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Sunday, November 1, 2015

A valuable lesson from the man who lost his ass, then became king

Saul had a problem. His ass was lost. Actually, many of his asses were lost. And they belonged to his father. It was Saul's mission to find them, and he was failing. But he did encounter something he could have never imagined in his search. 

"I kick Saul's derrière at hide 'n seek every single time!"
Let me explain...

Saul's long, unsuccessful, desperate search for his lost asses led him to Samuel - who was THE man in Israel. Samuel talked with God and was the spiritual leader of the nation. He was the one who would proclaim Saul as Israel's first king.

Saul had no clue that God had chosen him to be king of an entire nation. Israel had never had a king. But God's plan was unfolding behind the scenes before He ever let Saul in on it. It's like a seed working hard unnoticed while underground, then BAM!, the sprout shows up and it's on! Keep your eyes open for the sprout. It starts out small, but it's there.

Saul was simply trying to fix the problem at hand. His thoughts were focused. The possibility of God using this problem for something good didn't seem to be on Saul's radar.

God appointed Saul to be king over Israel so that he could set them free from their enemies - the dreaded Philistines, the nation of Goliath.

Mission possible

Saul didn't feel worthy to be called by God to such a position. And he wasn't worthy.

God's plans don't depend on our worthiness or strength, but on His. And He usually calls the least qualified to work with Him. That way there is no boasting on our part. Then it's obvious it is God's power that accomplishes the mission through us.

God empowered Saul for the kingly mission. Samuel told Saul,

The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you... and you will be changed into a different person. (1 Samuel 10:6)      

Saul couldn't fulfill God's plan as old Saul. He had to become a new man. And it was God's Spirit that would change him into King Saul. It's ultimately God's power that accomplishes His purposes.

By the way, the asses were eventually found.

Does God have a plan for you?

Maybe a throne is not in your near future. But I believe God has good things in store for you. I believe God has fulfilling missions for you that will glorify Him, bless you, and bless others.

Saul was Israel's first king. Maybe God has a mission for you that will be a first in human history. Be prepared to be surprised by God.

Your mission could be small, it could be huge. But it will be important. And God may call you to a variety of missions over the course of your life. He will call you to be a co-worker with Him in His plans. Isn't that awesome? Little ol' you and Almighty God... co-workers.  

God turns your heart through circumstances

We humans tend to like routine. As our lives go along we can get settled into a comfortable position. We REALLY like to be comfortable. We see challenging times in life as annoyances, setbacks and failures, when they may very well be opportunities designed by God. God can use a challenge in life to pry us out of a rut we may not even realize we're stuck in.

Sometimes when we're too comfortable in the routine of life we forget God. God warned Israel against this. And I think we all need to hear this warning too.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 8)

A challenging situation in life can be used by God to keep us from a proud I-don't-need-God attitude. God can use challenging times to turn our hearts back to Him if we've forgotten Him and strayed. God can cause us to think in new ways that include Him as we search for a solution. Through trying times He can also lead us to the people He wants us to meet that we wouldn't have met otherwise.

A seemingly hopeless or unsuccessful situation in your life could have you right where God wants you. 

I'll say it again - be prepared to be surprised by God.



See the sprout

I don't know if Saul was looking for God in his situation. As you walk through the day-to-day of life, are you looking for the sprout? Do you see any evidence of God working? Opening your eyes, heart and mind to begin to see God at work is essential. Your mindset is key. 
  • Anticipate that God will bring good things out of the challenges of your life
  • Be willing to go down the new road that God reveals to you
  • Stay positive in the middle of the challenges of life
  • Come close to God and ask for His help
  • Believe that God is working, even when you can't see anything (because He is)
  • Know that God is in control
  • Trust Him to give you the power you need

These Bible verses show that God is actively directing our steps, even in the trials of life.

A man's heart devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) 
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23) 
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way. (Psalm 37:23)


P.S. You can read the story of Saul in 1 Samuel 9-10

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