Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Abortion Of A Dream
Travis Clark, the pastor of Canvas - the church plant my wife and I are taking part in in San Francisco - came and spoke at our church a number of Sundays ago, and he went into detail about how King Saul threw away the things God had for his life because he wanted things his way and not God's way. The pinnacle of Saul's downfall can be found in 1 Samuel 13, but the verse that gets to me is verse 13 - And Samuel said to Saul, "You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. (Taken from the New American Standard edition)
Samuel's statement is pretty clear - God would have blessed Saul's reign as king over Israel forever. FOREVER. But because he disobeyed God and moved in fear and impatience, God stripped him of what could have been. Those words are painful. What could have been. It indicates something in an alternate reality, or in a black hole somewhere - something that could have come to fruition, could have come into existence, but didn't. The abortion of a dream. Of a purpose. Of a plan. God's plan.
In verse 14, Samuel continues - "But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as a ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you."
I don't want to be the subject of why God had to turn to someone else to get His will done. Because make no mistake, God's plans will come to pass regardless if He has to go through a million people to make it happen. But I want to be the man after His own heart, I want to be the one God turns to to walk out His will, to be given responsibility over His people, His things, His blessings.
My heart broke when I read that verse the same way it broke when I read the verses surrounding Moses and the fact that he was able to see the Promised Land from a distance but was not allowed to enter it. Because of disobedience, these two men were never able to experience the full beauty of the promise that God had been leading them towards.
How unfortunate and depressing.
I don't want to live my life, to walk this narrow path, to obey rather than sacrifice, just so I can see God's fulfillment of His promises from a distance. I want to be in the center of them, dancing, singing, and praising God for coming through in everything He said He would.
I've heard from many pastors over the years that many people never make it to their Promised Land because they give up along the way. They either succumb to thinking that God won't come through, or they get tired and lazy and complacent and give up. Some follow different paths to disobedience along the way. Others simply think they can do things their way without direction from God and still reach all that God has in store for them.
I want to reach the other side. I want to breathe in the air of a new land, to see all that God birthed in my heart so many years ago come true. I long for the fulfillment of God's promises in my lifetime. I don't want to be like David and leave the completion of the temple to my children. I want to take part in it with them.
As the end of this season in my life draws near, I know - KNOW - that God is about to move in a powerful way in my life and the life of my family. And when He does, that movement is going to impact everyone around us. I've been waiting for so long, I've been praying for so long. I've been obeying for so long. And I know I will see the Promised Land, I know I will dwell in the midst of the fulfillment of God's promises, because He is not a God who would allow us to be deceived all these years, and He is not a God who lies, and He is not a God who does not know how to give GOOD gifts to His children.
As the pages of this chapter in my life come to a close, I eagerly and expectantly turn the page to the next chapter in my life - the chapter of God's blessings. I don't have to worry about what might have been. I don't have to look back on my life and wonder what God might have done had I only walked in obedience and right relationship with Him. No. I have run the race, and I will now grab hold of the prize...