Friday, September 18, 2009

Learning to Lead Like Saul...

"Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul's head. he kissed Saul on the cheek and said, 'I am doing this because the Lord has appointed you to be the leader of his people Israel'" (1 Samuel 10:1). We should never forget that it is God who raises up leaders and it is God who brings them down again. God appoints His leaders for whatever time he sees fit. At times it appears that perhaps we have something to do with choosing our leaders but God's word is rather clear that it is God who appoints leaders. I have heard several times in the past several weeks that the call of God upon a minister is irrevocable. This is true if in fact it is God who is doing the calling and not merely human invention. A part of my Sabbatical is intended to examine my calling, to examine my qualifications of serving as a pastor, and to allow God to speak his calling into my heart one more time. What is the singular sign that God has appointed a leader? Take a look at verses six and seven.

“At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you with power, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. After these signs take place, do whatever you think is best for God will be with you” (1 Samuel 10:6-7). The singular sign that God had appointed Saul would be the coming of the Spirit upon him with power. He would literally be "changed into a different person". Once the Spirit arrived, Saul would then be free to do whatever he thought best. God would literally be with him and Saul's action would be God's action. The indwelling of the Spirit of God within the life of person allows them to do what God would do with God's effectiveness. The Spirit's saturation of a minister is absolutely necessary for effective service. The Spirit changes us! The Spirit remakes us! The Spirit resurrects us!

“As Saul turned and started to leave, God changed his heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day” (1 Samuel 10:9). Notice that life-change occurs for Saul in a single moment. Wow! It's not just any moment--it's the right moment! What a great breathing prayer for the day: "Change my heart!". A breathing prayer is simply a short phrase that we quietly place upon our lips as we breathe in and as we breathe out. Everything changes with a changed heart--even kings are made!

“And the Lord replied, ‘He is hiding among the baggage.’ So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else” (1 Samuel 10:22-23). I love this--"He is hiding among the baggage"! We've all got baggage and like Saul, we tend to hide among it. Get this--God loves us enough that he will disclose our hiding place. He will reveal our baggage. He will do whatever it takes to force us to deal with our stuff and to come out into the open (I speak from personal experience ). Having come out of the baggage, "he stood head and shoulders above anyone else". No one could see who Saul really was as long as he was hiding among the baggage. The reality was however that Saul was a big man. May we all come out from among our baggage so that we can stand tall.

“When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a band of men whose hearts God had touched became his constant companions. But there were some wicked men who complained, ‘How can this man save us?’ And they despised him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them” (1 Samuel 10:26-27). Finally, let me learn today to surround myself with "men whose hearts God has touched". Ignore the rest!

No comments: