1 Samuel 16:1-13

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Vintage message from September 6, 1998.

There are times that we become friends with people that greatly disappoint us. We pour our lives into people who turn away from God, [who] turn away from the things that we thought we saw in them… It’s so easy to become mournful of a person that we have befriended, that we have tried to raise up to love God, and they don’t. Understand, it is not your fault if someone rejects and turns away from God, even if you’re a bad witness. Do you realize that the sin that I may commit, the bad witness that I may be to you, is no reason for you to turn away from God?…If you put a man on a pedestal, if you begin to look at and worship a man that God is using, then you are looking for a fall yourself because there is no man, including myself, that lives a sinless life, that will live up to your expectations or your idea of perfection and what a pastor or a man of God should be. A man of God is simply someone whom God has chosen because that man loves Him, but is still sinful by nature. We being to grieve when people around us fall. And it’s okay to hurt for someone when they stumble and they fall away from the Lord, when they reject Jesus, when they turn away from what is familiar to us as believers. It’s okay to mourn, but…don’t forget to serve the Lord, don’t forget to continue on even if you have been rejected or hurt or disillusioned by someone around you. Continue on. Don’t stop.

How many of us have found ourself in these circumstances where even though God has done the miracles around us and in us and through us most of our lives, we find ourself in that moment of discouragement. And now this great and mighty God that we love and we serve is so insignificant that we fear the things around us. “Oh God, how can you protect me?” …But God is so loving. God is so patient… So often I find myself in these moments of discouragement. I find myself at times of struggle, times of hardship, and God gently reminds me of what my job is. Don’t get caught up in the circumstance. Just do your job. Do what God has called you to do and He will work everything out…

One of the things I find in ministry is sometimes God chooses to do things differently, and it scares people to death. We get into a routine. We get into tradition. We get into the things that are familiar to us, and we want it to always stay the same… God will do the unfamiliar within our ministries. God will do the unfamiliar within our lives. God has the right to change whatever He wants within us and around us, and He may even want to turn our world upside-down. And you know what? It scares us to death when God brings change, even if that change is good and that change is for the best, it scares us to death because it has pulled us out of our tradition. It has pulled us out of our routine. We are people of familiarity. We want everything to be the same day in and day out. We don’t want our routine messed up… But, you know, sometimes God invites us to be part of the blessing, even if we don’t understand it…

Sometimes we have to humble ourselves, we have to bring ourself to say, “God, it is Your right to pick for Your service whom it is that You desire, and if You pick him, then I’ll accept him.” It’s hard. It’s hard because it humbles us… But you know what? My God is much greater than me. My God can accomplish whatever He darn well pleases to accomplish without me… You know the greatest work you can do for God is stepping out of His way. After He has used you, step out of His way. Wait for Him to give you another task. Don’t keep pushing for bigger and better and greater… If God has used you and has not given you another task, step out of His way. Put yourself in a place where you can continue to pray and study and be silent before God. Don’t run off to the next ministry thinking that God has to do something more with you… It takes prayer. It takes time alone with God. It takes being faithful.

Pastor Dave Elkins