Pride and Fear (DEVOTION)


Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.58.17 PMThis is the throne of your heart. The person that sits on the throne of your heart is the one who directs your life.





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Of course, Jesus wants to be that person, but He allows you to choose each day and even each moment who will sit on the throne of your heart. I’m not talking about your salvation. I’m talking about who is Lord over your life. I’m talking about who you give authority to in your life each moment and each day.



Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.58.47 PMBecause even after you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, He still has competition for the throne from your EGO.  EGO is a term coined by Sigmund Freud for the part of your mind that coordinates communication between your conscious and subconscious, but it has come to mean “your self-importance.”  It’s the need to feel that your SELF is important.




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Another way you can think of EGO is E-G-O, and it stands for Edging God Out, because that is exactly what your self-importance does. EGO Edges God Out so that it can take the throne. Your EGO wants to make YOU the king of your life instead of Jesus. This is a TERRIBLE idea, because pushing Jesus off the throne of our hearts kills our desire to please God. When EGO sits on the throne, we are motivated by Pride and Fear.



Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.59.41 PMLet me take you to the chalkboard and show you what I mean.

The Bible talks a lot about Pride and Fear, but let’s just look at two Scriptures as examples.  Romans 12:3 tells us that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, and Proverbs 29:25 tells us that the fear of man is a snare.  Both Pride and Fear are a trap, and we have to be careful to avoid them.

When our EGO sits on the throne of our heart, our heart is pulled by two powerful desires. The desire to Promote Ourself – Pride…and the desire to Protect Ourself – Fear.  This is because EGO thinks SELF is so important that it should be both Promoted and Protected.

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When we Promote ourselves (Pride), we exhibit certain behaviors.

  • Boasting
  • Taking all the credit
  • Showing off
  • Doing all the talking
  • Demanding all the attention

We do these things to Promote SELF…to get people to think highly of us.


Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.59.57 PMWhen we Protect SELF (Fear), we exhibit different behaviors.

  • Hoarding control
  • Hiding behind position
  • Withholding information
  • Intimidating others
  • Discouraging honest feedback

Why do we do these things?

Because EGO thinks SELF is important and needs to be protected from all threats. We are all motivated by these two things much of the time.

But here is why we need to invite Jesus back onto the throne.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.00.11 PMPride and Fear separate us from God and from others. They isolate us.

They trick us into constantly comparing ourselves with others.  “Do I look, sound, and smell better than him or her?” “Is he going to pass me up for the next promotion?”

They distort the truth. I think I deserve the recognition (even though I only did a little piece of the work). I think he’s attacking me and that I have to save face (even though his motive might be to gently correct me).


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The antidote to Promoting SELF (Pride) is Humility.

And the antidote to Protecting SELF (Fear) is Faith.

But it’s not possible for you to practice true Humility and Faith without Jesus.




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We’ve got to put Him back on the throne of our hearts.







So, let me give you a few steps to redeem your EGO and put it in proper relationshipScreen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.01.01 PM to Christ.

Instead of Edging God Out, your SELF can Exalt God Only.  Here’s how.

  1. When you become aware that you are Promoting or Protecting Self, acknowledge what is happening in your mind. Ex. “This is pride.” or “This is fear.”
  2. Ask Jesus to retake the throne of your heart.
  3. Pause and pray that God will show you the source of the pride or fear.
  4. When you recognize a source, keep asking “why?” to find the root.
    1. For example, I get an email from my boss, and I feel fear. Why?
    2. I am afraid my boss is unhappy with the work I turned in. Why?
    3. I am afraid that it won’t be good enough. Why?
    4. If he says it isn’t good enough, it feels like he is saying that I’m not good enough. Why?
    5. I’m afraid of being rejected because of that time I was rejected in a very painful way by someone I cared about.  (You may not get this deep the first time you work through this process, but the Holy Spirit will be faithful to reveal to you the source of your false narrative (story) if you continue to ask Him where your fear or pride is coming from. He will help you to recognize the bad stories you subconsciously tell yourself whenever your SELF is threatened.)
  5. When you find the root, ask God to replace it with His truth.
  6. Then, ask God to help you practice Humility or Faith in this current situation.
  7. Instead of reacting in pride or fear, choose to respond with humility and/or faith.

Keeping EGO off the throne of your heart is difficult, and it takes practice.  Don’t get discouraged.  You will get better and better as you continue to invite Jesus to the throne.


NOTE: This devotion is an adaptation of the work of Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges in their book Lead Like Jesus.  It helps us understand how important it is to keep Jesus on the throne of our heart so that we can avoid being controlled by pride and fear.  You can find the slide deck and a self-assessment on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.  (Click the link or see the tab at the top of the screen.)  Then, scroll down to “Pride and Fear” in the alphabetical list.


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Creating the Best Learning Environment in Your Classroom

OD Workshop - CBAT Timeline 2 - SmallHere are some tips on how to create the best learning environment in an adult learning engagement.

Rearrange Your Space

Nine times out of ten, when you get to the training venue, there will be something about the arrangement of tables and equipment that won’t be helpful for learning.  Arrive early (with a helper if possible), and rearrange tables, chairs, projectors, screens and other things to make sure that every participant will be able to see, hear and engage.  Make sure there are no obstacles in the way, that everyone can see the screen and facilitator, that your voice will carry to the furthest participant or that you have microphones.  Sit in participant chairs to see what they see.  Make sure they have enough space so that they don’t feel too cramped.

Expect the Unexpected

Things will always go wrong, so prepare for them.  Test all your equipment (especially LCD projectors, microphones and speakers).  Test and cue your videos to the right places.  Get extra batteries for the microphones.  Bring extra markers, and test them all to make sure they write well.  Decide what you will do if lunch is late, if the power goes out, if a senior leader decides to take up some of your time, if your printouts aren’t ready or unreadable.  Always have a Plan B.

Put Someone in Charge

Participants may be uncomfortable in the learning environment but too polite or shy to let you know.  At the beginning of your workshop, ask someone to volunteer to be the person in charge of the environment.  If participants are having trouble hearing or understanding you, they can tell the person in charge, who will let you know.  If they need a break or they need to adjust the air, they can tell the person in charge, who will let you know.  This gives adult learns more control over their environment, which increases their engagement.

Get Feedback Everyday

At least once a day (and more if you can afford the time), make time for participants to give you feedback about the content, the pace, the facilitation and the environment.  There are many ways to do this, but a few that we have found successful are a Rapid Evaluation Form at the end of the day (a one-page questionnaire on the four topics mentioned above) and a flipchart with a +, -, ? at the top (participants write what they like, dislike and have questions about on different sticky notes and post them as they leave).  Make adjustments based on what you learn, and tell your participants what you are doing so that they know their feedback counts.

Move Frequently from Big Group to Small Group

Try to keep your lectures to 10-15 minutes at the most.  Then, let the table groups discuss what they are hearing or do some type of activity with it.  This has multiple benefits.  It makes the most of short attention spans.  It helps those who are behind to catch up with the rest of their table.  It reinforces the learning through repetition and contextualization.  It balances learning for introverts and extroverts.  It surfaces questions that might not have been asked out loud.  It socializes the learning.  (This is the 20% of The Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL’s) 70-20-10 model.)

Contextualize Your Content

Whenever possible, use local, relevant examples to illustrate your points.  If you don’t know them, ask for a subject matter expert (SME) to provide some before the training.  If you don’t have time to do that, let groups discuss the content and come up with their own local examples.  When we train on concepts that are new and different, it is harder for the learning to transfer from the classroom to the work environment.  Relevant examples help participants see how to apply the learning to their work.

Know Your Audience

Do the research to learn about who will be attending your workshop.  What do they know already?  Who are the experts in the room?  What is their work context?  What significant things are going on for them right now (at least in their work life)?

Only Teach Those Who Need to Know

Are the participants the right people to be attending this training?  If they are not, negotiate with your customer to get the right people in the room.  Participants who don’t participate can ruin the learning for everyone else, because they may be distracted, disinterested and disengaged.  If you have to keep them in your workshop, assign them something to do.  Acknowledge their expertise, and ask them to be table leaders or SME’s.  Let them help you manage the room or pass out materials.  Ask them to help you record meeting notes, parking lot questions or feedback from the others.  Invite them to join you for your facilitator debrief session at the end of the day.  Keep them busy.

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Ideas for Using Icebreakers, Energizers and Games Effectively in Learning

PHOTO - Icebreaker

The following tips might be helpful to you as you use icebreakers, energizers and games in your facilitation.

Connect to Your Content

Whenever possible, connect your icebreakers and games to the content.  Don’t just use them to increase energy; this is not the best use of your time.   You should be able to debrief the activity and make connections to one of your learning objectives.  (P.S. You can apply this principle to devotions, worship and even breaks sometimes.)

Provide Clear Instructions

Give instructions a little at a time and more than one time.  If you give all the instructions at the beginning, participants are likely to get confused or forget them.  Make sure you repeat the instructions, because there are always some who are not paying attention or don’t understand the first time.

Practice Before You Facilitate

Icebreakers and games rarely go as you planned them in your mind, and practice can help you see the flaws.  As you practice, think about how the activity will sound and feel to the participants.  Putting yourself in their place will help you see where you need to make adjustments.

Design Your Debrief

Design really good debrief questions to make sure they get the main ideas.  Icebreakers and games are fun, and participants often forget they are learning while doing them.  This is great, except that if you don’t do the work to connect what just happened back to the content, they may leave without learning what they needed to learn.

Set Clear Boundaries for Competition

When people compete in games, they get pretty upset if you change the rules in the middle or at the end.  They will be very creative in coming up with new ways to reach the goal, so you have to decide whether or not you want to allow creative solutions that may feel like “cheating” to other groups or individuals.  Make sure your rules are clear and comprehensive, and then stick with them.

Schedule for Downtimes

Icebreakers, energizers and games can be a very effective way of increasing engagement levels, especially when everyone is feeling tired or distracted.  The best times to schedule them are: at the beginning of the day, after breaks and after lunch.  It’s also a good idea to have a few extra energizers ready in case you can tell you are loosing your participants’ attention.  Try to keep icebreakers and energizers under five minutes so that they don’t eat up your facilitation time.

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Filed under Energizer, Facilitation, Games that Teach, Icebreaker, Teaching, Uncategorized

Capture the Spear (GAME)

David Steals King Saul's SpearTime

20 minutes

This is a game that simulates the time when David snuck down into King Saul’s camp and stole his spear and water jug while his army was sleeping.



Children, Youth



o  Stick (1 – long and straight is better, because it represents Saul’s spear)

o  Water bottle (1)

o  Masking tape or chalk to mark a line on the floor or ground

o  Bible



o  1 Samuel 26:1-25



o  Mark a line on the floor or ground to separate the two “armies.”

o  Read the Scriptures, and be prepared to summarize the story.

o  Mark or highlight the Scriptures in the Bible if you want to read them during the lesson.

o  Practice the script.


Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “One time when David was running from King Saul, a group called the Ziphites told King Saul where David was hiding.”
  • “King Saul took his 3,000 best troops and went to capture or kill David.”
  • “David was hiding in the wilderness, and he was able to sneak up on King Saul’s camp while they were sleeping one night.”
  • “The Bible says that God put a deep sleep on all of King Saul’s army, so they didn’t wake up when David and one of his men crept up to the place where King Saul was sleeping.”
  • “David’s soldier offered to kill King Saul right then and there so that David could be king, but David wouldn’t allow him to hurt the king.”
  • “David didn’t want to be king until God was ready for him to be king.”
  • “So, he instructed his soldier to take King Saul’s spear and water jug.”
  • “They escaped to a safe place, and then David called out to Abner, the commander of King Saul’s army.”
    • “He said, ‘Abner!  Abner!  Why are you sleeping when your king’s enemy has come to destroy him?  You didn’t guard your master, and I was able to get his spear and his water jug.’”
  • “King Saul awoke.  He was shocked and felt guilty for how he was treating David compared to the kindness David had shown him in preserving his life.”
  • “He invited David to come back with him and promised never to try to hurt him again.”
  • “David, though, knew better.  He knew he couldn’t trust King Saul, so he returned the king’s spear and water jug and went back to his hideout.”
  • “So, let’s play a game about this story.”
  • “It’s called ‘Capture the Spear,’ and it’s played with two teams.”  (Divide the group into two (roughly) evenly sized teams, and give one team the “spear” and water jug.  You can also divide the groups up between kids and adults if that works better in your context.)
  • “This group with the spear and water jug will be King Saul’s army, and the other group will be David’s army.”
  • “This line (point out the line you’ve marked on the floor or ground) separates the camps between the two armies.”
  • “King Saul’s army picks one person to be King Saul and puts the spear and water jug one, big step away.”
  • “Everyone else in King Saul’s army has to be at least one, big step away from the spear and water jug.”
  • “They also have to close their eyes, because God has put them into a deep sleep.”
  • “David’s army is going to try to sneak into King Saul’s camp and steal their spear and water jug.”
  • “Here’s the hard part – King Saul can tell his (or her) army to open their eyes two times during the game.”
  • “If David’s soldiers are past the line when King Saul’s army opens their eyes, King Saul’s men can try to capture one of them by encircling them (holding their teammates’ hands so that the person is trapped).”
  • “If even one of David’s soldiers gets caught, King Saul’s army wins!”
  • “David’s soldiers can escape by crossing the line again.”
  • “If all David’s soldiers get back across the line, they are safe, and King Saul’s army has to close their eyes again.”
  • “If David’s soldiers take both the spear and the water jug across the line, they win!”
  • “They have to carry them over the line; they can’t throw them.”
  • “And if King Saul’s army opens their eyes two times but can’t catch any of David’s soldiers, David’s army wins!”
  • “Any questions?”
  • Play several rounds, and let them switch between playing King Saul’s and David’s armies if they want.  When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
    • Why do you think God put King Saul’s soldiers into a deep sleep?
    • Why didn’t David let his soldier kill King Saul?
    • Do you think this was the right decision?  Why or why not?
  • Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.


Rhyme Time

David took some of King Saul’s things,

But he waited on God to make him king.



Source: Michael Kientz

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Filed under Calling, Challenges, David, faith, Game, God's Protection, King Saul, Obedience

Round the Mountain (GAME)

David Cuts Sauls RobeTime

20 minutes

This is a game that simulates the time when Saul chased David around the mountain and almost caught him.  It also references when David crept up on Saul in the cave and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.



Children, Youth



o  Bandanas, handkerchiefs or large scraps of cloth (2 – in different colors)

o  Bible



o  1 Samuel 23:24-28

o  1 Samuel 24:1-22



o  Read the Scriptures, and be prepared to summarize the stories.

o  Mark or highlight the Scriptures in the Bible if you want to read them during the lesson.

o  Practice the script.


Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “King Saul didn’t like David at all!”
  • “He was afraid that the people in his kingdom liked David so much that it would make it easy for David to become king instead of him.”
  • “So King Saul chased David throughout the wilderness of Israel.”
  • “One time, King Saul got information about where David was hiding, and he took his army to try and kill him.”  (Summarize or have a volunteer read 1 Samuel 23:24-28.)
  • “Thank goodness the Philistines attacked!  Otherwise, King Saul might have caught David on the mountain!”
  • “There is another story in the next chapter that tells about a time when King Saul was close to catching David but didn’t know it.”  (Summarize 1 Samuel 24:1-22.)
  • “This is a pretty funny story, because David was in the same cave where King Saul went to use the restroom!”
  • “David was able to sneak up on King Saul when he was doing his business and cut off a piece of his robe.”
  • “A king’s robe represented his right to be king.”
  • “When David called to King Saul from the cave and showed him the piece of robe, it was like David was saying, ‘I could be the king now if I wanted to, but I don’t want to be king until God makes me king.’”
  • “So, let’s play a game about these two stories.”
  • “It’s called ‘Round the Mountain,’ and it’s played with two teams.”  (Divide the group into two (roughly) evenly sized teams, and give each one a bandana, handkerchief or strip of cloth.  You can also divide the groups up between kids and adults if that works better in your context.)
  • “This group will be King Saul’s army, and this group will be David’s army.”  (Make these designations randomly.  However, if you have adults playing, they should be King Saul’s group, since they are the “bad guys.”)
  • “Each group should line up, single-file (one behind another).”
  • “The last person in line should tuck the cloth in the back of your waistband, like a tail.”
  • “This cloth represents your ‘robe,’ and most of it has to be showing so that the other team has a chance to grab it.” (Make sure that the ‘robe” is showing clearly with just a corner tucked in.)
  • “The person at the front of the line is either King Saul or David, depending on the team.”
  • “The goal of the game is to capture the other army’s ‘robe’ as you pretend to run around the mountain.”
  •  “Only King Saul or David can grab the robe from the other team’s army.”
  • “Everyone else in the line has to put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.”
  • “If your hands come off that person’s shoulders, you have to stop until you get your hands back on their shoulders.”
  • “When I say ‘GO!’ King Saul and David will try to grab the other army’s ‘robe’ while the armies of each team try to keep it away from them.”
  • “If your ‘robe’ falls out, but no one has grabbed it, you can try to put it back in.”
  • “The first team to capture the ‘robe’ wins!”
  • “Any questions?”
  • Play several rounds, and let them switch between playing King Saul’s and David’s armies if they want.  When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
    • Do you think God sent the Philistine army so that David and his men could get away from King Saul?  Why or why not?
    • Why didn’t David kill Saul when he had a chance in the cave?
    • Do you think David made the right choice?  Why or why not?
  • Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.


Rhyme Time

King Saul chased, and David ran

Because he trusted in God’s plan.



Source: Michael Kientz

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Filed under Adversity, David, faith, Game, King Saul, Obedience, Trial

How David Saw God (OBJ LESSON)

Holy OneTime

20 minutes

This object lesson teaches about all the different ways David saw God.  It uses all the Davidic psalms and captures the metaphors he used for God in them.  Participants will explore the different metaphors and make buttons representing their favorite image of God.



Children, Youth, Adults



o  You can find all the following documents on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at .

o   A copy of the document “How David Saw God – Instructions and Poster” (1 copy in color)

o   Several copies of the document “How David Saw God – Button Images” (enough copies for each participant to have a choice about which button they want to make – in color)

o  A copy of the document “David’s Metaphors for God” quick reference guide at the end of this lesson (1 copy for the facilitator)\

o  Posterboard – 1 sheet, white

o  Glue

o  Scissors

o  2.25” button maker and supplies (available from Badge-A-Minit – )  Purchase enough button supplies for the size of your group.

o  Bible



o  Psalms 3, 7, 9, 11, 13-14, 16, 18, 20-25, 27-31, 35, 36-38, 40, 51-52, 54, 57, 59, 61-64, 68, 70, 124, 140, 142-145



o  Print out one copy of the document, “How David Saw God – Instructions and Poster” (in color).

o   Cut around the borders of the frame and the letters.

o   Paste the images to a piece of posterboard or foam board.

o  Print out one copy of the document “David’s Metaphors for God” at the end of this lesson.

o  Print out several copies of the document “How David Saw God – Button Images” (several copies in color – you want enough copies for participants to have a choice about which button they will make)

o  Watch the training video “Make a Button with Badge a Minit Button Maker” at

o  Practice the script.


Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart.”
  • “This means that David had a really close relationship with God.”
  • “Throughout his life, David wrote songs to worship God.”
  • “We have these saved in the Bible in the book of Psalms.”
  • “If we look at all the Psalms that David wrote (74 in all), we see the many ways David saw God.”
  • “David liked to use picture words to represent a part of God’s nature.”
  • “God is so much more than any one image, but when you put them all together, you get a really good picture of what God is like.”  (Point out how the images on the poster all combine to make the word “GOD.”)
  • “Take a look at this poster, and pick one of the images you would like to know more about.”  (Allow participants to select different images.  Use the “David’s Metaphors for God” document to give them more information about that image.  Feel free to summarize what is on the document.  You don’t have to share it all.  When everyone has asked about all the images they want more information about, let them choose one image to make into a button.  Follow the instructions on the YouTube video to make the buttons.)
  • Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.


Rhyme Time

David saw God in many ways

And used each one to give Him praise.


Source: Michael Kientz



David’s Metaphors for God

David used the following metaphors to describe God in his Psalms.  The number beside each metaphor designates Psalms in which they are present.


Metaphor Psalms Meaning
Cup 16 David had been chased away from Jerusalem, where he daily ate at the king’s table.  The king provided his meals and drink (his “cup”) for him.  When he wrote this psalm, David was hiding from Saul and didn’t know from where his next meal was coming.  However, he knew that God would supply everything he needed.  Cup also refers to God’s plan for someone’s life.   In it are both blessings and sorrows, and each person must decide if he will “drink it” (obey God) or not (just like when Jesus asked the Father to “take this cup from me” as in Luke 22:42).
Deliverer 18, 40, 70, 140, 144 David faced many dangerous situations as he ran from King Saul, but God delivered (saved) him from every one.  In the Psalms, David says God delivered him from the attacks of people, from those who wanted to take his life and from evil doers.
Fortress (a.k.a., Strong Fortress, Fortress of Salvation) 18, 28, 31, 59, 62, 144 A fortress is a military stronghold.  When King Saul chased David into the desert, David had to hide in caves.  He didn’t have a secure fortress, but he trusted in God and knew that God’s protection was better than any fortress on earth.
Glory 3 David was given glory every time he fought and won an impressive battle.  He received glory when he killed Goliath and when he defeated the Philistines time after time.  The woman sang songs about how Saul had killed his thousands but David had killed his tens of thousands.  But David knew that the true glory belonged to God.  David knew that he couldn’t have won those battles without God.
Help 30, 40, 54, 70 Whenever David found himself in a dangerous situation, God helped him.  When David fought Goliath, God helped him.  When Saul threatened David’s life, God helped him.  God was always there whenever David needed him.
Holy One 22 The word “holy” means spiritually perfect.  David knew that God is the only one who is holy and worthy of our praises.
Horn of My Salvation 18 In the Bible, God told the Israelites to blow a ram’s horn (a shofar) whenever they went into battle, and He would save them from their enemies (Num 10:9)  The Bible also tells us that a horn will blow when Jesus returns to earth to start His reign.
Judge (a.k.a., Righteous Judge) 9 David was being judged by a bad king (Saul), but he knew that God is a righteous Judge who would give him justice in the end.
King (a.k.a., King of Glory) 9, 11, 24, 29, 68, 145 David was a good and powerful king, but he still bowed his knee to a better King, King Jesus – the King of Glory.
Light 27 Light pushes back darkness.  It brings hope and makes things clear.  David knew that God was the true Light, the One who had led the Israelites out of Egypt in a pillar of fire.  The Bible also tells us that Jesus is the light of the world and that anyone who follows Him will never walk in darkness (John 8:12).
Living Water (implied but not explicit) 63, 143 David spent a lot of time in the desert running from King Saul, and he and his men were thirsty a lot. Even in a dry land, David thirsted for God more than water.  Jesus also tells us that He gives us living water (His Word and His Spirit) and that anyone who drinks it will never be thirsty again (John 4:10).
Maker of Heaven and Earth 124 David recognized that God is the Creator of the entire universe.
Portion 16, 142 A “portion” to Hebrew people is their inheritance.  In other words, it’s the amount a son receives from his father when the father dies.  King Saul chased David away from Jerusalem and the kingdom, because he didn’t want David to become king after him.  King Saul thought he could keep David from receiving the kingdom (his inheritance) after him, but David knew that his real inheritance (his portion) came from God.  David didn’t want earthly treasure.  He wanted a relationship with God.
Redeemer 20 A redeemer is someone who pays what someone owes.  In David’s time, people who couldn’t pay their debts might become slaves to someone else, but a redeemer could pay to get them out of slavery.  David knew that his sins put him into debt with Satan but that God would pay to buy him back.  Jesus is our Redeemer, because He paid for our sins on the cross.
Refuge 9, 14, 31, 59, 61, 62, 142 A refuge is a safe place to hide.  David spent a lot of time running for his life and living in hidden caves, but he saw God as the safest place to hide.
Rock 18, 20, 28, 31, 61, 62, 144 David hid in a lot of rock caves, and he knew they were a safe place that he could depend on.  He thought about God as his safe place to hide.  The Bible also tells us that Jesus is our Rock (1 Cor 10).
Salvation (a.k.a., Horn of My Salvation) 18, 27, 35, 62 David spent years running for his life, but he had faith that God would save him from every trouble.  He trusted in God to be his salvation.  Jesus is our salvation, and everyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Savior 18, 24, 25, 38, 51, 68 God saved David time after time when King Saul tried to kill him.  Jesus is our Savior, and His name even means, “God saves.”  Everyone who believes in Jesus will have everlasting life with God in heaven (John 3:16).
Shepherd 23, 28 David was a shepherd for many years when he was a boy, and he knew how important it was for a shepherd to love his flock.  David saw God as a loving Shepherd, who took really good care of his sheep.  Jesus told us that He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).
Shield 3, 7, 18, 28, 59, 140, 144 David was a warrior, and he knew the value of a good shield.  Shields protect you from an attack and provide a good defense.  David saw God as his best defense against his enemy.
Strength 18, 22, 28, 59 When David felt weak, he trusted in God to be his strength, and strength is really important to a warrior.
Stronghold 9, 18, 27, 37, 52, 144 A stronghold is a place an army has built up to make it strong against attack.  David felt that he was safe from any attack, because God would protect him.
Tower (a.k.a., Strong Tower) 61 Castles have towers, because towers make it possible to see your enemy from far away.  David called God his strong tower, because God protected him from all his enemies.
Warrior (implied but not explicit) 7, 13, 18, 21, 35, 38, 64, 144 David was a warrior, but he saw God as the most powerful warrior, able to come to his defense against any enemy.
Wings (a.k.a., Wings of Refuge) 36, 57, 61, 63 A mother bird covers her children with her wings to protect them.  When David compared God to wings, he was thinking of God’s protection every time David was in trouble.



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Filed under David, Object Lesson, Praise

Don’t Take Shortcuts (OBJ LESSON)


20 minutes

This object lesson teaches about what we miss out on when we take shortcuts in reaching God’s will for our life.  It uses a maze and the life of David.






o  PowerPoint file – “Don’t Take Shortcuts – Maze  (You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at  Make one copy for each participant.  The file also includes answer keys with three different paths.  You might want to print one copy of these for your reference.

o  Pens or pencils to work the maze.  (One per participant)

o  A package of gummy fruit for each participant.

o  Bible



o  1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13

o  1 Samuel 24:1-7

o  1 Samuel 26:1-25



o  Print copies of the maze for each participant.

o  Practice the script.


Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “When we know what God’s will is for our life, we sometimes want to take shortcuts.”
  • “David knew God’s will for his life from an early age – maybe from about fifteen years old.”  (Have participant read 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13.)
  • “If you knew that God wanted you to be king, you might want to make that happen as fast as possible.”
  • “However, David was different.”
  • “He didn’t want God’s will for him until God wanted him to have it.”
  • “Even though God had Samuel tell David he would be king of Israel some day, David let King Saul chase him around the desert for fifteen years.”
  • “David had two opportunities to kill King Saul.”  (Have volunteer read 1 Samuel 24:1-7 and then summarize the story from 1 Samuel 26:1-25.)
  • “David didn’t kill Saul either time, because he didn’t want God’s will for his life until it was God’s time.”
  • “That was smart, because it helped David grow more like God as he waited.”
  • “When he was finally made king fifteen years after he was anointed to be king, he was ready!”
  • “Let’s do a maze that will help you see what I’m talking about.”  (Pass out copies of the maze to each participant.  Hand out a package of gummy fruit to each participant, and tell them that they can eat a gummy candy anytime they cross a picture on the maze.  Give them 5 minutes to try and solve it.  Let them know that the rules are that they can’t cross lines or go over the same space twice.  There are three possible solutions (shown in the PowerPoint file).  When they finish, debrief with the following questions:
    • Why do you think it is better to take the harder path?
    • What do you miss if you take the short-cut?
    • Why does God want you to be patient and wait for His will for your life?
  • Review the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the main message of the lesson.)


Rhyme Time

It may be a test,

But we should wait for God’s best!



Filed under David, God's Will, King Saul, Obedience, Object Lesson