Summary: A story which seeks to challenge the believers to be prepared for huge temtations as they are being prepared for greater work in the Lord's Service
Have you met your Lion, Bear and uncircumcised Philistines?
This morning, I want to share with you a truth which, you may or may not have considered. This truth is that God has a special assignment for you and he has a purpose for your life. Oh that word Purpose; I heard that word somewhere before. Yes, Myles Munroe talks about purpose; also there is a book out there called the purpose driven life. Now Bishop comes talking about purpose. Well let’s get one thing straight; when I talk about purpose, I am talking about destiny: Your Destiny! Baker’s definition of destiny is broken down as follows: somebody's preordained future: the apparently predetermined and inevitable series of events that happen to somebody or something inner realizable purpose of life: the inner purpose of a life that can be discovered and realized; something that predetermines events: a force or agency that predetermines what will happen. Today, we all have a predetermined purpose, an end, a destiny, which we must fulfill. However, in accomplishing, or fulfilling our purpose our destiny, or our end, we must go through a process. I imagine you now are saying, there Bishop goes, talking about process. He must be reading a book, or he may have been listening to some tapes and now he comes with this process thing. Let me remind you this morning, that God the dictionary gives the same meaning for process, no matter who uses the word, the circumstances under which they are used or the topic which it is used to support. Today this word process comes to help me to answer the Question: Have you met your Lion, Bear and your uncircumcised Philistines? Process: yes the dictionary tells us process is a series of actions: a series of actions directed toward a specific aim series of natural occurrences: a series of natural occurrences that produce change or development. In other words, when God sets a purpose for any life, He also puts in place a series of steps that one must go through in order to qualify to assume that position. This suggests that we don’t just reach the mountain top without climbing it. We just don’t get to the palace without Pits and without Prisons. We don’t get to the Throne without setbacks; without fights; without being left out in a wilderness. All of the great Bible Characters, whom God placed in the Bible, they had some things in Common: one of these was they all had major setbacks; major disappointments; but also, they all had God’s abounding favour, his grace, his presence and his provision. Joseph for example, he had betrayal by his own Brothers; He had a Pitiful experience. In other words he was surrounded by a pit or he was fully in a Pit; He also had the experience of being all alone in a strange land; Joseph had the experience of being thrown in prison for being honest and sincere to his master. The normal thing is that we are thrown in jail for what we do wrong: but when God is taking us through a process, he uses the reverse to get us prepared for our final destiny. This morning we are not here to reflect on Joseph, but he occupies such position of imminence in the scripture, that we hardly can preach without making reference to him. And I submit this morning that God will have it no other way.
Today, I ask the question, again: have you met your lion; your bear; and your uncircumcised Philistine? By now you ought to see where God is taking us; by now, your sanctified imagination and your holy Ghost speculation should have tripped in and you realized that God has you set up for a blessing; that God has you here today to teach you how to withstand all the fiery darts of the enemy and having done all to stand yet, still to stand.
First we note that David was a shepherd boy. No one, not even his Father or his brothers held him in high esteem. They see him being nothing more than a shepherd boy watching the sheep in some lonely Wilderness. The attitude displayed towards David by his father and elder brothers was less than complimentary. However, God had other plans for David. ( 1Samuel 16:1) “ and the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehem: for I have provided me a King amongst his Sons”. We note that when Samuel came to the House of Jesse to anoint the future King on God’s instruction all of the brothers beginning from the Eldest to the least were brought before him. Apparently when he saw Eliab he said, surely the Lord anointed is before me. However the Lord said to Samuel; look not on his countenance, or the height of his stature, because I have refused him: For the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Jesse called his sons in this order after Eliab: Abinidab, Shammah, until all seven of the sons were called and bought before Samuel, but none of them was the one whom God would be wanted to be King. Nevertheless, Samuel knew that God wanted one of Jesses’ Sons to be king over Israel. Hence Samuel asked the question is there another Son, to which Jesse replied yes, there remained the youngest, and behold he kepeeth the sheep out in the wilderness. Certainly, Jesse thought this would not be the one. He does not have the profile to be King. He is mediocre, slow in speech, and perhaps feeble in mind. Obviously, this one cannot be King. But it does not matter what Jesse or the other brothers thought; God had other thoughts for David. Hence the prophet asked Jesse to bring David to him. I believe they sent for David with the instruction to clean him up a bit and ask the servant to prep him a bit on his local knowledge: maybe the names of some capital cities and what was the name of the King etc, before they bought him. The bible describes David as being ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. Upon seeing David, the Lord said to Samuel Arise, anoint him for this is the one. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. This morning, may I remind you that God does not need our ability or our education; or our good look, what God looks at is our heart. He expects us to be available to him and to present our bodies a living sacrifice; holy and acceptable to God which is our reasonable service whenever he requires.