Today’s Reading:  Click Here  –  Psalm 86; 1 Samuel 9:27-10:8; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:16                                         (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)  

Today, I plan to look more closely at our 1 Samuel passage, bur first a quick glimpse of the other two.

Our 2nd Corinthians message today, is one of great importance. Paul is urging us to be aware and alert to being caught up ‘IN’ the ways of unbelievers that could possibly compromise our faith and divide our loyalties, but not to isolate from them completely, With our guard and awareness, we are to be active in their presence as witnesses for Christ Jesus. This bold passage also holds strong for marriages because a marriage of faith with unity in Christ Jesus is honored and blessed. Forthright passages, such as this one, instruct their importance by the force and weight they foster toward living in complete holiness.

Prayer. I remember early on in my Christian faith, actually telling God that I want to pray like THAT.  Like that of someone whose heart aligns with God and Christ lives within them. I prayed this over and over when I would hear a profound, almost poetic prayer, and think…’Yea, like that.’   When I read through Psalm passages whether it’s a Song of Solomon or a Prayer of David, many of the reminded of those early days trying to find the words of my heart to put them in prayer.  Time and time again, it’s as if I discover undeniable humbled relief through scripture, when I can’t seem to find my own words.  God, who knows my heart before I even speak, Psalms, like this one, are pure expressive bliss of my heart.

I soon realized there is no right or wrong way to pray or talk to God.  Matthew 6:9 says, ‘Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…’   I can do that. I know that prayer, and that alone is conversation with God.  Then, Matthew 6:7 says “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”  And I think, I can do this too. A heart to heart with God, my own heart, my own words. Besides, He already knows my heart and requests, my voice is pure music to His ears. So, I pray so often, it keeps my thoughts aligned with Him.

When we read 1Samuel scripture today, we witness how God’s call to power can be unfamiliar, perhaps even uncomfortable for any one of us, as it may have been for Saul. Who are we to judge God’s sovereign call of us or anyone else?  I imagine how Samuel may have felt, wondering what exactly God’s plan could be for such a mas as Saul, but yet he remained faithful and followed the instructions given to him.   

When we are called by God in any measure, we my experience a similar journey as that of Saul; First, there is a letting go of the past. Maybe it’s cleaning up unfinished business.  Maybe it’s letting go of old hurts. Whatever it is, once we let it go, we can more clearly look to the future and our new calling. Saul had a lot of past to face if he was going to be transformed and adhere to God’s call.

Next, the required and needed provisions are given to us.  Maybe it’s spiritual gifts. Maybe it’s people. Maybe it’s a willingness to learn and grow into the calling. I certainly felt God’s work early on in my faith walk through the people of my church, who soon became friends and mentors. It was and continues to be a willingness to learn and grow, as I am always a work in progress.  God rarely calls us to tasks that we are incapable of handling. We might not yet be fully equipped to manage it, but that all comes with time. We have within us what we need to follow God’s call — sometimes it just takes a little nurturing to bring those gifts to fullness.  I was called to many roles and tasks within the church early on, that I actually questioned my ability.  Someone shared a quote by Rick Yancey based on 13:21, ‘God does not call the equipped, He equips the called’, and I was being called.  What this meant for me was that He would see me through and that I needed to trust and call on Him through it all, especially when I did not feel suitable for such a time or task. There are more than a dozen scriptures to confirm this: (‘God Has Equipped Us’ )

Finally, like Saul, God’s calling is often unfamiliar and uncomfortable, especially when we are complacent in our ways.  Perhaps you are called to a role in Children’s ministry at the church or to lead a women’s bible study group.  It was so early on, but I knew God had plans for me, so I trusted Him, put on my big girl pants and jumped right in. I think that’s part of what makes it exciting!  Every time I’ve ever been challenged to learn, grow or do something outside my comfort zone, I have always come out on the other side better than when I first began and truly experienced God’s power and guidance through it all.  

What is God calling you to do?  

Talk to Him in prayer, to reveal His next plan for you.

What can you do to prepare?

Perhaps find some online Christian Ministry classes, or seek involvement in your church of things that interest you. Pay attention when others speak highly of your success or talents, those are a good pivotal point.

Is now the time?

Most likely, if you are even thinking about it.  No better time than the present as God will pave the way.

So, begin with saying “yes” to God’s calling. It most likely be the best thing you’ve ever done.

I know it was f or me, and it continues to be, because I know He is not done with me yet.

Here are a few songs for your spiritual growth and listening pleasure:

‘God Is Able’ by Equip Church International

‘I Will Folllow’ by Chris Tomlin

‘Live Like That’ by Sidewalk Prophets

‘Different’ by Micah Tyler

‘No Matter What’ by Ryan Stephenson    

PRAYER

Lord, I am grateful for your word that reminds me of whose I am, the life you have called me to and the warnings that could easily lead me down paths of destruction.  Thank you that you KNOW my heart and hear my prayers no matter what words I choose or not choose to use. My heart aligns with your Spirit, which fills me and guides me always. I am a humbled servant to do your will, because you promise to provide all that I need.  When I begin to feel uncertain and question my abilities, I will RESET my focus and steps toward you. Thank you for calling me to task to serve and honor you. For all I do, may it bring you glory always.  I pray this all, and so much more, in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

Kris