8 Min Read

Templates of Victory

Published on

January 30, 2023

One of the most fascinating stories in the Bible is the story of the 17-year-old shepherd boy named David and the gigantic Philistine soldier named Goliath. Often times when we gloss over this tale, we tend to interpret the story along the lines of “the victory of the underdog.” While this would make for an excellent Hollywood epic, it greatly undermines the truth of what that story actually portrays. In today’s devotional, we will be taking a cursory gaze at what transpired at the valley of Elah and glean some life lessons from David’s victory.

Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armour, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armour bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.” — Samuel 17: 4–7 (NLT)

1 Samuel 17 opens with the tale of a battle between two nations, but what we begin to see in the succeeding verses is how one army spent so much time analyzing the champion of the opposing nation so much that men who initially gathered for a battle became scared to make either an advance, a retreat or even call for a truce. The bragging and taunting of the opponent’s champion succeeded in making Israel’s troop of elite forces immobile and redundant for 40 long days (1 Samuel 17: 16). Usually, when armies are raised for a battle, it is with the intent that they’re either victorious or die trying, no act of inactivity is permitted on the battle scene that is why ranking officers are appointed to always remind the rank and file of the essence of the battle and consistently steer a course that will lead to victory. Alas, the armies of Israel and even their ranking officers meditated so much on the seemingly imposing statue of one man to the point that not one soldier and even their commander-in-chief had an answer or a pathway to victory.

Just as it was for the armies of Israel, so it is with many today who spend ample time analyzing the seemingly imposing nature of what stands before them to the detriment of their abilities to navigate pathways leading to successes and breakthroughs. Often time, people become adept at the causes of problems. They know the intricacies of the challenges and have a detailed understanding of the fundamental pitfalls that befall many pursuits. But when tasked with providing solutions, they become transfixed and unable to chart a course for productivity because they have gazed on the problems so much that they now lack the mental fortitude to become its solution, nor even know how to get themselves out of it, such was Israel’s case. Now the big question is how do we mitigate all of these?

David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God? — 1 Samuel 17: 26 (NLT)

David started asking questions after arriving at the camp and seeing firsthand the attack on Israel’s army and, consequently, on God Almighty. The majority of his questions, however, were centred on the rewards of providing a solution because, in his opinion, the matter was already resolved because he was aware of what he carried.

This brings me to the first point, many times, we focus on external circumstances to the detriment of our internal abilities because we are unaware of the abilities we possess as sons of THE KING. When we are conscious of who we are and what we have, we respond to challenges from without differently because we understand the reward coefficient for solving them, so be reward minded, as a reward often serves as motivation to take on a challenge, it helps aligns your focus, and it ultimately builds your mind to be more strategic in approach. Reward-mindedness is an act of faith. (See Jesus Hebrews 12: 2 & Joshua and Caleb Numbers 13: 30; 14: 6–9)

But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine! — 1 Samuel 17: 34–37 (NLT)

Secondly, while we are being reward conscious, this consciousness must come from a place of intimate fellowship with the source of your victories. This means that your ability to tackle a problem must necessarily come from an understanding of how you dealt with previous challenges in previous seasons and the source that enabled those victories.

Every successful person has a methodology for approaching challenges that have been continuously refined in embers fellowship, allowing them to take on challenges and be confident of victory. For David, it was the consistency of fellowship at the back side of the wilderness that helped him overcome bears and lions. For Jesus, it was the quiet place night-time sessions with the father. For Daniel, it was the window facing Jerusalem, etc. What is that methodology of fellowship you consistently maintain that has the ability to ensure your reward-mindedness isn’t a farce? If you don’t have one yet, not to worry. Today is a great day to begin to cultivate one with God.

Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. Then the men of Israel and Judah gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines, chasing them as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn all along the road from Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron. Then the Israelite army returned and plundered the deserted Philistine camp. — 1 Samuel 17: 51–53

Finally, remember that your victory has the inherent ability to cause a chain reaction of victories, so you can’t afford not to be victorious because the victories of others are dependent on yours. Who would have thought that the armies of Israel could pursue their enemies or even dare to pursue them to their city gate or even plunder them, but David’s courage and victory sparked it all. Many people in various systems, organizations, communities and even families are waiting for us to emerge because our emergence will be the catalyst for their victories.

In conclusion, David was never the underdog in this story. No one carries God almighty and becomes an underdog. If Goliath knew what was coming, he ought to have been trembling with fear like Balak, the king of Moab, did (Numbers 22). The world wants you to be unaware of your true worth because that is the only way they can keep you down, but always remember you are made for exploits.

So step into this week and begin to establish templates of victories, you have it in you already.

Nonso Orji


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