Summary: Consider the will of God in every matter. Consider the consequences of every choice.
This is not a good title; I use it to jog our mind to think. Is this our orientation to life?
• We know God cares and therefore we live through life seeking God to provide what we want. He is key to a successful and comfortable life.
• The needs are real, and many, no doubt about that. God loves us and He is gracious enough to help us and bless us.
• But can this be our MINDSET towards life? We come to God only to ask for what we want.
This thought came to me when I was preparing for today’s sermon from 1 Sam 8.
Let’s read what Israel ask for - 1 Sam 8:1-9.
I saw TWO APPROACHES to life: One from Israel, the other from Samuel.
• Israel ask for what THEY want. They did not consult God, because they were not bother about God’s will.
• They do what they think is good, just like bringing the Ark into battle, thinking that that will work.
In the past, they had been turning to judges, priests and prophets, who in turn have to seek God and His will. They have gotten tired of this.
• They wanted a human king, just like the rest of the nations around them.
• Their mindset is, give us what we think is good. GIVE US WHAT WE WANT.
The SECOND approach to life that of Samuel’s. He is always seen seeking God and hearing from God. Right from the beginning, he was trained to LISTEN to God’s voice.
• Samuel is not too bothered by what the nations are doing. What really matters is what God is saying.
He seeks God and ask, “Is this what You want?” His mindset is, WE GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT.
We see here ISRAEL being driven basically by what they want, and SAMUEL being driven by what God wants.
• What drives you today? We will always find ourselves in situations where we are confronted with such a choice.
• Think carefully, the consequences of their choices are all written in Israel’s history.
What makes Israel’s demand so wrong is the reason they wanted a king. They say they want to be “like all the other nations.”
• That’s their reference point. I want a king because all the nations have them.
God is clearly not God’s will. Deut 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
• They are called to be distinct and different, and not to be the same as the rest of the nations.
But such argument is common. We hear it all the time. “I want this, because everyone is having it. Let’s do it this way, because everyone is doing it this way.”
• People copy what the world is doing. They don’t usually filter it nor ask why.
That’s the wrong reference point for Israel. It really doesn’t matter what the other nations are doing. It matters what God’s will is.
1. CONSIDER THE WILL OF GOD in Every Matter
Adopt Samuel’s approach to life. Seek God and understand His will.
• Don’t be too bothered by what the world says or is doing.
• For that matter, don’t be bothered by what the world says about you. I know some Christians are afraid of what other people might say about them. The truth is, it is none of their business; we just need to be assured of what God says about us.
The world can never be our reference point. Don’t copy for copying sake.
• Our nation has been successful, for the most part because our leaders did not simply copy what other countries are doing.
• They think through and fight hard for what they believe is good for our country.
Our reference point is God. Samuel demonstrates that in his life. He is always seeking God to understand His will.
• His immediate response to the elders’ demand is to PRAY (8:6).
• He said nothing to the people. He was displeased, but he said nothing until he checked in with God.
• Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The Christian life cannot be GIVE US WHAT WE WANT. You are my loving Father.
Rather we seek God’s will and GIVE GOD WHAT HE WANTS.
• We give Him glory, honour and praise. We give Him our wealth, time and life.
I’m disturbed recently, again, when I read of many Christians asking God for all kinds of things - for success, for good results, for healing, for protection… and many other personal (and sometimes petty) needs.