What circumstances make you feel ineffective?
What attributes do you lack, that compared to others, makes you feel minuscule?
I know for me, not yet attaining a Master’s degree, even though I really haven’t finalised an area of focus, makes me feel like I have not yet achieved academically. For each of us it is something different.
In a recent discussion I had, teaching a class on the story of David and Goliath, the confidence of David came alive.
The story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel chapter 17 opens us up right into a battle zone.Yet when we are introduced to David, he is not described as a trained soldier, a great man of valour or a trained soldier in the Israelite army.
He was the last of eight brothers; a shepherd boy who was sent by his father to carry lunch for his brothers who were soldiers in the Israelite army. Nothing about this introduction strikes us as great, just an ordinary young man, obeying the instructions of his aged father. Isn't this how many of us view ourselves?
We are unknown, a member of a family doing nothing of great significance. Even those we consider famous or even great men and women in ministry sometimes consider themselves just ‘ordinary.’ So why do we equate ordinary to irrelevance and unimportance?
If there is any lesson one can take from the story of David and Goliath, it is that our God uses ordinary men and women to do great works.
What makes ordinary – extraordinary?
It is those things we can’t see on the inside of an individual that truly characterises who they are. The scripture in Matthew speaks to this.
“What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth that is what defiles them" (Matthew chapter 15 verse 11). What we say, how we speak, says volumes about who we truly are.
How we know that David was extraordinary, was his reaction to Goliath, the fiercest Philistine fighter who stood 9 feet tall. His stature didn’t scare him, although it made the Israelite soldiers tremble. His qualifications as a trained soldier never stopped David from seeing him as an uncircumcised Philistine who would learn not to defy the living God.
David’s expressed confidence in God highlighted his commitment and experience, giving us, a great understanding of the character of a man he was; without fear, committed, totally convinced of God’s ability to deliver.
“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel chapter 17 verse 36)
God Equips and Empowers
What we lack as individuals, most often than not, becomes the instrument we use to measure our qualification. Easily thoughts of, I’m not the best speaker, I’m not trained in that area or I’ve never done that before, become the reason we never do something.
But look at David; nobody knew of his experience with Christ when He helped him conquer a lion and a bear…yet for David this was enough to believe that He could conquer Goliath because His God had come through for Him when he was faced with adversity.
Why do you think God can’t use you?
Why do you think that business idea or that task you felt led to do won’t be successful?
Is it because you are untrained, unsuited for the task because you are “Ordinary”?
Well, remember David, was neither suited nor trained for war, he didn’t even belong to the Israelite army yet God used him to defeat the Philistine’s best warrior not with a sword or armour but with the very thing David used as an ordinary shepherd - his sling shot and 5 pebbles.
What’s in your hand?
What do you have in your hand that God can use to defeat the giants of doubt, hopelessness, and that inferior mentality?
David’s confidence is admirable, not because he was young, or untrained or killed a lion and a bear but because he wholeheartedly believed in God’s ability to deliver the Israelites. It was God who would do it… not himself.
“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel chapter 17 verse 37).
His confidence was completely in God and his every decision would prove just how worthy His God was for him to boast about Him with such certainty.
“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” (1 Samuel chapter 17 verse 47).
Where does your confidence lie?
My encouragement to us, as we allow God to order our steps, is never to limit the extraordinary work the Lord can do in our lives, because of our lack of traditional training. It is clear that David’s commitment to God, translated into experience with God hence his confidence in God.
Let your confidence lie in Jesus the Christ, as it is He, who makes what you consider ordinary and untrained into extra ordinary.
Dacia Miller from Jamaica, West Indies is a wife, mother and trained communicator who enjoys dancing. She is involved in youth ministry and loves to see lives transformed.