Text: 1 Samuel 15.24
After Samuel confronts Saul for bringing back livestock he was supposed to destroy, Saul responds with a simple confession revealing his true motive: “I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them” (1 Samuel 15.24). Saul’s fear of his own men caused him to disregard God’s clear commands in his life.
Fear prevents us from accomplishing our most significant tasks in our most important roles. This was utterly true for Saul—fear crippled him from leading God’s people in an hour when they desperately needed him—and it rings equally true for each of us. We live in various roles: parent, spouse, child, employee, friend and fear can easily cripple us in those areas if we give way to it.
But this isn’t God’s plan for your life. Throughout Scripture God reminds us over and over he’s the bringer and establisher of peace.
God tells Joshua, an Old Testament leader over God’s people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1.9). Jesus tells his disciples on the eve of his arrest, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14.27).
God’s plan for each of us is to live in peace and confidence, not fear and doubt.
This week’s One Big Question is…In what area of your life are you tempted to live in fear? Take time to discuss this with your small group or a close friend. As you identify those areas, encourage one another to invite God into those moments and ask him to deliver you. God is with you and he is not afraid; he is your peace and your hope today.