It’s not my job!

Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

1 Samuel 23: 1 (ESV) Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

It seems like every post lately has been about David running from Saul, and in some way that has been the prevailing theme of the last few chapters in 1st Samuel. I may have stated this before but it is worth saying again, “If it’s getting tedious for me having to write about it, I’m sure David and his men were even more frustrated having to live through it”.

This portion of scripture (verses 1-4) just stood out, why would the welfare of this town be so important to David? What was so special about Keilah that it would cause men that are running for their lives to risk going into battle with their enemy’s enemy?

Isn’t that the heart of a leader? Perhaps this is the reason David was called in from the fields by Samuel and anointed in the first place. While King Saul is pre-occupied with hunting down David, and David is concerned with the welfare of the inhabitants of Keilah. Shouldn’t that be where Saul’s focus should be?

Ask yourself 

  • Do I do the same thing? 
  • Do I get so sidetracked with personal stuff, anxieties, and concerns, that I am letting my everyday obligations suffer?
  • Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

I work for the Department of Transportation and every year we have performance reviews, and at these reviews  my job duties are broken down into percentages. 85% of the time I’m doing inspections 10% of the time I’m supposed to be doing office work and 5% of the time just says “other”  duties at the descretion of the Resident Maintenance Engineer

That means this… I can never say, “It’s not my job!”

Lord help us not to be easily sidetracked, Lord enable us to be your hands and feet even through the most trying situations, and finally Lord give us a heart, compassion and concern for your people despite our current trouble, trials & tribulations. Strengthen our hands for battle, when everything and everyone around us is saying, “It’s ok to relax.”

And help us to step up and fill in the gap when others drop the ball. 

That’s a whole lot of distress!

If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 

1 Samuel 22: 2 NKJV“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”

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Perhaps this is where they get the saying, misery loves company. Here is David running for his life running from a powerful crazed man who is bent on destroying him. It’s bad enough when you have trolls & haters, enemies with nothing else to do but make your life miserable. It’s even worse when you have powerful adversaries, and that’s what David had… a King with unlimited resources out to get him.
When I was 10 years old we left Chicago, Illinois and moved to San Bernardino, California near Seccombe Lake. There were plenty of kids around to play with, and one of our favorite games was Hide-and-go-Seek which we played in our neighborhood at night. 
Now that I think about it, it was just a bunch of knuckleheads trespassing on other people’s properties. To us there was nowhere sacred and nowhere off-limits when we played Hide-and-go-Seek. 
We would hide under houses, on roofs, in abandoned cars, in backyards, in trees and under parked cars. I once found this pink fluffy material stacked in a neighbors side porch that I dove into headfirst. The minutes hiding in the fluff seemed like hours, and when I heard, “All-lee All-lee in come free!” I knew the game was over, I didn’t get caught but I itched for a few days. I guess no one in my neighborhood thought that anyone was crazy enough to hide in that fluffy pink stuff. Before then I didn’t know what fiberglass insulation was. What kind of monster creates something that looks like cotton candy but itches like poison ivy??? 
I said that, to say this, when you find a place to hide there’s no way in the world you let other kids hide with you! Its a well known fact, it’s impossible to keep two kids quiet. You are bound to get caught. 
So I wonder what David was thinking, fleeing from King Saul was hard enough with a couple of loyal guys, but how in the world was he going to pull it off with 400 discontented, debt ridden and distressed men?
If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 
I didn’t think so. 

It’s a mystery the way that God works. We know that eventually this rag-tag bunch will produce men who; jump into pits with lions in the snow, stand alone in a field of beans and fight when others ran, one who would slay 800 men with a spear, three who broke into enemy territory just to fetch their leader a cup of water, others killed giants, ferocious animals and preformed other amazing acts of bravery. 

We don’t always get to choose who follows us, but we do choose who we will be as a leader. Seeing these men could have broke David, it could’ve caused him to quit to surrender and eventually to forfeit his life. But David chose to lead these men. 
There are men and women today looking for a leader. If and when they find you, what kind of leader will they find?
Will you be able to minister to their brokenness? Will you be able to look beyond their distress and dysfunction and direct them towards their destiny? Will you be the catalyst that reaches into their chaos and creates champions who preform greater feats than even your own?
That’s what David did. What will you do?
-John Rosado

Anointed

‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:10-13‬ ‭(NIV) “Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David…”‭

So we end the last chapter with Saul being rejected by the Lord, and this chapter starts with the Prophet Samuel once again looking for the person that’s going to lead God’s people as king.

 

There are some interesting things to look at in this chapter.

 

Saul is a young man head and shoulders above the rest. He was a fine specimen of a man. He’s tall and he looks the part. If we were to look up the features & qualities necessary to be king, Saul met the qualifications, he passed the eye test. 

David on the other hand was the little brother everyone forgot. No one bothered to even call him in from the fields for this special visit from the Man of God. He was fine looking, handsome, a good complexion and some versions say he had pretty eyes. Not a very kingly description to be sure.

Saul was out looking for his dads lost donkeys when he was chosen. David was tending and protecting his father’s sheep, tasked with their wellbeing.

It is curious to note later in the chapter, that David was also given the task of soothing Saul on the occasions when an evil spirit would torment him. David was also an armor bearer to the king. Much like Moses and Joseph; God had placed David exactly in the right place He needed him to be until the proper time of His choosing.

 

Most sermons based on this chapter are about how man looks at the outside and God looks at the heart. That point is obvious, but what stuck out to me this time are the contrasts. 

Is it possible that God was trying to make a point? 

This is what you get when you do the choosing! He (Saul) may have passed the EYE test, but he didn’t pass the HEART test. 

When you got Saul you got an impulsive, impatient, man-pleaser; a rebellious man who the Lord regretted ever choosing and whom the Lord rejected as king over Israel. 

God went so far as pulling His Spirit from the man! 

How much of a mess do you have to be to get to that place with a God whose very character is LONGSUFFERING and ABIDING in LOVE?

But if God is so displeased with Saul, why allow him to continue to lead for a period of time?

I believe this time was used to develop Davids character, and to refine him. 

How would we preform under the same circumstances? 

  • If we were David would we be able to play a tune that calmed the very man we were anointed to replace? 
  • If we were David would we be able to carry a shield and protect this mans back in difficult and dangerous situations? 
  • If we were David would we be able to sit still and calmly wait for God’s appointed time?

I can only speak for myself, but I would bet that the same holds true for you… I don’t think I would !

I tend to be impatient, I have a propensity for speaking my mind, I don’t think I could hold it together knowing the seat that Saul is occupying will shortly be mine…. Oh wretched man that I am!

But then again…

I am using the Scriptures to lead and guide me, and I am acknowledging my faults as a fallible man. I am NOT able! But if that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me, He can quicken this mortal body by His Spirit. So therefore I can do all things thru Christ which strengthens me! 

Oh Heavenly Father, once again thank you for your Word. It doesn’t return to you empty but it accomplishes that which you have purposed in your heart for it to accomplish….In me!!!! Cut away the filthiness of this flesh, soften the hardness in this heart. Empower and embolden me to walk out my Salvation with fear and trembling. Help me to serve others even those who seem like they are far from you. Give me the patience I need to wait on your perfect timing. And lastly… thank you for choosing me. -Love John

Heart Change

‭‭1 SAMUEL‬ ‭10:6-7‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you will prophesy with them, and you will be changed into another man. When these signs come to you, do for yourself whatever the situation requires, for God is with you.”
…So we left off with the Israelites asking the Man of God for a King. I had to combine my thoughts on Chapter 9 with Chapter 10. 
     We are introduced to Saul. A son of an affluent man, a young man who is described as tall, handsome and obedient. 
     This kid is on an errand for his pops. He is with a servant looking throughout the land for some lost donkeys. Doesn’t seem like anything really out of the ordinary. Saul and the servant search high and low and it seems like they have really run out of options, but the servant has an idea, “Let’s ask the prophet maybe he can let us know where these lost donkeys are.” 
     Little does Saul know that his life is about to be changed forever. The M.O.G. Not only tells him to stop looking for the donkeys, but he tells him he is about to be anointed king. 
     I have to be brutally honest, I have journaled this book before and each time I’ve skipped chapters 9-10, and I almost skipped it again, but if I apply the standard of 2nd Timothy 3:16 then there must be something for me here that I desperately need. 
      I know I’m biased. I know that because I have read the entire story that I have a prejudice toward Saul. It’s maybe not a 100 biased opinion, but there indeed a dislike for the guy. My Bible hero is David, and the way that I have read that Saul treats David has got me all salty towards him. I already know he is impulsive, disobedient and let’s a jealous rage overtake him. I already know that his failures cause him to be a “One and Done” monarch. 
     His blunders at leadership and loyalty. Not only costs him the realm, but it also denies him any chance of a successor from his blood line. 
So what can I learn? Ugh. 
      Young Saul was obedient, he also believed in the words that he was given. There was also a heart change before the gift was imparted. God literally changed his heart, perhaps this heart change gave him the boldness to join in with the prophets? 
      I really don’t know! All I know is that God gave this kid a shot. And he started off with the right heart, the right attitude and the right spirit
      Father, help me to understand your Word especially when my preconceived notions hinder and effect my ability to receive. In a sense I want to be like young Saul, I want to be able to move on just your Word without a doubt and without questions. Like young Saul, I also want this old hard heart changed especially if it means Your Spirit coming on me mightily and empowering me to use my gifting in a greater capacity. 
     Heavenly Father, I know time after time you are looking for men and women who are available to stand in the gap and rebuild the walls and not just any man or woman will do. 
     Father God, I don’t want just a great start, but I want to finish STRONG. -John

The lost Ark

1 SAMUEL‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “When the people (soldiers) came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, so that He may come among us and save us from the hand of our enemies.””
4000 men just had lost their lives in battle, and the people want answers. Their question, “Why did we suffer loss?” It’s understandable, no one has a spare 4000 fighting men laying around. I said it was understandable, but was it reasonable to assume that by taking the Ark of the Covenant from its place and bringing it onto the battleground things would automatically change? The last chapter spoke of the Word of the Lord being RARE. So what changed? Samuel was now a man hearing from God, a position previously held by the High Priest Eli, who was still in office, but on Gods short list for replacement. 
Perhaps the people assume now that Samuel is hearing from God, everything is fair game. We don’t read that they consulted with either Eli or Samuel, but somehow the Ark was taken into battle with the assumption that God approved, and would fight for them. The result? Epic FAIL, literally on a biblical scale. 30,002 men died, and they even lost the Ark to the Philistines. WOW, makes my boo-boos/ dumb ideas look like child’s play. 
Why do we ever question the love of God when his Book, doesn’t attempt to make His guys (people) look good? They act shamelessly and foolishly and seemingly at every turn do something more asinine than those before them, yet He still patiently Loves and Guides and Cares for them (us).
So how do I flesh this out? How do I take what I just read and apply it to my everyday life?
1. God isn’t a genie in a bottle. I can’t summon Him to my beck and call, and He doesn’t mind making me eat crow when I forget my place. I always used to watch WWE and my favorite wrestler was the Rock, he would always say, “Know your role and shut your mouth!” God has a way of getting people’s attention, and losing men and the Ark got theirs, and mine! How many times have I done exactly just that? In ministry… Too many times to even want to admit.

2. Don’t assume you know anything! I believe that Christians fail at this point over and over, they assume that just because God did such and such, or just because they read that it happened like ________ (fill in the blank) somehow He is obligated to do it again. Moses made that assumption (Speak to the rock, or strike the rock) and it cost him a chance of seeing the Promised Land. There are plenty of instances where Jesus didn’t repeat a miracle, I believe it’s because this very fact. We concentrate on the HOW instead of the WHO.

3. We get casual and familiar with things that are HOLY. The Ark of the Covenant was Gods literal Presence/Glory, the Priests had to be ceremonially cleansed to even enter into the place where it was. God was absent not powerless, He wasn’t speaking, but it was NOT because He didn’t have anything to say, but because the sons of the High Priest were a couple of Dirt Bags and the H.P. knew it and wouldn’t reprimand/correct them. I believe they lost reverence, and a holy fear for the things that are Holy. And it cost all of them their lives. 
I don’t know about you, but I have a long way to go, and it’s a good time to pray…
Father God, I thank you for your patience with me, I thank you for the call, the plan, the purpose and the anointing on my life. I pray for every reader as well, Father forgive us if we have treated the Holy with irreverence and casualness. Thank you for the scriptures and for your Spirit and His revelation as the Word comes alive to us, and as we put it to work in our lives. We don’t ever want to be like the men in this story, but forgive us for the times which we have been totally like them. Speak your servants are humbled and listening!

 – John

Out of tune

 1 Samuel 3: 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 
 Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.”  Now since the Word of the Lord was rare in those days, and since there was no open, frequent, or widespread vision/ revelation, Samuel did not realize who was doing the calling. Romans 10: 13 says, “So then, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells the Good News?” 

That begs for the question … How important is it for us to be… that voice, that teacher, that preacher? If the one who was consecrated to God could miss that call, and mistake it as a call from his mentor, how careful or sensitive must we be to the sound of His voice?
 Samuel needed someone who knew what was happening to tell him what to do when it happened again. Sometimes we get jealous to the fact that God is speaking to the younger generation. We may dismiss it as baby talk or babbling, but the fact was that Eli’s family trouble caused a break in communication. The man obviously wasn’t in tune to the complaints of the people against the sin and wrongdoing of his sons, nor was he receptive to restrain his sons. So God chose another Man of God to speak to, and go to Eli and Prophesy 8 judgments against him. No wonder God’s word was rare!
 Father God, I don’t ever want to get to the point in my life where I can’t hear your voice, or when you refuse to talk to me because of disobedience, rebellion & neglect. Show me the areas in my life that mess with my ability to keep tuned in on your frequency. May you always have someone you speak to, as one speaks with a friend. I want to be that man. Love You. John

The are already two “I’s” in ministry

Who is making your agenda?

1 Samuel 2:35 (NKJV) Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever. 
 If we look at this passage without trying to get too deep and wax theological what do we see in an instant? I see the recipe for God’s kind of priest. FAITHFULNESS is mentioned 1st; OBEDIENCE 2nd; and HUMILITY 3rd. God is looking for someone who will ALWAYS (Faithfulness) DO (Obedience), what is in HIS HEART, and HIS MIND (Humility). That person will sure to have his future set, because it’s not his own will being done, but God’s. 
 God is saying John, I need you not ONLY to be 1st Faithful, 2nd Obedient, but the plans, schedules, program, agenda and outline, need to be MINE! 3ly Humble yourself. Not your heart and passion for people, but MINE, not your mind will and desire for direction, but MINE. Keep SELF out of it! There’s already two I’s in ministry! 
 Father, I have been consistent and faithful, and I believe I have even been obedient most of the time, but in the everlasting words of Christ, “This one thing you (I) lack…” I know there have been times when I have done my will and the plan that was in my heart and called it YOURS. It may have even been with righteous motives and a godly passion. Nevertheless, not my will but yours! No matter how right it seems. I must DECREASE. Father you have shown me something that will help my Life, My Family, and YOUR Church! Love you!  Your Favorite son