Tag Archives: 1 Samuel

The Wrong Mountain

file-2I don’t think we could ever overdo the conversation of obedience. Obedience is love. It’s such a big deal that God compares disobedience to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). So, since we’re talking about obedience, let’s talk about Abraham.

Most people know the story of Abraham and Isaac. And the test he went through to prove his love and obedience to God. This test ended with Abraham not having to sacrifice his own son, as was the original command from God.

What I believe, is that Abraham’s obedience saved Isaac’s life. Let’s think about it.

Abraham didn’t know which mountain he was supposed to go to. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). God told him to take his son, go to Moriah and then he would show him the mountain. And of course, as the story goes, once Abraham was there a ram was stuck in the bushes which in turn became Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac. But, what if?

What if Abraham wasn’t obedient? What if Abraham didn’t go to Moriah? Even simpler, what if he didn’t go to the mountain God showed him? He would have only partially obeyed God’s command and partial obedience is still disobedience.

You see, I understand the foreshadowing details of this story. I understand the parallels. I understand the test. But what I’ve recently learned is that it was complete obedience to God that kept Isaac alive. Not the ram, not perfect timing, and certainly not coincidence. Obedience.

In essence, what I believe is that God will always provide a ram in the bush, it’s just that we keep on going to the wrong mountain.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Sin, Wrong

Get Off the Baggage Claim Podcast

Chosen Light PodcastSketch21213321

1 Samuel 10:22-24

So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the Lord has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!”

And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Rewind this story just a little bit. God had chosen Saul to be king. Samuel was making it publicly known that Saul had been chosen and anointed to become King of Israel. Where was Saul though? Hiding.

God had anointed Saul to be the best. He already stood out, but now he had a real reason to, not just based on his appearance.

I’ve read this at least six times, and for the first time I see what God is showing me about myself. God has already anointed me for the calling He has placed on my life. God’s children have been chosen to stand out, yet for some reason, we’re hiding.

I have to ask, are we hiding under baggage? Have we hid under the baggage of disbelief and doubt? What about the baggage of our fears, especially of failure? Is there the baggage of our past that we’re hiding under?

If God has truly chosen you, He meant for you to stand out, not stand down. Get out from under the baggage claim and start living and walking like a chosen pick.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Remembering Your Future: Steps to Everlasting Success (Part 2)

4) Gain (personal gain) – Read Genesis 11:4-6 and 1 Samuel 15:12

* I believe a goal can have eternal value and result in personal gain, but not that a motive of personal gain can result in eternal value.

* God created us to be great, but He created us to be great for His glory and honor, not our own.

5) Excuses – Exodus 3:11-14, 4:10-15

* There is not an excuse good enough for not doing what God called you to do.

* Is anything truly stopping you from your calling or just inconvenient for you?

* God nearly bent over backwards accommodating Moses for a task He had already chosen him for.

Question: Are we asking God to move mountains and pebbles too?

6) Troubles – Genesis 50:20

* God always has a perfect plan.

* Joseph dreamt he would be great. If he gave up every time he experienced trouble he might have missed out on seeing how greatly God can turn a situation around.

* Troubles aren’t excuses because we should expect them regardless.

The Main point to Remember: Jesus beat all the odds.

He never feared what God had already put into place. He didn’t let others’ opinions stop Him, not even family. The Pharisees reaction was that He was powerful because Satan empowered him (Matthew 12:24). Jesus had no desire for personal gain (John 10:18; 1 John 3:16). He didn’t use being human as an excuse to not do God’s work, and He experienced more troubles than we could imagine.

The Main Question: How do I truly produce something everlasting?

Stay connected to Jesus, the Vine (John 15:5 Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit…). Stay connected through study, through prayer, through worship, etc. Stay connected simply by depending on God to meet your needs as you do His will.

Everlasting Gobstopper Video

We were once poor and deprived without Christ. Then we got a taste. And we saw how good He is (Psalm 34:8). And with that taste, we wanted more and more. And the beauty in wanting more of God is that He will always have more. God never loses power by our request. He never grows weary when we need His strengthening. No matter how much I need to pull from God, He never lacks.

He never shrinks, He never depletes, and He never loses flavor.

God is truly our Everlasting Gobstopper and the only way to everlasting success is to remember to stay connected to Him so we can forget about the rest.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Remembering Your Future: Steps to Everlasting Success (Part 1)

I haven’t written much lately, but my family gave me an opportunity to write a Bible study lesson for our family study this past week. I’ve decided to share it with my blog family as well. I hope you find something for you in this lesson.

As we’ve all begun to focus on our future goals, I believe with every study we lay the groundwork for setting goals and taking steps that will mean something forever. And I believe the underlying questions after setting these goals are, what do we do next? How do we truly live out these goals now?

One step I believe is remembering what we should forget. The focus of our goals shouldn’t be solely about how it will affect us as individuals. Simply put, it’s not about you, and eternal, everlasting success isn’t meant to be.

Briefly, let’s address the 6 things we need to f.o.r.g.e.t. as we work towards eternal success, and the 1 thing we must remember.

1) Fear – Read 1 Samuel 10:1, 20-24 and Numbers 13:1, 27-33

* There is a common factor between the two stories: God had already promised to them the very things they were too afraid to possess!

* When you are creating something eternal/everlasting, chances are that God has called you to do it. We should never fear what God has already given us.

Question: What’s your biggest fear?

* Get from under the baggage of fear and walk in God’s calling.

2) Opinions – Read 1 Samuel 17:32-33

* David had been considered the runt of the litter in his family and now by his king. How might this story have played out had David believed Saul’s opinion about what he could or couldn’t accomplish?

* Note: David had already been anointed as king (1 Samuel 16:13) and was ready to embrace any opportunity to glorify God, no matter how many opinions he had to disregard.

Question: Whose opinions matter most? Whose should?

* People will forever change their mind, so eternal success will never be based on how man will receive or perceive it.

3) Reactions – Read Exodus 16:7 and 1 Samuel 17:28

* There will always be someone who will disagree and react in a way that’s negative, no matter what.

* Like David, people will rarely understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and will try to bring you down because they don’t understand it.

* But like Moses, you have to be confident knowing that a person’s complaints/reactions aren’t against you when you’re in God’s will. Therein lies a bigger issue for them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Get Off the Baggage Claim!

1 Samuel 10:22-24

So they asked the Lord, “Where is he?” And the Lord replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the Lord has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!”

And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Rewind this story just a little bit. God had chosen Saul to be king. Samuel was making it publicly known that Saul had been chosen and anointed to become King of Israel. Where was Saul though? Hiding.

God had anointed Saul to be the best. He already stood out, but now he had a real reason to, not just based on his appearance.

I’ve read this at least six times, and for the first time I see what God is showing me about myself. God has already anointed me for the calling He has placed on my life. God’s children have been chosen to stand out, yet for some reason, we’re hiding.

I have to ask, are we hiding under baggage? Have we hid under the baggage of disbelief and doubt? What about the baggage of our fears, especially of failure? Is there the baggage of our past that we’re hiding under?

If God has truly chosen you, He meant for you to stand out, not stand down. Get out from under the baggage claim and start living and walking like a chosen pick.

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement

Harm = Honor

David is proof of why we never settle for the bare minimum. We should never settle in our work, relationships, or any aspect in life.

God works in ways that we will never understand, and we live in a world that doesn’t get that. We live in a world that doesn’t care about God. And regardless of that, we as Christians have a job to do. We have to be the best we can be no matter what. We represent God. Why would we not want to be our best? And as hard as it is, going above and beyond is part of being the best we can be.

David went above and beyond. And as often as we talk about David being a man after God’s own heart, we don’t talk about how he showed that. He showed that in his inability to settle for the ordinary.

I read 1 Samuel 18:24-30 and all I could do was smile.

24 When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, 25 he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight.

26 David was delighted to accept the offer. Before the time limit expired, 27 he and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. Then David fulfilled the king’s requirement by presenting all their foreskins to him. So Saul gave his daughter Michal to David to be his wife.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.

30 Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers. So David’s name became very famous.

Not only did David complete his task early, but he also double what was asked of him. What’s my point?

My point is that when God gives you the ability to be extraordinary, He will allow you to do and achieve things that can’t help but be blessed. Saul’s plan was for David to die in this feat, but oh my… When God has a plan… When God plans, you need to get excited.

There are a lot of things going on in the world. A lot of things going on at your job that probably aren’t right. A lot of things going on in your social life that just doesn’t seem fair, right? But God has a plan. No matter how it looks, He can work it out. No matter how unfair leadership may be, He is working it out. No matter what, He’s got it.

God will do things for you that people can’t help but honor. Can you imagine that? Saul’s master plan was that David would die. David’s plan was to glorify God and do his best. And God’s plan was to use Saul’s plan to honor David.

So I guess my point is this: When other people mean you harm, don’t worry about it. God might just have honor lined up as your outcome. Truth be told, when you honor God, He honors you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Inside v. Outside

1 Samuel 16:7

New Living Translation (NLT)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

No matter how many times I read this verse it doesn’t get any less special. In fact, I think it gets even more special. As we grow in our relationship with God, every time we read His word it should be even better than before. But that’s another topic.

 

What made this stick out to me today? I’m not sure. I thought it was the fact that we as a society tend to judge everything by the way it looks. And then I thought it was the fact that God said he saw David’s heart most importantly. And those are all great reminders as well. But I think what made all of that stand out even more was the reminder of who God is.

 

God doesn’t see things the way we do. Whether it’s people or situations, we don’t see what God does. We don’t see the person’s heart to change. We don’t see their good inside. And even though we wish that they would see it in us, we don’t always extend the same courtesy that we seek to be recipients of.

 

But God sees us all inside. No matter how ratty we look on the outside, he sees a gem inside.

 

And today, I think that God just wanted to remind me that He sees me. He really sees me. No matter what I strive to be physically, He will always see what I am spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

 

And when it comes to 20/20 vision, I will always choose to be seen through God’s lenses.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God