Monday, November 13, 2006

1 Samuel 12:23

1 Samuel 12:23-“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.”

So, let’s set the stage here, shall we? Samuel has just anointed Saul as King over the Israelites. In a nutshell, the Israelites wanted to be just like all the nations around them. They wanted a King.

They ignored the fact that the LORD had taken care of there needs in Egypt and afterwards. Not to mention the fact that throughout their rebelliousness and outright disobedience, He had saved them from themselves at various times by using the Judges.

And let’s not forget that Samuel came along and spoke truth to them at a time when they really needed it. Nope, let’s just ignore all that and get us a King. We don’t want God to rule over us; we want a human King.

Oh, and if you really want to know…Samuel even told them how much of a creep that Saul would turn out being. He explained exactly how the King would use the people and put them in bondage. “We don’t care! We want a King like everyone else!”

Shift.

What does it mean to you to pray for someone? What is your prayer life like right now? I know mine needs some work; I don’t ever want to be just satisfied with it.

When I read that verse during my morning devotional, it spoke something to me completely different probably than most of you. It makes me think of my prayer life in regards to the life I live in front of my God.

See, when I read it, I saw my prayer life as not only my petitions to God FOR YOU, but how I live my life IN FRONT of you. I see that the greatest prayer I can give to you is to be the open book you need to see. It shows you that Christianity is not about being perfect, it’s about being PERFECTED.

I look at that verse, and I realize that sometimes my prayer life involves telling you something at sometime that you REALLY don’t want to hear. And sometimes, you as a leader have to tell me something that I REALLY do not want to hear either. It doesn’t matter; it’s our job.

Students, sometimes we, as your small group leaders, are obligated by the Lord, to make insights into your walk that will go contrary with the path you are following at the present time. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love you; it means that we love you enough to put our relationship on the line and correct you in love.

And sometimes, as an adult, we have to be corrected by the Lord through someone else as well. Do we take correction well? The answer for most of us is a resounding “NO!”

But, far be it from me that I sin against God. Far be it from me to see you doing something destructive or negative and not open my heart to you and pray for you. Far be it from me to take the things God gives you for me, and throw them to the side like garbage.

See, I think (and this is just my opinion) that sometimes the prayer is the petition, and sometimes the prayer is admonition or example. I have a responsibility, as a Christian, to not only not cause you to stumble with my actions; but to speak truth into your life and actions, as well.

I know that someone may believe that I am talking out of both sides of my mouth. You know what? That’s okay. I can only speak to you my convictions, and use what God is telling me.

Let’s make a deal. If you think I need correction, then don’t sin against the Lord; teach me the good and the right way, as the Lord speaks to your heart. And I’ll do the same for you. We need to show each other love so that the world will see what we have and want it. If we are no different than everyone around us, what good is what we have?

Let’s pray for one another, without ceasing; however that manifests itself.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

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