"But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding."
Job 32:8

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Season of Waiting

As one pastor once said "I would make my sermons shorter, but once I start I'm too lazy to stop." Well, today I want to give the second half of the message that I gave last week because in my original message on social prejudices, I had included two other biblical figures, but once I got writing, I realised there was no way I would be able to add in what I wanted to say without skimming over the important stuff but still keeping the message short. And even now, as I proofread this, I realise that trying to add in both intended biblical characters would have either made the message too shallow or too long. Hence, we continue, except with a slightly different focus.

You see, while we looked at God's lack of concern for social prejudices last week, my original focus had been on the 'age' aspect of that and how people are judged based on age. This explains my initial focus on Elihu. However, I still felt led to broaden it because Scripture is not just about how God goes beyond age but how He goes beyond physical limitation, social class and gender.

And so, bear with me if this message seems too youth-centred at the beginning (which it should be or else the blog's purpose is void).

So today, I want to look at a figure from Scripture who, though God had big plans in store for him, it wasn't until he was around 30 before the anointing of his youth took effect.

So who am I talking about? David, of course.

In 1 Samuel 16, we have Samuel who has come to anoint the new king of Israel who would succeed Saul.

1 Samuel 16:12b-13a it reads, "Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David."

So David had this anointing. He was told he would become king with his family as his wtiness. But remember, this anointing took place when David was a youth. And yet, think about it, when he finally became king as recorded in 2 Samuel 2, what had happened?

David remained a shepherd until called into Saul's service. 
David had killed Goliath - 1 Samuel 17
David got married - 1 Samuel 18
Saul attempted to kill David out of jealousy - 1 Samuel 19
Saul's men chase David throughout Israel - 1 Samuel 21-23

And the list goes on...

Seriously, David did a bucket load of things, things that we don't usually get around to doing in our late teens and early twenties (I don't see any Goliaths around here... just saying). And even then, before he went out to kill Goliath, what was he doing? He was shepherding the sheep, while killing bears and lions as was his duty as a shepherd. 

If I had that sort of anointing and had to wait that long to receive it, I would have become mighty impatient. And then, added onto that, just imagine being on the verge of death numerous times as the very king you have been prophesied to succeed is the very one who is trying to kill you out of jealousy and fear. 

Now, though not in 1 or 2 Samuel, we have the sentiments David felt during these different times in his life. Listen to David's conclusion in his plea to God found in Psalm 27.

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV reads, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."

This very man who was being persecuted, and crying out to God to be rescued from the hands of his oppressors, reached the simple conclusion of: be strong, take heart and wait. 

Why? Because regardless of the circumstances, His plan is good. And now the coming verse becomes painstakingly obvious. 

 In Jeremiah 29:11-14, we find God speaking to the exiled Israelites where God declares His promise that His plan is known and that His plan is good and for those who cry out to Him, He will be found.

And so in Jeremiah 29:11, we have, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

This was a promise given to the exiled people of God. And if His plan for His people is good, does that not also mean that His plan for David was also good? Would it not explain the conclusion he found in Psalm 27? 

That regardless of whatever the circumstances, God would provide and fulfill His good and glorious plan. 

And in Scripture, we read about how God has provided His children with gifts, about the Great Commission that He commands His children to take part in, that whatever is done in His Spirit will not fail and so many other promises and commands He has laid before us as His bride. 

And so we know and believe that God has a plan and a mission He wants each and everyone of His children to fulfill. 

But like David, sometimes God will place us in seasons of waiting. Whether we be young or old, or whatever the circumstances, sometimes God simply commands us to wait. 

And we know, we just know that He has a plan and we're anxious for it to be fulfilled, but God, in His abundant wisdom, knows that we need it. Whether He is refining us as Christians, or He is waiting for His pefect timing, He knows we need it and we can be certain He will use it for His glory. 

So be strong, take heart and wait in the LORD. 

God bless you all.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 NIV

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