Read 1 Samuel 17:38-40
38 Then Saul gave David his own armour—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.
“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine. (NLT)
We are all on a unique journey to a common destination: which is maturity in Christlikeness. We are all travelling in our own distinctive way to eternal life in Jesus. We are all commanded to obey God and heed the life principles taught in the Bible. And yet our obedience has different shapes and forms. We go to war against the evil one but fight different battles within that war.
It is so dangerous to read or hear of other Christians who seem to be flourishing and then working out how to live just like them. We attend a conference which seems to give us a blueprint for successful Christian living. Only later do we face the discouragement of realising that their journey is not our journey.
David knew something of this. He had to fight a battle. King Saul was only too happy to support and equip him. But the problem was that David couldn’t fight the way Saul might fight. They had a common enemy and a common task, but they were very different people. A suit of armour didn’t suit David. Five smooth stones would not have helped Saul.
God has made us unique individuals. We can learn a lot from others and be inspired by their example. But in the end we cannot replicate their journeys nor do exactly what they do. Never be afraid of being different, of marching in a different rhythm to the same drumbeat. Jesus bids us come closer to him, but takes delight in inviting us to take distinctive paths to the one true end.