Saturday, November 5, 2016

Facing Your Goliaths

by Andrew Cromwell

One of the most famous stories in the Bible is David and Goliath. Everyone loves the story about the little shepherd boy who bested the nine-and-a-half-foot giant with nothing more than a smooth stone, a sling, and great faith in God. This lopsided victory has become the way we describe any uneven matchup between two people, companies or sports teams.

But there is so much more to the story and more than you can apply to your life.

One of the reasons the story resonates with us so much is we can easily put ourselves in David’s shoes. We probably have never stood before a literal giant threatening to run us through with his spear, but we all have faced obstacles or people that seem impossible to overcome. There is a vision in our hearts of the good things that God has in our future, and there are always giants standing between us and that God-given picture.

David, was the youngest in his family and was given jobs no one else wanted. He was sent to watch the sheep and run errands for his dad, Jesse. Have you ever felt like you have been forgotten and that the job that you have been given is insignificant? David knew the feeling too. And yet, David decided that he was going to do his job well, even if it did involve watching those stinky sheep. He did his job with all of his heart and trusted that God knew what He was doing. He didn’t moan and complain. He didn’t gripe. He did his job and kept his eyes open for what God was doing.

David wasn’t a formally trained soldier. When he told his brothers that he was going to face Goliath, they laughed because he had never even been in a battle. He didn’t know how to use a spear or a sword. But David didn’t let that stop him because he knew that even though he hadn’t been trained in the way everyone expected, he had in fact been trained. You see, when David was watching the sheep, he had to protect them from attacking mountain lions and hungry bears who saw them as an easy meal. He had faced enemies that were ferocious in the past and this preparation had made him ready to face the giant.

Have you ever felt unqualified? Maybe you don’t have the formal degree or the experience that others are looking for. Perhaps you don’t have the big title on your desk or the letters after your name. Some might have even looked at you and laughed. But don’t let that stop you. Because God is not limited by “formal training.” You may not be as unqualified as you feel. You have faced your own lions and bears and they have been training for your current challenge.

Finally, David used unconventional weapons. When everyone else had swords and spears, he used a sling and a stone. One well placed stone smashed right between Goliath’s eyes and the giant crumpled to the ground. No one expected it because it wasn’t the approved method. But the sling and stone worked for David because they were the weapons David knew. They were the weapons that he had been trained with.

How often do we devalue the very tools that we have in our hands because they aren’t the ones that have been “approved” by others? The truth is God has given you tools to do battle with the giants in your life. Don’t assume you need to use someone else’s strategies or methods. He has taken you through your unique experience and prepared you to face your Goliath.

At the end of the day, David had confidence he could face the giant because he knew God. He had spent time with God in the wilderness while he tended the sheep. He had trusted God when he faced the lion and the bear. He had been faithful in his work, believing that God was in charge of the bigger picture. And so when he confronted Goliath, he simply did what he had always done: trust that God was big enough to bring him through every obstacle in his path. 

Maybe you are more like David then you realize. If we all borrowed from David’s example, we would do well.

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