Friday, June 12, 2009

Are You Great?

Around 1970, a high school student was running the largest church bus route in the world. When he graduated, he attended the college I attended. Other students had bigger bus routes, though, and another student becamse leader of the world's largest bus route, bringing in over 1,000 riders to church. Most Christians would respond with awe at the Godliness of these two, but both of them were eventually expelled for various offenses. How was this possible?

It is a common Christian error to believe that a person with a big ministry is automatically Godlier than a person with a small ministry. While it might be true, it doesn't have to be so. God is working out a plan to redeem His creation, and He uses people to carry out His plan. Saul was actually chosen as king because God's people had rejected God's plan, wanting a kingdom instead of being ruled by judges.

When God's plan calls for a large ministry in a certain geographical area, it doesn't prove that the Christians involved are spiritual giants. They might be, or they might have gifts and abilities that fit into God's plan. Your job, as a Christian, is to grow in grace and knowledge, and then to submit to whatever God tells you to do. If you do that, you are a spiritual success, regardless of what God calls you to do.

King Saul failed to acknowledge that God had called David to replace him. He might actually have discerned sins in David that would cause problems later, But his refusal to accept God's will for his own life produced the jealousy that eventually destroyed him.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Why Some Christians are So Great

Why didn't King Saul just accept God's will, make David king, and help David in any way that he could? One key reason is that Saul did not realize why he was such a good king: because God gave him the ability to be a good king.

1Co 4:7 ¶ For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Was Saul a good king? 2 Samuel 1:23 tells us that "Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives..." Saul did not take bribes or corrupt justice. He did not steal another man's wife, murder her husband, and provoke civil wars, as David would later do. But Saul made a key error in thinking that he was king because he was better than David. Saul was king because God made him king, and God had the right to give the kingship to somebody else.

"Covetousness" is wanting something that God doesn't want you to have. "Jealousy" is wanting to keep something that God doesn't want you to keep.