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A Person After God's Heart

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ME
I confess this morning, I need this message, maybe more than you do. I have always struggled with knowing how to obey God in one area of my life. The greatest day of my life was when I committed my life to Jesus Christ. I recalled the moment I knelt at a altar in a little white church in Muncie, Indiana. It was a small Christ and Christian Union church on 15th street. That day, that moment, as I prayed there, my life changed.
When I became a pastor, I was commited to making sure that all the people I met had the same opportunity that I had. I know that Jesus can change peoples lives, but how do I make sure everyone has that opportunity to experience that type of life change.
I grew up in a church where they had altar calls.
The way it was done in the church I grew up in was by having an altar call at the end of every service. I did not really understand why, or how important they could be until later in life. Now I realize there is nothing like the joy and celebration of Jesus followers all gathered around you, praying for you, supporting you, comforting you. There is power in the community.
But as a United Methodist pastor, altar calls is not part of our tradition. So here is my struggle, my dilimia, how do we offer this same intimate relationship with God, with the same opportunity for support and comfort, in our Tradition.
Now you may not struggle with this issue, but I am sure you have your own struggles. May be you know what God wants you to do, but we are not sure you want to do it.
May be God has been asking you to speak to a co-worker about Jesus, but you keep putting it off.

A Fearful Leader

1 Samuel 16:2 ESV
And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’

A Flawed View

I confess this morning, I need this message, maybe more than you do. I have always struggled with knowing how to obey God in one area of my life. The greatest day of my life was when I committed my life to Jesus Christ. I recalled the moment I knelt before an altar in a little white church in Muncie, Indiana. It was a small Christ and Christian Union church on 15th street. That day, that moment, as I prayed there, my life changed.
1 Samuel 16:7 NASB95
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When I became a pastor, I was committed to making sure that all the people I met had the same opportunity that I had. I know that Jesus can change peoples lives, but how do I make sure everyone has that opportunity to experience that type of life change.

An Unforgettable Decision

The way it was done in the church I grew up in was by having an altar call at the end of every service. I did not really understand why, or how important they could be until later in life. Now I realize there is nothing like the joy and celebration of Jesus followers all gathered around you, praying for you, supporting you, comforting you. There is power within the community.
1 Samuel 16:13 ESV
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
However, as a United Methodist pastor, an altar call is not part of our tradition. So here is my struggle, my dilemma, how do we offer this nearly same intimate relationship with God, with the same opportunity for support and comfort, in our Tradition?
Now you may not struggle over this issue, but I am sure you have your own problems May be you know what God wants you to do, but we are not sure you want to do it.
It may be God has been asking you to speak to a co-worker about Jesus, but you keep putting it off. Or Jesus is asking you to make a decision, and you still are not ready. You are conflicted, just like me.
Maybe you are feeling like Samuel in our text this morning. He has been committed to King Saul. In fact, the anointed Saul to be King over Israel. He had watched him grow and mature. But Saul had disobeyed God. He had over stepped his authority, and now as God has, “rejected him from reigning over Israel.” So Samuel, who had been the prophet, if you will a co-leader of Israel with Saul, felt conflicted. Should he side with his friend, Saul, or should he obey God. What we see here is:

A Fearful Leader

1 Samuel 16:2 NASB95
But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’
ESV
Samuel remembers back when Saul was first anointed to be king. He recalls the Saul who was shy, backward, hiding so he will not be anointed. Samuel watched Saul’s fall from grace. Saul, at first, was a follower of God, and obedient, but, as time goes on began to trust more on himself, than on God. He turned to his own reasoning. Then one day God told Saul through Samuel to wait to offer a sacrifice. Saul choose to step into God’s place and did the unthinkable. He offered the sacrifice and did not wait on Samuel. God said that was the last straw. He rejected Saul as the King of Israel.
And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’
Samuel remembers back when Saul was first anointed to be king. He recalls the Saul who was shy, backward, hiding so he will not be anointed. Samuel watched Saul’s fall from grace. Saul, at first, was a follower of God, and obedient, but, as time goes on began to trust more on himself, than on God. He turned to his own reasoning. Then one day God told Saul through Samuel to wait to offer a sacrifice. Saul choose to step into God’s place and did the unthinkable. He offered the sacrifice and did not wait on Samuel. God said that was the last straw. He rejected Saul as the King of Israel.
Now our story says that God is telling Samuel to go and anoint another King. Samuel understands that Saul will try to stop him, and he will do it with extreme prejudice. So here we are, Saul has gotten a “Big Fat No” from God. Samuel is now told by God to go and anoint another King. But Saul is now a dangerous man, he would kill anyone who crossed him. Saul would have seen the anointing as an act of rebellion. So God told him, take a sacrifice, use it a pretense to go to see Jesse in Bethlehem.
As a fearful leader, he had to choice to obey God, even if it could cost him his life.
As Jesus followers we will find ourselves in the same place as Samuel, knowing what God wants us to do, but fearful about doing it. Maybe you are there right now. You are certain what God wants you to do, but you are afraid of how people will response. You need to trust God, and go for it. Samuel had to put his fear behind him, and go forward in obedience. You need to be like Samuel and go forward.
Samuel was not only a Fearful leader, but he also had a Flawed View.

A Flawed View

NASB95
1 Samuel 16:7 NASB95
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 3. God Doesn’t Choose Any of Jesse’s Older Sons (6–10)

As Samuel looked at the oldest son Eliab he thought, “This man sure looks like a king. This must be the one God will tell me to anoint. That’s a good choice, God!” Samuel saw a tall, good looking young man who looked like he would be a great king and leader.

Amplified Bible Chapter 16

6 When they had come, he looked on Eliab [the eldest son] and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Amplified Bible Chapter 16

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. But Samuel said, Neither has the Lord chosen this one.

9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. Samuel said, Nor has the Lord chosen him.

10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has not chosen any of these.

1 Samuel 3. God Doesn’t Choose Any of Jesse’s Older Sons (6–10)

Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him: Samuel made the mistake of judging Eliab based on his appearance. This was the same mistake Israel made about their first king. Saul looked the part but he didn’t have the heart a king of God’s people should have. It didn’t matter how good Eliab looked because God said, “I have refused him.”

NASB95
1 Samuel 3. God Doesn’t Choose Any of Jesse’s Older Sons (6–10)

i. First, it was a statement of fact. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. Even the best of men will look at the outward appearance. At the moment, Samuel was guilty of it. We must understand that we can’t read the secrets of another’s heart and we often do only judge on outward appearance. “The world is full of idolatries, but I question if any idolatry has been more extensively practiced than the idolatry of the outward appearance.”

1 Samuel 3. God Doesn’t Choose Any of Jesse’s Older Sons (6–10)

For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. This was both a statement of fact, and an exhortation to godly thinking.

i. First, it was a statement of fact. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. Even the best of men will look at the outward appearance. At the moment, Samuel was guilty of it. We must understand that we can’t read the secrets of another’s heart and we often do only judge on outward appearance. “The world is full of idolatries, but I question if any idolatry has been more extensively practiced than the idolatry of the outward appearance.” (Blaikie)

ii. It was also an exhortation to godly thinking. God told Samuel, “Your natural inclination is to only judge on outward appearance. But I can judge the heart that you can’t see. So look to Me and don’t be so quick to judge a person only on their outward appearance.” Samuel needed to know his natural inclination to judge only on outward appearance, but he didn’t have to give into it. He could seek the LORD and seek God’s heart and mind when looking at people.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Four different women were asked to total the cost of keeping their beauty. The estimated the cost at $20,000 per year.
People judge from outward appearances.

An Unforgettable Decision

An Unforgettable Decision
1 Samuel 16:13 NASB95
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
ESV
ESV
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
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