A message summary of November 30, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:
As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, God orchestrates change in your life.
Change is going to occur whether you want it to or not. It is about acceptance and adaptation. Change is an opportunity that God wants to bring into your life.
What needs to happen in order to embrace change?
- Humble yourself before God
- Give up your effort to change others and let God change you instead.
- Don’t insist on having your own way but submit to God.
- Admit that God is all-powerful and place your life under His control.
- Submit to God’s way.
Some things in your life may need to be considered as a lost cause in order for you to move on with your life in the present.
Whatever God wants in your life that is part of your old life, He will bring it forth as a lesson for how you are living today.
Saul (from 1 Samuel) was given a chance to change his life, but it turned out to be a missed opportunity.
- Saul only had a penchant for outward appearances.
1 Samuel 9:1-2
1 There was an influential man of Benjamin named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite. 2 He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man. There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else.
He was taller than others, but he had no heart for the things of God; furthermore, there is no Scripture to support that Saul was truly following after God.
- Saul’s father asked him to locate his donkeys.
1 Samuel 9:3-5
3 One day the donkeys of Saul’s father Kish wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the attendants with you and go look for the donkeys.” 4 Saul and his attendant went through the hill country of Ephraim and then through the region of Shalishah, but they didn’t find them. They went through the region of Shaalim—nothing. Then they went through the Benjaminite region but still didn’t find them.
5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the attendant who was with him, “Come on, let’s go back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”
Note that Saul did not have the same value for the donkeys as his father or even the attendant.
- The servant suggests going to the man of God for direction.
1 Samuel 9:6-10
6 “Look,” the attendant said, “there’s a man of God in this city who is highly respected; everything he says is sure to come true. Let’s go there now. Maybe he’ll tell us which way we should go.”
7 “Suppose we do go,” Saul said to his attendant, “what do we take the man? The food from our packs is gone, and there’s no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”
8 The attendant answered Saul: “Here, I have a piece[a] of silver. I’ll give it to the man of God, and he will tell us our way.”
9 Formerly in Israel, a man who was going to inquire of God would say, “Come, let’s go to the seer,” for the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.
10 “Good,” Saul replied to his attendant. “Come on, let’s go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.
What does the servant know about this man of God?
- He is a man to be respected
- Everything he says comes true
Saul had no idea that his journey to see Samuel was going to be a divine appointment (1 Samuel 9:15-17).
God revealed wisdom to Samuel but not to Saul.
1 Samuel 9:15-20
15 Now the day before Saul’s arrival, the Lord had informed Samuel, 16 “At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will save them from the hand of the Philistines because I have seen the affliction of My people, for their cry has come to Me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man I told you about; he will rule over My people.”
18 Saul approached Samuel in the gate area and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”
19 “I am the seer,” Samuel answered. “Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. When I send you off in the morning, I’ll tell you everything that’s in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys that wandered away from you three days ago, don’t worry about them because they’ve been found. And who does all Israel desire but you and all your father’s family?”
Saul was speaking about the past, where Samuel was directing him to look to the present and the future. He noted to Saul that all of Israel has turned to him.
God wants to work in your present and future—not in your past.
Saul made no effort to capitalize on this divine appointment. He didn’t see the importance of God wanting to make a change in his life.
1 Samuel 9:21
Saul responded, “Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel’s tribes and isn’t my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?”
When change is beginning to take place, God will set people around you that you would need to spend some time with. Even with that, the wisdom imparted will still need to be taken into account in order to be effective in the change.
Change is just being willing to go through it. God is the one who is really doing the work.
Are you ready to hear from God?
1 Samuel 9:25-27
25 Afterward, they went down from the high place to the city, and Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.
26 They got up early, and just before dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up, and I’ll send you on your way!” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the attendant to go on ahead of us, but you stay for a while, and I’ll reveal the word of God to you.” So the attendant went on.
Are you willing to live life according to God’s way?
1 Samuel 10:5-6
5 “After that you will come to the Hill of God where there are Philistine garrisons. When you arrive at the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place prophesying. They will be preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres. 6 The Spirit of the Lord will control you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person.
God wants to change you in a big way in order to be an effective person in His kingdom.
We learn from Saul that none of this makes a difference to Saul:
1 Samuel 10:14-16
14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his attendant, “Where did you go?”
“To look for the donkeys,” Saul answered. “When we saw they weren’t there, we went to Samuel.”
15 “Tell me,” Saul’s uncle asked, “what did Samuel say to you?”
16 Saul told him, “He assured us the donkeys had been found.” However, Saul did not tell him what Samuel had said about the matter of kingship.
He fails to convey the most important part of his trip.
The opportunity for change is here, but Saul hid from it.
1 Samuel 10:21-23
21 Then he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward by its clans, and the Matrite clan was selected. Finally, Saul son of Kish was selected. But when they searched for him, they could not find him. 22 They again inquired of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”
The Lord replied, “There he is, hidden among the supplies.”
23 They ran and got him from there. When he stood among the people, he stood a head taller than anyone else.
Don’t resist or hide from God’s effort to change you. He wants you to see Him in the change and to embrace it.