Aug 23, 2007

Taking things into your own hands

I was doing my quiet time in 1 Samuel this morning when I came across this passage. 1 Samuel 13:12 reads, "So I took thing into my own hands, and sacrificed the burnt offering."

A little background. Saul had recently been anointed to be the king over Israel. And after he tasted his first victory as the king, he found himself once again under attack from the Philistines. The prophet Samuel instructed him to wait seven days for him to arrive to offer the burnt offerings before the battle was to begin. But during the seven days, the army of Israel began disintegrating right before Saul's eyes. His troops were filled with fear and they began running away. This was when Saul took things into his own hands and offered the burnt offerings that only Samuel was to offer.

And the rest is history. Because Saul refused to wait on God and His timing, the kingdom of Israel was taken from him and given to another.

I find this passage so applicable because that's my tendency. When I see things going awry, my first impulse is to take things in my own hands to do something about it. I think this is one of the greatest temptations for a leader - we are wired to be activistic. We've got to do something. The troops are running away and hiding in the caves. I've got to do something to encourage and rally the troops.

But isn't that the times when we get ourselves into trouble - when we take things into our own hands rather than waiting on God's promises?

No, waiting is not being passive. Waiting requires the leader to keep reminding the troops about the promises of God. Waiting means that the leader continues to encourage and rally the troops. Waiting requires the leader to continue holding on to hope, holding onto God's promises.

You may find yourself in a place where the situations seem bleak. Hold on. Hold on tightly to God's promises. God will come through. The temptation will be to take things into your own hands. But if you do this, you will get what you are able to produce. Hold on. Remember God's promises. And keep standing your ground against the darkness. God will come through.

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