The Possibilities are Limitless: When you Are Turned Over To God.
Last week Senator Obama took the lead in total committed delegates as he moves toward the nomination for the democratic ticket. Presently Senator Obama has 1262 of the 2025 delegates while Senator Clinton has 1213 delegates. The race is close and it looks as if we will be in late April before a clear cut winner will have been decided. The election has taken a hold of our nation in a way that most of us can not recall during our adult life. I am not certain why this election has taken on such an electric feeling, the fact that we have two improbable candidates vying for the position, the fact that the race is so close, the fact that our nation is clamoring for change. Whatever the reason it is an exciting time. I want so much for you to embrace what is taking place on the national scene into your own personal life and see that despite the historic realities, despite the prohibitions that may have existed that the possibilities are limitless. You have an opportunity via the aide of the Holy Spirit to reach unprecedented levels in every area of your life. There is nothing impossible for you if you put your trust in God and allow God to direct your paths. We have spent the last few weeks looking at the life of Samuel as a prototype for our embracing a process for us operating in a mindset that leads to limitless possibilities. One of the things that I hope that you have come to embrace more than all others that one can never step into the vastness of possibilities without the aide of the Holy Spirit, without the move of God, without a relationship with the divine. We saw that in the beginning in Hannah’s prayer and each step process including last week we saw it in the process for Samuel. This week a new character is brought into the story line but in so doing we still see how God uses Samuel to empower him to a place in a position to experience the limitless possibilities that God has in store for him. Last week we saw a shift in the politics of the young nation of Israel as they sought God to move from a state of government under priestly leadership to a traditional monarchy ruled by a king. God grants their request and today we see the process in which God brings him to an unimaginable place which leads to limitless possibilities. I want to suggest that we too can reach limitless possibilities by trusting God in the same process.
1. He was anointed by the prophet: vs 1 The fist thing that happened for Saul was the anointing that was administered by Samuel. This is a significant juncture in the life of Saul and in the life of Samuel. Samuel litteraly turns the mantle of leadership over to Saul. It had to be a difficult day for him as much as it had to be a difficult day for Saul, the reason for the difficulty is quite different. For Samuel it was the giving up the leadership mantle and for Saul it was the assumption of the leadership. Samuel was surrendering his leadership mantle and that was the choosing of the people with the blessing of God. For Saul the adversity and complexity had to be in the very idea that God would choose him for such a position of authority. The anointing was a moment in the life of Saul where God was setting him aside for the purpose of operating in leadership. The anointing would separate him from all others that desired the position or hoped that God would choose them. The anointing was a lying on of hands if you will by God through the hand of the prophet. Saul though statuesque and respected among his peers did not posses anything extraordinary to be anointed in the place of leadership. It was the choice of God, it was God’s choosing that resulted in him being set aside for the purpose of leadership. For those of you that are considering your place in leadership you too must know that the anointing is not based on who you are but based on who God is. God chooses us despite our frailty, despite our brokenness, despite our background and anoints us to serve. You have to be willing to submit to the will and the way of God and in so doing God chooses to use us according to the good pleasure and will of the creator. One of the amazing things about the path that lead to leadership for Saul is that he left home looking for donkeys. Three donkeys were missing and Saul left home looking for them. He goes to Samuel, because he believers him to be a seer, one who is able to see the future, but he gets more than what he is seeking. Samuel assures him that the donkeys are found but God has a greater purpose for your life. That is what the holy spirit would have you know as well, that you may have come for one thing but God has other things for your life. You may have come looking for the one thing, but instead of what you are looking for it is about what God has appointed for your life.
2. God gives him a new heart: Not only is he anointed but transformation began for him. The text says that as Saul turned to leave Samuel, God gave him a new heart. God gave him a passion for the people that he as being anointed to lead. God gave him a passion for the place of leadership that God was placing him. God gave him a heart for the work that he was being called. Have you seen this commercial from career builders, where this lady is not happy in her present work setting, her boss seems insensitive, the work environment seems a bit stressful, the commercial shows her heart jumping out of her chest, walking up to the boss and quitting. The commercial ends with the challenge to follow your heart. This is what the calling of God is on all of our lives and opportunity to follow your heart. To do the thing that God has given your passion for, that thing that God has ordained for your life. When God gives you a heart for the hurt, the broken, the marginalized for life itself what a change that will take place for you, your family and everyone that knows you. God will give you a heart for things that will mature you into the person that God has ordained for you to be and in so doing it will change your life forever. There are persons right now operating in ministry in places that they never imagined for themselves, doing things they never thought they would find themselves doing, living out the vision that God has ordained for them all because God gave them a new passion for the calling he placed on and in their lives. When God gives you a new heart, it changes your perspective, it changes your priorities, it changes your life plans to the perspective, priorities, and plan of God.
3. The spirit of the Lord possessed him and turned him into a new person: A third thing that happened to Saul occurs as the prophet had told him. Samuel told Saul to go and there would be certain signs that he could look for to reassure him of what god was doing in his life. (1) You are going to meet two men that will tell you the donkeys are found and that your dad is worried about you. (2) You will meet three men going to Bethel to worship that will give you two loaves of bread. (3) Finally you will meet a band of prophets coming down from a shrine and they will be in a prophetic frenzy and you will join them in that frenzy. Those are the signs that are given to Saul to ensure him of the anointing that God has placed on his life. God changes his heart and then Samuel is filled with the spirit of God. What a worship experience that took place as the band of prophets left the shrine. When they left church and were on their way home worship broke out. When the formal worship experience had ended and they were on their way home the Holy Spirit got a hold of them and worship broke out. When Saul met them the Holy Spirit possessed him and he too joined them in what the scripture calls a prophetic frenzy. When the call in on your life, and God changes your heart you then are positioned for the Holy Spirit to empower you to do things that you never imagined. Keep in mind Saul left home looking for donkeys and now he is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. What a change that took place in his life, he is now positioned to live out limitless possibilities because of what God has done in his life. Listen to the action steps, there is an anointing by the prophet, there is a change of heart done by God and there is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Saul got it all to reach the fullness of possibilities for his life. When the anointing is right, when God changes your heart and when the Holy Spirit moves you are ready for the blessing.
Samuel told Saul after you have experienced all that I tell you and you know that I have anointed you, you know that God has changed you, you know that the holy spirit has empowered you go to Gilgal and wait for me to caome and to consecrate you as King of Israel. After you know all of these things then go and wait for the consecration. Isn’t that amazing you know God appointed you to do a work, you know that God has given you a heart to do a work, and you know that the Holy Spirit has empowered you to do a work. Yet when the time comes to consecrate him, Saul cannot be found. After the lot had fallen to him, with Samuel waiting for him Saul cannot be found. Samuel prays to the Lord and God revealed to Samuel that Saul was hiding in the baggage. Saul was so afraid, even with an anointing, even with a changed heart, even with the power of gthe holy Spirit he was still hiding in the baggage. There are some folk that is calling to do a great work but you got some baggage. Some are hiding in the baggage, you are hiding in your short comings, hiding in your mess ups, hiding in your failures, hiding in your past, hiding in your brokenness. God wants to bring you out of your hiding place.
Wrap Up: In Saul we see division of the monarchy and the priesthood but in Christ we see the restoration. Saul and Samuel shows the segregation while in Christ we see the restored office of kingship and priesthood. Jesus is our high priest while at the same time he is the King of Kings. Saul’s anointing came at the hand of the priest Samuel, while Jesus anointing came at his birth.