Tag Archives: calling

Not Listening is Dangerous!

chick feast

So I find the story in the book of Samuel, chapter 13 of the character of Saul. Saul, an ordinary, (though tall) fella, who God has given a job. And not just any job! The job of being the very first King of Israel.

Once Saul took office he had called up 3,000 men; 2000 of which were under his leadership and 1,000 under the leadership of his son Jonathan.  Not long after this, his son Jonathan killed a garrison (a troop) of Philistines and their people were upset. Upset enough to get 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen together to attack Israel.

This was Saul’s first big test of leadership. But he only had 3,000 people. So Israel ran and hid in their tents and caves and bushes, anywhere they could because they were sure they were just about to get slaughtered.

Saul is in Gilgal, where Samuel, the man of God had told him to wait for seven days and he’d be there to offer a sacrifice. They’d have a prayer meeting before the battle, always a good idea!

But Samuel doesn’t come at the hour that Saul expected. So Saul does something really stupid and takes matters in his own hands. (I have worn that shirt too many times to count!)

1 Samuel 13:9-10

And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

Saul was excited to see Samuel… For a minute. Until he realized that Samuel wasn’t any too happy that Saul had done a job that God had appointed him to do.

Saul’s job was King. Samuel’s job was sacrifice.

As I’m reading this, as I often do, my mind is in other places. “God, over and over again I ask Your plan, and over and over again I think I have direction and then, life just doesn’t work. What now?” And in between my reading, talking, writing and Attention Deficit Disorder living I can almost feel God roll His eyes at me again.

And then it happens. I whine. “Seven years, I’ve been here waiting. Seven years!  (as if God didn’t hear me the first time) In 2010, God in no uncertain terms said. “Quit your job, and serve me.”

And I just couldn’t see how it would work. So I’ve been hired, fired, wired and tired for seven years. Not in a good place. I’ve doubted myself. Others have doubted my calling, I’ve worked for nasty people and nice people and although I’m a little further down the road, I don’t feel that I’m very far. Again and again, I’ve tried to go back into the secular world of work, and it won’t happen.

But right at this point of whining I almost feel a Gibbs slap to the back of the head. (NCIS television show terminology there.) And God saying did you even listen to what you read? For seven days Saul waited for Samuel and then decided to take things into his own hands and because of that he lost it all. Seven days, or seven years, it doesn’t matter. I have to be the one controlling your life, else this is not going to work. Those jobs you’re applying for belong to someone else, stop trying to do them.

So that was His message for me today… I have a job. It’s to wait on God.

Saul lost the kingdom and he lost the peace of God. That’s how King David came into the picture as the second King of Israel, because he could play and sing for Saul and speak peace to his soul. There’s power in what I do. Although I don’t write like David, and I’m not the skilled musician he obviously was, it’s the job that God has given me. I need to stop trying to take someone else’s.

So to cap this story off, with something funny to tell, not funny to live… This past Sunday, someone on the music schedule wasn’t able to sing and they ask me to fill in on the fly. So I think, no prob! I’m trying to obey God and do what He’s ask so I take my guitar to church and I’m going to wow them with my singin’ and playin’. I couldn’t hit a chord to save my soul! Praise God, Jesus had already saved it. So I whine again… but God, You said if I did it, I’d be okay. He said, “I didn’t say it would be easy.” To which my response was “Did it have to be so dog gone embarrassing?”

I think God likes His people humble. And He knows my heart, I’m always trying to do it the short cut way. There’s not shortcut to God’s design.

I don’t have time to tell you of the blessings God has put in my path to make these things happen. People, instruments, tools of the trade of writing. God has a plan for each one of us and I believe if we listen it is clear ~ and not listening is dangerous! So listen the first time. It’ll go way easier for you! #ExperiencedFailure #GodLovesMeThisIknow

 

The Boundary Setter

2 Timothy 1:9-11 ~ Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

I love scripture that affirms eternity past and future, purpose and position in life. It makes sense of my nonsensical world. Timothy was a young believer and Pastor privileged to be mentored by none other than the great apostle Paul. Paul’s burden for Timothy was apparent in his letters to him, and their mutual respect for another’s genuine faith. He was touched by Timothy’s tender heart, verse 4 says ~ Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;” and as Paul’s time grew short on earth he was grateful to have a comrade on the battlefield in whom he could depend. Paul and Timothy’s faith allowed them to apply the past to the purpose of the present so that their future could be anticipated with promise.

The planning in the past

Before the world began God’s plan was in action and I was in it! I know, it shocks even me that with all of God’s planning and time I wouldn’t have turned out better. But it’s not about me or my abilities (my works) it’s about His own purpose. That’s where it gets foggy for me. I try to impose my disabilities on God’s abilities. God says show up as you are and He will use us where we are, but so often I think there has to be advanced planning. There was….in eternity past God provided the grace we’d need for today. It’s already there before our feet hit the floor in the morning.

The purpose of the present

is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Manifest – meaning it’s now made known. I know, I know, if you’re like me you don’t see it often times either. But it’s there in the evidence of Christ at work in your life. I’m amazed at the awesome people that God puts in my life at specific times; those who have just appeared at the right time. Every pivotal experience in my life generally has a new person involved that made it possible. God working through them. But even more amazing than that is when “I’m that person.” I fear that I’m missing the boat of opportunity because I don’t often step up or out when God nudges me for fear of stepping over the bounds. However, who’s bounds am I in fear of stepping over, God’s or mans.

Acts 17:24-27 says “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitiation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

I love that! The boundaries that God has set were determined from the beginning of time and so long as I continue to search for Him, He’ll continue to direct my paths and place people in my path. I need to stop focusing on the boundaries and spend more time focusing on the boundary setter.

The promise of the future

…who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Christ came to provide eternal life through the light of the Gospel, and He chooses to use vessels like you and I to spread that hope.  If we’ve been saved, we’ve received the appointment; it’s on our schedules whether we want it or not. Someone, somewhere needs to see Christ in you today, their future may depend on it.