Thursday, June 19, 2008

When a Problem Turns Into a Calling

1 Samuel 9:20

As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father's family?

Saul and his servant were out seeking his father's lost donkeys. This was symbolic of the waywardness of the nation of Israel. The people of Israel had just asked the prophet Samuel to have a king rule over them. This saddened God greatly, yet God granted their request.

Saul and his servant heard of a man of God named Samuel. "Perhaps this man of God can tell us where to find our donkeys," said the servant. Isn't that just like us? We seek God to solve the issues related to material life. Saul was about to receive the greatest opportunity of his lifetime. He was about to be crowned as king of Israel. His life would never be the same. What was he concerned about? His donkeys. We don't have to be worried about the material things of life if we are about the things He's called us to do.

God called Saul to be the next king in order to free the people from the Philistines. God sent a messenger, the prophet Samuel, to inform him of his new career. The messenger also had to ease his mind about his donkeys. Donkeys often represent commerce in the Bible. They were the primary means of transporting goods; therefore, in essence, what was Samuel saying to Saul? He was saying, "You don't need to worry about your business if you respond to the call of God on your life. All the material things will take care of themselves."

Jesus said the same thing to the disciples years later. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt. 6:33).

When God calls us, it often involves making major adjustments in our lives. Saul went from one kind of business to another. He went from working for his father to being a king. What changes is God calling you to make today in order to join Him in His work?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Discovering the Source of Problems

2 Samuel 21:14

After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land.

During the reign of David, there was a famine in the land for three successive years. So David sought the Lord regarding this famine, "Why is there famine on this land?" The Lord answered David, "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death" (2 Sam. 21:1b).

Years earlier, Joshua made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites. This, too, was an act of disobedience. When God called Israel to come into the Promised Land, they were to destroy all the enemies of God. Joshua failed to see through the ruse of deception when the Gibeonites portrayed themselves as travelers. The Israelites signed a peace treaty only to discover who the Gibeonites were after the fact. Now, they had to honor the treaty. However, this led to intermarriages and much sorrow for Israel. Years later, Saul made a decision to kill the Gibeonites.

The nation was now receiving the punishment for their sin of disobedience through a famine. David knew that famines could have a spiritual source, so he inquired of God and God answered. The source was Saul's murder of the Gibeonites. Once David knew the source of the problem, he took action. He repented on behalf of the nation and made restitution. The famine was then lifted.

Do you have a problem that seems to be a continually unresolved issue? Have you asked God to tell you the reason for the problem? It may have a spiritual root that is still unresolved with God. He may be allowing this pressure to bring attention to an issue He wants you to take care of. Ask the Lord today to give you revelation on your problem. As a loving Father, He desires to make known anything that stands in the way of fellowship between you and Him. However, His righteousness must always be upheld.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Will You Enter?

Numbers 20:11
Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff.

Will you fulfill the destiny God has for your life? Perhaps you have never thought about it. God had a perfect plan for Moses to lead the people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. It's been said the hardest place to score a touchdown is from the goal line. You're almost there. But there is something about crossing over that makes those last few yards the most difficult. Moses failed at the goal line, and it prevented him from finishing well a glorious life of service for God.

The people of Israel were complaining that they did not have water to drink. It was another of many tests for Israel. Moses inquired of God and God said, "...Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water" (Num. 20:8a). Moses, in his frustration and anger with the people, began to act on his own and made a strategic mistake. Instead of speaking to the rock, he struck the rock twice with his staff. In spite of his disobedience, the rock poured forth water.

God was calling Moses to a different dimension. Moses was to use his words to speak the miracle. However, he not only lost his temper, but he also took credit and dishonored God. He used his staff, the symbol of his work life as a shepherd, to force the provision.

When we become callous, we can use our skills and abilities to force what we believe should happen. We take control. When we do this, we are in danger of failing to enter the Promised Land of blessing from God. Living in life's spiritual dimension requires patience and obedience. Beware of solving problems in your own strength. God wants to bring you into the Promised Land of His blessing. But it will require walking in the spiritual dimension.