What you see fit

1 Samuel 9:27-10:8

Before Saul was king, he was a boy looking for his father’s donkeys (1 Samuel 9:3). When he couldn’t find them, he visited the man of God, or the seer, for direction (1 Samuel 9:6). The seer was Samuel who gave Saul directions for something else.

Samuel anointed Saul and assured him of what he would find on his journey back. Someone already found the donkeys. Others will meet you along the way to offer provision and, perhaps, worship. Finally, you will join a group of frenzied prophets and the experience will change you.

Saul would no longer be just the boy looking for donkeys. He would be God’s anointed. Then, Samuel told Saul, “do whatever you see fit to do, for God is with you” (1 Samuel 10:7).

People pray all the time for God to be with them. “Lord, be with my family. Be with our church. Be with those who are hurting.”

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that’s a wasted prayer. What we mean, I assume, is that God would bless us. Bless my family. Bless my church. Bless those who are hurting.

That makes more sense, doesn’t it? If not, to pray for God to be with us suggests God isn’t. And that’s not the promise we have. Our faith tells us God is always with us. Emmanuel wasn’t merely a Christmas special. It’s the reality of our life with God.

Such a belief inspires confidence and boldness, when necessary. It also changes our perspectives and shapes and reshapes our ministry.

We also often pray, “God, tell me what to do.”

I know there are times we sense God telling us exactly what to do in a situation. But I’m not sure that’s the way it always is. God’s told you what is most important to do: love God and love neighbor.

The greater question, then, is, how does your next decision help you or keep you from doing what you know God has told all of us to do?

I’m sure Samuel assumed Saul would have paid attention to the signs he gave to him along his journey. So, do whatever you see fit is wise. It assumes you’ve learned how to make decisions and that you’re paying attention.

Get advice and counsel from other people you trust. Consider your options and weigh the possible outcomes. Pray. Pray. Pray!

After that, knowing God wants you to love God and love your neighbor, do what you see fit.

Stay blessed…john

Missing purpose

Psalm 148

There’s an old song that imagines if cartoons “got saved.” Fred and Wilma might sing, “Yabba-dabba-do-jah!” and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might proclaim, “Cowabunga-lo-jah, Dude!” Elmer Fudd, Yogi the bear and Kermit the frog make an appearance, too.

It’s a silly song that finishes with a point about praise. “Cartoons,” it says, “aren’t made for that. It’s our job. So, let’s sing, ‘Hallelujah!'”

No, it’s not a cartoon’s job to give praise to God. But it’s not just our job either. According to scripture all Creation sings praise to our God. Psalm 148 tells us the angels, the sun, the moon and all the shining stars give praise. Even the heavens join the chorus. Sea monsters of the deep have a voice of praise, too. There’s room for the elements to sing, the mountains and the hills, fruit trees and all cedars, too. And the animals know to sing praise as well. Even the “creeping things.”

Now that’s a praise band!

But it’s still not complete. Kings and all peoples must sing. Young women and men and their older counterparts are in the choir with the rest of Creation.

And why all the praise?

Psalm 148:5 makes it clear. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.

What God creates gives praise in return. Yes, that includes you, but that also gives Creation a “Hallelujah!” to sing. Another more modern song says it this way: All the earth will shout your praise! At Christmas, many of us are bound to sing the same line: And heaven and nature sing.

Creation seems to understand its purpose.

It’s our stubbornness that keeps us from joining in sometimes. Even though we know something more that God has done. God didn’t come to the world as an angel or a tree. God came to save us as one of us. That’s all the more reason we should give praise.

Instead, often, we’d rather yell, “Touchdown!” than, “Hallelujah!” We’d rather sing the first and last verse only so we can get out of our, supposed, praise early. Keep this thought in mind. It could be another activity or person, an attitude or a feeling. But whatever keeps you from praise, keeps you from your purpose.

Stay blessed…john