Most people know the basic story of “David and Goliath,” but do you remember one of the most important lessons from that event?
When David volunteers to take on the giant, King Saul states, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man since his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33).
David admits his youth, but he argues that he has experience and help. “[I have] been keeping my father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it…The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (verses 34-37a).
Eventually, Saul agrees and says, “Go, and the Lord be with you” (37b). However, before he sends David out, he does one more thing. “Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armour on him and a bronze helmet on his head” (38). That seems like a good idea. Who goes out to fight without armour, right?
“David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around… ‘I cannot go in these,’ he said to Saul, ‘because I am not used to them.’ So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine” (39-40).
Did you get that?
Saul thought he was being helpful by giving David his armour, but David cannot wear Saul’s armour. It is not his. He is not used to it. In fact, for David to be successful he has to make sure that he does things his own way, so he sheds the armour, grabs his sling, five smooth stones from the river and the rest, as they say, is history.
The point: You cannot be someone else. You cannot do what others do. In fact, you should not even try to be someone else. You have to be you. You cannot wear someone else’s armour.
Too often we miss the good that we could do because we are trying to do what others do. David could not be Saul, but he could be a good and faithful David. He could do the things that God uniquely prepared him to do.
You do not have to be like everyone else to be useful in the kingdom.
In fact, it is best that way (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-30).