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Success In All His Undertakings

1 Samuel 18:14 (ESV) — And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him.

We often see people succeeding in things and exalt them for their greatness. We marvel at athletes, musicians, actors, business leaders, politicians, and so many others. Their capacities and skills garner awe. This isn’t wrong. Witnessing greatness provokes wonder because it stands above the norm. But we often forget who is behind the greatness we witness. 

Our passage today displays this reality in the life of David. When you read the story of David, you see unbelievable feats of victory and success. But we see from our passage that his victories were not because of his greatness, but God’s favor. We read in 1 Samuel 18:14, “And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him.”

David defeated lions and other predators in the fields as he tended sheep. He defeated Goliath, the fearless warrior. He led soldiers to victory over enemy armies. Every victory of David’s could lead onlookers to simply conclude that David was just built differently than everyone else. And to some degree that could be true. But it also points to the fact that even if he was built differently, it was because he had a Builder. God is the One that gave David his attributes and successes. We read that David had successes in all his undertakings because God was with him. The Lord paved the way. The Lord gave victory. The Lord strengthened his mind for superior strategy and his hands with superior skill.

This reminder from Scripture shows how dependent we are on the Lord. Do you have skills and abilities that shine in certain environments? It’s because of the Lord. Is your personality outgoing and able to build friendships easily? That’s given by God. Do you possess the ability to create things and build with your hands? Are you a problem-solver? Do you write music, paint landscapes, or solve complicated math? These abilities are all given by God. There is nothing we do or possess the skill to do that originates in ourselves. 

Give thanks today for God’s gifts to you. Recognize your successes are because of the Lord’s favor and provision. Let it lead you to gratitude and worship of Him.

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Reflection & Journal:
- Why do we often forget it is God who is behind the successes of people?
- What are examples of gifts, skills, and abilities you possess that separate you from others?
- How should we respond to the recognition that these are God-given abilities?

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