May 16, 2023
Standing on the God Whose Plans Always Stand
MEREDITH HOUSTON CARR
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“Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines … David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.” 1 Samuel 18:25b-30 (NIV)
If you’re like me, you love a good story — one of the classics where an embattled hero emerges victorious over the enemy. Or where light overcomes darkness. Or good triumphs over evil.
In one challenging chapter of my marriage, I longed for that kind of storybook ending. Daily, I’d cry out to God, begging Him for victory and protection against the enemy’s schemes that made me wonder: God, are You truly stronger than this opposition we’re facing?
In that season, God led me to a passage of Scripture in 1 Samuel detailing the epic struggle between Saul and David.
In a nutshell, the nation of Israel begged for a king, so God chose Saul as their inaugural leader. However, after Saul failed to obey God’s commands fully, God anointed David, a young, obscure shepherd boy, as Israel’s next king. David entered Saul’s service as a musician and quickly rose to fame and fortune by defeating the notorious Goliath (1 Samuel 15-17).
When the people showered David with adoration and praise, Saul — ruled by murderous jealousy — went from frustrated to unhinged, bent on taking out his competition.
The first part of today’s key verses clues us in to Saul’s sinister state of mind: “Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines” (1 Samuel 18:25b). Yes, this wayward king had big plans to place David in the path of the Philistines (Israel’s longtime enemies) and let them wipe him out.
On paper, Saul certainly had every resource, power and opportunity to accomplish his evil task. To all the world, it looked like David was at the mercy of Saul’s plans — what a vulnerable place to be!
It’s how I felt during that tough time in my marriage, and I wonder if you’re feeling that way today too. Maybe you feel like you’re at the mercy of a challenging season where everything or everyone seems to be against you. We know that Satan is our one true enemy, yet he works through all kinds of people and circumstances to incite fear and doubt inside us.
Like the boss who refuses to recognize your potential.
Or that family member who’s stuck in toxic patterns.
Or the health crisis that’s pushed you past your breaking point.
Or the bills that keep piling up with no end in sight.
With our backs against the wall, we long for an answer to that question nagging at our faith: God, are You really stronger than this opposition I’m facing?
We don’t know if David ever whispered that question, but we do know he moved forward in courage as God’s chosen, anointed future king: “… David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known” (1 Samuel 18:30).
Saul had his plan, yes, but so did God, and no amount of trying, tricking or treachery would stop God’s plan!
Nothing can stop His plans for you either, dear one.
If the enemy has you backed into a corner, try taking these two steps today:
First, resolve to reject fear. We can make this choice with our heads even when our hearts haven’t entirely caught up. Something as simple as repeating the words “I will not fear” throughout the day can make a massive difference in bolstering your courage!
Second, take the next step in front of you. Time and again, that’s what David did — he faithfully said “yes” to whatever opportunity God placed in his path, whether it was tending sheep or leading a group of men into battle. He kept his eyes focused on God instead of the enemy — and we can do likewise!
God is bigger than the biggest enemy you’ll ever face. And nothing can or will thwart His excellent and gracious plans for you! I’ve stood on this truth in every hard season of my life, and it’s a truth you can stand on too — today and always.
Dear God, thank You for being fiercer than our fiercest enemy. When we’re afraid, remind us that Your good plans for us will stand no matter what. Thank You for Your sovereign hand in our lives! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (NIV).
What circumstance or challenge in your life is keeping you stuck in fear? What is the one next step you can take in faith? Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2023 by Meredith Houston Carr. All rights reserved.