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By: Steve Wilmot

Confederate General Stonewall Jackson’s army found itself on one side of a river when it needed to be on the other side.

To resolve the problem, he told his engineers to plan and build a bridge so the army could cross. He also called his wagon master to tell him it was urgent that the wagon train cross the river as soon as possible.

The wagon master immediately began to gather as many logs, rocks, and fence rails as possible and built a bridge. Long before daylight General Jackson was told by his wagon master all the wagons and artillery had crossed the river.

General Jackson asked him, “Where are the engineers and what are they doing?” The wagon master replied, “They’re in their tent drawing up plans for a bridge.”

There comes a time to get down to the nitty-gritty and swing into action. A moment when talking, praying, and planning are no longer enough. An instant when God nudges you to engage your Goliath.

Forty consecutive days came and went with Goliath strutting into the valley to taunt the army of Israel. Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other” (vs. 10). Verse 16 notes Goliath issued his challenge two times a day for 40 days!

Day 41 looked like a repeat. Just as David arrived early that morning with lunch for his brothers, “the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry” (vs. 20).

But as they had been for 40 days, they were all bluster and no action. Soldiers pretended to be brave warriors when they were only empty words. A total farce. Then Goliath marched out to defy them, and they showed their true colors — “they all ran from him in great fear” (vs. 24).

It’s noteworthy that David heard the very same mockery from Goliath every soldier in Saul’s army had listened to for 40 days. The difference was David decided to do something about it.

Too often, we cower in fear and refuse to take on our Goliaths because we don’t think we can beat them. They’re too enormous for us to tackle. Too powerful to overcome. We’ll just have to live with them, do our best to muddle through life, and try to ignore their ridicule and scorn.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. David shows how to face and defeat your Goliaths. David said to 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. 

This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head… and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (vs. 45-47).

That kind of confidence only exists in someone who firmly believes a pivotal truth: The battle was not David against Goliath; the battle was David and God against Goliath. And that’s a formula for victory every time.

So, what’s your Goliath? Your past? A relationship that needs mending? Swimming against the tide of popular opinion? Sharing your faith? A physical impairment? Feelings of inferiority, insecurity, or inadequacy? A sin habit? Not giving up on your marriage or your children?

Continuing to trust God in a difficult situation that keeps going from bad to worse? Unhealthy emotions like fear and anxiety, anger and regret, depression, and hopelessness?

What will you do about the Goliaths that mock your faith and make your life harder than it should be? Do you boldly sing songs of God’s power to deliver and recite Scriptures that declare God fights for you, but you’re too intimidated to act because Goliath towers over you?

If David hadn’t killed Goliath, he would have continued to ridicule Israel. Your Goliaths won’t magically disappear either. You must confront them.

Your time has come to trust God and step onto the battlefield and fight — even if you’re afraid and plagued with doubt.

Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is trusting God and doing what needs to be done even if you must do it scared.

Today is Day 41. The great Flood stopped on Day 41 after 40 days of non-stop rain. Moses ended 40 years as a fugitive and returned to Egypt to rescue the Israelites from bondage in Year 41.

Israel wandered in the wilderness 40 years, but in Year 41 they entered the Promised Land. Jesus withstood Satan’s temptations for 40 days, and the devil left him on Day 41.

After his resurrection, Jesus showed himself alive to numerous people for 40 days, but on Day 41 he ascended into heaven and sat once again on his throne. Let me say it again: Today is Day 41 for you.

“Whether you’re stuck in the storms of life; in serious need of a second chance; stranded in the wilderness of unexpected circumstances or unfulfilled expectations; facing what seems to be an unbeatable giant; or bearing up against unspeakable temptation, the pattern is clear.

The number 41 represents the dawn of a new day — the hope and promise that if you don’t quit, the rain will stop, the giant will fall, and you will enter your promised land” (


Steve Wilmot is a former Edgerton, Ohio area pastor who now seeks “to still bear fruit in old age” through writing. He is the author of seven books designed to assist believers to make steady progress on their spiritual journey.


The post Column: PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – Day 41 first appeared on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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