how not to fail

hiking 1Trials come and go. Life is hard. Marriage, parenting, relationships, ministry, work, life. There are many opportunities for us to feel attacked, weary and worn out. Thankfully for those who belong to the Lord, none of this is in vain. 2 Peter tells us trials come to prove our faith genuine.

As I have been seeking the Lord through the pages of 1 Samuel, I have witnessed many opportunities God provided King Saul trials to prove his faith genuine.  He failed. But we can learn how not to fail from his mistakes and sin.

1 Samuel 14 opens with a contrast of two men. Father and son. Saul and Jonathan. Both faced the same trial. The enemy was gathering for an attack. Both men respond…very differently.

*How would you respond? How do I respond when the enemy tries once again to steal my joy and remind me of the weariness life brings?

Scripture tells us Saul was at home on the outskirts of town in a cove of sorts. He was hiding. Again (see 1 Samuel 10:22). Saul even has the ephod of God and a priest with him. He is fully capable of seeking God’s direction. But he chooses not to.

*Do I? Do you? In the midst of fear and anxiety do we pause long enough to seek God and be reminded of what really is true?

In¬†contrast to Saul, Jonathan determines to face this issue head on. He grabs his armor bearer and heads out to claim victory for God’s people. He knows God’s character. Verse 6 allows us to peek into his heart as he tells his armor bearer, “nothing can hinder the LORD from saving.” He knew God’s heart and ability. Reminds me of how his best friend would defeat a giant just a few chapters later.

Knowing God changes everything. Do we know that?

I mean really knowing God. Knowing His character, heart and will. Having intimate experiences with God that we can hang our hat on. Getting to the place of being able to bank on God’s heart. Not trying to manipulate God or thinking He will do what we say. He is God. We are not. shocker to me sometimes.

We can know God like Jonathan knew God. First-hand experience knowing.


God has revealed His heart, ways, will and character through His Word. His Word is truth and sanctifies us. We chose to live hidden in defeat like a powerless king when we fail to get to know God through His Word. But when we take the time and spend the brain cells required to think for ourselves and really know God through His Word, then we are the mighty warrior that can take on thousands. Then we, too, can really know NOTHING can hinder God from saving!

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