The Necessity of God's Presence (1 Samuel 18:14) - Radical

The Necessity of God’s Presence (1 Samuel 18:14)

“And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him.”
– 1 Samuel 18:14

It’s a pretty simple verse that displays a very significant truth. The presence of God makes all the difference. Without God’s presence with us, we can do nothing good, nothing of eternal value, nothing profitable. Without the God, from whom all good things come, we can do nothing. This is John 15:5, Jesus is saying to his disciples, “I’m the vine, you’re the branches. A man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, good fruit. But apart from me, you can do nothing.” Do you see it? The presence of God is non-negotiable for good and success in our lives.

The presence of God is non-negotiable for good and success in our lives.

1 Samuel 18:14 Shows Us Why David was Successful

That’s the language here in 1 Samuel 18:14. David had success in all of his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. Now the world says, no, you have success when you… Well, there’s so many different ways the world prescribes for us to walk in order to be successful, to do things this way or that way, to run after this pursuit or that possession, that success. It’s not what success is according to God. According to God, success is only found in walking in faithful obedience to God, with the presence of God with you every step of the way. That is success. And so I just want to pray over you right now based on 1 Samuel 18:14. And I want to pray for your success, not according to the definitions or standards of this world, but according to God’s word.

1 Samuel 18:14 Prays for People around the World

God, I pray for every single person listening right now and whatever you have called them to do in their lives. I pray that you would give them success by your presence with them, by your power at work in them, in their obedience to your word. God, I pray this over them. Apart from you, they can do nothing. Even as I pray this in my own life, God, apart from you, I can do nothing. We say together, apart from you, we can do nothing.

And apart from you, we don’t want to do anything. We want to live in obedience to you. We want to walk in your presence in every way. So help us, we pray, to experience the fullness of your presence in our lives. And as we do, to experience the fullness of your success of true success. Even as we think about this language in 1 Samuel 18:14, oh God, we think about Joshua chapter one, “Meditate on my word day and night. Be careful to do according to all that is written in it. And then you will make your way prosperous. Then you will have good success.”

This Verse Reminds Us to Focus on This Kind of Success

We want that kind of success in our lives, oh God. So help us, we pray, to meditate on your word, to be careful to do according to it. And as we do, to know that you are with us, that we have strength and courage in your presence with us, that you never leave us and you never forsake us. God may it be said that we have success in all of our undertakings, for the Lord is with us. And we are walking in obedience to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, according to 1 Samuel 18:14. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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