Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:12-15; 32-51
Observation: David watched his three older brothers join Saul’s army and fight the powerful Philistines while he stayed behind to help his father with the sheep. When going to visit his brothers on the front lines, David learns that Goliath, the most powerful of Philistine fighters, has been taunting the Israelites and asking one of them to fight him. David steps up to the challenge and defeats Goliath.
Application: On the first weekend of May 2013, I was facing my own giant. It was called the Pittsburgh Marathon, and it was my first attempt to finish 26.2 miles. I spent months training, getting up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays to finish 16, 18, 21 mile runs. I memorized course maps. I tried every running gel and supplement on the market. I went through two pairs of sneakers. I popped blisters (TMI, but true), searched high and low for the perfect running socks, and drank more berry-flavored electrolyte replacements than humanly necessary. I listened to people tell me they thought it was amazing/crazy/stupid/ridiculous.
As I zipped through the streets and bridges of Pittsburgh, tearing up a huge hill at mile 12 and conquering a few smaller ones after that, I was feeling pretty good about myself. And, then mile 23 hit.
Ugh. Mile 23.
After running for 3.5 hours at that point, I was so tired and so sore. At the mile 23 marker, I turned a corner and stopped dead in my tracks because there is was…another hill. Some silent hero must have seen my distress and yelled encouragingly, “You can do it! This is last hill!” Comforted by the words of the kind stranger, I lifted my legs and continued up the hill.
(Side note: He lied. There were still some other hills after that. But, I’ll forgive him anyways.)
I finished the race in 3:57, and I felt like I was on top of the world. Just a year and a half before that, I hadn’t run more than four miles in my life. That day, I ran (and by ran, I mean “ran/jogged/wogged/walked/crawled”) to 26.2 miles.
I wasn’t a professional. Heck, I didn’t even run cross country in high school. Yet, here I was, slaying my giant and celebrating my victory.
David wasn’t a professional either. In fact, he wasn’t even a part of the Israelite army. He just happened to be there to check on his older brothers. When he decided he was going to take on Goliath, a professional fighter who was over nine feet tall and wore a bronze coat that weighs more than I do, the first thing someone said to him was “Don’t be ridiculous.”
Don’t be ridiculous.
How many times have you heard those words right after you shared with someone what God was calling you to do?
I think I’m supposed to go. (Don’t be ridiculous.)
I think I’m supposed to stay. (Don’t be ridiculous.)
I think I’m supposed to say “yes” to this job. (Don’t be ridiculous.)
I think I’m supposed to say “no” to this opportunity. (Don’t be ridiculous.)
Those three words can convince us that are dreams are too big or too small, that we’re too old or too young, that we’re too mature or too immature. They can scare us away from taking on the giants in our lives.
But, here’s the thing: If God placed a dream in your heart and a giant in your path, he’s already given you everything you need to live it out and overcome it.
You don’t need the approval of others. (When David’s brother heard him talking to other soldiers, he was angry; when David revealed his plans to Saul, Saul told him he was ridiculous.)
You don’t need the best resources. (When Saul gave David bronze armor, David felt uncomfortable and chose to take five stones, a shepherd staff, and a slingshot instead.)
You don’t need the most experience. (When David walked out to face Goliath, he wasn’t a warrior. He was a “ruddy-faced boy” who was a shepherd from a small town.)
You just need God.
If those three words “don’t be ridiculous” have held you back, if you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have enough approval/resources/experience, then it’s time to muster up your courage, just like David.
“So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.”
You can triumph with what you have.
Prayer: God, too often, I let my own insecurities or fears hold me back from what you’ve designed me to do. I pray you’ll help me face the giants in my life with courage, that you’ll give me victory over everything that tries to defeat me. I do it all for your glory. Amen.