(From chapter 19, Capacity) Excerpted from the new bestseller available now, "Just a Bartender: Unexpected People Change the World"
In 1 Samuel we read the story of King David's ignoble start. David was a young man chosen by God to be the next king of Israel after the disastrous reign of King Saul. Samuel was Israel’s prophet called by God to find the next king and anoint him. After looking throughout the nation, God directed Samuel to an obscure but successful shepherd named Jesse who had eight sons. David was the youngest.
When Samuel showed up, Jesse brought out the oldest seven sons, thinking that one of them would be the next king. He didn’t bring David to the lineup because the last person Jesse thought would be king was David. Samuel passed over all seven. He said, “You don’t have any other sons?” Jesse dismissed it with, “Well, there’s David.” David was about thirteen years old when Samuel called him out and anointed him to be the next king.
After the anointing and celebration dinner, Jesse still thought so little of David that he sent him back out with the servants and hired hands. David’s father did not affirm him. But out in the fields with the servants and sheep, in the quiet moments, in the places of intimacy and adversity, David grew large. He wrote songs, prayed, worked the sheep, and killed dangerous animals like lions and bears. His identity was forged in private, and would soon be revealed in public.
His identity was forged in private, and would soon be revealed in public.
A few years after his anointing, David’s brothers went off to war. For forty days and nights the armies of Israel and Philistia faced off in a massive valley. Tens of thousands of warriors were engaged. The Philistines sent out their toughest warrior, their champion, to challenge Israel to a “winner take all” duel. Goliath was a massive man of brute strength and must have been a nasty fighter. Just the fierceness of his voice caused men to cower. Every morning and evening for forty days, Goliath showed up at the center of the valley and screamed curses at Israel’s army. “Where is your champion!” he would shout. The problem was, not one man in Israel thought of himself as a champion, so not one man responded.
Goliath is a picture of every obstacle we face as men. Every man faces Goliaths of temptations, trials, issues, betrayals, inferiorities, and disappointments. David, now about sixteen years old, had been sent by his dad to take food to his brothers on the front lines. His dad didn’t send David to help fight, just to carry some biscuits.
When David arrived and Goliath called out for a champion, David’s heart resonated. “That’s me!” His brothers laughed at him, but God had given him a new identity. David was no longer the boy marginalized by his dad, or scoffed at by his brothers. He was a champion on the inside, and it was about to come out.
The private moments David spent with God gave him confidence in the public adversity of Goliath.
Hearing the call for a champion, David finally told the men around him, “That’s me!”
Most men today don’t have an earthly father who has affirmed them. You may never have heard your dad say, “Nice one,” or “You’re awesome,” or “You can do it.” But like David, you can spend time with your Father in heaven and He will fill you with His love, affirmation, and faith. You are who God says you are.
Romans 8:37 says, you are “more than a conqueror.” Bigger. Larger. Stronger than you believe you are, or anyone has ever told you. Finding your identity in Christ will always make you a more authentic and powerful man. You are a champion.
When David ran toward Goliath, he ran toward his identity. He killed Goliath. He had become a champion already on the inside. Defeating Goliath made it evident.