Summary: Making a difference.. with God!
BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE
INTRODUCTION: (Use Yoda - Great Warrior - video trailer - 27 seconds - optional)
You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of Star Wars, but if you are not “into” the Star Wars saga you may not know that the two-foot tall, 800+year old character you just saw is Yoda. Now, it’s true, Yoda can’t speak a straight forward English sentence. “Totally backward his sentences are.” But Yoda is special for he is a Jedi Knight, actually, a Master Jedi. Jedi Knights are the good guys in Star Wars. They possess special gifts: they are especially discerning, they guide, protect, help people and as you just saw, yield a pretty good lightsaber (a sort of laser sword) against the bad guys. They are obedient to and unified by The Force which serves, as creator George Lucas says, “As the spiritual foundation for the movie.” Lucas has actually told Time magazine said that one of his purposes for the Star Wars saga was to awaken and stimulate people’s thinking about God and what God’s really like.
Well, that’s why I wanted to use this clip and this introduction. To get us to think about what the Perfect Force, God, has offered to each of us if we will obey and be unified with Him. In fact, what God offers each of us makes what the force offers in Star Wars, pale in comparison. God, first of all, has provided us two of the most wonderful gifts ever - the forgiveness of sins and the free gift of eternal life. Every person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is journeying to Heaven, our ultimate destination. But that’s nots all. While on our journey God has given us special gifts in order to live meaningful lives. Jesus said, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."(Jn. 10:10 NLT) And as we continue in our series on David, the powerful message that I see in these verses that we are about to study, is that he recognized his gifts from God and was willing to use them even if it didn’t benefit him directly. By doing so David found God’s blessings and meaning for his life. David didn’t view his life as just "pie in the sky by and by" but he strove, like the Jedi Knights, to maximize his potential, in his case, so he could be used mightily by God.
And so we too are to be like that old familiar army commercial that says, "Be all that you can be," or as the new motto says, be “An Army of One,” that is, we’re to be making a difference as an effective servant for the Lord. Eph.2:10- "God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing." In other words we are saved by God’s unmerited favor, His grace, but in the meantime we are to do good works as a tribute to the force of God living in us. So, this morning using David as our example, let’s learn some gifts that God offers us in this life as well as look at how David used his gifts, his abilities and talents in service to God.
But, before we do that.. A brief side road. Vs:14 is troubling to some. Read it with me.. “Now the spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.” An evil spirit from the Lord? Does God send evil spirits to people? How do we answer that? According to most scholars the answer is in two parts. (1) This was Saul’s doing. Last week we saw that it was King Saul that pulled away from God with his pride and disobedience, God didn’t pull away from Saul. Saul chose to leave God and thus the Bible says that the Spirit of the Lord departed. Listen, God will not stay where He is not wanted. He will not force you to obey. This was Saul’s doing. (2) Most scholars agree that the author is not saying that God created an evil spirit and send it to Saul but rather that God allowed an evil spirit, (some translate “troubling” spirit) to come upon Saul. In the O.T. everything was attributed to God, or was under His providence so it was not uncommon to write that something was “from” God when really they were saying, “God allowed or permitted an evil or troubling spirit to torment him.” Most of the time they refer (write down) to passages like Job 1 where God allows Satan to attack Job. One other point here.. We’ll discover later that Saul was dabbling in the occult, in demon activity.. It may be that he has already started that. Whatever the case, God is not the author of evil nor does He send evil upon us. But he does allow to happen and Saul was “running on empty” not allowing God to be a part of his life so something else took God’s place.. something bad. I hope that helps.. Now, back to David and using our gifts for God.