In 1 Samuel 17 we learn of a mighty man of God named David. It’s a familiar Bible story that we have all heard told many times before. In this story we are encouraged to find that a young man single handedly defeats a nine foot giant known only as Goliath.

There are many lessons to be learned through this story. We learn that anything is possible with God, our faith enables us to defeat the giants in our lives, and God is able to use us no matter what we look like on the outside and that our age certainly isn’t a deal breaker for the Him.

A few weeks ago I was studying and preparing a message I was going to deliver to the youth of our church at our spring conference. The message the Lord had laid on my heart was about decisions. The theme demonstrated that decisions determine many things in our lives. Each of us tends to over spiritualize things from time to time and we forget that much of what we do with and through God deals simply with decisions.

As I was studying the Lord took me to this familiar story in the Bible. What I discovered completely blew me away. The New Living Translation of 1 Samuel 17:17-20 states:

17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.

20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries.

David made a decision that morning. He decided to obey his father Jesse. He decided to wake up early in the morning. He didn’t decide to do his own thing and sleep in a little bit because it was a weekend. He didn’t decide to play video games instead or argue with his dad that one of his brothers should do it. David made a decision….and it was the right one.

Think about it just for a minute. If David had never made that decision he would have never been in place to defeat Goliath. It was David’s decision that led him to the battlefield that day. It was David’s decision that propelled him to the pages of 1 Samuel 17. It was David’s decision that ultimately led him to the throne as King. It was David’s decision that positioned him as “a man after God’s own heart”.

Life is full of decisions. Some are big and some are small. We have to make decisions every single day. The truth is that some decisions yield positive results and some yield negative consequences. The choice however is ours to make and no one else can make decisions for us. My question for you today is what kind of decisions are you making?

The Lord has a lot to say about decisions. Deuteronomy 30:19 says:

19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

There is always a choice, a decision before us. Whether it’s to study for the test or to blow it off. If it’s to work just as hard when the boss is not looking as when he is. Perhaps the decision facing you today is one of multiple colleges you could choose to attend. Do I marry this woman or not? Is this the right place to invest my money?

Decisions determine our destiny, destination and desires in life. We are a product of the decisions we have made. Only we can make decisions for ourselves, there is no “Magic 8 Ball” in life. Our friends, our circumstances and our emotions cannot decide for us. Today and every day the Lord has put before us life and death, what will you decide?

The only sure fire way to make the right decisions in life is to follow the Lord. You and I will make mistakes along the way, but if we follow Him, we are promised life, blessings and abundant living. The decisions we make will determine what we do for a living, how we serve the Lord, who we marry and where we live. But as long as we seek Him first and follow His voice, we have nothing to fear.

Do you want to live the best life you can? Do you want to be used by the Lord? Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to accomplish great things so that Jesus will be seen in you and through you among your friends, family and co-workers? Then you have to make some decisions.

So if we don’t use our friends, circumstances or emotions to help us make our decisions, then what guides us? The answer is pretty simple and it includes two things, His Word and His Spirit.

Psalm 119 tells us that the Bible is a lamp for our feet and light for our path. When we make decisions based on the Word of God we have a clear road ahead of us. In John 14 Jesus tells us that His Spirit will show us future things to come and will guide us on our way. When we make decisions based on the voice of the Holy Spirit we will know His will and purpose for our lives and we will live it out every day!

Remember that it starts small. Decide not to get bitter. Decide to forgive. Decide to tithe, serve and pray for your local church. Decide to be someone who votes in November. Decide to speak words of life. Decide to work harder then those around you. Decide to read the Word every day. Decide to seek His Kingdom first. Decide to make Jesus your first resort not your last.

Decide not to go to that website. Decide not to look at that woman. Decide not to gossip about people. Decide not to hang out with those people anymore.

Decide to pray.

What kinds of decisions are you making? Life is full of them and they determine your destiny, your destination and your desires. Decide today to wake up early, head out to the battlefield and slay that giant. Once you do, you too will be known as a man or woman after God’s own heart.


About mattrmccarty

Matt McCarty serves as the Small Groups Pastor and Video Production Coordinator for Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, MI. He previously served as the Student Ministries Pastor, overseeing the High School and Middle School ministries and served as the Middle School Youth Pastor for 4 years. In 2003 Matt felt the call of God on his life and chose to leave a successful career as a Manager with Best Buy to attend RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, OK. After graduating RHEMA in 2006, Matt returned to Michigan to serve his church and has been doing so as a staff member with VFC since 2006. God has given Matt a heart to serve his Pastors, Jeff and Beth Jones, and the mandate they have been given as well as a heart to impact future generations by investing in the lives of young people. Matt is licensed and ordained through RHEMA Ministerial Association International and is currently finishing his degree in Communications. He is recently engaged to Mia Frye and lives in Portage.
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