Forced

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation, prayed about it, waited for God to intervene and when He hadn’t yet, you took matters into your own hands and forced something? I am ashamed to admit it, but I have definitely done it. There are MANY examples of this in the Bible. Today I want us to look for a moment at 1 Samuel 13 where we find King Saul in this situation. Saul had a plan, and had taken his son Jonathan and the men of Israel to Gilgal to fight the Philistines. Then the Philistines heard about it. “And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude.” 1Samuel 13:5 When the men of Israel saw they were in trouble, they ran all over the countryside and hid in caves, tombs, cisterns, anything they could find. Saul had called for Samuel to come and offer burnt offerings before the Lord within 7 days. He waited, but Samuel did not come. The people were scattering. Saul considered the situation and let anxiety and impatience get the better of him and decided to take matters into his own hands. When Samuel got there he said, “What have you done?” “And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and the Philistines had mustered at Michmash…….and I have not sought the favor the Lord. So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offerings.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which He commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart, [David] and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:11-14

I have to admit that I sympathize with Saul. It is very easy to become fearful and anxious when we focus on our circumstances. Even if we muster the faith to pray about the situation, it is easy to become impatient if the Lord does not act right away. It is natural to be impatient and force our own way. It is unnatural to be patient. Patience is a sign of Spiritual maturity. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit, so therefore, we can be patient, if we choose to to do so. Allow me to put forth a thought. We must trust God in the dark, but even more so in the light of day when we see all that we are up against! It is in that moment that we can remind ourselves that if we belong to God, we are not alone. God is faithful and He is worthy of our trust. J.R. Macduff said it this way, “Trust Him in the dark, honor Him with unwavering confidence even in the midst of mysterious dispensations, and the recompense of such faith will be like the molting of the eagle’s plumes, which was said to give them a new lease of youth and strength.” Streams in the Desert Volume 1 My favorite part of that quote is when he says, “Honor Him” with our faith. I want to honor Him with my faith. He deserves my trust and my faith. He EARNED it.

Prayer: Lord please help me not to focus on my circumstances but instead remind myself that I am not alone and focus on who you are. Please forgive me when I become impatient and help me not to force my way. Give me strength through the Holy Spirit to wait on the Lord! Make my heart courageous as I wait on you. Help me to have a teachable spirit as you work through my circumstances to perfect my faith. I desire to know you and honor you with my faith. Amen

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Listen to song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lDvD-O9xhg


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