“Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life.” Prov 4:23

At the beginning of his 2016 season Carson Wentz had all the skills, exper- ience, team talent and coaching staff needed as starting QB to lead his Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl. But by the end of the season,

this committed Christ-follower posted the most number of FUMBLES of any player in the NFL which cost his team a winning season. His 2017 season also started with great promise until he averaged at least one fumble in every game again missing a chance at the coveted ring. It was not until 2018 that Wentz “committed to protecting the ball by DRAWING IT CLOSER to his chest” that he drastically minimized his fumbles and led the Eagles to a Superbowl championship.

All men fumble in life. But we can greatly reduce our fumbles in all areas by drawing the truth of God’s word close to our hearts. Like Wentz, King Saul had great promise but fumbled often and finished in defeat while leading Israel because he never committed to drawing God’s promises and principles close to his heart thereby protecting his relationship with God. Where have you fumbled lately experiencing defeat? Are you protecting your heart by drawing His truth close?

GQ of the OT (Old Testament)

At 30 years old Saul’s season as king started well. He was born to a great family from the tribe of Benjamin known for their mighty valor (I Sam 9:1); physically excelled as the tallest man in the nation being a “choice and handsome” stud (9:2); became God’s first round draft pick as the first king of Israel (9:17; 16:2); had an attractively humble personality (9:22; 10:20-23; 11:5); sought the Lord’s help (9:3-19; 11:6; 14:35); did not become petty when wronged nor vengeful when hurt (10:27; 11:12-13); showed courage leading his army to victory while facing a superior enemy (11:1-12); was a team builder unifying the nation under God (11:12- 15); was a winsome and skilled orator knowing how to rally the troops to victory during half time when losing (11:2-10); intelligently design- ed the right strategic plans for military victory (11:11); gave God the glory on national television during after victory (11:13); and was surrendered to and filled mightily with God’s Spirit (11:6). What skills, resources, relationships, lineage, finances, etc. has the Lord given you to start out well? How are you using them for His glory?


Like all good coaches, the prophet Samuel warned God’s people (and king Saul) to watch out for situations that would cause them to fumble badly. Sadly they would not listen because they did not “keep God close to their heart”. List the various pregame warnings that ‘coach’ Samuel gave to the people. How does God use His warnings to chisel our lives to make us more like Jesus? Has God given you a ‘coach Samuel’? What warning has he given to draw God’s truth close so you don’t fumble? Are you listening? Who do you need to warn?

(I Sam 12:6-14; Duet 8:2, 11, 14, 18-20; Rev 2:4-5) How do fumbles occur when God’s men forget His faithfulness?

(I Sam 12:14-15) Where have you not listened to the Lord and His Word? How did that go for you and your family?

(I Sam 12:12, 16-18; 8:4-20) What other ‘kings’ (authorities) rather than “the King of Kings” have you allowed to rule over your life, priorities, thinking, schedule?


All spiritual fumbles are bad. We can lose the ‘ball’ (fellowship w/ God not salvation) allowing our enemy to score a victory. But God graciously allows us to recover the ‘ball’ by humble heartfelt repentance (Ps 32; 51; Rev 2:4-5; 3:19-20) as He walks us thru the consequences as we learn to draw Him close to His heart. Check out these fabulously funny famous foolish football fumbles!