Inside the tiny acorn lies the potential of the mighty oak!
Potential: a latent ability or excellence that may or may not be developed. In every one of us there is a treasure trove of potential. An untapped resource in a lot of cases. ***Potential is like buried treasure its value is only apparent when discovered and used. Potential must move to a place of actualization in our lives and in order to do that it must be discovered. Once found it must be used or it loses it’s value. So we must first discover it.
(1 Samuel 17:1-14, 16-58 MSG)Saul and the Israelites came together, camped at Oak Valley, and spread out their troops in battle readiness for the Philistines. The Philistines were on one hill, the Israelites on the opposing hill, with the valley between them. A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor-126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail-the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him. Goliath stood there and called out to the Israelite troops, “Why bother using your whole army? Am I not Philistine enough for you? And you’re all committed to Saul, aren’t you? So pick your best fighter and pit him against me. If he gets the upper hand and kills me, the Philistines will all become your slaves. But if I get the upper hand and kill him, you’ll all become our slaves and serve us. I challenge the troops of Israel this day. Give me a man. Let us fight it out together!” When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope…Jesse’s three older sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who had joined up with Saul were Eliab, the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father’s sheep in Bethlehem. Each morning and evening for forty days, Goliath took his stand and made his speech. One day, Jesse told David his son, “Take this sack of cracked wheat and these ten loaves of bread and run them down to your brothers in the camp. And take these ten wedges of cheese to the captain of their division. Check in on your brothers to see whether they are getting along all right, and let me know how they’re doing…David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock, took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the army was moving into battle formation, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines moved into position, facing each other, battle-ready. David left his bundles of food in the care of a sentry, ran to the troops who were deployed, and greeted his brothers. While they were talking together, the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, stepped out from the front lines of the Philistines, and gave his usual challenge. David heard him. The Israelites, to a man, fell back the moment they saw the giant-totally frightened. The talk among the troops was, “Have you ever seen anything like this, this man openly and defiantly challenging Israel? The man who kills the giant will have it made. The king will give him a huge reward, offer his daughter as a bride, and give his entire family a free ride.” David, who was talking to the men standing around him, asked, “What’s in it for the man who kills that Philistine and gets rid of this ugly blot on Israel’s honor? Who does he think he is, anyway, this uncircumcised Philistine, taunting the armies of God-Alive?” They told him what everyone was saying about what the king would do for the man who killed the Philistine. Eliab, his older brother, heard David fraternizing with the men and lost his temper: “What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!” “What is it with you?” replied David. “All I did was ask a question.” Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before. The things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul. Saul sent for him. “Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.” Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced-and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.” David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference-I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” Saul said, “Go. And God help you!” Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off. Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath. As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David. He took one look down on him and sneered-a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed. The Philistine ridiculed David. “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” And he cursed him by his gods. “Come on,” said the Philistine. “I’ll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I’ll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice.” David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God-he’s handing you to us on a platter!” That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt. That’s how David beat the Philistine-with a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. No sword for David! Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant’s sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their great champion was dead, they scattered, running for their lives. The men of Israel and Judah were up on their feet, shouting! They chased the Philistines all the way to the outskirts of Gath and the gates of Ekron. Wounded Philistines were strewn along the Shaaraim road all the way to Gath and Ekron. After chasing the Philistines, the Israelites came back and looted their camp.
***Interesting to note until the point David faced Goliath we have no record or even story of him fighting another man. This account emphatically states he was not a fighting man. To this point in his life he was potentially a great warrior yet that was virtually undiscovered until he faced the giant.
How do we discover our potential and then actualize it?
1. Identify What are we naturally bent towards? When faced with pressure what are the qualities that rise to the top?
Although David had not been a warrior he had the gifts and skill set to be one. When he was faced with pressure you could see glimpses of it. (lion/bear)
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)
To discover potential we must look beyond the surface and see what is in keeping with our individual gift or bent
2. identify What stirs passion in you?What angers or motivates you?
David was moved to action by his passion to stop the attack on God and for security for his family
3. Identify the cause you are to align your life with.
There are apparent gifts in you but some of the greatest potential is yet to be discovered. When you Aline with a great cause they will rise up.
Up to this point all we knew about David is he was the youngest, he was a shepherd, and a musician/songwriter. When he aligned with the purpose of His life the reason for his being he discovered his true potential
4. Identify the gifts God has given you
David could not use Saul’s armor he could only use that to which he was naturally accustomed. What he had proven.
Your potential is discovered when your being yourself not imitating someone else.
Challenges to overcome in order to discover your potential
1. Sometimes the people close to you can’t see it, and will question your motives.
Why are you doing this?Who do you think you are?
***discovering your potential is about pleasing God not gaining the approval of man
2. Sometimes people see your limitations not your potential
You’re too inexperienced This is too big for you
***discovering your potential is to look beyond your limitations. People don’t know what you know about you.
Discover your potential and use it to the fullest to the glory of God.