It’s that time of year when everyone is busy prepping for Christmas while also gearing up for a new year that is filled with:
- New dreams
- New hopes
- New goals
- New strategies
- New plans
- New prayers
And even though many of us long for the New Year to bring us more victories than obstacles, in the back of our minds we silently ask ourselves, “Will this truly be a year of new experiences and good things?” We long for a year where we see God working in some miraculous ways. We long for a year where we experience the highs of living a life that matters, one that makes a difference and one that allows us to live into our strengths, skills and talents.
Here’s the good news: I believe this is possible. But, it will require that you #BeDifferent. Let me explain.
For one moment, let’s look at the story of David in the Bible (1 Samuel 17). Many of us know David as King David, a man that was not only successful during his lifetime, but one who was also known as a man after God’s heart. And even though he had his obstacles and stumbles, he was someone that was worth following. His future success stemmed from his courageous acts and obedience as a youth.
The more I studied David from my John Maxwell Leadership Bible, the more I came to realize (like Maxwell) that David truly was different from everyone else. In 1 Samuel, we read about his defeat over Goliath, the giant that was terrorizing the Israelites. This chapter of the Bible has some timeless truths that we can apply to our lives in the new year; timeless truths that will allow us to not only experience success, but will also allow us to see the hand of God move in our lives in some miraculous ways.
His outlook was different: While everyone else was “dismayed and greatly afraid” of Goliath, David saw things differently. Instead of fear, he saw an opportunity to make God known.
How many times do we tend to focus on fear, when all God is trying to do is show us an opportunity that He wants us to grab a hold of? Your outlook will either cause you to back down in fear or it will allow you to see the hand of God work in some BIG ways. Your outlook is the first step to a great year. Instead of seeing the things that “pop up” in life as obstacles and challenges that are too big and too fearful to conquer, see them as opportunities to make God known.
“Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” ~ 1 Samuel 17:32
His confidence was different: Remember Saul when He was to be appointed as king? 1 Samuel 10:22 tells us that Saul hid amongst the equipment. He was scared of being proclaimed as king. And truthfully, I think this is what many of us do too.
But not David. Even when Saul said to him, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him; for you are a youth and he a man of war from his youth” (1 Samuel 10:33), David didn’t back down. Instead, he shared with Saul how God prepared him for this moment from his past experiences. His past experiences gave him the confidence to now take a hold of one of the biggest battles he would face.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation. People are telling you it can’t be done. You’re too old, too young, you don’t have the experience, etc., but truthfully, you do. Every past experience you have had has prepared you for where God wants to take you in the New Year.
His past was different: David was a shepherd boy before he killed Goliath and before he became king. It was not a glamorous job. But it was during that season of life, that God prepared him for the battles he would face in the future. It was during that season that David successfully killed a lion and a bear. And it was these experiences that allowed him to kill Goliath.
Maybe right now you find yourself in a not so glamorous position. That’s ok; God is developing you for what He has in the future. And it’s those experiences that will give you the confidence you need to boldly move forward into what God has for you in the next season of life.
His trust was different: “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” ~ 1 Samuel 17:37
David didn’t trust in his own abilities, his own strength, instead, he trusted in God. He knew that it was God who delivered him from the lion and the bear and he knew that if God could do it then, God could and would do it with Goliath.
This is key. No matter the successes we’ve had in life, we only have them because of God and the work that He’s done in us. David never lost sight of this and this is one of the reasons why he was victorious; because he placed his trust in Him, not in his own skills and abilities.
His tools were different: By the world’s standards, if David was going to defeat Goliath, he needed armor. He needed a helmet and a sword. But as soon as David put them on, he quickly realized that those “tools” were not what he needed. Goodness, he couldn’t even walk with all that armor on his body.
Instead, he had a slingshot and 5 smooth stones; something unheard of. I’m sure people were just shaking their heads. But not David, he was different. He didn’t need the “tools” of the world to be successful; he just needed God and the tools that He provided for him.
I think sometimes today, we tend to rely on the “tools” of the world too much. But our God works in a much different way. His tools are not our tools. And I truly believe that if we would start to focus on the “tools” that He wants us to use, that we would experience success. If we would allow ourselves to #BeDifferent, we will see God move in ways we didn’t think were possible.
His courage was different: Lastly, David’s courage stemmed from God alone:
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” ~ 1 Samuel 17:45-48
Did you catch that? David said that he came to Goliath in the name of the Lord and that the Lord would conquer him.
Once again, David had courage not because of who he was or what he accomplished in the past, but rather, who was on his side. And that made all the difference.
Want to experience victory in 2017? If so, don’t be afraid to #BeDifferent and do things differently.
Like David, you’ll need to:
- Have a different outlook in life.
- Have a confidence that looks different than everyone else’s.
- Look at your past experiences differently. Your experiences are different for a reason.
- Trust differently.
- Use different tools.
- Have a courage that is like no other, one that is different from years past.
I believe that victory can be yours in the year! Today, let’s choose to #BeDifferent in all we do so that we too, can #BeWorthFollowing and ultimately, make an impact for God in our businesses, ministries and life.
Share with me below, how will you #BeDifferent in 2017?
PS: Guess what?! We’ve just released our new freebie, “6 Ways to Prepare for an AMAZING 2017.” To download your copy, click HERE.