Summary: Has God really called you? Then where is that separation? Where is your heart? What is it captivated by? Is the presence of the Holy Spirit evident in your life? This is not something you can determine or speak for yourself. This the church will testify.
Opening Illustration: A certain king needed a faithful servant and had to choose between two candidates for the office. He took both at fixed wages and told them to fill a basket with water from a nearby well, saying that he would come in the evening to inspect their work.
After dumping one or two buckets of water into the basket, one of the men said, "What is the good of doing this useless work? As soon as we pour the water in, it runs out the sides." The other answered, "But we have our wages, haven’t we? The use is the master’s business, not ours. He is a wise King, and must have his own purpose that we do not understand."
"I’m not going to do such fool’s work," replied the complainer. Throwing down his bucket, he went away.
The other man continued until he had drained the well. Looking down into it, he saw something shining at the bottom - it was a diamond ring. "Now I see the use of pouring water into the basket!" he exclaimed. "If the bucket had brought up the ring before the well was dry, it would have been filtered out in the basket. The King was looking for his diamond. Our work was not useless." The King found his most faithful servant! (Christian Cheong, SermonCentral)
Introduction: This dimension of the text rings out loudly in our cultural context. We rely for almost everything on our sight, but it often proves untrustworthy. Advertisers know that the quickest way to get their fingers into our wallets is through our eyes - by bombarding us with images of sexuality and excess. Do we really think that wearing the same watch as Heidi Klum or Tiger Woods will make us more attractive and successful? Apparently, since we buy the watches. And the cars, hamburgers, and light beer.
We also tend to pick our leaders - politicians, principals, coaches, celebrities, and so on - based on our society's norms about appearance. For the last century or more, the taller of the two final presidential candidates has almost always won. And lest we in the church think we have risen above this shallow horizon, take a look at the leaders of the church - pastors, elders, bishops, and college and seminary presidents - and ask yourself, "Are we really any different?"
Today people do crazy and some even stupid things to get noticed. In the eyes of his family and the world, David had made no impression and went unnoticed but in the eyes of God he was a man after God’s own heart. Everyone else went unnoticed before God, but not David. Who are you noticed by? God or man?
How does God choose the ones he calls?
1. Separation of the one He chooses (vs. 1-5)
Samuel asks all the sons of Jesse to be sanctified. This was not a one day thing but had to be carried out for a number of days. He knew that when an individual was chosen to serve God, he had to be sanctified so that he becomes eligible for God’s service which was followed by consecration.
Sanctification does not consist in retirement from our place in life, and the enunciation of our social duties. In every age it has been a snare with many to take up this line in the pursuit of holiness. Hundreds of hermits have buried themselves in some wilderness, and thousands of men and women have shut themselves up within the walls of monasteries and convents, under the vain idea that by so doing they would escape sin and become eminently holy. They have forgotten that no bolts and bars can keep out the devil, and that wherever we go we carry that root of all evil, our own hearts. To become a monk, or a nun, or to join a House of mercy, is not the high road to sanctification. True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties, but face and overcome them.
So many professing Christians today are not being sanctified because they are still trying to hold on to this world and the sinful ways of this world. It's God's will that we all be sanctified for Him, but He will not force us to serve Him. Just as He didn't force Adam and Eve to obey Him, He will not force us either. It is our free choice to be saved or lost. Unfortunately, many professing Christians will find that they have not been sanctified when Christ Jesus returns, because they weren't prepared to do God's will and obey Him.
Sanctification is a process by God of making a person separated for Him. Every day our selfish nature must be crucified, in a new commitment with the Lord. Disobedience and selfish acts will never be a part of sanctification, and they must be rejected daily in order to maintain a sanctified experience. As we walk with Jesus each day living in His Word and looking to do His will, He will sanctify us and set us apart. Are you letting God sanctify you? Our Master Himself said in His last prayer, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)