“And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
– Joshua 14:10-12
Our lives and identities in Christ are the bedrock of everything we are meant to be: the cornerstone of all of our plans for the future, and the foundation for an entire life. When we’ve received the shape of our selves in the Spirit, we have the beginnings of an understanding of how we’re going to inhabit that role, that name, that being—and the confidence necessary to pursue it.
Confidence is something that the Lord gifted Caleb with in abundance. The man who would make his name and his reputation in standing with Joshua alongside God in telling the Israelites that Canaan could be conquered was called ‘a man of a different spirit’. Nearly five decades afterwards, this warrior spirit claimed the fortress of the giants as his own, the revelation of God’s favor still ringing in him like the echo of a majestic bell. This was a man who never backed down, who inherited the spirit of battle as his identity and became the man he was prophesied to be.
We all have different identities in Christ, but Caleb’s story is our story: the man who would not lie down is a role model for all of us, even for those not called to bear the sword as he was. Our identity in Him is where we stand tall in God’s sight. It allows us to imagine what’s expected of us, to take on a mantle with the anticipation of growing into it. When faced with the impossible, our identity rises with us, stronger and taller than we are, larger than life, our supernatural selves taking on the challenge.
Caleb wasn’t the only giantkiller in scripture, of course. David’s defeat of Goliath is, traditionally, a story told either to celebrate the scrappy underdog defeating the larger and stronger opponent (if you’re minded to leave God entirely out of it), or to illustrate the power of faith to allow little miracles occur. Both interpretations miss the point by some way: David wasn’t an underdog, and the defeat of Goliath wasn’t the result of some benediction from on high out of the blue.
David was a man anointed with the mantle of kingship. He had the authority of God behind his identity as the future King of Israel. This isn’t a story of the little shepherd boy made good; this is the story of a man accepting his destiny and standing in the shadow of that destiny to become something greater than he was. Goliath may have been bigger by far than the shepherd boy, but David, the father of a nation, towered over the Philistine warrior. The poor man didn’t really stand a chance.
If you want to find a metaphor for living life in the story of David and Goliath, that’s the image you need to hold on to. Power comes from inner strength. That strength comes from authority, and authority is something that we assume with consent: it’s never taken or demanded, but worn as something that we have the right to. Like a mantle, placed upon our shoulders. Or a crown.
The question we need to ask ourselves at moments of conflict is who we are in Christ—who the Lord has tasked us to be. All of us have giants to face, but the size of our opponent is simply a matter of perspective. In Christ we are great: warriors of legend, a people with no quit in them. Like Caleb, like David, we’re men and women who won’t lie down, and who don’t accept surrender as an option. Every confrontation, every battle against seemingly insurmountable odds is an opportunity to demonstrate our identities in the Kingdom. We’re all giantkillers, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
If you would like to learn more about kingdom identity, a great resource is the CD series Identity & Inheritance. Identity & Inheritance is a 2-disc teaching all about learning your identity and using it to develop your future in the kingdom. Be sure to check it out!