Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lessons from Saul

Reading Reference 1st Samuel 9

Typically when most people preach or teach about Saul they only tell half the story. They start from where he messed up and speak of his erratic violent behavior towards David. He is branded as the King who was rejected by God. But most people forget that Saul was once accepted by God. As a matter of fact, he was chosen by God.    

First Samuel chapter 9 tells the story of how God strategically selected Saul to be King over Israel. There are so many profound and important messages hidden when you read Saul’s process to power. There are some key things we can learn from him.

1. Don’t despise the job you were called to do.
Saul was sent to look for asses. That’s right. Donkeys! Stubborn, stinky, but necessary beings. Two were lost and he and one of his father’s servants were sent to go find them. (1Sam 9:3-4). Saul became frustrated on the journey because they spent three days climbing mountains and covering rugged terrain to look for donkeys – menial, replaceable, obstinate donkeys! Many of you feel the same way about your job or the task you have been set to do. You may feel like what you’ve been called to do is like chasing and tending to the donkeys. However, his obedience to such a tedious and seemingly unimportant task was a set up for a greater purpose.  Be faithful to the job you were given – a mother, student, peacemaker, friend, teacher, social worker, juvenile worker, waitress, janitor, accountant, executive, case manager, nursing assistant, manager, sewer worker, whatever the task that has been given to you – DO IT!

2. On your journey, check your teammates.
We often hear this but rarely heed to it. It is so important that we pay attention to who we take with us on our journey. The wrong person can sabotage progress (Akin and Joshua) or prevent you from getting to where you need to be in the time God ordained. Make sure the people on your team bring something to the table – knowledge, faithfulness, resources, connections, an ear - something. Had the servant been a lazy, selfish servant, he would not have urged Saul to press to the next city.  He had knowledge that that city had a man of God and he knew enough to encourage Saul to see him so he could show them the way. Not only did he have knowledge and a good idea, he had the provision to support the idea. In the passage, Saul was like great idea, but we have nothing to give him if we go see him. His servants said, “I do.” We need to ask God to give us people or empower the people in our spheres of influence, to not just “give suggestions” and the if “I were you” speeches, but ask God for people that have good ideas and the provision,  knowledge, and substance to make it stick.  

3. Be willing to sacrifice something to find your way.
Saul and the servant knew they could not go to the man of God empty handed. They looked for what they had knowing they were going to give it away (1Sam 9:7-8). Think about it. They were three days away from home. That’s food, lodging, and incidentals they had already paid for and needed to get back home. But they stayed faithful to the work they were sent to do and they sacrificed what they had in order to find their way. They understood that finding the right path would yield what they needed. What are you willing to sacrifice to get on the right path? Is it a habit? A person?  A thing? A status? A reputation? A comfort zone? Pride? Look within yourself, you have enough to give to find your way.

4. God will put you on the hearts and minds of people who will bless you.
Three days looking for donkeys and on the second day God told the Prophet Samuel that Saul was coming (1Sam 9:15-16). Samuel didn’t know his name, or what he looked like, but he knew his purpose and what God had told him to look for. Someone is anointed with the power and authority to bless you and take you to the next level. But they won’t be able to recognize you unless you stay faithful to the first task given to you. Had Saul gave up on day two, or turned around on day three his date with destiny would not have occurred. Samuel set aside a portion, a large portion in expectation of Saul’s arrival. There is a portion set aside just for you. Someone is expecting your arrival. If you would just go and finish the task, there is an anointing and kingly blessing waiting for you.

5. God didn’t ask for your resume or background check before he qualified and justified you.
When Samuel told Saul who he was and what he was going to do, Saul’s first response was, “ do you know where I’m from, and who I am, why are you talking to me like this, why are you expecting this from me?” (1Sam 9:21-24) Who asked you about your background or reference? Nobody. At some point what has been promised to you is going to manifest itself and either you are going to see God’s blessing for what it is or you are going to waste time telling yourself how unworthy and unprepared you are to partake in what has been set aside for YOU. 

Steady your heart and hand. God knew and still knows what his plan is for you. But like Saul, you have to embrace your true work. Let go of the ideas of how things are supposed to go and what success is. Do the donkey mission and do it well. God will call you up to the mountain and crown you king in time.  

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