Devotionals by Dr. James MacDonald

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Faith to Kill a Giant

All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. . . . And David said to the men who stood by him, “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” (1 Samuel 17:24, 26, esv)?

When you hear the name “Goliath,” you picture that hairy giant of a guy that the shepherd-boy David brought down with a slingshot, right? That whole battle scene inspires us—because we know how it ended.

But if you had said the name “Goliath” to any soldier serving under King Saul, you would have seen pure terror in his eyes. Every day for more than a month, the troops had witnessed this arrogant, bullying enemy challenge their army. “And the Philistine said, ‘I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.’ When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid” (1 Samuel 17:10–11).

Enter young David, delivering lunch to his big brothers on the battlefield, when Goliath came out for his daily taunt.

Now, David knew the same thing that Saul and his army should have known. David knew that God had promised to protect His people, and his faith in the living God flourished—even when the rest of them cowered, paralyzed with fear. When David heard Goliath’s proposition, he thought, Now let me get this straight. All I have to do is fight him, and this showdown will all be over? That’s it?

But before David did his famous slingshot routine, he had to overcome a few major obstacles. The most obvious one stood right in front of him. Was there anything, humanly speaking, that suggested he was the guy to take on Goliath? No. But David didn’t see what everybody else saw. If David had walked by sight, he would have noticed a much stronger opponent with more battle experience, more weaponry, more raw killing power.

Too often, we fail to win the victories that God would have us win because of the simple obstacle of sight. Do you see what everybody else sees, or do you see what God sees? Like Saul’s soldiers, have you been paralyzed for forty days by seeing only a giant, listening to his taunts hammer your hope and injure your heart? The problem is vision: you’ve got your eyes off the Lord and on the giant. When David looked up, he asked a bold question: “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” His words reveal a simple fact: David had his eyes on the Lord. Everything hinged on this.

Are you facing a giant today? Forget what you see. Get your eyes back on the Lord, “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).


  • What are some “giants” you’re facing today?
  • Contrast what you see with your eyes to what you see by faith. How can you face your giant with your eyes squarely on God?

Lord God, You are a warrior. You are mighty in battle, and You always win. When I face my giants in life, help me to fix my eyes on You alone. When I stare at the giant, my vision deceives me, and I feel afraid. When I look at You, my courage grows, for You are the living God, slayer of giants and sin and death. Teach me to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Thank You that because of Jesus, my ultimate, eternal victory is secure. In His matchless name I pray, amen.

For more from Dr. James MacDonald please visit Walk in the Word on


Live a Life of Prayer

Where do you turn when you need help? It’s a great question because the truth is, we all need help. No matter how spiritual or “put together” we may appear, none of us can do it alone. This is why prayer should be the very first option for the believer. Prayer is your direct link to God, giving you access to Him anytime day or night!   
I hope you understand that this is real, practical, life-changing stuff we’re talking about for every person in every stage of life. There is power in prayer, and if you’ll determine to go to God first when facing a decision, obstacle, or challenge, you’ll be blown away by what God will do. These resources will help you go after prayer—bringing it back to its priority position in your life.
—James MacDonald

Request A Better Way to Pray from Pastor James MacDonald for your gift of any amount to the ministry of Walk in the Word.

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About Walk in the Word

Walk in the Word...Igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth.

About Dr. James MacDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, and both are from Ontario, Canada. He is the father of three grown children, two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, and grandfather to five amazing grandsons. James has committed his life and ministry to the unapologetic proclamation of God’s Word. In 1988, along with a small group of ministry partners, James and Kathy planted Harvest Bible Chapel ( which now has more than 13,000 people meeting at seven locations across Chicagoland each weekend.

Walk in the Word, a Bible-teaching television and radio broadcast ministry (, was established in 1997. The radio program reaches more than three million people daily, and the television audience extends around the world. In 2002, through James’ leadership and by God’s grace, the church-planting ministry Harvest Bible Fellowship ( was founded and has established more than 100 churches across North America and around the world. James’ vision is for God to use Harvest Bible Fellowship to plant 1,000 churches by 2020.

James’ extensive ministry also includes a training center for pastors, a year-round camp, a center for biblical counseling, a disaster-recovery organization, and a Christian school—all used to reach more people with the life-changing message of the gospel.

James is the author of several books including Vertical Church, Authentic, Lord Change My Attitude, When Life is Hard, Always True, Come Home, and most recently, Act Like Men.

Find out more about James and his ministries at:
@pastorjamesmacdonald on Instagram
@jamesmacdonald on Twitter
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Mailing Address
Walk in the Word
P.O. Box 5368
Elgin, IL 60121