We need a ruthless determination to win. In the sports world they refer to this as a “Killer Instinct.”

David had a Killer Instinct. He had a focus that would not be denied. As we look into the story of His battle with Goliath we see that David…

  1. David defeated distractions

  2. David went with what works

  3. David wanted more than applause

  4. David ended it

  5. The wins kept piling up

Do you have a killer instinct like David? Will you go onto the battlefield and face your giant today?

Champion 6 – Killer Instinct from Redemption Church on Vimeo.


Champion 6 – Killer Instinct

sermon notes by pastor Chris Fluitt

Redemption Church Plano Tx

Welcome Champions! We welcome everyone that is listening or watching through our podcast, youtube or some other website. We also want to welcome everyone tuning into the FACEBOOK LIVE STREAM. Greetings from Redemption Church in Plano Tx. My name is Chris Fluitt. I am blessed to serve as Lead Pastor.


We are the 4th week of our Champion Series. We have been looking at the epic story of David & Goliath.

  • Week 1- Promise trumps Pedigree.
  • Week 2- Servants are Champions.
  • Week 3 – You need to see More than a Problem.
  • Week 4 – The Full Court Press
  • Week 5 – Poor Giant – You didn’t stand a chance

Today I want to preach to you, about the Killer Instinct

Sports Psychology has been an up & coming field over the last few decades. Professional sports psychologists make the upwards of one hundred thousand dollars a year. At heart of the subject of sports psychology is the question of – why do some athletes succeed and some fail? What is it that causes athletes of comparable talent, training, & coaching to win or to wane in times of high pressure.

This is an important subject for us non-professional athletes as well. Why is it that in certain moments of struggle we give up? What is it inside us, that causes us to fall apart when we are so close to victory? Or why do we do well in pressure moments when others tend to wilt? What is it that keeps us laser focused when it would be so easy to become distracted?

It is more than physical dexterity, strength, intelligence, and speed. Sports Psychology knows that it is something on the inside, and one thing they have defined is that some have and some lack a Killer Instinct.

A Killer Instinct is defined as a ruthless determination to win or succeed.

Some people have a killer instinct and some people don’t.

In the sports world this is easy to spot.

Some teams play better when they are behind in the score. The pressure is off, but when they come close to tying the game or going ahead they fall apart. They lack the Killer Instinct to truly take control of their victory. Some people seem to be afraid of success and sabotage themselves when they are so close to securing victory.

Some players dread having the ball in the closing minutes of the game. Some players insist on having the ball in the closing minutes. You need a Killer Instinct and a belief that you have what it takes to win. You should want the opportunity and not run from the moment.

Do you have a Killer Instinct? I want you to spend some time asking God to give you that ruthless determination to win. Lord give me boldness to stand up against pressure and to succeed.

David had a Killer Instinct.  Every other Israelite was reluctant to step onto the battlefield against the Giant, Goliath, but David insisted that he have the opportunity.

1 Samuel 17:48 (NIV2011) As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 

1 Samuel 17:49 (NIV2011) Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 

1 Samuel 17:50 (NIV2011) So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 

1 Samuel 17:51 (NIV2011) David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 

David won this battle, and this is the part of the story we focus on, because it is easy to see the killer instinct here. But David’s Killer Instinct shows up before he stands toe to toe with Goliath.

David’s Killer Instinct defeated distractions.

We should remember from earlier weeks David arrives at the battle carry a sack lunch errand from his father. David sees the situation and starts asking around about who is going to face the giant.

While David is formulating a plan to face the giant, his brother Eliab speaks up.

1 Samuel 17:28 (NIV2011) When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 

Don’t miss the significance of this moment. David is the only one with the Killer Instinct to go out there and face the giant. And in the very moment where David was contemplating a victory, the distracting voice of defeat spoke up.

“Why are you here? Shouldn’t you be somewhere else? You don’t belong here. I know your heart. You are only here to watch.”

The distracting voice of defeat always speaks down to you. This voice always claims to know who you really are. This voice suggests you do things that aren’t nearly as important. Eliab told David that he should be concerned with sheep instead of the giant.

Too often we listen to this voice.

This voice is trying to distract you from great victory. Look how David handled it!

1 Samuel 17:29 (NIV2011) “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 

1 Samuel 17:30 (NIV2011) He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 

David would have never gotten to the place of victory over Goliath if He hadn’t defeated the voice of distraction. David shut that voice down quickly and “He then turned away.”

Life is full of distractions.

Basketball distraction

When a basketball player is on the free throw line on another teams home court, the stands are filled with people trying to distract the player. They will do crazy things. Make loud noises. They will wave big signs. They will do anything to distract the player and cause them to fail.

It takes a killer instinct to stand at that free throw line and keep your focus.

Players practice shutting out distraction.

Seth Curry

This picture of Seth Curry was leaked last year. He has a secret training program where he practices his basketball moves wearing these glasses that flash strobing lights in his eyes.  Every time Seth Curry shoots a shot in a game there are thousands of people taking pictures of him with their flashes on. By practicing with these lights in his eyes he is preparing himself to not be distracted in the game.

There are some voices in your life that only serve as distractions. You need to learn to turn them off. You need to turn away from them.

I am turning away from the voice that says “I CAN’T” and I turning towards my God who says “I CAN DO ALL THINGS!” I am turning from the voice that says “You don’t belong here” and I turn towards the voice that declares “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for God is with me!  He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

You need to learn to turn away.

David’s Killer Instinct defeated distractions.

While David was talking some of King Saul’s men heard him and took David to see the king. David tells the King that God is going to bring victory when he, David, faces the Giant.

1 Samuel 17:38 (NIV2011) Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 

1 Samuel 17:39 (NIV2011) David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 

Beware of people who want to dress you in their armor. Beware of people who insist you do everything just like them.

Go with what works

Trying to be someone else will take you right out of your killer instinct. There is not time in the heat of battle for… Am I doing this the right way? Is this what they would do and say? I wonder if other people approve of my technique?

You really need to figure out what works for you. You need to use your giftings and the skills you have worked on. David took off the armor of Saul and went with what works.

1 Samuel 17:40 (NIV2011) Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 

Stop trying to out Goliath your Goliath. It would have been a mistake for David to fight like Goliath.

I hate to see my favorite sports teams have success doing something only to go away from what brought them success and to try something unproven. Dallas Cowboys, if the running game is working then don’t become pass happy.

Do not go away from what is working.

I see people come to church and find success in life only to walk away from it. They find real friendships here yet walk away from them. They find the blessing of God but then walk away from it. They have a life changing experience in this altar but don’t come back to it. I hate to see this! When you find what works, don’t leave it!

Prayer works! Worshipping God works. The Word of God works. Community in the body of Christ works. Repentance works. The Holy Spirit works. The Gospel works.

Don’t turn to drugs! That won’t work.

Don’t go back to bad relationships. That won’t work.

Don’t fall back into sin. That won’t work.


It is time to WIN THE GAME. Don’t try something unproven.

Go with what works


You want more than applause. You want the championship.

You have to learn how to avoid distraction.  One of the trickiest distractions is to have a little bit of success or to receive some applause.

I have seen athletes make a great play on offense, stop and pose for the crowd, receive their applause, and forget to get back on defense where the undistracted opposing team just scored an easy bucket.  Do you want the applause or do you want the championship?

Don’t you know that when David hit Goliath in the head with the stone there was a roar of applause from the Israelite camp? When that giant fell face down there was a deafening sound of congratulations and victory.

David could have been distracted. He could have lost his killer instinct. He could have struck a pose or done a touchdown dance. You see there was no way to know if that giant was dead or simply unconscious.

David was not out there for the applause. David was out there to win.

I have heard a mentor of mine, Pastor David Fuller, say this phrase often.

Don’t mistake a thing felt for a thing done.

It feels like you won when you hear the crowd cheer, but there is still something on this battlefield left undone.

You have a dream of starting a successful bussiness, don’t settle for a feeling of success. Only settle for the completion of the dream.

People will come along and tell you “you have worked hard enough. Let’s celebrate.” And while there should be time to celebrate your progress, don’t confuse progress for a completed project.

Don’t mistake a thing felt for thing done.

I know a man who had never served God, and yet one day God spoke to him audibly. He was driving along in his car when God spoke to him. He pulled over on the side of the road right there in Waco Tx on Highway 6. He heard God and felt His presence.

Surely this guy is serving God today? Surely he is deeply involved with ministry? Surely this person is powerful in God’s kingdom? No they are not. Sadly this person was only temporarily stirred and never fully surrendered his life to God.  They FELT but they didn’t DO.

They mistook a thing felt for a thing done. They felt and heard God but they failed to do what He asked them to do.

A problem in the Church is that we are often keen on feeling God’s presence but not interested in God’s Instruction.   

We are called to get things DONE. Don’t mistake a thing felt for a thing done.

Are you getting things done?  In your relationships, in your health, in your career, in your finances, in your spirituality?
As a Christian are you getting things done? If you haven’t heard from God in a while, let me ask you if you have done the last thing he told you to do?  When you come to this altar to pray today, are you coming to receive a feeling, or are you coming with a Killer Instinct to do what God has commanded you to do?

We need a killer instinct that #1 turns away from the distracting voice of defeat,  and #2 wants more than applause but actually focuses on seeing their dreams accomplished.

And we need a killer instinct that Ends it.

End it

Athletes with killer instinct are always trying to end the game. They will try to break their opponent’s spirit in the first quarter. In the business world a killer instinct is always trying to close the deal. In your studying the killer instinct is always preparing for the paper or the final.

Don’t miss the opportunity to end it.

1 Samuel 17:51 (NIV2011) David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

With a killer instinct David ran to the fallen Goliath and removed his head.


Is there something you need to end today?  What if you could end your depression and fear today? What if you could end a bad habit or a secret sin today? What if you ended your procrastination today and took that step your life has been waiting for?

End it

You need to learn how to end it.

You have struggled long enough with this giant. End it! Victory can be your today, you need a ruthless determination to win.

We are about to end this sermon and spend time talking to God. I want to encourage you to have a faith that stands up and believes that this is the moment where it all changes. This is the moment you will not be distracted. This is the moment that you won’t stop short of full victory. This is the moment where you end that giant and remove him from your life forever.

Before you come I have one more thing to tell you.

Wins Pile Up

1 Samuel 17:52 (NIV2011) Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.

Wins Pile Up

When David lifted up the head of that giant, it was not just a win for David. David was not the only one who surged in that moment.  The army of Israel that had been too afraid to face Goliath, it says they SURGED FORWARD WITH A SHOUT AND PURSUED THE PHILISTINES.

If you get a win today, they tend to pile up.

How important is a win in your family today? Redemption Church how important is a win today?

Your win today could be the tipping point to a winning streak you have never seen before. Are you ready for it? Do you have the killer instinct? Will you refuse to be denied.


Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua. Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic Connect on Google+