Used by God
1 Samuel 14:47-52
47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them.
48 And he did valiantly and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.
49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger Michal.
50 And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.
51 Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.
One of the truths about God that can bring us into a realistic view of ourselves is that God does not need our compliance or our permission for Him to use us to further His way and His goals for those around us. God was, is, and always will be sovereign us and the entire universe. This can be a tough realization for some, as they do not want God involved in their lives in any way. It can also be a tough realization for those of us who walk with Him daily, but sometimes choose to walk in the opposite direction He is going.
If you had asked Saul “are you God’s man?” he would have said “Yes.” And yet we can see that his ego is getting the better of him as he serves as king. Already, he has taken on the role of priest; a role he was not called to by God – ever. He has threatened the life of his own son through a rash vow taken in a vain effort to impress God, causing suffering for his people. But despite these things (which happen fairly early in his reign as king), we find that God can still use Saul to protect His people. What Saul was not able to do (because he was operating under his own power rather than God’s) was to bring peace to Israel. The nation was at war during Saul’s entire reign. And we find that Saul is not trusting in God as his strength, but in the numerous mighty men of war that he gathered around him.
At times we can be wildly confused about the direction God is calling us. We battle within ourselves for peace about a decision or a situation that just doesn’t seem to have a path toward resolution. At those times we need to take heart, as the God of the universe is not looking away or waiting for you to make the wrong choice. He is able to make His way known and will see that it is played out despite your choices. The difference between us and Saul is that we actually care what God wants and sometimes even know how to put our ego aside and let God be God. It is never time to go out and search for “mighty men” who can protect you or make your plans happen. Instead, we daily (sometimes moment by moment) turn our attention to the Lord who already has everything well in hand.