Have you missed God’s calling?

When God has a job to get done, does He call on you?

God desires to do things in the church and amongst the lost. He is always about pruning the branches of the Vine and about saving the lost.

God has chosen to accomplish His will through men – men that He looks for and selects.

Here is a question to ask yourself – if God wanted to do something in your locality today, would God ask you to do it for Him?

Do you have a concern for the Father’s house?

Do you think God would ask something of you if you didn’t have a concern for His house?

Do you have a concern for your Father’s house?

Most people, even among believers are usually just concerned about their own house. If their house looks good and is functioning well and their front and back yards are neat and well kept they are satisfied.

However, the sons of God are concerned about God’s house.

As followers of Jesus, we would do well to note, and then follow, the extreme concern that Jesus had for His Father’s house. Consider Lk 2:49.

Lk 2:49 And He said to them, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?"

Jesus wanted to be where His Father was.

Further, Jesus wanted to be involved in what His Father was doing. We see that from Jn 5:17.

Jn 5:17 17 But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working."

Have you ever seen a teenage son sitting down and watching TV or playing a video game while his father was mowing the lawn and cleaning the yard? Jesus was not like that. Jesus realized that His Father was working, and as a Son, He wanted to be about His Father’s business.

Even further, Jesus wanted to do what His Father was doing in the way that His Father wanted Him to do it. He waited until He saw His Father doing something, and then waited until the Father showed Him how to do it, and then He did it. Jn 5:19-20 tells us so.

Jn 5:19-20 19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.

Jesus wanted to be like the Father, and so He wanted to know the mind of the Father. That is something we too need to strive for. After all, eternal life is to know God (Jn 17:3).

It is very useful to know God and to think like God. It is very useful because we can then ensure that we are always on God’s side. Therefore, we must get into the habit of putting ourselves in God’s position and asking, "What would God do in a situation like this?"

1 Cor 2:15-16 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

Can you say that you have the mind of Christ? We cannot honestly say such a thing unless we have the same concern that Jesus had about His Father’s house.

What is God doing in this generation?

In every generation, God is doing something.

To do it, God calls and uses a man. In David’s generation, David was the man God choose. Others recognized this and joined with David, and their names were also written in the Bible.

Ac 13:36 "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay;"

When God wants to do something great He needs a great man.

The question that you need to ask yourself is this: what is God doing in this generation and where is He doing it?

Are you a part of what God is doing in your generation?

The next question to ask is this: am I a part of what God is doing in this generation? If not, why not? Why am I not a major part of it?

Shouldn’t you and I feel terrible if God is doing something in your generation and you are not a part of it?

Life is going by, and it is going by quickly. Days, weeks, months, and years are passing. Ask yourself this: from God’s perspective, what has changed in your life in those passing years? Is it just the size of your bank account, and the size of your home, and the size of your family?

At the end of your life, what is your legacy going to be? You must think about that often. One of Satan’s goals is to get you to not think about that. He will try to distract you with many things to ensure that you don’t think about that. But you must think about that!

How sad will it be for you if you live and die and there was little of eternal value that came from you during your life on earth!

God saw David’s earnest concern to build a house of God, and as a result God gave David a piece of the action by letting His Son come from the descendants of David!

In the same way, God will see your earnest concern to build His kingdom and give you a piece of the action.

The choices that God had to make and how He made them

In this article I would like to walk you through some of the people God chose and why He chose them. This will help you get insight into how God selects His men and women. Then, you can position yourself to get some of the action too.

After man sinned, to execute His plan to bring salvation to mankind, there were several choices that God had to make: God had to choose the nation through which the Savior would come. He had to choose the person to give the nation its laws. He had to choose the king who would give royal lineage to His Son. He had to choose the prophet to anoint the king. He had to choose the person who would prepare the people for the coming of His Son. He had to choose the woman to be the mother of His Son. He had to choose the person who would give the gospel to the Gentiles. He had to choose who would be among the authors of the New Testament.

Job

God chose Job when He wanted to showcase man to Satan. Satan must have been constantly accusing people before God, and God must have had to agree with Satan on just about everything. It would have greatly delighted God to point Job out to Satan.

Here is what God had to say about Job:

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Job 1:8 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."

Job 1:20-21 20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." 22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Job 2:3 3 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause."

Job 2:9-10 9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" 10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

God selected Job because he was righteous and blameless, fearing God and turning from evil. Further, Job loved God more than his family, his money, and his own health.

What does it mean to be upright and blameless?

An upright person is one who wants to do the right thing every time.

A blameless person is one who is without blame anymore. Such a person may have deserved blame at one point, but took steps to set right every wrong thing and thus became blameless.

The three places to shine are: home, work and church.

Do you take advantage of others if you can?

Do you speak evil of others if you don’t like them or if they did something against you?

If someone slighted you at work how do you deal with it?

God watches us in everything. He sees what we do and why we do it, and if He sees that we are upright and blameless He takes great pleasure in pointing us out to Satan.

Noah

God chose Noah to continue the line of mankind when He decided to blot out man from the earth.

God chose Noah because, amidst all the others, Noah was a righteous and blameless man in his time. That is, if Noah knew something to be right then he set himself to do it, and if he did something wrong then he set it right (thus removing blame).

Gen 6:8-9 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

To be selected by God you have to find favor in His eyes. You can find favor in God’s eyes by being righteous and blameless.

Noah must have used his own money to build the ark. God did not magically make the ark appear in front of Noah. Noah spent all the money he needed to, but then afterwards the whole earth belonged to him.

The kinds of people that God chooses to fulfill His plan are those who are willing to spend their own money to do God’s work.

Abraham

God called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when He wanted to establish a genealogy for His Son and create a nation to represent Him on earth.

Gen 22:11-18 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 12 He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." 13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. 14 Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided." 15 Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Notice how the promise from God came after Abraham showed willingness to sacrifice his own son in obedience to God. God decided to make Abraham the path of the genealogy of Jesus because Abraham did not withhold his own son from God. That was why God chose him.

Further, Abraham believed God when God made several promises to him, and God attributed it to him as righteousness. So He was an upright man. We also see this from how he dealt with the king of Sodom and with Lot.

God chose Abraham because of his faith.

After God promised to make Abraham rich Abraham did not want those riches to come from another man like the king of Sodom.

Gen 14:21-23 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself." 22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, 'I have made Abram rich.'

How did Abraham deal with Lot when there was an argument over resources? When the servants of Abraham and Lot had a conflict over wells Abraham gave Lot the first choice of land even though Abraham was older and God had called Abraham and not Lot.

Also, seeing Lot’s end we see that Lot made a mistake going with Abraham even though God did not call Lot. The lesson we learn from Lot is this: if God has called someone else into some ministry but not you then you should not tag along too.

Moses

God called Moses when He wanted to declare Himself to the Jews.

Now that God settled that His people would be Abraham’s seed, He let time pass until they became a sufficiently large multitude that they could be called a nation. It then became time for Him to introduce Himself to this nation. He needed to show them that He is able to care for them. So He let them be enslaved by the Egyptians and His plan was to deliver them through mighty acts of power. At that point He needed a man through whom he would exhibit His power. However, this man had to be very humble so that when God’s power flowed through him he would not become proud and think that it was of himself.

God chose Moses because of his humility.

But Moses was not initially humble. So God had to break him. He did this by making him work for his father-in-law for 40 years. At the end of it, Moses was so broken that he was not willing to go when God called him. Further, he was so used to taking orders from his father-in-law that even after he delivered the Jews and his father-in-law came to meet him he took his father-in-law’s advice (Ex 18:24). But then he quickly sent his father-in-law away (Ex 18:27).

Ex 3:2-4 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up." 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."

God called Moses by creating an unusual sight that prompted Moses to look.

Ex 18:24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

Ex 18:27 Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.

Moses was the humblest man of his time, and he was willing to do things God’s way. That’s why God chose him.

Num 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)

As a humble man Moses had no opinion of his own when building the tabernacle and ark but just did things God’s way even though he was trained in building pyramids for the kings of Egypt.

Samuel

God called Samuel when He wanted to establish a royal lineage for His Son.

1 Sam 3:10-11 10 Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." 11 The LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle."

The story of how Samuel got called is interesting. God put a block on Hannah. When God did not find anyone He engineered the situation so that there would be someone.

God was looking for a man who would speak His word to the people without fear.

Samuel was willing to speak God’s word even if it was not going to be a popular word. For example, see what Samuel had to say to Eli.

1 Sam 2:35 35 'But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.’

It was because Samuel was willing to do according to what was in God’s heart and soul that he was chosen.

David

God called David to be the royal genealogy for the Messiah.

Ac 13:36 "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay;"

How did David end up serving the purpose of God in his own generation? Why wasn’t it someone else?

1 Sam 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

After Saul was rejected as king, God told Samuel to go to David’s father, Jesse’s house, for He had selected one of Jesse’s sons as king. God selected David because he had a heart after God’s own heart. That is, God called David because David wanted to glorify God’s Name.

You could see this concern come out when David saw Goliath taunting the people of God.

1 Sam 17:26 26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?"

Immediately after David was selected God wanted to introduce him to the king’s palace. How did He do that?

1 Sam 16:18 Then one of the young men said, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him."

David was the youngest of eight sons. And he was asked to tend to the sheep. What did he do during those hours of spare time? He did not complain that it was boring or unfair. Instead, he used that time to perfect his slingshot technique and wrote psalms and perfected his playing on the harp and learnt to conquer his fear by fighting the lion and the bear. God used all of these, and it was by these things that God opened a way for him to become king.

Have you learnt to make the best use of your time even if something is boring?

God didn’t just choose David as king. He also chose David to be the person through whom Jesus would be born. That was an even greater honor.

Why did God choose David for that? It was because David had a concern for God’s kingdom.

1 Chr 17:9-15 9 "I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly, 10 even from the day that I commanded judges {to be} over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the LORD will build a house for you. 11 When your days are fulfilled that you must go {to be} with your fathers, that I will set up {one of} your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever." 15 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

No wonder then that God called him a man after His own heart and called David to be king and the royal lineage for His Son.

Mary

Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.

Lk 1:26-30 26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

Mary was chosen because she found favor with God.

Lk 1:38 38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Mary found favor with God because she was a bond slave of the Lord. That is, she had no conditions on God; she was willing to do whatever God asked of her, no matter how much it inconvenienced her. Give birth in a manger? No problem. Let people think that you were a loose woman because you got pregnant before getting married? No problem. Let your Son be crucified like a common robber before your face even though He was totally righteous? No problem. God needed a bond slave and He found one in Mary.

Lk 1:39 39 Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 "And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 "For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."

Even after she was told of her esteemed status Mary did not become proud. She didn’t think that Elizabeth should come and see her, but she went to see Elizabeth.

Lk 1:46-55 46 And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. 50 AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. 51 He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. 53 HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed. 54 He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever."

God had to choose a woman who was humble, and who would remain humble even after she knew what God had chosen her for.

Paul

God called Paul when He wanted to take the gospel to the Gentiles.

Ac 26:14-18 14 "And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’"

Paul was chosen because of his zeal and love for the truth and fearlessness.

Phil 3:7,8 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Paul loved the truth so much that he was willing to oppose Peter in public.

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews ?

God was looking for a person with intelligence and humility – someone who could understand a bit of what God was up to and then explain it to others.

To show Paul how blind he was to the truth God took away Paul’s eyesight and only gave it back to him after he admitted that his theology was completely wrong.

You?

As you can see, when God wanted to do something in a generation He sought for a man through whom He could do it.

God is doing something today, and He is calling people to do it. Is He calling you? Is He doing things through you?

If you had a close friend and he needed something done and he asked help from a bunch of people but not you, wouldn’t you be puzzled? Why then should you not be puzzled if God is not doing anything through you?

You might ask, "Does the above statement apply to everyone in God’s kingdom, or just for a select few?"

I think it applies to almost all His children, if not all His children. God wants us to bear much fruit, and He prunes us so that we may bear more fruit? Notice the word ‘every’ in Jn 15:1-8.

Jn 15:1-8 1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples."

There is a lot that can be taken from this passage. Here are some the things I’ve gleaned:

  • You can’t bear fruit unless you abide in Him.
  • If you abide in Christ, and He in you, then you bear much fruit.
  • Those who don’t abide in Christ are going to Hell.
  • Those who do abide in Christ have their prayers answered.
  • If you are not bearing fruit, you have to ask if you really abide in Him.

So the ball is in your court. You have to prove yourself worthy of being called. If God doesn’t call you it is not because God wasn’t interested in using you, but it is because God didn’t find you worthy enough to entrust anything of eternal value to you.

Don’t miss the calling

God may have great plans for us, but we can miss out on His plans. We’ll only find out on the Day of Judgment how much we missed. On that day, there will be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth and regret.

If we keep that thought before us often hopefully we will be inspired to do something about it now while we still can and reduce our anguish on that day.

Days come and go so fast, and before we know it our life is done and we are about to meet our Maker. If we watch too much TV instead of redeeming the time we will have only ourselves to blame.

Esau missed it

Esau loved food more than his birthright. The genealogy of the Messiah would have been through him. But he sold that privilege to Jacob for a single meal.

Consider Heb 12:15-16.

Heb 12:15-16 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

The passage says that Esau sold his birthright, indicating that it originally belonged to him. So God had called Esau, but he missed the calling! He came short of the grace of God!

Once he gave it away he could not get it back even though he sought for it with tears.

This is something that we should never forget.

We laugh at atheists because they believe that there is no God (i.e. they are godless) in spite of the overwhelming evidence of the existence of God. It might surprise us to know that God calls us godless (just like he called Esau godless) when we act as if there is no god and sell our birthright or calling for temporary pleasure.

For us, it may not be a meal but a TV program or a beautiful woman or handsome man or an interesting hobby.

Eli missed it

Eli led Israel for 40 years (1 Sam 4:18). He loved his sons more than righteousness.

Eli’s sons did not have respect for God.

1 Sam 2:12 12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD.

1 Sam 2:12 is interesting because it tells us how God evaluates people. God does not evaluate people based on their looks or capabilities but on how much they respect Him. He considers as worthless those that don’t respect Him.

As we grow in maturity we begin to evaluate ourselves and others in the same way that God does.

1 Sam 2:17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD.

These sons of Eli were greedy. They took meat from people before they were ready to give it to them (1 Sam 2:13-17) – just like some pastors today who force people to tithe even thought they don’t want to. They did not want to take the meat in the way that God wanted them to take the meat.

God considered this sin very great.

Even today, when church leaders force people to give money to their church or ministry God considers their sin very great too.

Now consider the way Eli deals with his sons in 1 Sam 2:22-25.

1 Sam 2:22-25 22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 23 He said to them, "Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? 24 "No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the LORD'S people circulating. 25 "If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?"

When Eli heard of the things that his sons were doing he reprimanded them. That was a good first step. But he just stopped there. He did not take them out of service when they didn’t listen to his reprimand. God did not like that and dealt with Eli on account of his sons.

1 Sam 2:29-30 29 "‘Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever’; but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me – for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.’"

Samuel’s ministry was actually something that God had initially given to the house of Eli. But because Eli’s sons didn’t respect the Lord, and Eli did not stop them from serving with such an attitude God took away that ministry from them and gave it to Samuel.

When you are a leader in the church you cannot have any favorites. Here we see how important it is to not be too attached to our children. If they are being disrespectful to God in the church we need to stop them from serving in the church. We cannot allow God to look bad before the people just so that our children are not embarrassed before the church.

As a result, God judged Eli’s house forever and gave the ministry to Samuel.

1 Sam 3:13-14 13 "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."

Even though Eli spoke to his sons about their behavior God did not consider it sufficient. In God’s eyes, Eli’s conversation with his sons was not a rebuke. God expected sterner action.

It was in the time of Solomon that God’s word concerning the house of Eli was finally fulfilled.

1 Ki 2:27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood of the LORD, fulfilling the word the LORD had spoken at Shiloh about the house of Eli.

So we see that Eli had the calling to lead Israel into initiating the royal lineage for God’s Son but he missed it because he was more concerned about how his sons looked before the people than how God looked before the people.

What about you? If you are a church leader and are now old and have grown up children, do you give your children a ministry in your church so that your legacy in the church is preserved even though they are less fit for that ministry than others?

King Saul missed it

God chose Saul to be the king of Israel. His descendants could have been on the throne of Israel forever, and the Messiah could have been a descendant of Saul.

But King Saul missed his calling. He missed it because he loved to please people more than to please God.

Here is what happened: God told Saul to utterly destroy everything of the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:3).

1 Sam 15:3 "‘Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’"

Saul and the people destroyed all the Amalekites except for Agag their king, and destroyed all their belongings except for the best stuff. Some people saw the choice spoil and didn’t want to destroy it but to sacrifice it to God. And Saul didn’t want to have conflict with them. For that, Saul was rejected.

1 Sam 15:21-23 21 "But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal." 22 Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king." Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice."

Saul started out as a humble man, but after he got a taste of power he became interested in looking good in the eyes of the people. In 1 Sam 15:12 we read about how Saul built a monument to himself after defeating the Amalekites.

1 Sam 15:12 12 Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal."

This is like building a church in your name – it would be like me setting up the ‘Ross D’Souza Ministries’ after God has given me a ministry and I’ve used it successfully.

Many Christians have unfortunately not learnt from Saul and make the same mistake. God anoints them with power and they get a following and then they begin to want to look good and forget about keeping God first. Instead, their eye begins to follow the people. As a result, God rejects them, and they lose their anointing, but they don’t realize it because there is no prophet like Samuel to tell them that.

Many Christian leaders today are trying to build God’s kingdom in their own way. They are not obeying exactly as God commanded. The people deviate and the pastors don’t want to offend them. And these pastors do not realize that God has rejected them too!

You?

What about you?

Are you missing what God has planned for you because you love food too much? It is easy to forget that our Savior went hungry for forty days and nights so that He could conquer temptation and be an example to you and me.

Or may be that TV serial that you must watch every day is taking up the time that you could have spent studying God’s word. It is easy to forget that by coming down from heaven to spend 33 years on the earth our Savior missed out on all the wonderful entertainment in heaven.

Or perhaps you love your family too much that you cannot please God because you want to please them. It is easy to forget that our Savior agreed to let His Father to forsake Him so that He could pay the price for our sins.

Or perhaps you want to look good in the eyes of your friends and neighbors that you spend your money on things that make you look good, and you don’t want to offend anyone by taking a stand on important things. It is easy to forget that our Savior let Himself be born in a manger and die amongst thieves on a cross.

Or perhaps your love comfort too much and are too bothered to do things and go places if it is a bit inconvenient for you. It is easy to forget that our Savior became man and endured the cross for us.

There are many different things that can cause us to miss what God has planned for us, and Satan is trying his best to get us to miss our calling. For example, Satan would like to erase this message out of your mind soon after you read it. How careful we need to be to make sure that that does not happen. That is why Jesus reminded us to be on the alert and to watch and pray.

And He wasn’t talking about watching your favorite reality show and praying that your favorite contestant would win.

Many are called, few are chosen, fewer are faithful

If God evaluates you today, what would He say?

  • "This guy is too interested in making money. I can’t use him."
  • "This guy is too interested in pleasure / comfort. I can’t use him."
  • "This guy is too interested in looking good. I can’t use him."
  • "Well done, good and faithful servant."

David fulfilled God’s plan for him in his generation. The bar has been set. Let us be inspired to rise to the occasion.


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