"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."
And guess what? He is still looking. Oh, how we should desire God to find what He is looking for in our lives!
In every town and every city, in every village and in every church, and in every part of the country, and in every part of the world, God is still looking. God is looking in your neighborhood; God is looking in your workplace. God is looking in your school. He is looking for someone to bless and use. Do you want to be one of those people? If you do, and if you desire God with all your heart, I promise you, God will find you.
The truth of the matter is that all of us are doing as much for God as we desire to do. All of us are at the stage in our Christian lives where we desire to be. We are content to be what we are. We do not go any further with the Lord until we have a desire to do so. God can work in our hearts to create this desire. We must be willing to pray, "Lord bless me and use me for Your glory."
We must see several things for this to happen.
#1) We must realize that the Lord is in Control:
It looked to Samuel as if the kingdom were out of control. Saul’s life was certainly out of control, but God was still in control. We seem to have the idea that when things around us are falling apart, the whole world must be coming apart at the seams as well. When we see families torn apart or experience difficulties in our own lives or in the life of the church that we are attending, we need to be reminded that God is still in control. He has never lost the reins!
In Philippians 4:5, Paul exhorted believers, "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." Some people think this verse means that the Lord is always near. Others believe that this verse means the Lord’s return is near. Both are true. The Lord is near and the Lord’s return is near. "The Lord is at hand!"
Paul continues in Philippians 4:6-7,
"Be careful for nothing (in other words, don’t worry about anything); but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
If we will remember that "the Lord is at hand", then we can "be careful for nothing."
As an old man, Samuel carried a crushing burden. His mother, Hannah, prayed before Samuel was born that God would give her a son. She promised the Lord that she would give that son back to Him. Dedicated to God before birth, his whole life had been given to serving the Lord. He even established a school for the prophets to train men to serve the Lord. However, the people had asked for a King. Samuel, as their spiritual leader, felt he had been rejected. Israel wanted to be like every other nation. God granted their request, and carnal Saul came to reign as King in Israel.
Everything the old prophet had given his life to seemed to be in vain. He was greatly troubled. In a loving rebuke, God spoke to him in the first verse of I Samuel 16 when He said, "How long wilt thou mourn for Saul?" In so many words, God was saying, "Samuel, how long are you going to be upset about this? How long will you live without trusting Me in this matter?"
God was asking Samuel, "How long will you worry and fret? How long will you think that this is your nation and your people and not My nation and My people?" Many times the Lord has said to me, "How long will you think that this is your church and these are your people?" The fact is that this church is the Lord’s and these are His people. It is His work!
Once again God said, "How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?" The Lord commanded Samuel to fill his horn with oil and go to Bethlehem to anoint a new King. He said to Samuel, "Make the journey to Jesse’s house. I have found a king. I want you to anoint him." There can be no doubt here, God is in control!
#2) The Lord is Always Working:
We may not always see God’s work, but He is always working. He was preparing David when no one knew much about him except the Lord. If you read carefully the sixteenth chapter of I Samuel, you will see that God dealt with Samuel, then Jesse, then Jesse’s sons, then finally God dealt with David. God dealt with each one in a different way.
Full of worry and fretting, Samuel had to learn that God was in control. Of his eight sons and two daughters, Jesse surely believed that God would use one of his children. And he was just as certain that David was not the one. When seven of his sons were rejected and the horn of oil was not poured on them, God had to deal with them.
Finally, the Lord was at work in David’s life. David was a shepherd boy. He had the heart of a shepherd. Later we read that he was willing to risk his life and to give his life, if necessary for one of his sheep. God was doing something in the life of this shepherd boy, for God is always at work.
The Lord told the old prophet Samuel, "Go down to Jesse’s house." Samuel said, "I can’t go; Saul will kill me." God said, "You tell him that you are going to offer a sacrifice. Meet with Jesse and his family alone. Have his sons brought before you, and I will show you that I have provided Myself a King."
And so Jesse’s sons were brought before Samuel. Seven of his sons appeared, but the eighth was still out tending the sheep. One by one they came before Samuel and God said, "That’s not the one; that’s not the one; that’s not the one," Finally, when they had all passed, Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all of your sons here?"
Many times we believe that great things cannot be done. Recently, I read of a man conducting experiments with fish. He placed a large fish in a tank with several minnows. The large fish consumed all the minnows. Then, he put more minnows inside the tank, but within a glass enclosure. The large fish would attempt to attack them, but he could not get to them. Finally, the man released the minnows from the enclosure. But now the large fish would not move. He didn’t even try to attack and eat the small minnows. Why? Because he had learned that he could not get to them, so he would no longer try. That fish had been conditioned to believe that it could not be done!
We allow our minds to be conditioned to believe that God is not going to do great things. We think, "God may work somewhere else, but He is not going to work here." But God is always working! We should desire for God to do a mighty work in our own lives and in the lives of our families and churches!
#3) The Lord uses People Whom Others Overlook:
Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these all your boys?" He said, "I have another young son in the field keeping the sheep." Because he was able to send someone else to care for the sheep, Jesse could have already brought David in from the field had he thought that God might use him, but he never thought that David would be the one that God would use.
Knowing David and the heart that he had for God, can you imagine how he would have loved to have been in that meeting with Samuel? He would have thought it the greatest privilege of his life to be there when the prophet Samuel came on his journey from Ramah. But, he was overlooked and forgotten.
Many things must have gone through the mind of Samuel on his way to Bethlehem. Now, thinking that he has seen all of Jesse’s boys but one and knowing that God had said that one of Jesse’s sons was to be King. Can you imagine how Samuel must have felt as he was waiting for David to arrive? Suddenly David arrived at the house. Face to face stood the young shepherd boy and the prophet. "This is My King." Samuel heard God say. Hands trembling with excitement, Samuel reached inside his garment for the horn of oil, and David, standing there before his father and his brethren, was anointed by Samuel as the next King of Israel. The oil ran down David’s body and dripped to the ground.
You see, God uses people whom others have overlooked. This is what Paul meant when he wrote in I Corinthians 1:26-29,
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."
God works in such a way that He gets the glory and men do not. If we begin to steal His glory, He will stop blessing. The glory belongs to the Lord and not to men. Praise God for salvation, Praise God for His mercy and grace. I thank God that I have been redeemed. I praise the Lord that He has forgiven my sin and that He is my Savior. Salvation is the starting point, and God desires to finish the work that He has started in all our lives. Paul said in Philippians 1:6,
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
Remember, there is a God in heaven who desires to bless and use us. Allow Him to do that knowing that He is in control, He is always working, and He wants to use people who will probably be the most likely not to succeed, so that He can get the glory for it all.