The God of the ungifted
It's an attitude thing...
There are some crazy stories in the Bible. A few of them (especially in the Old Testament) make me want to go to the streets in protest, some others humble my pride, some others reflect plain human nature. The same human nature that is revealed in our decisions and actions today.
I was reading this morning when king Saul was anointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 10) but something called my attention. On verse 26 says,
"Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, and brave men whose hearts God had touched went with him. But some wicked men said, 'how can this guy save us?' They despised him and did not bring him a gift, but Saul said nothing."
Three things called my attention in that one little verse. Attitudes that we see today, every day. Things that are out of our control but we still question. Attitudes that the enemy uses constantly to get us out of focus.
Attitude # 1: "...men whose hearts God had touched went with him." When we feel His touch, we start developing a sense of feeling happy for others because in the presence of God we feel content. Suddenly we discover that it is not all about us. So we understand what God is doing around us and we move along. Even though it sounds easy, it is not. We still have to fight that evil voice that tries to distract us away from good character and obedience. That's why it is so important to nurture our soul with His presence. The enemy will work alongside our own insecurities and add some more fear in us because his main agenda is division. Helping in stead of leading in the kingdom doesn't mean we don't have a sense of purpose or are confused about our calling. Jesus called us to be light. He is the one letting us know to whom and when to flip the switch. Helping another leader doesn't mean I have to loose focus on what the Lord called me to do. Even if we're still looking for that "it" factor in our lives that organizes our calling, God uses every experience and leadership to guide us and form our character. God always is willing to touch us with His sweet presence. It is us who have to be willing and diligent to seek it.
Attitude # 2: ..."wicked men despised him and did not bring him a gift..." God always is the one that gives good gifts. He actually gives us exactly what we need. Still, many times we keep looking for people's approval and seek for leaders' affection in stead of keeping our eyes on Him. It is normal, natural human behavior. However, that won't ever fill our soul. People's approval is like junk food. It will satisfy you right then but won't ever nurture you. It is nice when we're recognized and we need it as well. God actually intended for His body to lift one another and work together in unity but between the enemy and our own flesh we keep separating God's community. God's kingdom and the community of believers are in constant attack and we keep forgetting. When we let the enemy feed into our own insecurities we become like those "wicked men" and keep our gifts to ourselves. Those gifts can be kindness, praying for one another, support, good wishes, finances, you name it. I had issues for years with the fact that I thought certain leaders didn't deserve their position. I wrestled with an analytical perspective on third parties about the balance between qualification, experience and good character like I'm interviewing for leadership positions in my mind. At the same time, I'm sure I sowed the same attitude in my own life. So many people still think I don't deserve squat...
Romans 13:1-3 says, "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." I had to ask for forgiveness about this one... so many times! The worse part is that all the time that consumed me thinking and getting frustrated about other people was time wasted that I didn't invest developing myself. Too much to learn in little time. God's will will prevail regardless of our opinion. Let's use our gifts wisely putting our trust in the Lord.
Attitude # 3: "...but Saul did NOTHING." Ohhhh I could count the times I should've said/done nothing. We do not need to address every single situation around us. All we need is His wisdom. In due time God will act. 'Keeping quiet' is one of the features that comes with wisdom and previous reactions of mine made it seem like I got my wisdom from the market place on FB. Is what trusting God consists of, waiting.
Callings, purposes, God's plan for our lives, identity is what the enemy attacks the most. The best training camp is the Word of God. It will usually lead us in the opposite direction from our own ways of dealing with situations. We need to trust God's strategies in stead of ours. He won't forget our calling when He calls other people. The enemy will try to convince us He does. Everything in life is a game of sow and reap. I've been reaping all my critical comments towards others. Still got is so merciful that helped me learn better and change. I'm still learning. I can't promise I'll do/say nothing next time I want to react. But I would not want to trade the peace I feel today in the quiet for freedom of speech in public.