Perhaps you are familiar with Fall Out Boy’s new song Centuries. It was played basically ad nauseam during last year’s college football playoffs on ESPN, but the video is an epic—I mean EPIC mini version of what could be called “Gladiator II.”
In other words, Fall Out Boy has taken to swords and sandals, and the result is an exciting battle between the band and a behemoth bald bad boy that will keep you entertained.
But beyond gladiator swagger, there is a much deeper meaning going on that is really quite inspiring:
“Centuries is the idea that you’ve got to get back up…That anyone can become a legend…You are the engine and Centuries is just meant to be the gasoline that lets it rip! You have the chemical make[up] of greatness, and this is just a recipe to put the chemicals in the right order. It’s meant to be the alarm that wakes you up for the best day of your life.” —Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy bassist and lyricist, in Kerrang!
Do you believe you can become a legend? Do you feel you have the “chemical makeup of greatness”? If not, you are in great company, because I know of someone who lived 3000 years ago who most certainly did NOT believe that, yet because of his willingness to trust God, his story has lived on way beyond just centuries.
His name is David, and as a young teenager and the youngest of his family, his job was to keep watch over a bunch of sheep. Back in that day, this was one of the worst jobs anyone could have. And not only did David have a lowly occupation in a desolate area, his brothers picked on him (1 Samuel 17:28), and his own father called him a “runt”! (1 Samuel 16:11)
But one day an alarm woke him up for the best day in his life. It came at a time when his homeland of Israel was at war with an army of cruel and vicious people called the Philistines. David was too young to fight, so his dad gave him some cheese and crackers to deliver to his brothers on the front lines. When he got there, he saw and heard a giant (that makes the dude in the video look like a runt!) blaspheming and profaning the name of the One true God.
Here’s what happened:
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! (1 Samuel 17:41-50, The Message).
David stepped forward in faith and singlehandedly defeated a seemingly undefeatable giant, and to this day videos reference this event and billions draw encouragement from his victory!
So what giant stands in your arena of life today? Remember that the secret to David’s victory was not his skill with the slingshot; it was his faith that allowed him to see Goliath from God’s perspective instead of his own. To the Israelites, Goliath was an invincible warrior who could destroy any mortal man. To David, the giant was just a mortal man trying to defy an all-powerful God!
And when we see the difficulties in our life from God’s perspective, we will see that He will fight for us and with us.
So take some encouragement from David. Fight against the giants in your life with faith, and fight for THE Cause of Christ with the confidence that in the end Jesus wins! When we trust God with our lives and share the gospel with our friends, we truly engage in the battle of the centuries!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Part of being made in God’s image is the deep desire to make a difference in the world. Take encouragement from David and face the giants in your life that keep you from serving God and being faithful to THE Cause!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Dear Father, You have given us everything we need to serve You and bring our friends to Jesus. We pray that You would help our unbelief and give us faith to face the giants in our lives.
Read: Hebrews 11:32-34. How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
Get: Fearless…Unleashing God’s Fierce Love in Your World. The Fearless Youth Group Curriculum and companion 28 day Student Devotional unpacks powerful passages from the book of Ephesians. It will inspire you to walk into the full embrace of God’s lavish love and boldly live for Jesus.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to share this with your students? Copy and paste the following text message: “Do you feel like you are often fighting for yourself in this world? There may be another way…read more in this week’s Soul Fuel: http://hubs.ly/y0z7HD0”
Big Idea: The Centuries video is a great reminder of David’s victory over Goliath, from which we can draw encouragement for living bold lives for the sake of THE Cause of Christ.
Key Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:41-50
- What do you think of the song/video Centuries?
- What are some of the giants in your life?
- How do the giants change when you look at them from God’s perspective?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?