Tag Archives: king Saul

Moving God’s Boundaries

I read a news article recently about a farmer in Belgium. He was out plowing his field one day when he came across a stone that was where he was trying to work. He stopped plowing, moved the stone about 7 feet and went back to work. A little while later, a person was hiking in the woods near his home and saw the stone had been moved. He called the authorities and alerted them. It turns out that it wasn’t just any stone he moved. It was a stone that marked the border between Belgium and France. He inadvertently made Belgium about 7 feet wider. When he told them what happened, they all laughed, but told him to put it back, which he promptly did.

Saul, who was the first king of Israel, tried to move the boundaries that God had set too. When God told him to kill all the animals in a military campaign, he spared the best ones and the king. When he was confronted by the prophet, he said he only spared them in order to sacrifice them to God. In another instance, the prophet had told him to wait before going to battle until he arrived to make a sacrifice. When the prophet didn’t show up exactly on time, Saul began to panic. He saw his men deserting him before the battle. He offer the sacrifice himself which was against the direct order given to him and the Law of Moses. When Saul moved the boundaries because of his impatience and self reliance, God took the kingdom from him.

Proverbs 22:28 says, “The previous generation has set boundaries in place. Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself” (TPT). What boundaries that God has set have you moved because it was convenient for you? We all test boundaries and move them trying to enlarge our own territory. The problem is that when we do, we’re shrinking God’s territory in our lives. Our flesh is constantly at war with our spirit fighting over that boundary. It’s time that we moved the boundaries back to where God established them. If we truly want to thrive and to live the life God created us to live, we need to obey what God has said and to become dependent on Him rather than ourselves. God established our boundaries for a reason. We must respect them and obey them even when we don’t understand.

I read a news article recently about a farmer in Belgium. He was out plowing his field one day when he came across a stone that was where he was trying to work. He stopped plowing, moved the stone about 7 feet and went back to work. A little while later, a person was hiking in the woods near his home and saw the stone had been moved. He called the authorities and alerted them. It turns out that it wasn’t just any stone he moved. It was a stone that marked the border between Belgium and France. He inadvertently made Belgium about 7 feet wider. When he told them what happened, they all laughed, but told him to put it back, which he promptly did.

Saul, who was the first king of Israel, tried to move the boundaries that God had set too. When God told him to kill all the animals in a military campaign, he spared the best ones and the king. When he was confronted by the prophet, he said he only spared them in order to sacrifice them to God. In another instance, the prophet had told him to wait before going to battle until he arrived to make a sacrifice. When the prophet didn’t show up exactly on time, Saul began to panic. He saw his men deserting him before the battle. He offer the sacrifice himself which was against the direct order given to him and the Law of Moses. When Saul moved the boundaries because of his impatience and self reliance, God took the kingdom from him.

Proverbs 22:28 says, “The previous generation has set boundaries in place. Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself” (TPT). What boundaries that God has set have you moved because it was convenient for you? We all test boundaries and move them trying to enlarge our own territory. The problem is that when we do, we’re shrinking God’s territory in our lives. Our flesh is constantly at war with our spirit fighting over that boundary. It’s time that we moved the boundaries back to where God established them. If we truly want to thrive and to live the life God created us to live, we need to obey what God has said and to become dependent on Him rather than ourselves. God established our boundaries for a reason. We must respect them and obey them even when we don’t understand.

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Your Obituary

There is a lady I used to work with who enjoyed reading obituaries in the paper. I was curious as to what intrigued her about them. She told me she thought it was amusing how many different ways a writer could come up with to say someone had passed away. She showed me some said, “this person went to be with Jesus”, “they went to receive their reward”, “they expired on this date”, “they got their wings”, “they bravely lost her battle” and the list went on. She told me that she wondered what they would write in hers and what her legacy would be.

I think that’s a good thing to wonder about. If you were to live until you were old, what would you want your legacy to be? What would you want others to say about you so that you could feel like your life was a success? Now work yourself backwards in life. What will you need to have done in order to have accomplished that? What can you start doing today to start moving down that path? You won’t accomplish your goals in this life or God’s will for you unless you have a plan to accomplish them and act on it.

Saul was a man who the Bible describes as “head and shoulders above the crowd.” God chose him to be Israel’s first king. After he was anointed, he prophesied and was transformed into a new person. He started off well, but he had no plan for what his legacy would be. He just assumed that because God had done these things for him that he could coast in that favor for the rest of his life and his legacy as king would succeed through his sons. With that lack of vision and planning, his life began to wander.

The longer Saul was king, the further he went from his intended legacy. He became paranoid, arrogant and proud. He forgot his mission from God. Without direction or a plan, his life wandered into disobedience. During his reign, God anointed another man to be king and ensured that Saul’s line of successors to the throne would end with him. I Chronicles 10:13 records his obituary. It says, “Saul died in disobedience, disobedient to God.” His legacy was tarnished because he didn’t go to God for help and turned away.

Saul did some great things for Israel in his life. He freed them from oppression and won many battles. He started well, but finished poorly. When he sinned, he became arrogant instead of repentant. His heart became hard. He didn’t look to the end of his life and wonder what it would look like if he had followed God’s will. He didn’t think ahead to what a successful life would look like. Instead, he took each day as it came and never knew he was off the path because he had never looked at the path.

What does your path look like? Where is it leading? What will your obituary say about you? I know it’s kind of morbid to think of the end of your life, but I believe that’s how you create a legacy. Where do you want to be at the end of your life and how if you get there from where you are today? When you have that path, you’ll know when you get off of it. When that happens, repent and get back on that path to fulfilling God’s will for your life. Your obituary can read, “This person lived life fully, loved God and died in obedience to what God had for them.”

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Busy For God

Have you ever been rocked by a single question? There was a question asked last night that I’m still wrestling with the answer to. It was, “Are you just being busy for God or are you fulfilling your calling?” It’s a very humbling question. When you think about it, how much of what we do is just busy work and how much is truly fulfilling our calling? I believe each person has a calling on their life to do something. Each person was created unique for a reason only they can fulfill.

God is not pleased when we’re just being busy for Him. His desire is that each of us fulfill His calling for us. I think of Martha and Mary and how Jesus came to visit them. Luke 10:40 says, “Martha overly occupied and too busy was distracted with much serving. (AMP)” We can get to the point that our business for God becomes a distraction more than it is a help. Martha’s was serving Jesus, but that wasn’t her calling. She was busy, but not productive.

Another story from the Bible that came to mind was from I Samuel 14. Saul was outnumbered by the Philistines and wasn’t sure what to do. His son Jonathan got his armor bearer and decided to go attack the entire Philistine army themselves. While Saul prayed and acted busy for God, Jonathan went to fulfill his call. When Jonathan attacked, Saul and his men didn’t know what was happening. They took a count of everyone and found Jonathan was missing. Saul called decided to pray again while the battle raged. He finally joined his son once the Philistines were running.

We can use prayer to keep us from doing what God called us too. We can use serving in God’s house to be busy for God while running from our calling. There are a number of things we can use to be busy while not fulfilling our calling. Just because we don’t get in a boat and head the opposite direction like Jonah doesn’t mean we aren’t in the same boat as he is when we are busy doing things for God instead of doing what He told us.

I know it’s scary to think about what God called you to do. I know there’s lots of questions you have about how, when and where. Don’t get so scared of your calling that you hide behind being busy instead of following that call. God isn’t pleased with that. That’s not what you were created for. You will never be fulfilled in that role and you will grow weary. Chances are you won’t be very productive either. Martha wasn’t. She wanted Mary to leave her calling to come help her. She was busy serving, but not productive. Saul was busy praying, but not productive. Is serving important? Yes. Is praying important? Yes. But you can’t hide behind them when God said, “Go!”

What things are you using to be busy for God instead of fulfilling your calling? Are you truly fulfilled doing those things or do you feel like there’s more? You can serve in the house of God and still not fulfill what you were called to do. Remember there are others who are waiting on the other side of your obedience. They can’t move forward until you do. Leave those things that you’re using to be busy and start doing what you were made to do. No one else can do it because that’s why you were created. Live a fulfilled life by following your calling.

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Content With Discontentment

Yesterday morning I was meeting with my accountability partner. I was sharing some areas of discontentment in my life with him where I thought I would have been further along by now. A year ago, things were moving rapidly in my life towards my goals. Now, they seem to have slowed to a crawl. It’s frustrating to be moving so quickly towards a God-given dream and then have it screech to a halt with no explanation.

As I was talking, the stories of Saul’s and David’s ascension to the throne came to mind. For Saul, he had no idea the leaders of Israel were asking Samuel to tell God they wanted a king instead of a prophet. He was out looking for some lost donkeys. After several days of looking and running out of food, his servant remembered there was a prophet in a nearby town. Maybe he could tell them where the donkeys were.

When they arrived, Samuel immediately knew that Saul was the man chosen by God to be king. He invited him to dinner with the elders and also let him know the donkeys had been found. The next day, Samuel told him he would be king and to go wait for him in another town. There Samuel anointed him king in front of everyone, but not everyone thought he was a good pick. A month later, he led Israel into battle and was victorious. The doubters went away.

David, on the other hand, was watching sheep when Samuel anointed him to be king. He didn’t become king a month later either. In fact, it was around 15 years that he had to wait. During that time, God was preparing him for the throne. He still had to watch sheep and do his daily duties. He still had to serve his brothers when they went off to war. Even though he and his family knew he was destined to be king, he still held his position and did his job faithfully while waiting.

I imagine he had to go through times of discontentment too. He had to wonder if the prophet was right. He had to think, “What am I doing out here watching sheep in this kind of weather?” He didn’t let those things get in the way of what God was doing in him as he was being prepared for the throne. He didn’t think he was above the menial job of watching the sheep which had been assigned to him because he was the youngest. He used that time to grow closer to God and to learn how to care for God’s sheep.

It was at this point that my accountability partner looked me square in the eyes and said, “You know, discipline is doing what you don’t want to do right now because you know what results it will bring in the future.” Those words went straight to my heart and challenged me. David was disciplined enough to watch sheep even though he was supposed to be king. The discipline God created in him during that time helped him to be the greatest king he could have been. Whereas Saul lacked the discipline required to be king and that cost him the throne.

If having discipline were easy, everyone would have it. Instead, few of us are able to endure the menial things in our life right now to have the strength needed in the future. We’d rather be given a great future without having to do the work in the present. We want the throne without the waiting. I’ve resolved to watch sheep as long as God sees fit. I’d rather He build the discipline in me now so I don’t fall later. I’m willing to put in the work now, so I can be effective when God says, “It’s time.”

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