"Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine" (1 Samuel 17:38-40).
Even as a young man, David knew both who he was and more importantly, who his God was. When it doesn’t fit, David does not hesitate to remove Saul's great armor and instead, put on the specific strengths that God had shaped within him (1 Samuel 17:31-50). In faith, he confronted the nine-foot tall Goliath not with a sword, but with a sling and five stones.
Do you know who you are? And, do you know and trust in who your God is? Unlike David in this passage, I can often find myself trying to make “someone else’s armor” fit, unconsciously (or consciously) desiring to live someone else's life. At times, I know that I am trying to fulfill someone else's expectations for my life and placing their approval above God’s. In the pursuit of acceptance and praise, I can even hide who God made me to be, and when I look in the mirror see someone that I don't know, in armor that doesn't fit. Do you ever feel this way?
As a youth, not much was expected of David (1 Samuel 17:33). However, with purpose-driven courage, David intentionally exchanges:
Others' expectations of him for his expectations of what God can do
Faith in the power of man for faith in the sovereignty of God
Human perceptions of strength (experience, resources) for his God-given strengths and design
Living into this exchange daily is difficult and necessitates that we must first put off that which hinders us (Hebrews 12:1). As Christ-centered leaders, we hear so many voices, words of advice, and ideas of what and who we should be. What might be a piece of false armor that the Spirit is prompting you to take off this week? What might be the sling and stones that you may have been neglecting, but God is wanting to develop in you so you may better serve His Glory and Kingdom? Today, let's put on the full armor of God and faithfully step into battle together. With the strengths He has shaped in us, we have full assurance in our beautiful design and complete confidence in our awesome God. Let’s live life to the fullest.
"Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied" (1 Samuel 17:45).