“‘Don’t worry about this Philistine,’ David told Saul. ‘I’ll go fight him!’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous!’ Saul replied. ‘There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.’”1 Sam. 17:32, 33 (NLT)
What do you think it would have proven if the Philistines had their giant and Israel came up with one of their own giants to fight one another? Nothing? It would have been just a good fight to watch between two giants. That’s why the story of David and Goliath is such a great illustration of the heart of a champion. While Goliath had the look of a champion in size and strength, David had the heart of one. It’s the ultimate story of an underdog who defies intimidation and runs to the battle instead of running away! David was either crazy or understood something no one else could grasp at the time. His actions help us understand the hidden traits of great leadership God wired us with and how to develop them so that, when we face our giants, we will experience a similar outcome.
We began with the first action David took when he heard the Philistine giant, Goliath, taunting the armies of Israel.
D – Don’t run from small moments so you’re prepared to run to the giant moment.
Because David was faithful in the small moments, tending his father’s flocks, he was able to run to the giant moment of facing Goliath. He had proven God in those small moments and knew that the very God who had delivered him from the claws of the lion and the bear would rescue him from this Philistine. If I want to develop the heart of a champion, I must be faithful in the small moments of life.
N – Never conform to the critics who never faced their giants.
When David went to King Saul and volunteered to fight Goliath, he was met with ridicule and disdain from his critics. Those critics included his own brothers as well as the King. Saul said,
“‘Don’t be ridiculous!’ Saul replied. ‘There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.’” 1 Sam. 17:32, 33 (NLT)
In verse 28, David’s older brother accused him of being full of pride and deceit, as if he was just trying to get out of his duty to tend their father’s sheep and watch a fight. The truth is that David’s critics were the ones deceived and self-serving! Saul was really the one with ridiculous faith because he was running away from an enemy who was much smaller than God! David’s critics only had a human perspective on the problem. David had a God-level perspective! While everyone else was saying, “Look how big that giant is!” David was saying, “Look how small he is compared to God!” The intimidated critics cried, “He’s too big to hit!” while David was thinking, “Heck, he’s too big to miss!”
Where’s your focus? Are you more focused on the problem than the problem solver? Are you listening to the critics that have never faced their giants? If you want to develop the heart of a champion, never conform to the critics who have never faced their own giants! Listen to God. He didn’t give you or me the DNA of fear. He gave us the DNA of faith! One other interesting truth here is that David didn’t conform to Saul’s strategy to fight this giant. When Saul realized how determined David was, he tried to convince David to wear the King’s armor. In 1 Samuel 17:38, 39, the Bible says,
“He gave his own armor to David for him to wear: a bronze helmet, which he put on David’s head, and a coat of armor. David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor and tried to walk, but he couldn’t, because he wasn’t used to wearing them. ‘I can’t fight with all this,’ he said to Saul. ‘I’m not used to it.’ So he took it all off.”
Don’t miss the freedom this passage offers you while you are developing those hidden traits of great leadership. David knew who he was and who God was. He knew he was not Saul and couldn’t do battle the way Saul did. He refused to conform to someone else’s style. He wasn’t used to it. It was unnatural and not the way God wired him. The point here is to be who you are. You can’t be someone else. God made you uniquely and broke the mold afterwards! He desires to show Himself strong in your behalf if you’ll trust Him. David put his trust in God and how God had used him in the past for this present battle! When we do the same, we can expect God to come through! Conform to the image of Christ. He is our victory!