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Heart of a Champion

Yesterday I listened to a sermon by Steven Furtick about the story of David and Goliath, and I now see the story in a completely different light.  Furtick compared David’s reactions to how we should respond to our giants – the enemies that we face.

In 1 Samuel 17:28, David faces his first enemy – his own brother who accuses him of wrong motives.  In verse 30, David simply turns away and goes to someone else.  Furtick told the story of his two sons and how his older son is fantastic at arguing.  His younger son finds this so frustrating, because in the moment when he wants to share about some accomplishment that he did, his older brother will come in and try to undermine the accomplishment.  Furtick finally told his younger son that he will never be able to win an argument against his brother, but that he must get as good at ignoring his older brother as his brother is good at arguing.  Therefore, his brother will have no power over him.  Furtick used this illustration to say that we simply must “learn the turn” when our enemy comes to accuse us.

Then David faces Saul, who gives him a lot of rational and factual information about the situation:  the giant is big and David is inexperienced.  However, David stuck to his guns, recognizing where his power was coming from, and that he was called to this fight.  He was undaunted.

Finally David faces Goliath.  Furtick talked about how most of us believe that David was at a disadvantage going into the fight, but how maybe that is incorrect.  In every army there were different groups of people with different fighting strategies and different weapons.  There were some who carried swords and others who had slingshots.  Those who carried swords fought hand to hand combat at close range.  Those who had slingshots fought distance warfare.  The title of the sermon was “Keep Your Distance”.

In verse 44, Goliath says to David, “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!”  Furtick said that in that moment, Goliath was telling the truth.  If David would have obeyed and come closer, Goliath would have ripped him apart.  He used this as an illustration of how so many of us are fighting battles and losing, even though we are fighting for the right purposes:  we are fighting for God!  The reason we are losing is because we are fighting the battle on the enemy’s terms.  David didn’t listen to Goliath, however.  He stayed where he was and loaded his slingshot.  The swung the stone around and around and when he let go, it found its place in the forehead of Goliath and knocked him out.

Furtick said, “You are a slinger!  You fight with weapons from above.  Don’t listen to the enemy when he says, ‘Come closer!’”

Little did I know that God would give me the opportunity so soon to put this into practice.  All afternoon and evening yesterday I was hearing enemy voices and was responding in my usual way of falling into the trap.  I started to believe things about myself that weren’t true.  Whether I was listening to Eliab, Saul, or Goliath, I do not know.  I just know that I woke up this morning in the same state of frustration and sadness.  Then I realized what was happening.  So I stopped, stood my ground, and wrote this blog.  Stone in the sling, letting it go, and it is landing in the forehead of the enemy.  What is the stone?  The truth that God speaks over my life.  He says that I am worth it – that I am not all that I hear the enemy saying about me.  I may be an inexperienced warrior – but like Furtick said in his sermon, “The experience you don’t have is no indication of what God will do in your life.”

I see this evidenced in almost any Biblical character.  We are teaching this week in our Bible Studies about what it means to have the heart of a champion.  The main verse in the study is 1 Corinthians 1:26-29:  “Remember dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.  Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.  And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.  As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

We must recognize, like David did, that our power does not come from ourselves – from our experience or our abilities.  Our power comes from God.  He chose us specifically because we – and the rest of the world for that matter – will recognize that the victory had to come from Him.  After all, what is the purpose of our lives?  To bring God glory.  That is why Paul boasted in his weakness, because in his weakness his life’s purpose was brought to fruition.

So maybe what the enemy says is actually true sometimes.  “You are inexperienced.”  Yep.  Duly noted.  However, there is a reason why I am UNSTOPPABLE, UNBEATABLE, UNDEFEATABLE.  I am secure in the power of God.  I am covered in the blood of Christ.  I do not need to obey the voice of the enemy to come closer.  I just need to load my sling with the truth of God and fling it in the enemy’s direction, because at a distance I have the advantage.  I pray that I might remember this lesson every time I face an attack – that I do not need to fight the battle on the enemy’s terms.  I don’t need to listen.  I need to “learn the turn”.

Furtick brought up a huge truth:  God shows us our sin so that we might change.  He will never show us our shame.  That is how we can know the difference between God’s voice and Satan’s accusation.  Satan brings condemnation.  God brings truth, healing, and salvation.  So when we hear God’s voice showing us what must change in our lives, we should surrender to His will and grace.  When we hear Satan’s voice of condemnation, we cover ourselves in God’s truth and keep our distance.  We “learn the turn.”  When we must fight, we sling our stones of God’s truth at the enemy.  We fight the battle on God’s terms.

So thankful for the lesson that God taught me yesterday and this morning – what it means to have – and to own – the heart of a champion in my life.  My power comes from God alone.  I am free to only listen to His voice.  I am free in His truth.  I am protected.  I am unbeatable when I am fighting with Him.  I’m a slinger!  So are you!

Have a great day!

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