I find it is very easy to get distracted with all the things going on in my life. The question that I was recently challenged to ask myself was “Can I Trust God with My Life?” Or let’s get closer to the issue, “Can I Trust the Lord with the life of my spouse and children?” Most followers of Jesus would quickly answer “Yes,” but the question that I want to explore is do I really trust God with my life and the lives of those I love?
This past Sunday I did a dramatic monologue from Samuel’s perspective on the anointing of David as King Saul’s replacement and his facing of the giant Goliath. The narrative found in 1 Samuel chapters 16-18 reveals several instances of how easy it is to be found lacking in trust. For instance the narrative reveals the Godly man Samuel’s struggle when he was instructed to go anoint the new King. Samuel responded to the Lord, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” (1 Samuel 16:2). The Lord provided a solution and Samuel made his way to Bethlehem. We learn of another instance when the Elders of Bethlehem met Samuel, “The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” (1 Samuel 16:4) It seems that their prohibitive conscience kicked in when “God’s man” showed up. I am sure that they were thinking that they had done something wrong. Yet that was not the case. And the third instance is when Saul and his army faced the Philistine Goliath’s taunts. We learn, “When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” (1 Samuel 17:11) I share these observations not to put these individuals down but to emphasize that fear is something that we all face. Yet fear can keep us from obeying God and doing what is the right thing if we let it.
The common denominator in these accounts and my own personal experiences seem to be taking our spiritual eyes off of the Lord and placing them on ourselves or others. Samuel somehow forgot that the Creator of the Universe was giving him a specific instruction. Yet he feared the retaliation of the earthly king Saul. The Elders of Bethlehem feared they had done something wrong. Saul and his soldiers fear the size and strength of the Philistine champion Goliath. What is missing in each of these situations is holding onto the Lord and His promises. We often falsely believe that trust and faith happen when there is not fear. Yet that is not true. Faith and trust describe what a person does in spite of the fear generated by a view of themselves, others or the circumstances of life.
The contrast in all of this is the little shepherd boy that faced an apparently unbeatable enemy with a stick and a sling. Let me share two insights that stood out to me. David’s focus was not on his ability or even his enemy, it was upon the Lord. He had unwavering trust that could overcome the fear of what his physical senses were telling him. After the Philistine warrior’s taunts David responded, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, ewhom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, othat all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that pthe Lord saves not with sword and spear. qFor the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47) Second David’s faith to face this giant was built by his trust that was developed in lesser areas like taking on a bear and a lion.
The same is true in our lives too. Our ability to trust the Lord in our lives begins with trusting Him with the small things so that one day we can trust Him with the big things, like our lives or the lives of those that we love.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson