offensive warfare to face and defeat our giants. In addition, we are also called to cast down imaginations and this means we are\u00a0to conquer them. We are to attack and conquer imaginations of this world. What are\u00a0these imaginations? They are the deceptive and fleshly way of thinking common to this\u00a0world system. Paul spoke of this in Colossians 2:8-10 when he said, \u201cBeware lest\u00a0anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of\u00a0men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in\u00a0Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is\u00a0the head of all principality and power.\u201d 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that a giant is anything\u00a0that exalts itself above God. We are to cast down every high thing. These are those\u00a0things that seem too far above us to even hope to win against them. Goliath towered\u00a0above everyone else in Israel. He was even taller than their king (Saul), the tallest man\u00a0in the entire kingdom. No matter how big Goliath was, Israel could bring him down if\u00a0they let God fight their battle for them. In the end, a giant is anything or anyone that refuses to give God His rightful place. It is\u00a0what exalts itself against the knowledge of God. This includes people who are operating\u00a0in the flesh rather than in the Spirit, circumstances that make it appear that God is not in\u00a0control, and attitudes that put man before God. It is imperative we understand that there are weapons we cannot trust. The\u00a0weapons of our warfare are not carnal, or fleshly. We cannot face the giants of life with\u00a0weapons of our own making. It is that carnal or fleshly nature that is our problem in the\u00a0first place (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-3). God has given us weapons we can trust. These\u00a0weapons are mighty in God. Though we live in this world (in the land of the giants) and\u00a0face the problems of this world (giants), we have a different way to face those problems.\u00a0This is the emphasis of Galatians 2:20 which reminds us, \u201cI have been crucified with\u00a0Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the\u00a0flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.\u201d We\u00a0cannot trust weapons of this world \u2013 we must trust God\u2019s weapons. David refused to\u00a0fight Goliath with the weapons of Saul. He knew he must fight God\u2019s battle God\u2019s way.\u00a0We must guard against trusting in the flashy and appealing answers of this world rather\u00a0than in the trustworthy weapons of God\u2019s armory. \u201cSo Saul clothed David with his armor\u00a0\u2026 And David said to Saul, \u2018I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.\u2019 So\u00a0David took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five\u00a0smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd\u2019s bag, in a pouch which he\u00a0had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine." (1 Samuel\u00a017:38-40). It is clear we have been given weapons by God to fight His battles and to face\u00a0our giants. He has given us: 1) His Word, which shall never return to Him void; 2) Prayer, which He is always listening and ready to answer; and 3) His People, whom He often\u00a0has reserved and has prepared to help us fight. What giants do you face in your life? Do\u00a0you find other people, circumstances, or things within in your own heart and mind\u00a0coming between you and obeying God with your whole heart? Hebrews 12:1-2 gives us\u00a0the ultimate answer for all the giants of life \u2013 \u201cJesus the author and finisher of your faith."