It was in the isolation of his shepherding vocation at a young age that David could have given into the moments of temptation of brushing off his prayer life, ignoring his responsibility to protect the family flock or stop practicing his aim with a sling. But he didn’t.
David was in a pattern of praise, prayer and offering his abilities to God as He used them and guided them. He did the hard work necessary for his family business and protected the sheep under his care from danger. These were the days of obscurity, where his character was slowly being crafted day after day, long before he would face a giant with his sling and five smooth stones.
The courage publicly displayed on the battlefield is courage privately cultivated in the wilderness.
What we choose even in the small tests radically shapes what you and I will become and how we behave when the bigger trials come our way. Say you are a married man or woman who has an encounter with someone who is not your spouse that awakens attraction. Some conversation, some exchange has taken place, strong chemistry discovered—it has become obviously clear that desire exists between the two of you.
This is a moment of temptation.
What you decide is not only a matter of right and wrong but will demonstrate which is most valuable to you. Will you choose to confirm the life-long commitment you have made to your spouse? Or will you fulfill the immediate longing you have to gain the momentary exhilaration that a romantic affair will give you? A decision must be made. It’s a moment of testing. It does not create your convictions but it does reveal them, and it will display for all to see what matters most. David won his battle with Goliath and was eventually made King. But would he win the battle within himself?
Every choice matters.
Moments of temptation force us to make them.
We must move beyond viewing temptation as a series of isolated events to a person-shaping process.
1 Samuel 16:11 (KJV)
And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
1 Samuel 17:34
And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
Songs of Solomon 2:15
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.