1 Samuel 17 is the heroic tale of a shepherd boy, David, coming up against the champion of the Philistines; the giant, Goliath.
As a shepherd, your job was to watch over and protect the flock from dangers, such as: sheep getting lost, due to wandering away from the herd; cliffs; predators, like lions and bears.
David, the young hero in this tale, survived all of these dangers and I’m sure more; when he was sent by his father to bring his brothers, who were in the Israelite Army, some food and retrieve news of what was happening on the battlefield. When David got to the Army he learned of what was taking place; the Israelite Army, the people of God were terrified of the enemy champion, a giant named Goliath of Gath.
Now, David, was a confident youth. I mean he’d survived lion attacks and bear attacks. (1 Samuel 17:34) So, in his youthful Godly-confidence, he stepped up for the entire Israelite Army, to take on the giant that all the other soldiers were terrified of.
What made David stand up and take action, when the rest of the men were too afraid? What made him believe, that he would be able to defeat Goliath? Was it the fact that he was still a young boy, filled with the chutzpah of youth? Or was it a little bit of cockiness, because he had killed lions and bears protecting his flock? Why weren’t the grown men of the army as confident as David? Was it because they had seen more, lived more, known more, beyond the pastures of a grazing flock?
The answer for each of these questions is the same; according to 1 Samuel 16:13, the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day forward. David was Godly-confident, because he knew the Truth; He had a personal relationship with the Spirit of the Lord. His focus was never on the problem or the danger of the “enemy”; his focus was always on the Lord God, because he had experienced God’s strength and power against lions and bears. David knew that the Lord God, would give him the strength and power for whatever he faced; regardless of whether it was a lion, a bear or a 9 1/2 foot giant. He knew that God would fight through him on his behalf.
As I look back on my youth, I see a girl who was cocky, not confident; arrogant, with an attitude and the mindset that I can take on the world, and I’ll beat it every time. I imagine much like David’s demeanor. (At least that’s how it came across to me in the story). However, unlike David, I wasn’t fighting my battles with or for the Lord God. I was fighting my battles in my own strength and in my own power; not really knowing anything about the Holy Spirit and how He works in and through our lives. So, I would say, the biggest difference between my mindset (as a youth) and David’s (as a youth), as well as the difference between David’s (as a youth) and the soldiers (as adults), was that his [mindset] was in the knowledge and truth that his strength and power came from God; and it was God through David who was victorious over his foes; which is why he was confident when he came to King Saul and told him that he, David, would fight the Philistine giant. I on the other hand, was much more like the Israelite army, wanting nothing to do with God, and taking all the glory for myself as I fought and won battles. I didn’t have a clue.
I’m older now, the battlegrounds have changed and like David, the Lord God is on my side; because, I have a personal relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus, and in Him I have more wisdom. So, I approach dangers and problems differently now, opposed to how I approached them in my youth. In my youth, I would charge in guns blazing; in the same way David did with Goliath. But, now, I consider if I might not be more like the Israelite army, standing back, terrified, looking at the giant that wants to severely hurt me. It makes me wonder why, as an adult, I can’t wrap my head around the concept that David understood as a boy, that God is the strength and power that overcomes the dangers and the problems. Maybe, it’s that I fought so many battles, on my own, in my own strength and power and lost, that it makes me gun shy and too timid to stand up or stand out for truth. Maybe it’s that the consequences are different? There is more to “lose” now. Maybe, these are all just excuses, that the devil wants me to believe about myself, so that I will continue to forfeit the strength and power that Jesus Christ has gifted me and every one of God’s children with.
The truth of the matter is, David as a young boy was successful against all dangers, animal and human alike, because he was never zoomed in so much that the only thing in focus, was the danger or the problem. He zoomed out, so that when he saw the whole picture, it was (in this case) the giant that was blurred in the landscape of God’s power, strength, and ultimately His glory through him.
So, when danger appears or problems arise, or a giant wants to pummel you, where is your focus going to be? Are you going to zoom in, so that all you see in focus is the problem, or are you going to zoom out, look at the whole picture, blur the problem so that the abilities of the Creator of all things is what becomes focused? The choice is yours, but as for me, I pray God helps me to blur my problems and dangers, and focuses the background, where He works from.