Saturday, September 27, 2014
9But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and was unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
King Saul was given a directive. He did not obey that directive obviously. As a matter of fact, he kept what seemed good and useful to him. The Amalekites did attack the Israelites when they left Egypt. The word says that the Lord swore to have war with Amalek from generation to generation. What Saul didn't know was not only would God reject him for not completing the task he was assigned, but God would have to send someone else to clean up what he was unwilling to do. Samuel finished off Agag but five hundred years later, those associated with Amalekites still existed. So someone else had to be sent. That person was Queen Esther or Hadassah (her Jewish name). Saul had disobeyed God many times but the last straw was sparing King Agag of the Amalekites and taking all the plunder from a people who did not worship God and made sacrifices to other gods. Five hundred years later, Agag's associates resided in Babylon. Babylon is the place of captivity that God sent the people of Israel to for their continued disobedience. It was there that an associate of Agag was in a position of leadership with a plan to execute vengeance upon the people of Israel. I love Queen Esther because she is the embodiment of courage, my favorite woman of the Bible. She was willing to lose her position as queen, her reputation and even her life, for the sake of her people. Had Saul obeyed, there would've been no need for the Festival of Purim (casting of the lots) which is celebrated every year in the Jewish month of Adar or March on our calendar.
What is the moral of all of this? Who will God need to send to counteract your disobedience and unwillingness to do what God said for you to do? Who has to be sent who will be willing to lose their position, reputation or even their life for something greater than them? If you don't do it, will God send someone else in your bloodline later? Will God raise up a group of people from somewhere else? God's people were put in danger certainly not just physically but spiritually. There are consequences to not following what God said. You just don't know who those consequences will fall upon. In Saul's case, it fell on the people he was to lead, God's people hundreds of years later though his consequences were immediate. Saul's consequences resulted in God rejecting him as king and picking David as the new king, sending an evil spirit upon him. His disobedience continued to the point that no one in his family would remain. Has God told you to do something? Are you willing to do it? If not, who will suffer or feel the sting for it beyond you? And who has to be sent in your place?
Sunday, September 21, 2014
17Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
What was the first directive Jesus gave to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew? He said to Follow Him. So why is that people want to become fishers of men without first following Jesus? There are too many who want to start things tagging Jesus' name to it yet have no intention on truly following Him. How so? If you never bother to 'hear' from God then how can you say He is leading you to do something? Many want to lead but in order to lead, the first command is follow. The disciples didn't just become apostles overnight. They had to learn from Jesus how to carry on His ministry. First thing's first. My pastor just recently preached on going your own way instead of God's way.
I remember when I received a recommendation from my pastor when I desired to enter seminary. He had a conversation with me as well as my assistant pastor. They both continually said to me that going for the piece of paper is great but without learning to listen to the Holy Spirit, what you receive is simply a piece of paper. Do you remember the first time Samuel heard God audibly call his name? Samuel thought it was the Priest Eli whose leadership he was under. Eli finally discovered that Samuel was hearing from God and it was rare in those days as the word says. Well I heard God audibly call my name one morning. I felt so special and loved that He would call my name. There was absolutely nothing like it. When you can hear God whether audibly or through the Holy Spirit, it is a beautiful experience because it means He knows you and you know Him.
So why attempt to lead, attaching Jesus' name to anything without first following His direction? Two words: pride and greed. Pride because you want your name in lights and greed because you are unsatisfied with what the Lord has already provided. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines greed as acquisitive or selfish desire beyond reason. It's no longer about God but about you. I love when my pastor says, "It's all about God and not about you." How do you expect Him to give you much if you are unfaithful with little? Satan or Lucifer as he was called, already carried the name of the Lord with him as the chief choir director. But it was not enough for him. He desired to have his name equal with God's as the star. He was not satisfied with what the Lord gave him to do. And therefore he lost the assignment he did have as well as his place in heaven. That's a hefty price just because you want to be the star. It's something to think about.
P.S. This message was written in the wee hours of the night and suddenly lost. But I PRAISE GOD because He gave it again. Without the Lord's direction, there is no Get Your (J)esus (O)n (Y)ou In The Morning, that's a fact.