January 28, 2016 · 6:37 AM
Since I was a child, I have heard the story of King Saul in I Samuel 13. The army of Israel had won a small skirmish with a Philistine garrison. The Philistines then mustered an army several times the size of the Israelite army. As they waited for battle, fear crept into the Israelite camp. Men began to desert the army. Those that remained were visibly afraid. Saul looked around, saw their fear, and then checked the calendar. Where was the prophet Samuel? He had said he would be there by now.
As he watched more troops leave, he decided decisive action is what was needed to keep the troops. Verse 9 says, “So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself” (NLT). Wouldn’t you know that as soon as he finished with the burnt offerings, Samuel showed up. Saul realized that he jumped the gun. He ran to Samuel hoping to smooth things over, but Samuel wouldn’t hear it. He explained what a foolish thing he had done, and now God would take the kingship from him.
For me, this story is a reminder to stay patient when doing what God asks. If we let our circumstances dictate our obedience, we will fail and miss out on the blessings of God. It’s hard enough to stay obedient when God is silent, let alone when your circumstances show your obedience isn’t paying off. The easy thing to do is make assumptions, but assumptions often lead to disobedience. If God asked you to do something, you must keep at it until He says, “Stop.”
I Samuel 15:22 says, “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” Whatever God has called you to do, obedience to that calling is most important. Your calling may seem small and insignificant. It may lack the spotlight that you want, but it is a valid calling. Don’t ditch it to do something more spiritual. God has you doing exactly what He wants you to until He’s ready to give you more. Stay obedient in the silence and God will reward you in due time.
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Tagged as Christian, circumstances, circumstancial faith, Devotion, faith, obedience, obedience is better than sacrifice, obey, obey god, obey your calling, religious, Saul, saul lost his kingdom, when god is silent, your calling
August 13, 2015 · 5:30 AM
When I was in high school, I felt like God called me to write. I interpreted that calling as God calling me to write a book. For years I waited for an agent to call me and to give me the opportunity to write a book. I wrote down some great ideas for books and even wrote outlines for them. Those outlines sat in a drawer collecting dust through the years while I waited. Finally, when I was in my mid-thirties, I asked God why I hadn’t been given the opportunity to write a book yet. He responded, “Why haven’t you done anything to make that happen?”
God gives each of us great dreams. Most of us, like myself, sit and wait expecting the dream to fulfill itself. Sadly many people go to their graves with unfulfilled dreams because they never did anything to accomplish that dream. God is able to accomplish the dream He gave you if you’re willing to put in the work. Jesus said, “If you’re faithful in the little things, I will make you faithful over many things.” We have to show Him we are willing to do the groundwork necessary to fulfill the dreams He gives us.
In Joshua 18, the Israelites had subdued the Promised Land, but hadn’t taken possession of it. Generations before, God had given Abraham the dream of having a nation with their own special land. Even though they had defeated those living in the land, the dream was still unfulfilled. In verse 3, Joshua spoke to the Israelites and said, “How long will you put off going to take the land, which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” (ESV) He was saying, “Why aren’t you doing anything to fulfill the dream?” They then went through the land, mapping it out, and dividing it up into sections so each tribe would receive their promise and fulfill the dream.
God required them to get off their hands and do something to fulfill their dream. They had to get courage to leave their prison of Egypt. They had to walk through walls of water and wander in a desert for a while. After all of that, they had to go in and fight for their dream. It wasn’t handed to them. After winning the battles, they still had to carve it out and allot it so that each person could receive the promise of the dream that had been given so long ago.
I can tell you that I still don’t have a book deal and that’s ok. I’m doing the work necessary for God to do His part. I’m closer than I was all of those years of doing nothing. I’m being faithful in the little things first while I wait for God to make me faithful over many. What about you? What dream has God given you that is sitting in a drawer somewhere collecting dust? It’s time to open the drawer, to dust it off and to start doing the little things necessary to bring it about. For me, it was starting this blog. For you, it might be taking a class, going to a seminar, emailing someone in that field about how they started or letting others know you’re interested in doing it. They’ll help to keep you accountable.
When you do your part, God will do His. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen. Get off your hands, as the Message Bible puts it, and take that first step.
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Tagged as daily devotion, Devotion, dreams, faithful in a few things, fulfilling your calling, fulfilling your dream, god given dreams, how to fulfill your calling, lost dreams, ministry, your calling