In reading the biblical account about the story of David and Goliath in the 17th chapter of 1 Samuel, we read in verse 40 that David, “took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.”  From this verse and the rest of David’s story leading up to his battle with Goliath, we can learn from David that there are five fundamental faith principles in fighting the good fight of faith in Christ.  To me, the five smooth stones that David chose for battle as he drew near to the giant represent five things we can do to help us effectively fight the good fight of faith in Christ.  The apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:12 that we should fight the good fight of faith; therefore, I’d like to share five practical faith principles that can help us better approach our own spiritual battles and effectively fight the good fight of faith in Christ.

Faith Principle #1: Ignore the false accusations of the enemy.

When David came to the battlefield and saw that Goliath was taunting the armies of the living God, he spoke against Goliath; however, David’s oldest brother became angry with David and falsely accused him of pride and insolence of heart. 1 Samuel 17:26-28 states, “Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, ‘What shall 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 defy the armies of the living God?’ And the people answered him in this manner, saying, ‘So shall it be done for the man who kills him.’ Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here?  And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’  What Eliab was actually saying to David was this.  “Who do you think you are coming down to the battle?  You are nothing but a little shepherd boy who watches a few sheep.  You can do nothing great and you have pride in your heart to come watch the battle.”  But the truth is that David was sent to the battlefield by his father.   He didn’t have pride in his heart.  He actually had obedience in his heart. 

It is important for us to understand that when our Heavenly Father sends us to the battlefield and we show up to fight the good fight of faith in Christ, the devil will become angry with us and he will falsely accuse us.  This is because the devil is the accuser of the brethren and he doesn’t want us to fight the good fight of faith in Christ.  But that does not matter because the devil is nothing but a liar and the father of lies; therefore, we must simply ignore his lies just like David did.  In verses 29 and 30, David says, “’What have I done now? Is there not a cause?’ Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.”  Additionally, we must clearly understand that David’s brother was not the enemy.  The enemy was just using his brother to bring discouragement and doubt to him; however, David simply responded by turning the other way and focusing on the cause which is the second faith principle in fighting the good  fight of faith in Christ.

Faith Principle #2: Focus on the cause of the afflicted.

David cared more about fighting the cause of the afflicted than he did about the lies of the enemy.  So when the lies came, David’s heart did not condemn him because his heart was right before the Lord.  1 Corinthians 2:11 says “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” David was being led by the Spirit of God to fight the good fight of faith for the cause of God’s people.  In fact, in Psalm 140:12-13, David says, “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor.  Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.”  When we stay focused on the cause of the afflicted in fighting the good fight of faith in Christ, we can be confident that the Lord will fight for us because the Lord promises to maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor.

Faith Principle #3: Build your faith during the wilderness trials of life.

In 1 Samuel 17:33-37, the Bible records that Saul said to David, “’You are not able to go against this Philistine, for you are a youth and he is a man of war from his youth.’ But David said to Saul, ’Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.  Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Moreover David said, ‘The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’” From the challenges and trials of life that David experienced in the wilderness, he learned how to build his faith and fight the good fight of faith.  In his wilderness battles, David learned that he could completely trust God to deliver him from the hand of the enemy and give him the victory.  We are no different from David.  In our challenging times of life in the wilderness, we too can learn how to build our faith and trust God to deliver us from the hand of the enemy and give us the victory.  In fact, in 2 Timothy 4:18, the Bible says, “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.”

Faith Principle #4: Depend upon the armor of God for protection and not the armor of man.

In 1 Samuel 17:38-39, the Bible says, “Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.  David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them.  And David said to Saul, ‘I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.’ So David took them off.”  David knew that he could not depend on armor that he had not tested in battle so he did not use Saul’s armor.  David only trusted the armor that God had given him to fight the battle and we must do the same thing. God has given us special armor to fight the good fight of faith in Christ.  In fact, the apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Additionally, the apostle Paul tells us further that the armor of God includes the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and the gospel of peace.  The truth is that we cannot fight the good fight of faith in our own armor nor our own strength.  Zechariah 4:6 states that it is, “’Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” 

Faith Principle #5: Speak bold words of faith and promise directly to the enemy of your spirit in Christ.

In 1 Samuel 17:45-47, “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with 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 defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.’” In the power and might of the Lord, David spoke bold words of faith directly to the giant because he knew that the Lord was for him and the giant could not win against him.  When we fight the good fight of faith, we must do the same thing as David.  We must boldly speak words of faith and promise in the power of God’s might and not our own.  The Bible says, “If God be for us, then who can be against us”: therefore, we must believe this awesome promise of God in fighting the good fight of faith in Christ.  Furthermore, in Luke 10:18-20, Jesus says, “I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” As believers in Christ with our names written in heaven, this is really good news!

Fighting The Good Fight Of Faith Copyright 2010, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Fighting The Good Fight Of Faith, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.