Submitted by Ander Chen, Gracepoint Berkeley
As I read through this past week’s DT, one thing that stood out very clearly for me was the difference between Saul and David. For one, Saul was a man who treasured himself, his kingdom and his kingship. David on the other hand didn’t focus on himself but saw himself as a servant to God and others. What sticks out for me is how Saul’s insecurity drives him to become a fearful and tragic person. His insecurity and inability to trust God leads him to live a fearful and paranoid life in which he no longer is able to reason or recognize reality. His focus turns completely away from God and onto himself and well-being. His life becomes a tragic one in which he is plagued by his fear and insecurity and as a result God departs from him(1 Sam 18:12). David’s character on the other hand is starkly different. He is secure in the Lord as evidenced in his battle with Goliath and his battles with the lion and bear. The Lord is with him in all that he faces. (1 Sam 18:14) He is someone who doesn’t think about his own well-being but his focus is on God’s honor. David’s is a servant; serving in the field as a shepherd, serving Israel by fighting Goliath, and serving Saul as his harp player and commander of his armies. Whatever David is told to do he does with obedience and willingness.
As I look at Saul I see many Saul like qualities in my own life as well. At the core of the outcome of his life it is his insecurity and dependence on himself and not God. In the fall we are going to be starting a new campus group called Klesis. As one of the leads in this new group I’ve been feeling quite anxious and nervous about it all. I fear that I will not be able to lead well. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I mess up ? What if I’m not able to handle all that is required of me? These questions and more have been popping up in my mind. At the core of who I am, I am like Saul fearful and insecure. Yet as I reflect upon Saul’s life I take warning and heed from what happened to him as a result of not dealing with his fears and insecurity. As Saul was driven mad by his fear and lost touch with reality and truth, I want to make sure that I don’t go down the same path. One key thing that I want to make sure that I do not do is give into my fear. As Goliath stood and mocked the Israelites daily, all of the Israelites including their king sat paralyzed in fear. (1 Sam 17:11) He was their king and yet because he feared Goliath’s size and strength he like everyone else did nothing. The difference between David and Saul was that David trusted God would bring him victory. Because Saul only saw himself and did not depend on the Lord he was unable to do anything. It is this kind of trust, faith and dependence on the Lord that I pray I can cultivate daily in my life. As I do my daily devotions I need to take the daily step of entrusting my life into God’s hands. I want to not let fear paralyze me but to confront it by taking those steps of faith to make decisions while knowing that i could be wrong. Saul felt scared and insecure because he forgot that he was the Lord’s anointed. Because Saul only thought about himself, God no longer was in the picture for him and because he no longer had a source of security. I see this as a warning and that is why I must not become like Saul and begin to focus on my own abilities or on my title as a college staff. The second that I begin to tie everything I do to my abilities is the second in which I stop depending on God. It’s then when my insecurity creeps up that I have nothing to take refuge in. My strength, my power and my ability to fight sin is not enough. It never has been enough. For Saul his title as the King, his kingdom, power and all that God had given him could not help him find security. The more he tried to hold onto these things the more they began to slip away from him. I know that aside from daily placing my faith in God, I need to be quick to confess and be open about whatever struggles or sin that I am going through. Saul lost his spiritual mentor in Samuel as he began to distance himself from God. But David, when fleeing from Saul goes directly to Samuel for help in 1 Sam 19:18. David seeks God’s counsel first and foremost before anything else. Often it’s easy for me to want to just deal with my sins and struggles on my own. Deal with my own insecurity by telling myself to just suck it up and keep going. But God has placed spiritual counselors in my life to help and provide wisdom. It is this kind of openness and quick response to God and his leaders that I hope I can have. As Saul’s insecurity and fear eventually drives him mad the mention of God in his life becomes nonexistent. I know that if I don’t deal with my insecurity and fears they can eventually rule over me.
That is why I need to be very careful and vigilant in this area of my life. To make sure I make my daily devotional times quality and being able to turn my life over daily to God. It is why I need to be open to my leaders about my life and allow God to speak truth in my life and give me wisdom through them. I pray that I can have a heart and focus like David’s. One that is focused on living my life so that God can be honored. I pray that I would stop looking at my own life, thinking of how I can serve myself but how I can serve others. I pray that I can be quick to turn to God in times of trial and not on myself. As I look at David’s life I am challenged to take my faith much more seriously. The zeal and passion David had to serve God and others is something that I pray I can have. I know require that I die to myself and learn to deny myself daily. It is this kind of character and heart that I pray I can cultivate so that my life can become not a snare but a blessing to others.