You don’t have to look like a champion to become a legend
I was at Pepperdine University last fall visiting my friend Sterling. Earlier that day, she had been telling me about one of her good friends who had been struggling with faith and fear. She invited him to come hang with out with us one night in hopes we would get into a conversation about faith. So, we went out one night and sat on a beautiful hill on campus – with the Malibu fall weather absolutely perfect and the sound of the ocean waves in the background.
As we started to talk, I just began to pray that Holy Spirit would lead the conversation. This guy in particular was one of the smartest guys I have ever had a conversation with. He was just an incredibly intelligent dude, and he was using words that were probably in my vocabulary book at some point in life that I couldn’t remember for the test, and you better believe I can not remember now. Our conversation took a turn when he began to tell his story. He started to share with me how he was deaf for a long portion of his life. An accident had taken place when he was a young boy and it took away his hearing. Recently, he was able to have surgery that allowed him to hear again. He thought this was the answer to his prayer, but when he began to hear the way his voice sounded when he spoke, which sounded a little different than the “normal”, he became very mad God and extremely insecure.
He said every conversation he has, he is afraid of what people are thinking of him and he can’t even live a normal life. His heart was so heavy and the pain he felt was very deep. I asked him why he feels he cannot live a normal life, and he said, “Well it’s really hard when your speech is your weakness.” This answer blew me away, because the whole time we had been having this conversation I had been thinking his words were his strength. I said to him, “What if the thing that the enemy and the world has been throwing in your face and calling your weakness, is the very thing that God intends to create as your weapon of strength? You just have to take authority over it in the name of Jesus. It’s like the cross. A cross that was meant to kill is now our victory.”
His next answer was a little shocking. He said, “Sadie you don’t understand. I have literally come to the point that I am an atheist. I’ve just decided that I’m not going to continue to believe in a God I can not see.” I paused for a minute, a little shocked at the reality of how deep this went…but then an interesting thought came to me; “didn’t you say that you have been living in a lot of fear lately?” He replied, “Yes?” I asked him if he knew what the definition of fear was and he could not answer.
The definition of fear is this – an unpleasant emotion caused by the BELIEF that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
So, fear is literally believing the worst thing is going to happen. I asked him, “Can you see fear, have you heard people make fun of you, have you actually seen the things you are scared of?” He just kind of sat there and thought about that one for a minute. Then he laughed and said, “No. You’re right.” I finished with this, “You have a choice. You can choose to believe in fear, or you can choose to believe in the faith of God. Both things you cannot see. One ends in death and one will end in life. One ends in defeat and one will end in victory. You have a choice to wake up every morning and see your imperfections as a weakness or to see your “imperfections” as what makes you original, and as an opportunity to reflect the glory of God as a strength for the kingdom of heaven.”
That night his life changed. He chose to take on the belief of faith. He is now the president of a fraternity, a job that requires a lot of speaking. He decided to walk in victory. When I think of this, I often think of the story of David and Goliath. When David went up to this giant, he didn’t carry any weapons because he was too weak. All he physically carried was a slingshot, but he spiritually carried the presence of the Lord. He understood which side of victory he was fighting from. He said, “YOU come with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of heavens armies, whom which you have defied and today the LORD WILL conquer you.” As we know, David conquered Goliath that day. My mentor pointed out to me one day how David knocked Goliath down with the sling shot, but he killed him with the sword. The very thing that was once held in his face as a weakness, a disadvantage and something that would defeat him, David held up and conquered the giant with.
When I was reading this chapter back again, it stuck out to me that at the beginning of 1st Samuel chapter 17, they call goliath a champion. The word champion stuck out to me, because I think a lot of times in our life we get so stuck on wanting to look like the champion of the story, and when someone else in the room is bigger, stronger, prettier, smarter, bolder, braver, or more well known, we coward down and our comparison has shut us up for too long. We say things like, “GOD I wish I could do something for your kingdom, but I’m not good enough, I don’t look good enough, I don’t sound smart enough, I have gone too far, I have a disability, I feel so ashamed, I’m not worthy, I don’t have what the others have. I don’t have the schooling that the others have. I don’t look how the others look. I’m not the best.” We focus so much on what we don’t have in comparison to others, instead of focusing on what He gave us when we created us as individual humans who have certain gifts and authority over the enemy to walk boldly and confident in the freedom Jesus died for. We have to stop hiding our strengths under our weaknesses and allowing the world to steal the power of victory we have the opportunity to walk in.
He never called us to be the best. Goliath was the champion of this story, but here is the thing about champions – a champion is only a champion until the next person wins, but a legend will last forever. David was a legend. The important thing is that you don’t have to look like a champion to become a legend. Most of the time, legends will not look like a champion. Look at the most legendary person of all time, Jesus Christ. He doesn’t have rings on his finger to represent his victory, He has holes in his hands. Friends, you have a choice today to not take away the meaning of the cross, and to take that thing you have been calling your weakness straight to the cross to allow it to become a strength for the kingdom.