Do You Have a Kill Step?
Restaurants and food handlers use a "kill step" to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria before the food hits your plate. It's all part of a process designed to keep consumers safe. David uses a "kill step" process to eliminate a potentially harmful enemy of Israel and, in doing so, teaches us how to deal with the nasty challenges in our own lives. We know how the story goes in 1 Samuel 17: David will go out to meet Goliath armed with only five smooth stones and a sling and deliver the "kill step," but what we don't often consider is the process that David goes through to eradicate this potential plague and save his people from ruin. Here are three "kill steps" to consider:
1. Draw on your experience. David had killed lions and bears when they went after the lambs of his flock, which meant he was familiar with the weaponry and knew how to use it against a stronger opponent. But David also had experience with God, who had saved him "from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear" and would now save him "from the hand of this Philistine" (vv. 34-37). David looked at Goliath and saw not a problem but an opportunity to enhance his own reputation and, even more so, the reputation of God (v. 26). He was "a man after God's own heart" and, as such, David was confident that he could deal with Goliath, despite all evidence to the contrary (Acts 13:14; Acts 13:22).
2. Don't listen to negativity. Seeing a young teenager coming at him with a stick and sling, the gigantic warrior Goliath engaged in some serious trash talk (1 Samuel 17:42-44). David, however, refused to give in to Goliath's appraisal. He had armor that Goliath knew nothing about -- the name of the Lord of hosts (v.45).
3. Identify the problem. So often when we look at a problem, we're apt to make a giant out of it and consider all the ways that it can defeat us. The more we focus on that person or that issue, the bigger it seems to grow in our minds. The reality, however, is that the solution to the problem begins with identifying the source of the fear. Ultimately, the only thing we can ever control is ourselves and our reaction to a particular problem. In any given situation we need to ask, "What is pushing my buttons or causing my fear?" Once we identify what's going on that makes us tremble, we can then deal with the problem.
Be confident, knowing that we have God on our side no matter what problem we face.