Playing Through the Pain: Dressed for Battle

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

One of the lessons I learned while playing in the NFL was that when I finished first down, no matter how hard I played or how hard my opponent played against me, second down is still coming. It's true for you too. Whatever you’re facing is not the only difficult thing that you’ll ever find yourself  up against. The good news is, there is, what I like to call, ‘a trick play’ in 1 Samuel chapter 17 that is guaranteed to work against any opponent.


Are you ready for this? Listen closely.


David picked up FIVE smooth stones, because Goliath was not the ONLY giant. 


Goliath was the champion, the strongest or the largest maybe, but he wasn’t the only one. Take another look at 1 Samuel 17:4-6 once more.


Then David left King Saul’s tent without the armor that Saul had tried to outfit him with. Instead, he went to the battlefield that day with only what he had brought with him from his father’s field. On his way to face the champion, he stopped by the brook, knelt down and picked up FIVE smooth stones.


Yep, you read that right, “FIVE” smooth stones. Why did he do this, you might ask?


Well, God had prepared David for this moment. The time when David had chased after a bear to save his father’s sheep from their mouth, God was preparing him. All the times when his brothers had ridiculed him, God was preparing him. The time when his father didn’t invite him to the family banquet with Samuel, God was preparing him. Every time he had extended his small teenage arm to grab a lion by its beard to kill it with his knife, God was preparing him.


While God was preparing David… David was preparing for this moment.


The trick play is that David used what I call, ‘faithful preparation.’ It’s not something that you ask for and it certainly isn’t anything for which you can plan. As we submit ourselves to God, He is faithful to divinely and faithfully prepare us.


David’s preparation was one that occurred physically, mentally, emotionally, and most significantly - spiritually. God was always at work for David, and God is always at work for you. Consider going to YouTube or wherever you listen to music right now and listen to the popular Christian song, “Way Maker”.  


Even when I don't see it, You're working

Even when I don't feel it, You're working

You never stop, You never stop working

You never stop, You never stop working

David went to the brook, knelt down and purposefully chose FIVE smooth stones for at least five giants. Getting FIVE stones didn’t mean that David lacked the faith for the ONE, it meant that he was ready (prepared) for the other FOUR. It was faithful preparation. If we stay ready, we never have to ‘get’ ready.


Could it be that the victory you’ve been waiting for is on the other side of your faithful preparation through the difficult moments that you’re walking through presently?


The fact that David was willing to fight Goliath at all is, in and of itself, amazing; however, consider the giants David had defeated before he even made it to the point where he could select the stones. He learned in those seasons how to be thoughtful in preparation for the challenge he faced.


Could it be that his faith to pick up the stones is what actually won the battle?


Will you step forward into faithful preparation even if it is difficult? What about the last battle prepared you for the current battle? What thoughtful preparation techniques did God want you to acquire?


David had every outside influence that could have given him an excuse to believe he wasn’t qualified.  He had every reason to walk away from this opportunity before having ever even approached it. Ultimately his belief in his God and in His God working through him, is what propelled David to press forward no matter how seemingly tough the situation.


David made it personal. I invite you to do the same. You have to make it personal.  Will your belief in YOUR God and in YOUR God’s divine ability through you be enough? 


Will you decide today to move in faithful preparation?


The choice is yours.