As Christians, we all should be striving for spiritual growth. But the truth is that growth is rarely easy. As we learned in previous posts, spiritual growth often requires our obedience as well our complete trust in God when change comes our way. In today’s post, however, we’ll take a look at what it means to be prepared by God. In other words, sometimes God will use circumstances in our lives to spur on growth that will prepare us for what He has planned for our future.
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David slayed Goliath. He wrote many of the Psalms, was a mighty warrior in battle, and became king. But he certainly didn’t walk into these roles without difficulty. God prepared him in many ways for each of these callings on his life. For example, David was a shepherd boy. He knew how to fight off bears and lions. This prepared him for one day facing Goliath. But David’s preparation wasn’t just physical. Yes, he knew how to physically face Goliath because of his past experience, but he also knew how to trust God for wisdom and protection when facing a “giant” in his path.
God spent years preparing David for his eventual role as king. He taught him to fight for justice, walk in humility, and trust Him in all circumstances. I am sure there were times when David wondered if he would ever see God’s promises come to pass. Running for his life from King Saul, enduring hardships, making difficult (and sometime morally wrong) choices, and dealing with the consequences of those choices… all of these and more helped to shape David into a man after God’s own heart.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4
David’s faith was tested in multiple ways. Sometimes he had to trust God through a difficulty or trial. This is probably something most of us can relate to… we have faith that God will help us to endure hardship and come out on the other side stronger than we once were. But David also experienced growth as God revealed His faithfulness. Every time God proved Himself to be true to His word, David’s faith grew.
Truth be told… the biggest contributor to David’s spiritual growth was his growing relationship with God. It was deep and meaningful… it wasn’t about a religion. His relationship with God was personal. With each trial and circumstance, David was one step closer to being prepared by God for his destiny.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:4-6
David’s past wasn’t perfect. He had his fair share of ups and downs. God used his life experiences to deepen their relationship and prepare him for all He had planned for his life. And when he was ready… physically, spiritually, and emotionally… God fulfilled His promise to David.
What is God preparing you to do? How is He shaping your life?
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.