June 26, 2017

The DNA of a Champion: Part 1

“As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.” 1 Samuel 17:48 (NLT)

Inside of every great leader are hidden qualities that very few can see but lead to the greatest results. These unseen traits, embedded in the very fiber of your character, determine the outcome of your life. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not that some people are born with these traits while others were somehow left out of the gene pool. The truth is that God created us with the capacity to lead. Each of us possess these hidden traits that simply need to be developed. The real question is not whether I have these traits within me, but how can I develop them?

The beloved Bible story of David and Goliath is a great example of the DNA of a champion. When you compare these two characters in this story, you find that one had the look of a champion, while the other had the heart of a champion. The Bible refers to Goliath as the “Philistine champion” in 1 Samuel 17:4. In verse eight, Goliath, himself, says,

“I am the Philistine champion….”  

In fact, everyone would agree despite what side they were on.  He was a giant of a man, over nine feet tall!  Check out his description:

“He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds.”  (Vs. 5-7) 

The Bible says Goliath would come out every day and taunt the Israelites, challenging them to just send out one man who was willing to fight him. It terrified the army of Israel and their king!  This is when the story really gets good! Enter David, a shepherd boy, who came to bring a sack lunch for his brothers who were soldiers. David heard the taunts of this giant just like his brothers, but David had the heart of a champion within him. It’s not so much that he was born with it as that he developed those unseen traits of a great leader in his personal life through the everyday tasks of tending his father’s flocks. He told the king,

“The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” 1 Samuel 17:37 (NLT)

You know the story! It’s one of my all-time favorites in the Bible. So, let’s look at the story from a different perspective. Let’s examine how David developed this DNA of a champion that God has put within each of us that reveals the hidden heart of great leadership.

DDon’t run from small moments so you’re prepared to run to the giant moment.

Unlike those who fled from the Philistine giant, David was able to run toward him because he had proven God in the small moments of his life. If you’re too big for the small moments, you’ll be too small in the big moments. We all face giants in our lives, and the way to conquer the big ones is to be faithful in the small moments of temptation and life. Jesus put it like this in Luke 16:10, 

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones….” 

Before we review the other two ways David developed the heart of a champion, consider this one today. Are you faithful in the small moments of life when no one is looking? Do you consider yourself too big for the small moments? While it may be important for others, that somehow you’re exempt? The first step in developing the hidden heart of great leadership is humility – realizing that nothing is too small or too big for me when I’m following Christ, that the strength I’m relying on is not my own but His! Humility leads to obedience in the small moments of life and prepares us to face the giants that will come.