Disobedience and Disqualification

This sentence got to me this morning…

“Disobedience may eliminate opportunities for service by disqualifying one from a position of leadership.” (Ryrie study Bible)

1 Samuel 13:13-14
Samuel said to Saul, “ You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

Saul undoubtedly felt the pressure of the battle. The enemy’s army was HUGE. Can you imagine the stress…trying to hold it all together as the leader of an army that is outnumbered. He became impatient and he took matters into his own hands, which wasn’t what God had instructed.
This act of disobedience would change his life. “Would have” is a key phrase here… if you Would Have been obedient, the Lord Would Have established your Kingdom over Israel forever.
Disobedience is no joke. It’s not something we can pick and choose depending on the situation. It’s sometimes very difficult in the face of pressing circumstances to trust God and His timing. But we can never do in our own strength what we can do in God’s strength. We can never accomplish in our own timing what God can accomplish in His.
Your situation may be pressing today, but remember that it doesn’t change what God has already spoken to you. His instructions and commands are to be followed. Don’t freak out and think you’ve been abandoned. Don’t think you’re gonna have to take the reins. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to trust God in the waiting. Immediately after Saul just “did it himself”, Samuel showed up…
I encourage you (and myself) to place obedience to God as the first priority! You can’t prove that you trust the Lord without an opportunity to trust Him.
This is your opportunity! What are you going to do?

Get the “Would Haves” out of the way today. I Would Have, but ______________.
Whatever filled that blank… surrender it to God today and Trust Him with it completely.

Meant to Rule, Meant to Trust

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” -Genesis 1:28

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”  -Genesis 3:1

 

We’re meant to rule over many things in this life as believers. Even from day 1 we were created to rule over all the living things of the earth. We were given authority by God himself over the animals great and small… including the serpent.

How crafty it was to speak to Eve through something she had authority over. Because of his words which seeded uncertainty and deceit in her heart, she ultimately doubted the word and intentions of God.

 

Don’t let something you were meant to rule over change your beliefs in what God has declared.

 

God still intends for us rule over many things with authority.

 

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.  -Luke 10:19-20

 

As God’s children we’ve been given authority through Christ! But even with victory and authority, we still sometimes allow situations and words to cloud our view and take us down. Fear, which doesn’t belong in our lives dictates our steps. Anxiety, which we’re told not to operate in keeps us from stepping into the place God is leading us.

 

Circumstances also speak, and though their dictation is internal it’s often deafening and just as misleading as the serpent. We are then faced with these questions… Did God really say if we ask, we’ll receive? Did God really say we can pray for the sick and they’ll recover? Did God really say there’s a way of escape with every temptation? Did God really say He’d never leave us or forsake us?

 

These questions become real when we’re facing giants we’re meant to rule over. But rather than doubting, we must remind ourselves of the precious and TRUE words of God! YES, God did say that, and I believe Him. What if Eve’s response had been that simple? There’s no doubt the enemy would have tried again at an opportune time, yet she would have won each victory by simply trusting what God had said. What if she and Adam had simply talked about the encounter and conversation with God before allowing it to effect their lives and relationships?

 

Trust today! If something is speaking into your life, ask yourself this question… AM I MEANT TO RULE OVER WHAT IS SPEAKING INTO MY LIFE AND CAUSING THIS CONFUSION? If the answer is yes, ask God what He has to say about it! Remind yourself of what He’s already said! Talk to Him about it and LISTEN.

If you have questions, rather than acting out in disobedience to “discover your own answers”, talk about it with the Lord. He is the TRUTH.

 

Don’t let something you were meant to rule over change your beliefs in what God has declared.

Wild or Free

Psalm 32:8,9

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

 

 

Have you ever seen a wild horse being broken by a trainer? It’s quite a show. This horse that is used to doing what it wants is now under the control of someone else. Of course this doesn’t come naturally for the animal and it sure isn’t use to hearing commands, nor does it understand them. So the process begins as the handler places a bridle on the horse along with a bit in its mouth, all connected to a rope which is held by the man. The trainer will stand in the center of the ring and allows the horse to go in circles as he holds the rope. The horse can pull away or try to run off, but it’s painful when it does. He eventually learns that the sooner he obeys, the sooner he is free of the bit! He’s only causing himself pain.

 

Many years ago a good friend had a vision of my life. She pictured the Lord in the center of a ring and I was the horse, trying to painfully pull away. She told me I wasn’t getting out of the Lord’s plan for my life, and I was only going to hurt myself if I tried to run.

 

Isn’t this a picture of many lives today? We desire freedom. We all want liberty but we often misunderstand what truly brings it into our lives. It comes through obedience to Christ. He doesn’t give up on us. He has a will for our lives and desires for us to be free and fulfilling our destinies. He also knows this doesn’t happen overnight for the person who is so accustomed to having his own way. Many times we experience the discomfort of disobedience and God definitely allows it. But what he intends for us to learn is that he’s not trying to hurt us, but he’s trying to break us so that we can be used!

 

God wants to get us to the place where we stop when he says “whoa”, and we go when he says, “giddy up”. The place of true obedience. Although we are constantly learning and increasing in knowledge and understanding, we aren’t meant to be in basic training forever. The truth is, we can decide when we’re going to finally submit. It’s only then that God can use us to the fullest in true freedom! So if you’re still a wild one and you’re experiencing the pain of disobedience, know that the Lord uses broken people. Wild and Free have been used together for too long. We have to choose… Choose freedom and experience the wild ride the trainer has for your life.

So you had a bad day…

So you had a bad day…

 

Are you having a bad day? As I read the Christmas story, I realize that Mary and Joseph were definitely having what we would call a bad day. There’s a census and they’ve got to travel while she’s ready to pop.

 

“Really God? Right now? We’ve just worked out all of this stuff in our relationship and now You’re gonna send us all the way to Bethlehem? I mean you’ve spoken to us and we know you’re in the big middle of our situation, but now, though we know we’re blessed, we’ve got to travel like this.”

 

Not in a nice comfortable CAR, but on a donkey…an uncomfortable ride, especially for a pregnant woman who’s about to bust. Away from their primary physician and away from work, to travel. This costs money and time. They get there and you know they’re ready to lay down because this trip has no doubt worn them out…. and just when they think they’re gonna lay down their heads, they’re told there’s not a room available!

 

We’re sold out!
It’s a bad day!

Then they find the only thing offered to them is a stable. I doubt they walked in and were like, “HEY, this is nice”. No, they were like… “HAY, this place is filled with hay.”

 

Sometimes when things aren’t what we expected, it seems like a bad day.
But we can’t forget that God placed them in this stable. Look at the things God used here:

He used circumstance, He used the government (which issued this census), He used people who not only came and took all the good rooms, but He also used someone to offer what he had even though it wasn’t much (a stable). All things were working together. Even though it wasn’t pretty, it was the most beautiful thing taking place on Earth and in Heaven at the same time.
It wasn’t easy to travel to Bethlehem in their condition, yet God’s working out a detail that’s of the utmost importance. You see, in Micah, God told the people that a ruler would be born in this little town of Bethlehem.

 

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.

Micah 5:2

 

Many times God is working through struggles to get you to a place where He’s destined a miracle. God used this couple to do something huge for His kingdom, and it wasn’t how or where they expected. God knew exactly what He was doing with Mary and Joseph just as He knows exactly what He’s doing with you.
Just like Mary was carrying Jesus, so are we. And many times God leads us to a place where we deliver Him into the darkness. A place where despite any struggle and discomfort, there’s a greater detail in His plan that is being made compete. So today, know that He knows. Know that He sees when things don’t go as we planned. Know that He sees when we face rejection. Know that He sees when we end up in a place that makes us wonder or question even though we’re doing what we’ve been asked to do. God knows the details. Trust in Him, even if it seems like nothing is working out. There’s no telling what He’s planning to birth out of your bad day.

No Good Thing Will God Withhold

Psalm 84:11

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

This verse has been one that I’ve held onto and shared in times of great “situations”, times of waiting, and even times of wanting in life. God is a sun and shield, which means he not only sheds light and gives life, but he also protects us. Even from things we think are good, but aren’t best for us. Then He reminds us that there’s no good thing He will withhold from us who walk uprightly. So in those moments when we’re faced with questions of “why can’t I” or “will that ever happen for me” or “am I going to get that job” or “will I ever get married or have kids”????? Or even when we face disappointments and wonder why God didn’t allow what we believed was best for us. Remember that there’s nothing good that He’ll withhold from us and often times He’s protecting us and has something greater around the corner! I hope this encourages you as it has encouraged me.