Today, we are waiting. Waiting on confirmation that our insurance will pay for our treatment at MDA. We left for Houston, a week ago, praying that God would bring us back home for treatment…then He totally changed our hearts and we felt like He was telling us we needed to stay there…then we actually accepted that we need to be there…then we started getting excited about being there…then our housing need was supplied………then the insurance Case Worker popped my bubble. She told me yesterday that it is still not approved and that, because similar treatment is available in Baton Rouge, it is a pretty much a long shot. When I hung up the phone with her yesterday morning, the devil wanted nothing more than to discourage me and make me doubt what God is doing. And, for a minute I was tempted. I was sitting on my bed, surrounded by forms, paperwork and bills, and I got a little overwhelmed by it all. I wanted to just go back to sleep and pretend this is all a dream.
But, instead, I opened my Bible. Because Psalms has been my go to book for help right now, I felt the Lord telling me to read the story of David’s life, again. So I turned to I Samuel. Before we can talk about David, though, we have to see how the story begins. It begins with the people of Israel constantly complaining and never wanting to just accept what God is doing for them. They have come to Samuel, who is the prophet at the time, and requested a king. God is their king at this point, but they don’t like His plan, so they ask God to appoint a man as a king over their nation. Samuel seeks the Lord and God tells him what to do.
Meanwhile, Saul, who is of the tribe of Benjamin (the smallest tribe and viewed to be the least important tribe) is out on the countryside chasing his fathers donkeys. Isn’t this just how God works? He looks down and He sees this very insignificant man who is doing a very mundane task that has no value to anyone, and He chooses him to rise to the position of king. By a divine plan, Saul encounters Samuel and God gives Samuel a very specific message for Saul. This is my favorite part.
Look at I Samuel 10: 1-8. Samuel anoints Saul as king and then he gives him these instructions,
“At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you with power, and you will prophecy with them. You will be changed into a different person. After the signs take place, do whatever you think is best, for God will be with you.”
When I read this verse, I just closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When God chooses you for a purpose, He anoints you to do it, then He gives you the Holy Spirit to think for you. Just a few days ago, I told a dear friend that one of the greatest lessons God has taught me is to hear the Holy Spirit. For years, I’ve been doubting my ability to hear Him. He would speak to me about something in my life, or something He wanted me to do, and the first thing I would do is question it. Is that me talking? Is that just me trying to figure out what God wants? Am I making this up? Or is this really the Lord? It’s the Lord, people! When you have a thought that is good, or challenges you, or makes you grow in the Lord, or makes you do something for the Lord…..it is from the Lord! There is nothing good in us, so we can’t think good thoughts on our own. God is speaking to you. I implore you to learn to listen to Him. He will guide you through every turn of your life, if you will just listen.
Since the very first moment we received Clay’s diagnosis, the Holy Spirit has been thinking for me. I hear Him. Loud and clear. He has answered every question I’ve had, He has given me supernatural wisdom and discernment, He has helped me understand what to do. Especially in times when Clay was not able to help me. God is so faithful. And, this might sound a little strange, but Clay and I both believe that God anointed us for this task. One night in the very beginning, we were talking about how clearly we can see that God has been preparing us for this. The thought came to me that God has known this was going to happen since he was forming both of us in our mothers’ wombs. He’s always known that our lives were leading up to this moment. He created us for it. He didn’t create Clay’s disease and He doesn’t take joy in knowing that we would fight this sickness, but He knew it would happen. So, He anointed us to be able to complete the task. He prepared us and gave us everything we would need in order to remain strong and fulfill His purpose. He enabled us to defeat the enemy.
Let’s go back to the story of Saul. Also in Chapter 10, Samuel calls the people of Israel together to announce that Saul has been chosen. When he proclaims this to the people, they start looking for Saul and they can’t find him anywhere. He is “hiding among the baggage (or the stuff).” The Lord tells them where to look to find him, they bring him out, and he accepts the appointment. Of course, the people doubt his ability. He was hiding in the stuff! One month later, there is an attack of the enemy and the Lord tells Saul exactly what to do. He rises up in power, defeats the enemy in an awesome way, and the people acclaim him as king. They are so encouraged that Saul has been chosen. Saul gives God the glory. The note I wrote in my Bible says, “All because of the Holy Spirit, Saul went from hiding in the baggage to destroying the enemy in just one month.”
Are you hiding in the stuff today? Are you afraid to let God use you? Are you afraid of what sacrifice He might require if you surrender everything and allow Him to use your life? Ask Him to bring you out from the baggage and anoint you to do what He wants to do with your life. Ask Him for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to help you accept whatever task He has for you. He will. I promise. He will. There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you all for a while. The devil wants to scare you into thinking that if you pray for God to use you, He is going to bring you into a major trial like you see us living. He wants you to think that if you allow God to work in your life, you are going to pay a huge price. He wants to scare you into thinking that you should just remain in the baggage. Remain in the mundane. Remain in the everyday. Remain right where you are and keep hiding from God. Remain distant from God so you don’t have to give up much. But, let me ask you this. What if God’s plan is to make you a king? What if He wants to use you to affect an entire nation of people? Whatever price He asks of you, I assure you, it is worth it. And, when the time comes, it won’t feel like a sacrifice. He will fill you with joy and He will anoint you to do whatever He sets before you. And, your path won’t look like our path. God has a different purpose for you. Trust Him that He knows more than we know. Trust Him that He wants the best for our lives. Come out from among the baggage and let him anoint you.
In Chapter 12, Samuel reaffirms Sauls appointment to king in a ceremony. He addresses the nation of Israel and reminds them of all the great things God has done for them. This is so important. We can’t forget what God has done. We must continue to talk about the miracles and celebrate the great things He’s done for us. We can’t forget. Samuel follows the reminder with this warning in Chapter 12, verses 14 -16,
“If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king. Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.”
So, God reminds us that if we follow Him and His will, it will be well. What do you think happens? If you’ve read the Old Testament, you know how fickle the nation of Israel was, so you can probably guess. In the very next Chapter, Saul messes it up! Things are going so great, but he’s got to just ruin it. Saul is preparing to battle the Philistines. They have gathered a huge army and this is going to be a major battle. Samuel tells Saul to wait for him so they can sacrifice to God before the battle. Saul waits seven days, and then he gets tired of waiting. So, what does he do???? He takes matters into his own hands. He stops listening to the Holy Spirit and he disobeys. He performs the sacrifice himself. Oh my. How dumb, right? Uh….let him who is without sin cast the first stone. How many times have I done this? I couldn’t possibly count. Thank God that he is so patient with us.
But, when I read this verse yesterday, I heard the Holy Spirit loud and clear. “Kristy, wait. Wait on me. Don’t take matters into your own hands. I’ve done everything else. I’m going to do this, too. Wait.” So, I’m waiting. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life and I’ve learned so many lessons. I’m pleading with the Lord right now to keep me from myself. To keep me from pride that would rise up and make me think I can figure all of this out. To keep me from panic that would cause me to make mistakes. And, He is. But, I have to stay before Him. I have to stay in His Word everyday. He’s using this blog to help me do that. It is medicine to my soul to write these blogs. He is speaking to me, then speaking through me. Isn’t that just so amazing? Every time one of you write me and tell me what God is doing in your life, it reminds me that God has a greater purpose I can not understand. So, it gives me strength today to wait.
In Chapter 13, Samuel says words to Saul that I never want to hear.
“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, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.'”
Wow. How much would that hurt? I never want to disappoint God, but Saul had to be crushed to realize that he had such an opportunity to impact the world, but he threw it away over one bad decision. I don’t believe this means that God can’t forgive our mistakes. I think this is a matter of the heart. God knew Saul’s heart. Saul was not a man after God’s own heart. And, that’s what God desired. So, He found what he wanted. He found David. I’m praying today for God to make me a woman after His own heart. I’ve prayed that prayer since I was a little girl. I’ve always had a deep love for the Lord, and now I can see how that love is sustaining me. He truly has given me a new heart and created in me a deep desire to love him, serve Him and know Him. I am definitely getting to know Him right now. And, the most beautiful thing about the whole thing, is that He is giving me joy to do this task. Amen. Thank you, Jesus.
Let God make you into a David today. Don’t be a Saul. Whatever it takes, it will be worth it. Embrace what God wants to do in your life and “come out from the stuff.”