Look Back to Go Forward
Lord, enliven Your Word to me that it may be a living and life-giving Word. May I love You as I ought.
Read 1 SAMUEL 17:28-54
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
What giants in life are lined up against you in battle? Is your attitude towards them more like Saul’s or David’s?
In one course I teach, I ask students to draw a timeline of their life, putting in the significant events, stages and people. Many mark only the point at which they became a Christian (perhaps late teens) and nothing much before then. It’s as if God’s formation of them begins only at their regeneration, not from their Creator’s physical and social molding of them from their mother’s womb. David, a key figure in the history of Israel and in the genealogy of Jesus, is a fascinating case study of this interplay of formative life experiences and trusting God. David sees his confidence in himself, and his confidence in God, as interwoven. He is not a mere shepherd boy who has no fighting experience. He has fought lions and bears and lived to tell about it.
When we are asking God for direction at any stage of life, it is helpful to look back and see what skills we have gained, how God has used us in the past, and what the theme of our service to God and people has been. It is a very sensible starting point, because another’s armor will not do! God has been doing a very particular preparation in each of us. In the face of Goliath’s disabling rage, David calmly picks up the staff and stones from his previous life and uses them in the power of God’s Spirit. He is well aware where success will come from (37,47) and wants his actions to give honor to God in the eyes of both the Philistines and Israel. In the long run, this was to be David’s primary qualification for being king in the place of Saul who had lost his trusting, obedient heart. But it is also an attitude that David does not always practice.
Can you trace the influences of your childhood, of mentors or godly parents? How is God building on these in your life today?
Sovereign Lord, as I look back over my life I’m conscious of Your hand upon me. May I learn from my experiences and be equipped to serve You in life’s battles.
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