“David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.”/1 Samuel 17:45-50
One of my buddies asked if I could do a little devotion for the boys basketball team before their game on Friday. It being my old school where I was known to ball a little bit back in my day (not a lot, just a lil bit), I’ve been so stinkin jacked just thinking about it!!! All that excitement dimmed down a good bit when I finally sat down thinking, “oh man, what am I going to tell them?” I had no idea but after awhile of procrastinating, it hit me! It’s a message I’ve shared a few different times, mainly because it’s one of the manliest Chuck Norris type stories in the Bible, David vs. Goliath. The cool part is with each time I’ve gotten to share it, the Lord brings out bigger truths every time that speak so loudly to the struggles I’m going through at the moment. So today you get the sneak peak of what’s going down Friday because we’ve all got a Big Fred in our lives and I pray you’ll see how the Lord has ole Fred under control.
I had shared this message about David and Goliath along with my story about Big Fred before but this time Big Fred wasn’t just a ridiculously large and very good basketball player. When I was a freshman in high school I made the varsity basketball team, not because I was all that great I was just one of the tallest kids that a 2A school had to offer. I wasn’t exactly prepared to play against grown considering I was coming off a huge growth spurt so I hadn’t even grown into my frame yet. I was skinny as a bean pole, not very strong, and could jump high enough that you might be able to slide a piece of paper under my feet on a good day. I was way out of my league.
One of our first games was against Westside who had one of the biggest, baddest players around playing center. Standing at 6’8, muscled up from head to toe, Big Fred lived up to the name. I was coming from playing against middle school kids and he belonged on a college basketball team. We walked in the gym and got a glimpse of how big they were. Oh boy. Then getting to watch them warm up, seeing how much bigger, faster, and better they were, none of us thought we stood a chance against them. Every piece of my awkward skinny frame was shaking in fear of what was about to happen. I played the same position as Fred since I was what we considered a “big man” and not long into the game our starting center got in foul trouble so guess what?!? Yep. All my nightmares had came true. I went into the game and walked up beside Big Fred like I was about to go into a haunted house. The first few plays I just avoided getting the ball because I figured, Fred’s not going to let me score anyways. A few plays later I got the ball with this giant in front of me, I didn’t know what to do so I just shot it. IT WENT IN!!! I went back down court with a little bit of pep in my step, thinking, “you ain’t nothing Fred, you ain’t ready for me.” I was pretty pumped up until a few plays later.
Big Fred got the ball on a fast break and the only person close enough to run in and try to stop him was no other than yours truly. I knew Big Fred was about to tear the goal down with one of his big dunks so I had a choice to make. I slowed down my run and just got out the way. He went up with two hands like he was mad at the rim and dunked it. I was afraid to get dunked on so I didn’t even try to stop him, I ran away.
David in this story with the giant Goliath is in a similar situation except Goliath is way bigger than Fred and out to kill anyone who gets in his way. David takes a different approach to his giant than I did with mine. Instead of running away scared, pretty much acting like the Israelites and being too scared to show up and fight like I did, David makes his way to the battlefield, past all the voices that said “there’s no way, he’s too small and Goliath is too big. He’ll get killed.” David doesn’t see the size of Goliath and run away or gets afraid because his hope and trust was in God. The God that is so much bigger than any giant. So David speaks with boldness, acts with supreme confidence, and defeats the impossible odds sleighing the giant, how? Because His identity was in God. He knew God would deliver Him in this moment when things didn’t look too good. He knew God would go before Him and sleigh the giant so all he had to do was live it out and trust that He was a child of God, the mightiest, most powerful, and ONLY God.
How often do we hear just have more faith, be like David and take down your Big Freds. Does that ever really help? When the Big Freds of life come knocking at your door everyday, fear, doubt, worry, addictions, tough circumstances and constant weakness, do you feel like the Israelites and like young Jordan. You just want to run away because you’ll never beat Big Fred, he’s too big, too strong, in our eyes it’s impossible odds, he won yesterday he’ll probably win today too. Just like in that game, there’s a lot of days I lose to Big Fred before I ever take step on the battlefield. If you believe you’re going to lose then guess what, you’ll most likely lose.
The coolest part is we don’t have to defeat the Big Freds in our life because Jesus has already went face to face with him and knocked him out cold. Jesus paid the price of our sins on the cross, sacrificing everything to win the battle. After 3 days when everybody thought Big Fred was going to dunk again, NOPE!!! Jesus rose from the grave with our victory and freedom in hand!!! He did all that for me and you, He did all that so we wouldn’t have to face Big Fred alone and so we wouldn’t have to lose. He’s already beat every Big Fred out there, He took the ball away went down court and dunked all over him and when we walk onto the field of our life. We should know that we can’t win this battle because He already has. Walking with Jesus and His victory in hand we can step up to all the outside voices that say we’re not enough, or we’ll never win, and step to the battlefield not even to fight but to remind our enemy that the battle has been won. We can trust that Jesus has won the battle and walk out our days in the freedom of knowing nothing or no one can hurt us, or take us from our Lord and the eternity He has in store for us.
We don’t have to be a superhero or be like David, we just have to show up to the game with supreme confidence and our expectations not set in what we see but what’s been done, our vision set on things above and the victory won not on the little Freds that try to take away a victory that’s already set in stone. Whatever Big Fred is for you, Jesus has beat Him so when you come face to face with Him today believe what Jesus has done, watch Fred start shrinking and enjoy the victorious freedom that He has given us. Even if you think it looks too impossible to win, all you have is a ling and stone, you’re too small, too weak, Jesus has won the war and He’ll give you more than enough of what you need to win these little battles. If you believe in the truth, that Jesus has already won then forget being afraid, having faith in the victory of such a Big God will allow you to play BIG and live BIG. Big Fred should know by now of the dunk that’s coming for Him but just in case He comes at ya like he doesn’t know, remind him. Jesus has won and we get to live every day celebrating the biggest, most awesome win of all time!
Playing a game you can’t lose is pretty daggum fun right?!?!!!