I wasn’t swinging for the fence or anything in my message last night, but to say that it didn’t go well would be an understatement. I was pretty disappointed. I don’t know if it was the change in weather, some last second technical glitches, or the fact that I wore the same t-shirt 2 weeks in a row… but there was no focus whatsoever. I’m not sure anyone in the room really heard anything. The thing is, that even though last night’s delivery was no home run, I still think this is a pretty important message. We all are becoming something. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do that on purpose?
In 1 Samuel 9-11 we can read the account of how a tall, good looking guy from nowhere became the first king of the Israelite nation. While the story of his reign isn’t always a great example for us to follow, in this episode, there is a lot to be emulated. There’s a great list of what Saul was doing that enabled him to become king. If we want to become people who make a difference, this is a great place to start:
-Honoring and obeying our parents Saul’s dad was missing some donkeys and sent him out to find them. After a long time searching, Saul encountered the prophet Samuel, who anointed him as king. What if Saul decided he didn’t have to do what his dad asked him to do? (In hindsight, maybe this is where it all went wrong last night – you start a message to teens about obeying Dad and the eyes start to gloss over pretty quickly…)
-Seeking counsel that is Godly “There’s a man of God…Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.” As we set the courses we’ll take in life, we need the input of people who are close to God.
-Accepting what was unexpected Saul didn’t go off looking for someone to coronate him, he was just looking for donkeys. God elevated him to the position, he wasn’t stepping over someone else to get it.
-Allowing God to work I’m not sure if Saul knew what to think about all this that was going on. He seems to be open to what Samuel was saying, but it had to be a little hard to swallow. Saul was nobody. He hadn’t gone to king school and hadn’t earned a king degree… he was completely unqualified for the job as far as we know. But in chapter 10, “As Saul turned and started to leave, God changed his heart…”
-Maintaining an attitude of humility I might have wanted to run home and tell everyone the good news that now I was the king! At the first opportunity to do just that with his uncle, Saul kept it a secret. There seems to be a humility about this young Saul that allowed him to become king. (Unfortunately, later in his reign, the humility seemed to disappear.) “God opposes the proud” so if we are going to become difference makers, we also need this humble attitude.
-Keeping company with the Godly “When Saul returned home at Gibeah, a band of men whose hearts God had touched became his constant companions.” What we become is hugely influenced by who we allow to fill our time. To whom do we give the right to influence our lives? We will become like them.
-Gathering your tribe to respond to the Spirit In chapter 11, Saul is moved by the Spirit of God to assert his own influence on the people he’d been called to serve as king. Some of them were about to be crushed by an opposing king, so Saul called the people together to come to their rescue. We each need to gather our tribes, those people with whom we have influence, in response to the Spirit.
What are you becoming?
Becoming isn’t about ambition – it’s about living a life that positions you to let God raise you up.