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The Importance of Right Motives

( [email protected] ) Apr 29, 2010 02:26 PM EDT

1 Samuel 17:20-40

David found King Saul’s hefty reward for Goliath’s defeat interesting—in fact, he asked to have it repeated twice (vv. 26, 30). Money, freedom, and a pretty girl would make almost any teenage boy take notice! However, though David was young, he was not foolhardy. The reward was a nice perk, but it wasn’t the young shepherd’s motivation.

David’s reason for standing against Goliath was to serve the Lord. The boy openly expressed his disdain for the giant: “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26). Challenging the chosen nation, Israel, was the same as defying the Lord Himself. David was prepared to defend Yahweh’s holy name and His people, even against this fearsome warrior. A right and holy motive gives a person confidence to obey God, even if doing so defies human wisdom.

It is possible for believers to seek victory over life’s Goliaths with wrong motives. A lot of reasons that sound good are actually selfish. I’m tired of being in this mess. Or Lord, I can’t run away, so You’ll have to remove this problem. Some people try to bargain their way out of tight spots: If I had more money, then I’d give more to the church. Those promises are rarely fulfilled.

The right motive for facing a problem is a desire to follow, serve, and honor God, no matter what. Life’s Goliaths do not just tax our comfort or wellbeing; these challenges can impede our obedient walk with the Lord. He will give victory to those who stand strong in His name.

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