Trajectory:Finding Direction for Your Life Part 4 Trust God's Protection

Sermon Summary

This message examines the differences between Saul and David when it came to trusting God's aim, power, plan and protection. Saul's refusal to to trust God's protection led him to live a life of anger, jealousy, and fear. On the other hand, David's trust of God's protection led him to have very different attitudes and priorities. David placed friendships at a premium, was able to use his God-given skills in powerful way, and caused him to live a selfless life in service to King Saul and others. This message tells the story of this part of David's young life with little commentary. The listener or reader is encouraged to allow the Holy Spirit to teach the lessons he or she needs to apply.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Has there been a time in your life where you feel God's protection was evident? Explain

2. Because of Saul's refusal to trust God's aim, power, plan, and protection, he had a terrible temper, extreme jealousy and a crippling fear. Have you experienced any similar emotions at times in your life when you were living outside the will of God? Explain

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

3. David, on the other hand, did trust God's aim, power, plan, and protection. As a result things were very different for his life as compared to King Saul. One of the characteristics of David's trust was they way he put a premium on friendships and the way in which God used those friendships in his life. How have friendships been used of God in your life? 

4. Trusting God's protection doesn't mean we don't do anything ourselves. God uses our God-given skills in our lives. Can you think of a time when God used your specific skills and abilities to protect you our someone else in your life? 

1 Samuel 19:9-10

"Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him. But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

5. The Story of David not taking Saul's life when he had the chance shows his loyalty, his integrity, and the selfless way in which he was serving God at that time in his life. When we trust God's aim, power, plan and protection, we are much more likely to live a selfless life as apposed to a selfish life. What are some reasons this is true?

Colossians 3:12-14

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 

 

13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

 

14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

 


Trajectory: Finding Direction for Your Life Part 4 Trust God's Protection

Introduction: When you think of someone reigning over you, that can be a scary thought, except when you know the one who is reigning over you loves you so much He lived His life for you and that gave His life for you and that He rose again so you could know God and life and victory and eternity! When you learn to trust God's heart, it's not so hard to allow Him to be your Lord! Let's pray and ask God to show us the difference He will make in our lives as we learn to trust Him! PRAY!

Today we're going to see the huge difference between a person who has learned to trust God's Aim, God's power, God's plan, and God's Protection.

Trust God's Protection

I've said some things in the past weeks that will be repeated today. They are that important. First of all, I don't think it wrong or unwise to live a safety conscious life. I've said it before, I wear seat belts. I try to exercise and eat right. I wear safety equipment when it's called for. I go to the doctor! If he tells me I need surgery or medicine, I take the advice. However, I trust God to take of everything I can't take care of. I trust God to see things I can't see, to handle things I don't have the wisdom, or the power to handle. I trust that nothing will get through His protection unless there is a greater Kingdom purpose to be achieved and He allows something through. Talk about peace and confidence.

Trusting God's protection brings a courage not otherwise possible. Trusting God's protection allows us to travel in directions we would otherwise avoid! Trusting God's protection brings a level of peace and enjoyment otherwise impossible! Today we're going to see a story unfold that paints a clear picture of trusting God's protection and what it looks like to not trust God's protection. Last week we saw the shepherd boy David take on the Philistine Giant Goliath and come out the victor. He was guided by God's plan of attack and trusted God's aim, His power, His plan, and His protection. However, just as the extra four stones he picked up indicated he would face other Philistine giants, David also faced dangers from his own leader, King Saul. Let's read from 1 Samuel 18...

1 Samuel 18:1-16 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
Jonathan was Saul's son.
From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house.
And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army.
This pleased all the people, and Saul’s officers as well.
When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet
King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes.
As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought,
“but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house,
while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand
and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.
Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.
So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns.
In everything he did he had great success, because the LORD was with him.
When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him.
But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.

Okay, let me point out some different characteristics between a person (Saul) who is not trusting God's aim, power, plan or protection, as apposed to a person (David) who is trusting God in each of these areas!

Characteristics of not Trusting God's Protection

Saul had a history of not trusting God's plan and when you are on your own, it's only natural that you will be susceptible to things like anger, jealousy, and fear!

Anger

When everything depends on you and you alone and when things don't go as you planned anger is only natural. Saul was King, but he wanted more. He wanted to be a great King, a revered King, a respected King, and a King who would have a great legacy. However, he was simply not willing to follow God's plan for him so his kingship was constantly derailing. This caused Saul to be a very angry man! And an angry man can become extremely irrational. It can seem at times as if an evil spirit has come upon that person. When a person is responsible for their own protection in life and things keep getting through and bringing pain and hurt, and defeat, they're going to get angry and be mad at the world. Saul's anger led him to try to kill David. Isn't it strange when we do things that cause problems we want to take it out on someone else! James reminds us that...

James 1:20 ...man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

But's there's another characteristic of not trusting God's protection...

Jealousy

When we are outside the umbrella of God's protection and things are not going good it's easy to become jealous of those who seem to have God's blessing. Saul was insanely Jealous of David. In fact, anger is one thing, but the writer of Proverbs says this...

Proverbs 27:4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

Saul was galled at the refrain the people were singing about Saul's thousands of victories but David's ten's of thousands of victories. The sad thing is that Saul's jealousy prevented him from seeing that David was doing the things he did because David was loyal to Saul as his King. And another thing is that Saul could have been as victorious, but Saul wouldn't trust God's protection. As a result, Saul wouldn't attempt the things David was willing to attempt. Jealousy is a terrible mistress! It will control your life, your time, your thoughts, your very soul! Jealousy is at the heart of selfishness. It will destroy you and God can not bless the life of the one who is living under its influence. Let me tell you just how low down jealousy took Saul.

1 Samuel 18:17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of
the LORD.” For Saul said to himself, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

Wow, that's low. Letting your daughter get married in hopes that her husband will be killed in battle.

1 Samuel 19:18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my family or my father’s clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law? ”

At the heart of jealousy is another characteristic of those who refuse to trust God's protection...

Fear

Saul was not only angry at David, and jealous of David, he was fearful of him. He was suspicious and distrustful of him. When a person refuses to trust God's aim, power, plan, or protection the only thing left for them is to live a life of fear. Here's the problem: pride. "I've got this! I don't need anyone's help! I can do this on my own! I don't need anybody telling me what to do! I'm in control!" But what people don't realize is that this attitude is a breading ground for fear. The reason is this: If it's my plan, I'm responsible. If I have to provide the protection I have to be ahead of everything, I've got to know what's coming, I've got to be stronger, smarter, better! And when this person lays their head on their pillow they begin to wonder if they missed something, forgot something, didn't see something! Fear and worry ensue! Saul, the King of Israel had rejected the protection of God and as a result, was filled with fear of giants and shepherd boys.

1 Samuel 18:12 Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.

And let me say this again, Saul had rejected God's plans for his life so God could no longer bless him or give him the protection God wanted to give him. That's why Saul became susceptible to the evil spirit. Remember this verse is found in the Old Testament and is not talking about salvation.

We know from Scripture that when a person accepts what Jesus did for them on the cross and allows Jesus to become their Savior He will never leave them or forsake them. However, as you've heard me say before, accepting Jesus as your Savior is a one and done. However, letting Jesus be the Lord of your life, your circumstances, your plans, your attitude, and letting Him be your protector is a daily decision. If you decide to take matters into your own hands, He will not force you to trust His aim, His power, His plan or His protection. Oh, but there's so much to be gained and nothing to lose by trusting God's way for your life! So let's look at the...

Characteristics of Trusting God's Protection

There are characteristics to be found in the person who decides to trust God's aim, power, plan, and protection on a daily basis. David had a history of trusting God's aim, God's power, God's plan and God's protection and because of this trust, it was only natural that he hit his targets, had awesome power, successful plans and supernatural protection no matter what he faced. So what are some of the characteristics of a person who is trusting God's protection?

Friendships are Premium

There are many ways God gives us protection, and one of the most wonderful ones is through our friends. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are many times the way in which God gives us protection in this life. Not just physical protection, but emotional, mental,spiritual, social, and sometimes physical. Talk about friends in high places. David became the best friend of the prince. Jonathan was Saul's son, heir apparent, but Jonathan loved David and was not the least bit bothered that David might someday become the King. Remember what he had done?

1 Samuel 18:3-4 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

This friendship was in the plan of God. Listen...

1 Samuel 19:1-7 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan was very fond of David
and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.
I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David;  
he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.
He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The LORD won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why
then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”
Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death.”
So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

Another Characteristic of a person who is trusting God's protection is that he or she...

Uses God-given Skills

1 Samuel 19:8-10 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines.
He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
But an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand.  
While David was playing the harp,
Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall.
That night David made good his escape.

Trusting God's protection doesn't mean we don't do anything. David used his God-given skills to fight on the battle field, to play his harp, all the while keeping one eye on the crazy man he worked for, and then used his ninja reflexes to dodge Saul's spear yet again.  Wow! And something else you may not know. By the time this happened David had gotten married. And to who? None other than Saul's youngest daughter. You see, After Saul's plan to have David marry his oldest daughter fell through and she married someone else, Saul found out his younger daughter loved David. So he had made a deal with David for the same evil reason. David was to go out to battle with the Philistines and if he made it back with proof that he had killed at least 100 of them he could marry her. Of course God was with him and he had a great victory. And it's amazing how God was working His plan to protect David. Listen...

1 Samuel 19:11-16 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him,
“If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.”
So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped.
Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.
When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, “He is ill.”
Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, “Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.”
But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.

God knows how to protect those who serve Him and He will allow them to accomplish their God-given purpose in life. Nothing will take us out until God is ready for us to come home. And that gives us such peace in this life. It allows us to truly enjoy each and every day we live even when we are facing serious health issues, even terminal diagnosis. See we know God can give us a miraculous healing if that's what it would take for us to achieve God's plan. And as you've heard me say many times before, I win either way, because to live is Christ and to die is gain! Now let me share with you one other amazing characteristic of those who are trusting God's aim, His power, His plan, and His protection...

Selfless

1 Samuel 24:1-22 After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi. ”
So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself.
David and his men were far back in the cave.
The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you
wish.’ ” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.
He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed,
or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.”
With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!”
When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.
He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’?
This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I
spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD’S anointed.’
See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and
recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.
May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.
As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds, ’ so my hand will not touch you.
“Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?
May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it;
may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”
When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud.
“You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.
You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.
When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today.
I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.
Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family. ”
So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Now do you understand why David was considered a man after God's own heart? What kind of world would this be if people had such integrity, loyalty, forgiveness, and willingness to trust God's aim, God's power, God's plan, and God's protection. No one would have faulted David if he had killed Saul in the cave, I mean Saul had been relentless in his pursuit of David to kill him. But David took the high-road and Saul even realized that God had given David the kingdom.
Today the choice is yours and mine. We can live lives of anger, jealousy, and fear or we can embrace the characteristics that come with trusting God's aim, power, plan and protection!

I pray that Northshore Church will be known as a church where friendships are premium, we use our God-given skills to serve, and live selfless lives as we trust God to protect us. Let's pray!