During one of my morning readings I came across a passage of scripture that I had read before and it has always made me stop and think a little bit. However this time it has been bouncing along in my head for a few days. It all began with 1 Samuel 9 and runs through 1 Samuel 15, these passages cover the anointing of Saul as first king over Israeli and the loss of his anointing because he failed to be obedient to the Lord. But the verse that has really had me thinking is found in 1 Samuel 15:15;
15 Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction." (ESV)
and again in 1 Samuel 15:21;
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal." (ESV)
It struck me that part of Saul's problem of disobedience stems from one little word in both passages; YOUR, as you read these passages of the history of the rise and fall of the first king over Israeli you notice that not once does Saul profess that he serves the same God as Samuel. Time and again he refers to him as your God and never aligns himself with Jehovah God. This got my attention because I was wondering how many people who call themselves Christians do it out of the fact that they were raised in a Christian home; being present at church every time the doors are open, only to walk away from the church and the faith when they become old enough to drive. It makes me wonder how many of them are like Saul. God has called them to something great anointed them with the power to do it and because the faith they have is not their own they have turned their backs and are living outside of the will of God.
You might be thinking what that has to do with me, well as Christians we have an impact on those who we serve in everything that we do from the person we only meet once in a grocery store to our children that have to deal with us day in and day out. I honestly believe that if Saul had possessed a real relationship with God he would have been able to serve him honorable throughout his life. However because he did not recognize the authority and the voice of God he chose to do things his own way and it led to his fall from grace and eventually to his death.
For many people it's easy to say I am a Christian to avoid the onslaught of those who try to witness to them continuously the problem is do you really know my God and His Son Jesus. Have you experienced the saving grace He has provided through the work of the Holy Spirit? Have you allowed that same Spirit to empower you for ministry and your walk with God? You see the God I serve should be the same God you serve we should establish how we live based on what we read in His Word and apply it to our lives so that when people hear you say you're a Christian there is no doubt about what you stand for and who you follow. Is Jesus Christ your, mine and our God that we serve or do we see Him differently allowing others to misunderstand who He is and who we are in Him? That I guess is the question, "Who is Jesus to you?" If you answer that question like Saul did than maybe it is time to make a change in your life. Praying that the God you serve becomes the same God I serve. Be blessed as you walk in His Word.
Rev. Brian H. Mathis CSC
Ordained Minister Church of God, Cleveland TN
Currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Westminster Baptist Church
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary MDiv in Chaplain Studies