THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
CHOSEN BY GOD
January 17, 2012
Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
We all have been called and chosen by God to be His instrument
for some purpose. On our response depends how God’s
will is done for the life of the world.
at today’s reading, we see a number of aspects that
keep us from responding to God’s call.
First is living in the past. God said to Samuel, “How
long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king
of Israel?” (1 Sm 16:1a). Long after God has moved on,
we are still stuck in the past. This could be manifest in
glory days and unable to handle challenging times that have
in effect “changed the game.”
a wound inflicted by a brother and unable to accept that
person as a needed co-worker.
comfortable in the way we have been doing things, and unable
to appreciate new ways, especially radical “out-of-the-box”
Second is fear. Samuel answered God, “How can I go?
Saul will hear of it and kill me.” (1 Sm 16:2). We can
be paralyzed by fear of what we already project to happen.
“When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came
trembling to meet him and inquired, ‘Is your visit peaceful,
O seer?’” (1 Sm 16:4b). We can be paralyzed by
fear of the unknown.
Looking at all the human reasons why something cannot be
done, rather than looking at how God seems to be acting
in a particular situation. Remember: our ways and our thoughts
are not God’s ways and thoughts.
afraid of how responding to God might affect our personal
situation, such as finances, position, etc. Remember: we
are called to deny selves and give our all, to the point
of self-sacrificial giving of our very lives. At the same
time, God always provides.
protective of what we already have or built up through the
years, which might be “threatened” by new ways.
Remember: God makes all things new, and our part is to empty
ourselves so God can fill us with whatever He wants.
Third is looking at the superficial and missing the essential.
Samuel “looked at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the
Lord’s anointed is here before him.’ But the Lord
said to Samuel: ‘Do not judge from his appearance or
from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as
man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but
the Lord looks into the heart.’” (1 Sm 16:6-7).
Having as criteria for leadership such things as lofty stature,
handsome appearance, facility in speech, social status,
financial standing, and the like.
living in the past or fear to dictate one’s choices
rather than discerning God’s will (for a new direction)
with an open mind and a pure heart.
tragedy of looking to one’s own desires rather than
what will please God, which often requires personal sacrifices
and dying to self.
How should we respond to God, who calls us, chooses us, and
sends us forth to do His will? “Samuel did as the Lord
had commanded him.” (1 Sm 16:4a). What do we do? We
obey! We do not look to our personal preferences, our comfort
zones, or own human vision for the future. We do not allow
fear or uncertainty or potential radical overturning of our
lives to hinder us. We do not cling to the past but look expectantly,
and hopefully excitedly, to the future.
of course the big question is, what does God want of us? What
is He telling us to do? That is where true discernment comes
in, and that is not an easy thing. But even in discernment,
the very aspects spoken of above are what would form the right
foundation for being able to hear God clearly.
we begin to hear God clearly (discernment is a continuing
process), we present ourselves before God. “Jesse sent
and had the young man brought to them.” (1 Sm 16:12a).
We do not remain in our own world, living in the past or being
fearful. Rather, we open ourselves up to what God wants to
do. We stand in His presence, ready to accept whatever He
then happens when we do what God wants done? I just love how
the Bible describes the anointing of David.
Lord said, ‘There--anoint him, for this is he!’”
(1 Sm 16:12c). I look at a picture of God excited (forgive
my picturing God in human terms). Remember: God has His eternal
plan, and you are part of it! God wants to implement His plan,
but patiently waits on us to see it, to accept it, and to
present ourselves ready to implement it. God is excited when
now we are there before Him, awaiting our marching orders.
Now our destiny can be fulfilled. Now we can be the persons
God wants us to be. Now God can accomplish His will.
is more. When Samuel anointed David with oil, “the spirit
of the Lord rushed upon David.” (1 Sm 16:13). There
was the Holy Spirit too, eagerly awaiting the instrument that
He would use according to God’s purpose. When the instrument
was there, the Holy Spirit did not just come in, He rushed
in! I see (once again forgive me for picturing God through
human eyes) the jockeys on their steeds awaiting the gun to
rush off and begin the race. Even more mundane (forgive me),
I see the shoppers awaiting the opening of Macy’s store
for the annual big sale, and rushing in like madmen. When
we present ourselves before God ready to do His will, the
Spirit immediately rushes in and fills us.
me one more vision. God waits patiently. So do the angels
and saints in heaven with Him. They know what God wants to
do. They themselves have proven to be good and faithful servants.
Now they await with bated breath. When we give our yes, they
whoop it up and dance for joy with abandon. This is what happened
when Mary gave her yes. It will happen for us too.
Destined by God. Chosen by God. Empowered by God.
else are we waiting for? God says to us, “be on your
way” (1 Sm 16:1c).
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