My children represent nations.
Isn’t that crazy to think about?
Everyone’s child represents a nation of people, but when you adopt in other cultures and people groups, suddenly you have nations growing up in your home.
And one thing I’ve learned about God is this: His heart is for the nations to know Him.
It’s the heartbeat of the Old Testament that pumps out into the New—spilling bright red into the lives of the redeemed. God’s ultimate plan is to deliver the nations. His picture of heaven, painted in Old Testament books like Ezekiel and Daniel and Zechariah—and described in Revelation—is of a place where the tree of life grows continually and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
The great rift that stands between men and God? His plan, His purpose, is to heal it. To draw the nations back to Himself. To reclaim the hearts of those who have been separated from Him.
And the great commission that is given to the church? Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… (Matt 28:19)
I read the story of David and Goliath one day and it hit me. David wasn’t trying to go take over a country, he was just reclaiming ground. He was telling the world, “My God will not be mocked. He already gave us this ground and we’re not letting the enemy come and take it over. No, sir. The enemy will back off or be destroyed.”
Jesus sends us out into the world to reclaim ground.
He sends us out to battle giants.
And often He will send individuals into foreign countries to carry to the gospel to the unreached; but many times He just moves the unreached—the nations-of-His-heart—right into our cities, our neighborhoods, our homes.
It’s like He’s looking over the world, locating all His children, and picking up the children-He-longs-to-be-His and placing them as close to us as He can get them. Like He’s whispering, This nation was always meant to be mine. Let’s reclaim this ground.
But with the nations-of-His-heart come the giants-of-the-enemy.
And sometimes we wake up and realize that Goliath is camped out in our living room.
I knew about my infertility before I married.
At nineteen years old, a doctor told me that my sudden health issues were rooted in reproductive issues. It was a rough diagnoses and I spent many nights praying, with tears dripping onto my pillow.
And as God worked in me and healed things in me, I really thought I had battled a giant and won.
I had no idea it was just a lion.
Like David who battled a lion on behalf of his sheep, I was fighting something deadly but I was only fighting for myself and the things in my care. I wasn’t battling a giant on behalf of a nation.
When I married and infertility roared its ugly head again, I curled myself into Scripture and coated my life with the Word and fought down another deadly animal that tried to rip away what I held. It was a more gruesome battle than the first. One that left me scrubbing away blood stains from lost babies and mourning dreams that never saw the light of day.
Like David who snatched a lamb from a bear’s mouth, I scraped and fought my way through—pulling my joy and thankfulness back to myself, yanking it from the enemy’s grip. It wasn’t a clean battle, by any means. It was dirty and messy and bloody.
But it was still just a beast sent to steal from and destroy me, not a giant sent to subdue a nation.
I believe that every Christ-Follower will eventually meet their giant. The one sent after them to mock their God, to hold nations in bondage, to press them down under the enemy’s thumb.
All the beasts of personal loss and sorrow and agony—those are our training grounds. We learn to battle there, when the thing at stake is ourselves, so that when the day comes that we’re standing in front of a giant with a nation hanging in the balance—we will know who we are.
It’s also so we’ll know how to battle properly.
Not by building walls around ourselves with too-big armor, but by understanding the power and strength and glory that is found in the God-of-all-gods.
We’ll know the secret to winning battles is found on our knees, dipping our hands into the river, pulling out whatever the Spirit gives us, and staring down giants with truth.
After all, David didn’t win the fight with stones.
You do realize that, right? It was never about the stones.
I have a handful of stones from the same riverbed that David’s came from. My friend, Callie, who lives in Israel, sent them to me. She gathered them up, wrapped a package full of prayers and love, and mailed it across the ocean. They sit on my shelf. Smooth stones, almost white in color, from a riverbed in Israel.
They look awfully similar to the millions of other stones I’ve seen in my lifetime. There is no miraculous power in them and they really are too small to defeat giants.
David said to the mocking-Goliath, “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.”
It was never the stones that toppled the giant.
It was always the name of the Lord.
I’ve met a giant now. I met him in all his gnashing of teeth, spewing of filth, and arrogant haughtiness. He clomped into my life, stood over my family, and mocked the God-Who-Has-Already-Saved.
And suddenly, it wasn’t just me fighting a beast for my own safety or the safety of my dreams. It was me, standing in front of a giant with nations hanging in the balance.
Everything seems different when you’re looking in the face of the giant.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Everything seems different when you’re looking in the face of the giant.” quote=”Everything seems different when you’re looking in the face of the giant.” theme=”style3″]
I called my mom one afternoon, crying. I blew my nose, took shaking deep breaths that ended in whines, and cursed attachment disorders and the existence of abuse and the horror that years of loss have produced.
“I know God is bigger and stronger than all this mess,” I told her, “but I feel like I can’t see anything changing. I pray and pray and pray and take deep breaths and sing worship songs and every time I turn around—something else happens. Another hurt. Another lash of anger. Another tantrum. I’m racing around trying to clean up the mess, but unable to prevent it. I feel like I’m going to go crazy. I can’t stop it and my child knows I can’t stop it and it’s ruling our home. It’s like the enemy is camped out in my living room and I feel like I’m screaming at him to GET OUT and he’s just laughing at me. What do I do?”
She understands that a stone can’t kill a giant.
So instead of telling me what stone to use, she told me where to kneel down. To get my hands into the river—to take whatever the Lord gives me and use it. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if it seems too small to beat a giant.
Because it’s never going to be the stones that win the battle. It’s always going to be the name of the Lord.
Do you have a giant breathing down your neck?
Maybe, like mine, it’s attachment issues that has your child wrapped in its grip, your home bound with its mocking.
Or maybe it’s something else entirely. A conflict. A loss. A rebellious heart. An addiction. A false religion.
Giants come in all sizes and shapes, but they’re actually quite easy to spot.
Here are the clues:
- They’re taking what isn’t theirs,
- mocking God’s ability to conquer them,
- and standing between the nations and God’s redemption.
I’m learning to battle giants.
Specifically the one that keeps trying to camp out in my home.
I’m learning to reclaim ground.
Because these little ones are part of the nations-of-His-heart and He longs to draw them to Himself.
I sometimes struggle with knowing how to pray for myself. Is it okay to still pray for a baby? What if that’s not what God has for me? How do I know what God’s will is for my life? If I keep pushing that way, will I be striving after something that is less than what God desires?
But this battle is different. This giant. This reclaiming of ground.
I know what God says about this.
I’ll be honest, over the past year I haven’t battled well.
I’ve cowered. I’ve cried. I’ve screamed.
I’ve been more like David’s brothers than David. Looking strong but fighting poorly, allowing the giant to take up residence where he has no right to be.
But God has been faithful—teaching, reminding, opening my eyes to the truth. He’s pointed out my old battles with the beast of infertility, and made it clear that the lessons learned there were always about what I’m fighting here.
And He’s said again the startling truth: nations can be reclaimed right here in my living room.
I don’t want to be content with just fighting my own beasts of personal loss and sorrow. If there are giants standing between God and the nations, I want to learn to fight them. I want to learn the Father’s heart—and live it.
And not just me.
I want us all, those who claim to belong to Jesus, to learn this.
Because nations can be reclaimed right in your living room too, my friend. Or in your backyard, or at your grocery store, or at your job. Anywhere a Child-of-God is, the opportunity is burning.
The nations-of-the-Father’s-heart are all around us.
Let’s battle the giants with whatever God gives us, and trust that in the end it isn’t about what stone we have, but about the power of His name. And let’s do it together—fighting in prayer, dipping ourselves into the river of His presence to find the tools we need, and trusting that God’s heart is for us and for the nations.