Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offering to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. – 1 Samuel 13:8-9
Israel’s first king made the biggest mistake of his life right here. You want to talk about some consequences?
“How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (1 Samuel 13:13-14).
I look back at just how much trouble I’ve gotten in by trying to solve my own problems and refusing to wait on the Lord. I don’t think I consciously refused Him, I just went with my instincts and tried to take care of things myself. So many times, it never even crossed my mind to pray and consult God. I am getting better at it as I get older, but when I have a quick fix at my disposal, it is so difficult to wait on God.
I want to be a pastor again. I know it will happen in God’s timing. In the meantime, it is difficult for me to not force it to happen. I know I could. I could build the resume, submit applications, say the right things, and I could make it happen. In fact, I did interview recently. As I was being asked questions, I was incredibly aware that I could tell them exactly what they wanted to hear. I refused. I told them my honest answers. I even told them that if they wanted references from my former church, then I would give them the names of people that would more than likely say negative things about me. This way, if they still wanted me, I would know that it was God placing me there.
I didn’t get the job . . . shocker. But when I do pastor again, there will be no doubt that God has placed me.
I can’t imagine taking an approach like this at any previous point in my life. I just want to know without a doubt that it is God lighting my path. I want His timing. I used to believe, “God helps those who help themselves” was in the Bible. I was astounded when I found out that it wasn’t. It looks like Saul believed this saying as well and it cost him the kingship. I’d rather say, “God helps those who place their complete trust in Him.” To me, that summarizes Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your path straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
I have talked with two people already this week struggling with very different problems. Both have the means to do something in their own power with their own resources. After contemplating 1 Samuel 13, both have decided to place it in the Lord’s hands and wait on Him.
Lord, I’ve gotten into so much trouble by doing things my way instead of trusting You. Impatience has cost me time, money, energy, and resources I will never get back. Selfishness has brought unnecessary pain that I did not have to experience. Help me from this day forward to truly learn to wait on You. I want to trust You and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I want to acknowledge You. And what a promise that You give me for doing so . . . You will make my path straight. I love You, Lord. Help and bless all who choose to read today. Amen.