Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Jude 1:24

I know we shouldn’t worry about life’s “what-ifs,” but humor me for a moment. What if David faced Goliath without his sling and five smooth stones? Do you think he would have survived? Some say yes, but I think differently.

There was a young preacher who always told me if you’re in God’s will, you’re never in danger. One day he walked through the streets of downtown Chicago and was attacked. Some thugs slugged and robbed him, leaving him broke and unable to pay his motel bill. The preacher called me and asked if I would pay the bill for him.

I asked, “Why would I pay your bill if you’re in God’s will? Won’t God bring someone over there to pay it?”

The preacher finally had to admit his philosophy wasn’t quite true.

Friends, I believe with my whole heart that God is in control. However, He expects us to use the margin of brain power that He’s given us. He won’t overrule our stupidity. He may protect us in our ignorance, but we can’t guarantee He will protect us when we don’t use common sense.

God performed many great miracles in David’s life, but David still had to use wisdom. He knew if he was going to defeat Goliath, he would need a weapon. God was his Bulwark, but he didn’t expect God to bail him out. If you’re living close to the edge of a dangerous situation—whether it be moral, financial, or spiritual—I encourage you to use wisdom. God is able to keep you from falling, but don’t expect Him to bail you out.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder