When trying to reach the next level, in anything, one will encounter tougher experiences on the way. In a video game, you must defeat multiple levels of difficulty in order to beat the game. Life works the same way, and everybody is on a different level of the “game”. In order to level up, one must defeat their current level with enough “life” to help them beat the next level.
This is no different in sports. There are various levels, and while players are on a single team, the level of difficulty varies from player to player. In order to win the game, each player must conquer the level they are on and still come out of each game with life. This is what makes coaching so hard. It’s not just making sure to understand X’s & O’s, but to know how to help your team get through the difficult levels of the game with life. For this to work, each member of the team must be willing to face their giant. In 1 Samuel 17 we find the story of David & Goliath – a story every athlete has heard. However, most athletes understand the story to mean that the underdog can defeat the favorite. This is true, but most do not understand why David could defeat Goliath. Let’s look at some very important points to understand.
1 – David had to submit to authority.
2 – David had to be passionate about the God he served, and why he served Him.Verses 23-26 tell us how David heard Goliath boastfully defy his God, and it stoked the passionate fire inside David’s heart to not let the enemy speak so defiantly against his God.
3 – David had to recognize the problem, and come up with a solution.It was one thing for David to tell his brothers how someone should stand up and fight Goliath, but it was completely different to have to tell the king that, essentially, everyone in the army was a wimp – including the king! David recognized that fear had paralyzed the Israelite army, and that for 40 days Goliath was winning the battle of the mind. This battle of the mind was the pre-cursor to the physical battle. The Philistines were trying to scare the Israelites into submission, and if they would not submit, then they would paralyze them with fear, thus making the physical battle an easier victory for them. David not only saw that, but he had to come up with the solution for overcoming the problem. (17:26-32) Overcoming the problem would only happen because….
4 – …David was prepared to overcome the problem.Saul asked David why he thought he could defeat the giant. I’m sure he wasn’t ready for the answer! 1 Samuel 17:33-37 tells us how the Lord had prepared David. God brought multiple difficulties into David’s life before Goliath. David, on his own as a shepherd, faced those difficulties and conquered them. Conquering those difficulties allowed David to “level up” in his faith towards God, and his courage.
5 – David took what he had, and he RAN towards his giant with confidence and God’s power.David declined the best armor in the army because he didn’t believe it was going to help him. Instead, he took his trusted slingshot and foot speed to battle. 1 Samuel 17:43-49 tells us how David went into battle knowing that God would not only give him strength to fight, but victory over the enemy. However, for David to be victorious, he had to RUN TOWARDS his giant (vs.48).
Parents, Players, and Coaches must do the same to face and defeat their giants. In order to defeat our giants, we must:
Submit to the authority of the coach/program,
Be passionate about the program,
Recognize problems and develop solutions,
Prepare ourselves mentally to overcome obstacles in our way,
Take what we have and RUN TOWARDS the giant – knowing that if we are in the Will of God, then nothing can stop us!
This week, let’s encourage our athletes to face their giants, develop a solution to overcome the giant, and then run with confidence to meet & defeat their giant. That’s how David slays Goliath!