This is our last post from David and Goliath. We’ve hung out here for my past two posts, starting with “Tune Out and Turn Away”, which reminded us to listen only to the voice of God, no one else’s. Then we moved on to “Recount, Recall, and Apply”, noting how we must stand ﬁrm in our faith and what God has called us to do.
Today we’re going to talk about the tools God has equipped us with. We rejoin David as he prepares to go to battle. He hasn’t listened to the discouragement coming from his peer group or his king…rather he listened to his King. Nothing to this point detoured him from getting to where God called him. And now, even Saul is on board with David going after Goliath. In fact, Saul even helps him. Take a look:
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose ﬁve smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:38-40
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Here is David’s king, a man who is a battle-expert himself, readying David for war. Saul knows his stuff! David is lucky to have him pass on any help he can.
Except, Saul wasn’t handing out pointers, he was turning David into a Mini-Me, placing his own clothes onto David, and those clothes didn’t ﬁt. Rather than a help, they became an impediment because they were meant for Saul, not David.
I see this in the writing industry often. People scramble around to ﬁt into the current hot genre simply to be published—but that may not be where God is calling you. I also watch as young writers allow more experienced writers to mold their voices into Mini-Me’s rather than maintaining the unique voice God gave them.
Please don’t get me wrong, God may very well call you from writing contemporary to speculative, or maybe he’s gifted you with the ability to do both. And I’m by no means downplaying the role of mentors in our lives, because we all need them to grow. What I am saying, however, is you must be sure that everything you approach is with the covering God has given you. If something new you’re trying doesn’t feel like it ﬁts, there just might be a reason. Pause and pray, walk around in those new clothes for a moment…still feel uncomfortable? Then perhaps they aren’t for you.
For David, this meant shedding the armor of Saul and picking back up his staff, sling, and shepherd’s bag and trusting that God would use those simple measures to do the impossible. He didn’t need the armor of another warrior, God produced a warrior with the tools he’d already grown in David. Had David tried to use another’s, he wouldn’t have succeeded.
Bottom line? God created us with unique talents and voices—and he wants us to use them. Not to put on anyone else’s clothes because that’s the way it’s been done before or what’s currently working. He gave you what you need, and he’s training you in how to use those tools, (look back at 1 Samuel 17: 34-36 and see how David had been trained!) so don’t pick up anyone else’s instruments.
Don’t try to model yourself after anyone but God and who he created you to be. The tools he gives are all you’ll ever need to walk the path he’s placed you on.