How to win life's battles
By Jonathan Howes
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of David and Goliath. It’s a great underdog story. You have Goliath who is a grown man and experienced fighting champion. He is almost ten feet tall. It’s hard to describe how big and strong he was.
He would make the average NBA basketball player look like a middle school kid. All the soldiers of Israel’s army including King Saul were terrified of the Giant Goliath.
David, a shepherd boy, shows up at the battlefield to bring supplies to his older brothers. Most scholars believe David was around fifteen or sixteen years old. When David is on the front lines, he hears Goliath challenging the Army of Israel. Then he overhears some of the soldiers talking about the rewards that would be given to the man who kills the giant. The victor would receive great wealth, get to marry the king’s daughter, and his family would never have to pay taxes again. David jumps at the opportunity.
David goes to King Saul and says that he can defeat Goliath. King Saul reminds David that he is only a boy, and Goliath has been a fighting champion for decades. David shares with King Saul that when he was keeping his father’s sheep, a bear came and carried off one of his sheep. And he tracked down the bear, killed it and rescued the sheep. Then on another occasion, a lion stole one of his father’s sheep. He tracked it down and killed the lion. David said if God gave him victory over the lion and the bear, he would certainly give him victory over the Giant Goliath.
David convinced King Saul to let him fight Goliath, so King Saul gave David his armor. David put on King Saul’s armor, but it didn’t fit. He could barely walk around with it on. He said that he couldn’t fight in the king’s armor. So David goes out on the battlefield to fight Goliath with no armor, no sword and no shield. He wears his shepherd clothes and carries his staff, slingshot and pouch with five smooth stones.
We all know the rest of the story. David wins the fight. Israel wins the war. David marries the king’s daughter and later in life, he becomes king. Most of the time when we think about the story of David and Goliath, we view it as an underdog story. And it is. It’s one of the greatest underdog stories of all times. But there is another lesson I think we can learn. David successfully won the battle, because he played to his strengths. David was really good with a slingshot. David had not been trained in arm-to-arm combat by fighting with a sword and a shield. But he knew how to sling a stone. David played to his strengths. He did what God had gifted him to do. Also, David did not wear King Saul’s armor. It wasn’t designed for David. It was made to fit King Saul.
If we want to be successful in life, we have to be ourselves. We have to be the person God created us to be. We should not try and be someone else. David wore his own clothes into battle, and he played to his strengths. He fought with a sling and a stone.
What are your strengths in life? How has God gifted you? What are your unique abilities? If you want to be successful, you have to know who you are and how God created you. He created you to do something that only you can do. That’s why God made you, you. So, if you want to be successful in life and win many victories, you have to be yourself and play to your strengths. Know who you are, use the natural abilities God has given you and ultimately, trust in the Lord. David knew he would defeat Goliath because he knew the battle was the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47). Whatever battle you are facing in life, turn it over to God. Trust in him. He will give you victory over the giants in your life.
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road | Loganville, GA 30052 and the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655.
Phone: (770) 466-3159