Sun | Jan 20, 2019


Published:Saturday | May 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Underdogs changed the world

MANY PEOPLE dream about making a difference and accomplishing something significant, but so often they are prevented from realising these ambitions because of the underdog mentality. This belief that "I am just not good enough", which is fed by feelings of inadequacy, doubt and fear, is not at all uncommon, even among those of us who seem to have it together.

The excuses we make range from ingenious to ludicrous, but they all have the same effect of holding us back from achieving our true potential.

History and, even more-so, the scriptures are replete with evidence that God specialises in using underdogs to change the world. Let us for a minute consider David, the son of Jesse and his call to be king.

David, the Underdog

The scripture says God sent His prophet, Samuel, to visit Jesse of Bethlehem because He had chosen one of his sons to replace Saul as king of Israel.

When Samuel went to Bethlehem and asked Jesse to identify his sons, he introduced all except one: that was David. When the first son was presented, God rejected him, saying to Samuel: "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

Jesse called the second son, Abinadab, and God also rejected him. Five others were presented and the Lord rejected them too.

Samuel asked: "Are these all the sons you have?"

"There is still the youngest," Jesse answered. "He is tending the sheep."

Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; this is the one." 1 Samuel 16:11-12 NIV

the shepherd boy

David, the shepherd boy (having one of the lowest stations in society) was God's choice. David, the forgotten son, the underdog, would change the world. Nobody saw David coming, not even his father, who left him to tend the sheep while his other sons were being presented to Samuel. A critical lesson here is that God often takes a different path from the one we think is obvious. David was destined to be the greatest king ever to lead Israel, and his own father did not see his potential. His father looked on the outward appearance, but God saw his heart of humility and courage. David's total reliance was on God.

There will always be people who don't see your true potential, but God knows who you are. He knows where you are. He brought you here. He sees your potential. You might not think you are much (and, on your own, that might be true), but together with God, you are more than enough. You have permission to believe you are God's right person for the job. It is God who has placed a vision in your heart; it is God who gives the promotion; you have every reason to believe that He wants you to succeed. You might look at yourself and think, "I am not good enough. I graduated at the bottom half of my class or I didn't graduate at all. Maybe you are the forgotten one in your family ... maybe your parents were not proud of you. Remember this:

All the wrong stuff + God's hand on your life = the right person for the job.

David ended up radically changing his nation for the better, so can you. Even though you may feel like an underdog, remember that you have permission to believe God wants to use you!

n Dwight Fletcher is pastor of Transformed Life Church. Send feedback to