Daily Devotional for Monday January 6, 2003

The Confidence to Win

(1 Samuel 17:34-37)

***This Devotional is dedicated to The Ohio State University head football coach Jim Tressel, NOT because he led the Buckeyes to a perfect 14-0 season and the National Championship, but because of his commitment to Jesus Christ. Growing up in Columbus, attending Columbus Eastmoor ( the high school of Archie Griffin and his brothers), being a student at Ohio State from 1975-1979, and a lifelong Ohio State football fan, I was pleased to find out that Coach Tressel has been getting this Daily Devotional since he was coaching at Youngstown State. He is committed to the lives of the young men that come through the football program at Ohio State, not just as athletes, but as men. Having been honored to speak at their team chapel service in the past, I can attest that Coach Tressel has made sure that his staff and players understand that there is more to life than just football. Those who have a real relationship with Christ, have a visible peace about them regardless of the circumstances. If you have ever watched an Ohio State game, no matter what the score, what the situation, how critical a single play may be in the high pressure, high dollar world of major college football, Coach Tressel has a perfect peace about him that can only come from knowing the Lord. I always say that our loudest witness is not our words, but how we live our lives before others. THAT is what my friend Coach Tressel does each day, on and off the field.

The confidence to win. I want to share with you today a word of encouragement to help you see victory in whatever battle that you may be facing in your life today. Many are just getting back into the swing of school or work after the Christmas holidays. The presents are all opened and exchanged, the last of the ham and turkey was a sandwich last night, all of the friends and family that visited have gone home, and it is back to the daily grind. For many, the problems and issues in your life that you put on hold over the last several weeks are now front and center again. They are battles that have to be fought and loom in your life like giants.

While you have to sit down and formulate a battleplan, a strategy to win, the most important element of all is having the confidence to win. YOU CAN NOT WIN A BATTLE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN! Let me say that again. YOU CAN NOT WIN A BATTLE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN! Before you sit down to put together your battleplan, you must first have the confidence that you CAN WIN! Almost every national expert gave Ohio State no chance of beating the University of Miami. Had the Ohio State coaches and players went into that football game with that attitude, there is no battleplan in the world that would have allowed them to win that game. I guarantee you that every expert in the day of David, gave him no chance to defeat Goliath. Had David went into that battle with that attitude, there is no way that he would have defeated Goliath. YOU CAN NOT WIN A BATTLE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN!

So the logical question is where does this belief come from. It comes from our past experiences with God. You see my friend, the Bible proclaims that God is immutable, never changing. It tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What that means is the same God who led you to victory in the past, is the same God who will lead you to victory today!!! The great warriors of Israel had NO CONFIDENCE that they could beat Goliath, but David did. How could this young man, a non-warrior, have such confidence? Because of his PAST EXPERIENCES WITH GOD!

In the anchor verses for this Devotional found in 1 Samuel chapter 17, David tells Saul that he can beat Goliath because in the past, as he was watching his father's sheep, he had to kill a bear and lion that had tried to kill the sheep. He simply said that the same God who gave him victory over the bear and lion, was the same God that would give him victory over Goliath. David had the full confidence in knowing that the same God who led him to victory in the past was the same God that would lead him to victory now.

My word to you today is that no matter what your "giant" is, the same God that delivered you in the past, is the same God that will deliver you today! I don't care what your battle is, God won't let you down. Does that mean that you can just sit back and achieve victory? Of course not. You still have to prepare a battleplan, you still have to go out and execute your battleplan just like David did. But the key is, you can go into that battle with the full confidence and knowledge that the same God who led you to victory in the past, is the same God that will lead you to victory today!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I hurt today because I know that many of you are facing incredible battles in your life. But I want you to take a few moments right now and remember the battles that you have had in the past. Remember those times in your life when you had to depend totally on God and how He led you to victory. Encourage yourself today by thinking of those impossible situations that you faced in past years, situations that looked overwhelming. Remember how you called out to God for help, and how God gave you a plan of attack, and as you faithfully executed that plan, you got victory over that situation. THAT IS THE SAME GOD THAT WILL LEAD YOU TO VICTORY OVER WHATEVER SITUATION YOU FACE TODAY!!!

I will be praying for you today, praying for you to see victory in whatever battles that you are facing. As you look to God for a battleplan, as you look to God to help you execute that battleplan, never forget that the same God that has led you to victory in the past, is the same God that will lead you to victory today. HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO WIN!!!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller