Thoughts for the Month of August 2017


  1 Samuel 1-3 | Luke 8:26-56

“But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” —1 Samuel 13:14

What is the criterion that sets a person apart as useful to God? From the tragic fall of King Saul to the epic rise of King David, we see an essential factor that is vital in being of service to God.

King Saul was the first monarch of Israel whom God had anointed. God had given him great success in military ventures, but he soon grew proud and arrogant, even setting up a monument in his own honour at Carmel. He disobeyed God and eventually fell away from Him. In 2 Chronicles 15:2, the Prophet Azariah said, “The LORD is with you when you are with him.” This means God is with us when we are on His agenda. Saul had ceased to be with God, so God withdrew His Spirit from him, and Saul no longer had the power, provision or anointing of God. What Saul failed to realize is that no one is indispensable to God, but it is God who is indispensable to us.

David, Saul’s successor, did not see himself as someone in authority as king over Israel, but under authority as a servant of God. He was a complete contrast to Saul, his will and agenda being totally submissive to God. Throughout the books of Samuel, David always “inquires of the Lord.” He repeatedly describes himself as “God’s servant” and continually seeks the will of God. David had no plans of his own and that is what simplifies the Christian life. We operate under God’s authority and leave the consequences to Him.

In our service to God, it is far more important we are concerned with the cause, not the consequences; otherwise we will start manipulating things in our favour, which often backfires and leaves God out. That is not to say everything will always go smoothly. There are often obstacles and opposition we face, but we operate in dependence on God, trusting Him to accomplish His purpose. When things go well, enjoy it, but when things are tough, endure it, just as long as our cause is seeking the will of God.

Jesus is the orchestrator of all He calls us to do. We cannot make our own plans and expect God to bless them. Instead, we recognize the right of Christ to reign in our lives and inquire what His plans are. He said, “Where I am, my servant also will be” (John 12:26). Jesus will do the leading, and as we step out in faith and obey Him, He acts. God called David “a man after his own heart,” and that is the criterion He looks for in every Christian.

With thanks to