1 Samuel 17
Have you ever faced your biggest fear head on?
I recently came face to face with my biggest fear: losing my children.
In December 2016, my husband and I took our two girls to Busch Gardens for Christmastown. It was a magical time filled with holiday lights and music. We went with some friends and were having a great time until we lost Charleigh.
It was night time. The park was crowded and we couldn’t find her. One of our friends ran to the front of the park to inform security and head off any potential threat to her safety.
In that moment I had a choice to make. I was going to fall apart, cry and think the worst OR I was going to remember God’s promises and trust Him. I chose the latter. Immediately I started praying protection over Charleigh (Psalm 91). I started asking God to send His angels to surround my daughter and hide her from any potential threat (Psalm 34:7, Colossians 3:3). I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me to her and that I would find her safe and sound (John 16:13-14).
About 10 minutes pass and we had not found her. At that point it would have been easy to lose sight of God and focus on my fears and the incredibly dangerous situation we were facing. I was carrying my youngest daughter, Riley, in my arms during this time and needed to put her down. So I went over to our stroller and tightly fastened her in— so she couldn’t escape. I also had my friend’s daughter with me and fastened her in next to Riley in our double stroller. That’s when she pointed straight ahead and said, “there’s Charleigh.”
“WHERE?!?!? WHERE?!?!” I thought. I immedately turned to look and Charleigh was on a kid’s ride right behind me. She was right next to us the entire time we were looking for her. She was safe. She was close. She was in big, big trouble.
“Worry blocks God’s Word from taking root. Replace worry with the promises of God.” -Pastor Michael Brueseke
I was calm in the midst of my biggest fear. The only way I could’ve experienced that peace was through Jesus. I know, that I know, that I know He was holding me, comforting me and guiding me through that trial. But I had to make a choice… I was going to panic or trust.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15 (emphasis mine)
Like David, I chose to trust God in the midst of the unthinkable and allow His Word to produce an unshakable confidence. I wasn’t going to let the worries of this world choke out His promises.
In 1 Samuel 17, David confronted his “problem” head on with confidence in the power of God backing him up. When the opportunity arose for him to act, he did.
Trust in God is confidence in His power, not ours.
David didn’t just say he trusted God’s power to deliver him, he expressed his trust by the way he acted and with specific examples of God’s faithfulness. (1 Samuel 17:34,37) He was able to act out his trust due to the retention of God’s Presence he experienced when He spent time with Him in the pasture.
He also didn’t fight his battle with unknown armor and weapons. (1 Samuel 17:39) He chose the familiar. He had used a sling and a stone before. He had confidence in his ability because he put the time into learning and practicing. He also knew God so intimately that he knew He would equip him to fight Goliath.
We need to prepare, putting our armor on daily to be ready for the trials. Not living in fear but with confidence that you have the Greater One living on the inside of you (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Take this week to read 1 Samuel 17 and the related verses several times. Read in different translations (NLT, NKJV, Amplified, ESV, Message…) Devotionals can be easy to read and dismiss. We emotionally attach to the personal story in a devotional and often relate. However, like the parable Jesus told in Matthew 13/Luke 8– we have to prepare our hearts and minds to be good soil in order to absorb and allow His Word to take root. Only then can we truly experience the fullness life lived in Him.
When trials come we will be ready to choose confident trust.
Research & Define
- one more word that stood out to you when reading
Questions and Reflections
- How do you respond to fear?
- What practical ways can you prepare your heart and mind to retain God’s promises?
- Why do you think God used a shepherd boy to bring down Goliath instead of Israel’s army?
- Do you feel empowered, encouraged or equipped by David’s story? Why or why not?
- Describe how David responded to King Saul’s doubt? (vs. 33-37)
- What specifically did he do?
- How can you learn from David’s example in your own life?
- What piece of God’s armor do you most need right now? (Ephesians 6:1-18)
Memorize and Meditate
Speak your trust. Speak truth. Speak faith. Say it out loud several times, until you believe it.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for using David, a young shepherd boy, to defeat a mighty enemy. Thank you for giving me examples of how you use ordinary people to do big and mighty things. Please ignite my confidence in You and turn my tiny pebble of faith into a mighty missile. Holy Spirit, remind me of your promises when trials come my way. My heart is good soil and when I hear Your Word I understand and retain it. Let your truth bubble up into my heart and mind when trials come. Thank you for Your grace and love that equip, empower and encourage me. I love you Jesus.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 91:1-2 (refer to amplified version)
Matthew 13:1-23 (Parable of the Sower)
Luke 8:1-15 (Parable of the Sower)
Ephesians 6:1-18 (Armor of God)
Share what God is revealing to you with someone— anyone. Sharing our faith with others is what builds our faith even more.
And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6 NLT