I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power will infuse me to conquer every difficulty. Philippians 4:12-13 (PBT)
Goliath, a giant Philistine, came to the battle one day too many. On this day someone named David also came. He had been trained in the secret of overcoming things by the power of God. You can read the whole story in I Samuel 17 but pay special attention to verses 45 and 47:
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. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword and spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.
David had proven himself in hidden places. He knew the strengths of the Lord within him, and was faithful to obey the Lord. He had learned to destroy anything that defied his God or his God’s possessions. In the shepherd’s field David learned to know the strength of God. Giving battles to the Lord meant going in the strength God had developed in him. Same is true for us.
In the shepherd’s field God prepared David for the battlefield. As God grew David, the shepherd boy developed a bias for action. Whatever threated his sheep received a quick and swift response. David’s strength was in discerning who his enemy was, and taking appropriate action to destroy him. Lions and bears were just a warmup for what God would do with David.
We must know our bias areas of God given strengths. I have a bias for leadership, teaching and creativity. I see every challenge through the eyes of my strengths in these three areas. I lunge into action whenever I see an opportunity where my biases are needed.
Have you developed your strengths in hidden places so that you are ready for the unfamiliar and scattered times? Do you know your biases? Opportunities require them. In fact, it is by knowing our strengths that we see opportunities to use them. In the process we begin to see ourselves differently. In David’s case it mattered more about how he saw himself than how he saw Goliath. Heroes throughout scripture learned to see themselves from God’s point of view.
Consider Moses in the wilderness or Gideon in the winepress. When they began to see themselves as deliverers of Israel, they seized God-size opportunities. The unfamiliar will drive you beyond your comfort zones but never beyond your gift zones.
Meditate now on what Philippians 4:12-13 means to you and your faith. Know your biases. Know your strengths. Know the secret of Christ’s explosive power within you. On the battle line with Goliath was not the first time David had slung a rock! He learned in the shepherd’s field what he would need on the battlefield. Take inventory of your strengths and live ready.