Someone Will Take Your Blessing if You Won’t – Fight Your Battles

God is not challenged to get His will done.  His power is incomprehensible.  He spoke the universe into existence.  There is nothing that He cannot do.  Yet, He allows flawed little creations like us to participate in His glorious work of redemption.  It is an amazing blessing if we think about it.

God could just speak the Gospel to everyone on the earth simultaneously.  He could also use angels with all their power and might to act as the faces of His church.  He could write the Gospel in the sky permanently.  Yet, He chooses us to act for Him instead.  Messy, fearful, prone to fail and prone to wander us.  We are given the greatest treasure of all of history to store in our jars of clay and then told simply to share it with others and follow him.

This is not meant to be a burden but a wonderful privilege.

If we had the cure for cancer wouldn’t we be overjoyed to tell everyone about it?

The funny thing is, though, God is not limited by us.  He includes us in His plan out of love and through grace.  He is not hindered though when we refuse to come along.  God’s is carried out regardless of human weakness and failure.  He has a million different alternatives in His arsenal to get the Gospel to a certain person or show Jesus’ love to an angry group.  The only question for us is whether we want to reap the blessings of participation in that plan.

It is like the procession that carries the Olympic torch across the world every four years.  The torch is going to get to where it is supposed to go as there are millions who are willing to carry it.  It is just a blessing to be the bearer for a leg.

David and Goliath have been on my mind the last few days.  I first wrote about learning to trust our calling in Christ a few days ago after reading the passage in 1 Samuel. God Chose YOU

We always think of the story as “David and Goliath”, the two main combatants in the account.  David was a young shepherd boy called by God to take on great odds.  Goliath was a very tall, very evil warrior who is defeated after mocking the armies of God. God shows His great power by using an untrained youngster filled with faith in a great way.

The interesting thing is that it should never have come to that.  The conflict by all accounts really should have been decided well before David ever arrived on the scene.  Goliath should have been dead by the time David arrives.  It is the failure of the first King of Israel, Saul, that requires David to come on the scene.

David versus Goliath likely should have been Saul versus Goliath.  This was Saul’s battle to fight and his giant to kill.  Everything was set up perfectly by God for Saul to take part in an awesome victory of God.

Saul was anointed King of Israel.  He was supposed to be their great leader, a warrior king.  If you go back in the history of the nation, the very reason that the people clamored for a king was so that he would fight their battles for them.  Fighting battles was his job.  It was what he was called to do.  If anyone was supposed to go out and take on Goliath it was Saul.  He was the King.

Saul was also well prepared for the call.  We sometimes overlook it since we are focusing on David, but it is Saul’s big heavy, elaborate armor that David tries on before the battle.  Saul had the exact military equipment needed to fight Goliath.  Not only that but when Saul was drafted as King, his biggest selling point was that he was tall.  He is described as head and shoulders taller than anyone else in Israel.  Saul was not a giant like Goliath, but he was a very big guy.  Can we imagine how big Saul was if his shoulders were higher than anyone else in the country?  That is one big dude.

Saul had the position, he had the equipment, God even gave him size and strength for the battle.  What Saul did not have was a heart for God.  He did not have faith in God.

The Bible says when Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.  Fear and dismay tend to bring out the worst in people in general and Saul in particular.  Rather than turn to God, Saul always seems to run away or turn to himself.

So much like in most of his life, Saul tries to worm his way out of the job that God put before him.  God makes him the chief warrior of Israel anointed by God and given great physical and material equipment to face the challenge.  Saul whips up an offer of riches, his daughter and exemption from taxes to any man who would kill Goliath.  Because he is afraid and loses sight of God, He pays someone to take the place of glory God prepared for him.

Do we think Saul says, “Here David, I will pay you to be the hero remembered for 2,000 years by anyone who ever sits in Sunday School”?  Of course not, but departing from the way that God sets out for us often has unexpected consequences.

Saul’s refusal to trust in God and attempt to scheme his way out of a hard spot leads him further away from God and towards losing his calling.  It is another step towards his ultimate madness and rejection of God.   How bitter must have been that victory over Goliath to Saul.

His decision also opens the door for David to step in and continue down his path of becoming King of Israel.  When Saul refused to partake in God’s glorious plan of redemption, David was allowed to take his place.  God’s plan is carried out, Saul just misses out on it.

We as redeemed believers in Jesus will never be lead to the place that Saul ends up due to his refusal to listen to God.  We will always be beloved of God thanks to Jesus, once and for all for forgiveness of sin.

But we can be like Saul and miss out.  The fullness of life in Jesus cannot be ours if we turn away from God’s calling on us.

Our faith grows when we follow God.  Our love grows when we do the hard things in Christ.  Our joy grows when we confront suffering in Jesus and He walks us through it.  Our life is just so much more when we watch Jesus destroy the giants in our lives.

Like Saul, sharing God’s treasure is what we were chosen for.  It is our job.  Like Saul, God has equipped us through the Holy Spirit.  He has also prepared us through the variety of life experiences each of us has walked through.  We are all ready to join in the celebration of God’s victory.

The question for us is whether we are willing?  Do we want another to take our place and fulfill our calling?

Of course we don’t.  Then we need to do what the Lord has put before us, trusting in His power and eagerly awaiting His victory.

 

 

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