I recently reread the story of David and Goliath. It is recorded in 1 Samuel chapter 17 and has been retold a million times by teachers to all ages. This time as I read the story I was struck by something I had not thought of before now.
If I were to tell you the story again and remove the words of David it would be easy to give credit to the wrong things. I mean, you might think that David won the battle because …
1. He was brave. David fought back against fear and faced a much larger foe. David focused his thoughts on the positive outcome and made it real.
2. He was skilled. David had a sling and a stone and he knew how to use them.
3. He was strong. How hard do you have to throw a stone for it to stick into someone’s forehead and knock them down?
4. He was healthy. David shows no signs of limitation within his physical body. I am guessing 1 percent body fat or less.
5. He was smart. David knew exactly where to put that stone. He saw the weak spot in Goliath’s armor and took advantage of his weakness.
6. He was lucky. What are the odds that David would hit this guy in the exact right spot without any practice?
As we listen to the story it is easy for us to focus on what we can do to overcome great big obstacles. We have the power to overcome anything if we will work hard and are willing to pay the price for success.
The problem is that David clearly says that none of those reasons are how he defeated Goliath. David says in 1 Samuel 17:46-47 (NIV) “This day the Lord will hand you over to me …all those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David says the only reason he defeated Goliath was by the power of God.
Sure it doesn’t hurt to work hard and do your best, but always be clear that the successes of your life are from the Lord and not from your own hand. You are not the result of good luck but of a good God. Believers are called to trust God and give him credit even when we could claim it for ourselves.