Read 1 Samuel 18:1-30.

David stood before Jonathan, a bit in shock, to say the least. His friend, the prince of Israel and the heir apparent to the throne, had just removed his royal robe and given it to David—the symbol of his princely position. Then he removed his weapons, symbols of his authority and leadership as second-in-command, and his belt, which would have held all his wealth and treasure as a rich, powerful warrior. He willingly and humbly handed them over to his best friend.

This humble prince loved the Lord and recognized God’s anointing on David. Even though, as Saul’s oldest son, he was expected to be next in line to the throne, Jonathan willingly stepped aside to make room for the man God had chosen. It was a tremendous gesture. Given to any other man, it likely would have gone to his head. But not David. He understood that the favor of the king’s son was not due to anything he had done; rather, he recognized it as a gift from the hand of God.

Before he had killed Goliath, no one had known David’s name. But after that great victory, word spread of this brave young man. In fact, the women in the region wrote a song about David’s military prowess. They sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). Hearing that kind of praise from other people didn’t affect David. He remained humble. Saul, on the other hand, was enraged and jealous over the people’s love for David. Even though David had saved the nation, Saul wanted him dead.

David could’ve feared Saul, but he didn’t. Rather, “Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul” (v. 12). That fear, of course, turned into rage. However, Saul knew he couldn’t simply get rid of David, so he sent him into battle to let the Philistines kill him. But each time he sent David to fight, David came back victorious. When you are enlisted in the army of the living God, your Commander-in-Chief will ensure that you are invincible until it’s time to come home.

When the Jonathans in your life honor you, don’t let it go to your head. The favor is really from the Lord. And when the Sauls in your life try to destroy you, trust that the Lord will protect you. Keep your heart honed on Him, and He will keep you steady during life’s ups and downs.

Prayer: Lord, I know You hold my life in Your hands. May I trust You with every breath and seek to draw near to You and to be holy as You are holy. Forgive me for my failings, and empower me to live for You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him” (1 Samuel 18:14).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series A Heart for God: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

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About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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