Words to live by:

"With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh...I know there is.

Here goes:
Talking with a wonderful friend today...
we were discussing...well, something dear to my heart.
I hate to admit it, but this one might step on some toes...
it stepped on mine...
and I was the one doing the talking.
Sometimes, it's uncomfortable to admit when you're wrong.

The conversation started because of the lesson I was
teaching last night.
For last nights lesson, I studied 1Samuel about King Saul...
that poor thing. He just didn't get it.
He is quite the example of...
most of us.

The story: (quickly)
He was chosen to rule God's chosen people...the Israelites.
He was an attractive man.
He was smart...uh, that's debateable. Well...he was indeed a winner of battles.
And with his power, looks, and sauve' manner...he fought many battles, and won many battles.
But he had a problem:
the more He won...the more he began to think of himself, be proud of himself, fool himself...
the more he lost sight of His main purpose...
Toward the end of his reign, he was told...by God (by way of Samuel)...to fight the Amelikites and detroy them ALL...and ALL of their possessions (livestock, etc.)
He listened.
Well, kind of...
Samuel, was the go between person between Saul and God, so Samuel gave Saul the messages from God himself...
wow, what a job!
So Saul went off to fight this battle...yes, he won, again.
But he only did things halfway.
He did destroy the Amelikites, but instead of destroying ALL as God had said, he CHOSE to bring home a trophy--- 
the Amelikite leader and some of the best livestock. 
This would really impress his people...if he brought home these riches to show off.
Was he forgetting the instructions?
Oh dear.
When confronted by Samuel (as directed by God)as to why he did not obey...he said: "I did obey, I killed them...well, all but the Amelikite King and the best sacrificial animals...but I'm going to offer them, as offerings/sacrifices to God."
Oh did I forget to add: that before he gave his side of this story, he had built a statue of himself in honor of...
He was very proud of his accomplishments.
HIS accomplishments.
Samuel was furious with Saul's excuses and knew what he had done...Samuel knew what God had instructed and held Saul accountable for his actions...and replied: "Isn't it better to OBEY than to sacrifice?"
Samuel knew the answer to this...for he knew what God thought.
And unfortunately, Saul also knew the answer to this...

We are so much like Saul...
As much as I'd like to say I have never done such, I simply cannot.
We are so good at "choosing" what to hear. Even from God.
We decide which part of obeying we will do,
what's convenient,
what makes us look good,
what will get us the most prestige...
God gives us rules, guidance, leadership. He tells us what to do...and what not to do.
(Here's that word again...)
But he also gives us...CHOICE.

Sometimes it seems that we begin believing our own excuses...and sometimes- even our own lies.
We sorta just live the way we want to, what we think is best, or easier...and we don't think about simply being obedient.
Is it hard to obey?
Should we obey God?
Emphatically, yes...no doubt.
Will we answer for the wrongs we do?
Emphatically, yes...no doubt.
Is this my opinion?
No. It is HIS WORD...not mine.
Like Saul; we get caught up in our accomplishments, what makes us look good, our "looks", proving how prestigious we are, what we can do better than others,...
we are consumed with...
We try to "FOOL" ourselves into believeing that a little white lie, or a little sin here and there is fine...why we can't be perfect can we? 
We can "fudge" a little...we can be very convincing....
But guess what?
You, me, all of us...can believe that for as long as we are here...but it's simply not right.
God doesn't say: "well, ok...go ahead, try it just once...you've been good for awhile, you can take a break."
We can try to convince ourselves all day long that it'll be fine. Rationalize it in our minds that it HAS to be done this way,
we HAVE to cheat a little,
we HAVE to lie,
we HAVE to gossip,
we HAVE to steal...
on and on.
Are you getting it?
I don't think I need to go on...

But sometimes we really don't get it do we?
It's not about us...
If we go back to Genesis...we'll see that God created us in his image, to give him glory, to worship Him.
That's it.
He created mankind...
for Him.

I'm not trying to downgrade everyone, including myself...
I just know that when we OBEY and do things HIS way...our lives are so much more fuller and richer.
Richer than money and fame.
I've been on both sides, I know.
It's worth it.
It may not seem fair...that's us being selfish (again).
It may not seem right...that's us being selfish (again).
It may not seem fun...that's us being selfish...and just plain dumb (again).
It may not seem easy...well, sometimes, it's not...
It's just what is supposed to...

The end of the story:
Saul got fired.
He lost his kingship.
He lost the very thing that he was so proud of...the thing that made him so ... duh...great.
Be careful...
cause, all that???
What we think is so great?
There just might be something greater...
KNOW there is.

These are my thoughts.

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