by Jorge Lacovara

Right now, God's river is flowing in a very beautiful way. Undoubtedly, you must have heard about the colossal things He's doing and you'll hear even more...
How many of you have realised that in a parallel way, along with this river of God, there is another stream flowing? Are you aware of the fact that the enemy has also uplifted all kinds of barriers and problems? Yet, the only thing that he can do is to throw stones, and even though one or another hits its target, our Lord is faithful. He promised to cover us. Due to the fact this disturbance is real, the Lord spoke to me through the well-known Word written in 1st Samuel, chapter 17.
Chapter 17 tells us about the very critical case when David, being still a young fellow, defeats Goliath, the giant.
Let's go back a little bit in history... the army of Israel was with all its captains and warriors mustered up on one side of the valley, with spears and swords. Their enemies ~ the Philistines ~ among whom there was a giant named Goliath, camped in front of them. Time after time, the giant came closer and stood in front of the Israelites and challenged them and shouted at them: "is there anyone amongst you who would dare to fight against me?"
The huge fellow was increasingly conceited and therefore, all the army of Israel was really afraid of him. I can imagine the comments in the ranks of the Israelites; questions arose: who would dare to fight against him? When they saw Goliath they said... "he's a giant, there is nothing we can do to humble him." That giant constantly threatened the people of Israel.
At that time, David was still a young lad of 17 or 18 years of age. His father called him and entrusted him a mission: "take something for your brothers to eat, who are on the battlefield." Then, he put food in a basket and sent David away.
I don't know if you have ever had an adolescent in your home. There is nothing more suitable than asking him to do something. You tell him: "look it's urgent, go quickly!" Certainly he rushes away.
But after a while and along the way, he begins to let his mind wonder about anything; starts walking calmly, kicking stones, looking at the views and going about talking to friends here and there. ~ The urgency of his mission was thoroughly forgotten. It isn't difficult to imagine David, that young lad thinking: "How wonderful, I'm going to see my brothers and I'll be able to see the whole army of Israel!"
When David arrived at his destination, he found that the army was completely discouraged and murmuring amongst themselves about "who" would face the giant. David was very young but he wasn't afraid, so he said: "I'll go and fight the giant; who does he think he is?"
Therefore, he was taken to king Saul. It was a surprise indeed! ... "you're going to fight the giant?" King Saul stared at him. Finally, the king indicated that David should use his own coat of armour so that he could be protected. But as much as David tried to put on Saul's armour, it didn't fit; it hung up on all sides of his body.
In 17:39 we read that he tried to walk but he couldn't; so David told Saul: "I can't walk with this armour because I have no practice in using it." So David got rid of the armour, he took off all those irons but did something interesting and that's precisely what we're going to see now.
God was working; God was moving, and naturally, as I said, the enemy was trying to put a stop to what the Lord was doing.
If you haven't got any fights lately, bless the Lord! But if you have been fighting battles, if you spent a week fighting; if together with this flow of God there has also been an attack, then know that's exactly what's happening. There are attacks! Then, how are we going to struggle against them?
What are the weapons that God has given us? If we read 1st Samuel 17:40 the secret will be revealed: "He took his shepherd's stick and then picked up five smooth stones from the stream and put them in his bag. With his catapult ready, he went out to meet Goliath. The Philistine started walking towards David, with his shield-bearer walking in front of him. He kept coming closer, and when he got a good look at David, he was filled with scorn for him because he was just a nice, good-looking boy. He said to David, "What's that stick for? Do you think I'm a dog?" And he called down curses from his god on David. "Come on," he challenged David, "and I will give your body to the birds and animals to eat." David answered, "You are coming against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defied. This very day the Lord will put you in my power; I will defeat you and cut off your head. And I will give the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds and animals to eat. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a God and everyone here will see that the Lord does not need swords or spears to save his people. He is victorious in battle, and he will put all of you in our power." Goliath started walking towards David again, and David ran quickly towards the Philistine battle line to fight him. He put his hand into his bag and took out a stone, which he slung at Goliath. It hit him on the forehead and broke his skull, and Goliath fell face downwards on the ground. And so, without a sword, David defeated and killed Goliath with a catapult and a stone!
Read this carefully. With what did David defeat the Philistine? With a smooth and little stone. And where did he get it from? From the river!
Presently, the secret of victory is not that you stand up and begin to reprimand, scream and stamp your feet, ... you must wade through His river where you will find what is necessary to fight. He says that he chose five stones, but before that, he took a crook. The crook is a sign of authority. Therefore, let's stand up on the authority that God gave us. He gave us authority over the spirit of evil and that authority is still valid; it has not been lost nor has it been extinguished. It was the first thing that David took - the crook - and afterwards he chose five smooth stones from the stream. We can give names to each of these stones...
1st Stone
Patience... look into your bag and see if you have it. What's patience? The Scriptures say that the proof of our faith produces patience. I mean to say that more than once we have to face crisis that are bothersome and continuous. Nevertheless, it's necessary to stand in God. The trials of our faith produce patience.
Do you remember what happened to Saul? Because of his lack of patience he lost his kingdom. He was too anxious, he was in a hurry; he didn't have patience.
Oswald Chamber, the author of a well-known devotional book, "In Search of the Greatest" gives us a beautiful illustration in that respect: patience is like a rock at the edge of the sea, which resists the powerful impact of the waves.
2nd Stone
Faith... we only have to be careful that we don't confuse faith with assumption. What does assumption mean? It's an emotional expression, such as... God will do it! But with no fundamentals. Faith has nothing to do with this, faith is based exclusively on the Word of God; it's based on something that God said. "It's because God said it that I believe that He will do it and not because I surrender to an emotional reaction!" Enthusiasm has nothing to do with a belief; it's merely a desire but not based on God's Word: it's nothing but an assumption.
3rd Stone
Confidence. . . of what does it consists? Not to look for impossibilities but to look further ahead. Impossible things appear before our eyes, but we shouldn't look at what we see before our eyes; Let's look further ahead, staring at those things that God makes possible. To this we can add something else, a secret: we shouldn't only look at the possibilities God offers but confess the victory of God as well. God sends spiritual forces so that victory is achieved, but if it's negatively established what God doesn't do or can't consummate, then the devil also sends the forces to sink, deject or dishearten us.
We must trust and praise God's victory, for the faith in his Word.
4th Stone
Perseverance. It means that we must not only start something but we must finish it too. I'd seen many beginnings but a few endings. To begin is easy; to finish is much more difficult. In order to finish something it is necessary to continue on and on, even though it may seem everything is against us. Although everything shouts that nothing is the way one thinks it should be, one must keep on pushing ahead until the objective that God placed in front of us is achieved.
5th Stone
Consistency... It's a determination to reach an objective. In the Scriptures we read: a man with a double mind is inconstant in all his ways. A person without consistency starts off like a fire ball but dies out after two kilometres; and this lack of constancy is what originates a double mind.
Some believers are like old cars which have the carburettors clogged up and when they start, move for a while and suddenly stop. Then, one has to push them one, two or three streets and maybe in the next service: Hallelujah! They seem to start off again. Suddenly... pift... pift; they stall again. They have a double mind.

Let's take up the weapons God is giving us: faith, patience, confidence, perseverance and consistency and put them in a catapult, let's turn round and throw them at the forehead of the giant we have before us, call it what you will. Each one knows who the giant is. Each one knows against whom to fight and what the struggle is. The river of God is flowing to bring victory to you so choose the stone you want, knowing that they enemy can't stop what God wills. The Lord is above all. A river changed the story of God's people. This river will also change your lives.
A few days ago a woman who doesn't attend our services and doesn't belong to our congregation, called our broadcasting station. She was listening to the radio while I was praying for another person; she said that she felt that the words I was saying were also for her. Suddenly, she knelt down on the floor weeping and knew that God was healing her heart too. All of a sudden, the power of God came upon her and her mouth was full of laughter. She couldn't stop laughing! She said... I certainly believe that the river of God flowed through my house. And I also believe it!
And this is my prayer:
Lord, that giant named Goliath is challenging us now! Today, as David did in those days, I stand before the stream, before the river and wade through it and take stones from the river which symbolise the weapons you're giving us. Together with those who dare to believe, I enter your river Lord; the river of life and the river of your victory!