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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can You Submit And Let God Promote You?

Several years ago, I was asked to lead a post-college singles ministry at a church I attended.  I was so grateful for the opportunity because it had been in my heart for several years prior to this, but God had not opened the door until the perfect time.  It was also in my heart to lead the college age ministry, but I was not asked to do this.  So, I led the post-college singles ministry with all my might.  It was going great.  People were getting involved and several individuals connected with the vision I had for the ministry.  One particular person and I really gelled together.  We had met many times and he embraced this ministry and wanted to pour his life into it.  I was so excited.  In one of the discussions we had, he told me how old he was and it surprised me because he was actually college age and not post-college age.  This meant he should really be in the collage age ministry and not the post college ministry even though he believed in what I was doing.  Well, I felt a conviction from God to tell the college age pastor about this.  I really wrestled with it because I felt like I had invested so much time and energy into this person and I knew I risked losing him to another ministry.  However, I could not shake this inner conviction from God.  I eventually went to the college pastor and discussed the situation and he told me that this person could come to my stuff as long as he came to all the college age functions.  I was upset, but I knew that real submission to authority happens when I disagreed with something, but come under the authority structure of that particular church.  In humility and real faith, I gave the situation to God and I told my buddy the scoop.  He didn’t take it the way I thought he would and for some reason left the church and I never heard from him again.  I was disappointed on one level, but grateful I obeyed God and did the right thing.  One week later, the college pastor told me to come into the church office and he basically said he had too much on his plate.  He was leading youth, the worship team and the college ministry at church and it began to overwhelm him.  He asked if I wanted to take over the college ministry and combine the two ministries into one.  I totally was blown away at how God gave me the desires in my heart when I submitted to the way He wanted me to do it.  I learned a huge lesson that day.  Obedience to God and learning to come under authority is key to helping me step into my destiny! 

David was anointed to be king of Israel by the Prophet Samuel, but served for many years under the current King Saul, who was jealous of him.  Saul’s jealousy caused him to want to bring great harm to David and eventually David fled from Saul into the wilderness for many years.  On two different occasions, David could have killed Saul but said this:

“He (David) said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD” (1 Samuel 24:6).

David knew that authority came from God and that God would ultimately vindicate him from Saul.  David did not try and take things into his own hands, but entrusted the situation to God and allowed God to work on his behalf.  Ultimately, God dealt with Saul and David became King.  It was in God’s timing and God’s way.  How often do we try and get what we want when life does not go the way we think it should.  It happens all the time in church life and relationships.  We try to manipulate others to get our way or we try to override authority that God has put in place and justify our actions.  Do you find yourself in a situation like this?  Learn from David.  He did not go around criticizing Saul, but spoke well of him, even when Saul was mistreating him.  When Saul was killed in battle, David was grieved over him.  The Bible says in 2 Samuel 1:11-12 (NIV), “Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.”  David’s response showed that he did not have any ill will toward Saul, but chose to forgive him.  He did not let offense or unforgiveness creep in and poison his heart and lead him to do wrong things in God’s sight.  Love covers a multitude of sin.  The Bible says, “Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it” Ephesians 4:29 (Amplified Bible).  When we learn to entrust people to God and live in obedience to God’s ways, we can get promoted into all the good things God has for us.  But, if we take matters into our own hands and refuse to learn to do things God’s way, we will live far below God’s best.  I had to learn to not gossip about the way I thought things should be when I came into disagreement with leadership or others.  I learned that God is big enough to change the hearts of men in my favor if that is really His plan.  And He did!  Can you trust Him too?  Can you submit and let God promote you? 

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