1 Samuel 17:38-40 (NKJV) 38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
I want to look at another characteristic that enabled David to defeat Goliath. In today’s verse we see that King Saul “clothed David” in his own armor. David was between 17 and 19 years old. Saul was a mature man. He was said to be head and shoulders taller than any other man in Israel and that would include David. He was not just tall. He was bigger than everyone else as well.
Not only was David too small to wear Saul’s armor but he was not a soldier. He did not know how to use this kind of weaponry. There would come a time in David’s life when he would be a great warrior and armor like Saul’s would be common to him. He was not yet at that point in his life.
As I travel around the world working with Ministers and leaders in the body of Christ, one of the things I see all the time is the tendency to try and be like someone else. There may be a preacher that has been a blessing in their life. They will try and preach like they preach. They walk like the person walks. They imitate the style of preaching as well as what the other person has to say. The problem is that they are not the other person.
I went through this myself. I listened to some people from Texas a great deal when I first started. They blessed me greatly. For some time when I f preached I would speak with a Texas accent. I have never lived farther south or west than the southern tier of central NY. It was ok for a while to imitate these people, but my ministry never really developed until I found my own voice, my own style and my own revelation from God. I had to recognize who I was and not try to be someone else.
I use these things as an example. I am not just talking about preachers. I am talking about Christians who want to live victorious lives. We must understand who we are and where we are in our development. Some weapons that other people use will not work for us. Some things will work for us that will not work for others. I believe the principles of the Word of God work for everyone all the time. How we apply those principles may be completely different from someone else.
Airplanes fly because people learned how to apply the principles of lift and thrust over a particularly shaped wing. Those principles have not changed since the day the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk North Carolina on December 3, 1903. How those principles are applied has changed. We no longer use biplanes powered by small gasoline engines. We use powerful turbo prop or jet engines. The wings look very different but the wind flowing over them at a given speed coming from some method of thrust still produces lift that causes the plane to fly.
The principles of God that produce victory in our lives are always the same. They were the same when David fought Goliath and they are the same today. In David’s day, the most common way to fight on the battlefield was with a sword, shield and armor. However, that is not who David was at that time. He was too small for armor and too unskilled to make it work. He did know how to use a shepherd’s staff a sling shot, and small round stones.
I am sure that many looked at him and said, “That’s not how you fight a giant!” Some might have ridiculed him. Most probably thought he was a dead man walking. Nevertheless, David knew his weaknesses as well as his strengths. He knew he was at that point in his life. He was not depending on his weapons. He was depending on his covenant and his God. The weapons did not really matter.
Who are you and what are your strengths and weaknesses? It is important that we understand this before we try and fight a battle. If we do not, the enemy will take advantage of your weakness. Imagine if David had tried to fight Goliath with Saul’s armor. First, he would have been too slow. Second, he would have been completely unskilled in using a sword. Goliath would have easily defeated him because David would have been leading with his weaknesses. Instead David lead with his strength, the Lord anointed that strength and Goliath had no defense against it.
What are your strengths. I cannot tell you that. Some you already know, and others God can reveal. I will say this. Your greatest strength as you see it will often be your greatest weakness. Submit your strength to God and let him adjust it as necessary. We must also be willing to recognize our weaknesses. We do not like to admit we have them but if we want to win, we must. Most of the time pride keeps us from admitting we have weaknesses. That is a trap of the devil.
It does not mean you are weak if you admit to having weaknesses. It is actually just the opposite. Over my more than forty years in ministry I have had to understand this truth. When I started my last church, I had come to the place of knowing what I could and could not do. I did not try to do everything. I found people who were stronger than me and released them to function where I was weak. This meant that I had to carry the financial burden of paying them, but one of my strengths was believing for provision. As we all worked together each of us covered the other’s weaknesses and our team was far stronger than I could ever be alone.
Another aspect of this is understanding that each of us is continually growing in God and in natural life. David was not yet old or trained enough to fight like other soldiers fought. He had to work within the limitations of his age and experience. I have seen so many people who try to be more mature both in spirit and the natural than they really are. You cannot win that way. You need to recognize that you are still developing in God. Where are you now?
This is particularly difficult for people who are born again later in life. We should not discount their life experience but that does not mean they have the same level of spiritual experience. Whatever age a person is when they are born again, all start out as babes in Christ. They need to grow in the knowledge of the word. They need to grow in their relationship with the Lord. Everyone grows at their own rate. It is not a weakness to be where you are in Christ.
Some people may be able to stand on the promises of God in ways that you find difficult. There is no problem with that. We are part of a body. Those who are more mature help those who are less mature. It is no shame to need help. Do not think you have to do things the way others do. You be who you are where you are, and God will make the difference.
David could not fight Goliath with a sword and shield. You may not have the knowledge of the sword of the spirit, the Word of God that some others do. That does not mean you cannot win. A sling was not a common weapon of war, but with God’s power behind it, it worked just fine. Seek out council from those who may know more than you. Find your own strengths and develop them. Take your weaknesses before the Lord. Yours will be different from mine. In the end it is God’s power that matters. Whatever you have and wherever you are at this point in life will be enough.