April 25, 2016

Rejected

Devotion for the Week...

No one likes to be rejected. We want people to like us and accept us. When it comes to our work, we want people to think we're doing a good job, whether it's for our paid work or our quilting or parenting or whatever. None of us would like to have a superior step in and tell us we've been rejected because we're doing things wrong.

It does happen sometimes, though. People are fired from their jobs. Authorities step in and remove children from homes that are abusive or neglectful. The Bible even tells the story of a man who was rejected by God because he did not do what he was told to do.

King Saul was supposed to attack the Amalekites and completely destroy them, killing every living thing (human or animal) and destroying all of their possessions. Saul and his army attacked and won the battle, but then Saul made some adjustments to the plan. "He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed" (1 Samuel 15:8, 9).

Soon after the battle, Saul met up with the prophet Samuel and said, "The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions" (v. 13). Oh, how we deceive ourselves! Saul really thought that his plan was better than God's plan, since Saul's plan included a sacrifice to the Lord of all the animals they had kept from the Amalekites.

Except, God didn't want a sacrifice. He wanted, and still wants, obedience from His people. Samuel said to Saul,

"Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king" (vv. 22, 23).

'He has rejected you as king'. How awful those words must have sounded to Saul! Just imagine how awful they would sound if they were spoken to you.

Of course, we haven't been chosen to be king (or queen!) over the nation, have we? We have all been chosen by God to be something, though. I believe that we all have a purpose in God's kingdom and that God has a special job for each one of us. 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 tells us that the church is made up of many people, just as the body is made of many different parts, all of which are essential to the proper functioning of the church. 

What is your role? What has God called you to be and do? Some have big, public roles to fill, roles where it's obviously God's work that they're doing, like musicians and pastors. Others have small, lesser known roles, like accountants and grocery store clerks, where maybe it's less obvious that God's work is being done. But all of these roles are equally important to God and all of them offer opportunities for sharing the good news about Jesus. All of these roles, whether public or not, are part of God's plan for His church. 

But in order to be effective in our role, no matter what role we fill, we must commit to following God's plan rather than changing it to what we think is best. Like Saul, we can easily deceive ourselves into thinking that our way is better than what God has called us to do, but God doesn't want us trying to improve the plan. He calls us to obey and heed His plan, not our own. 
Devotions at DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

And if we insist on changing God's plan and doing what we think is best? Then it's possible we will be told, "He has rejected you" for that role. I don't think we can even begin to imagine how awful that would be. I know I would prefer to hear, "‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'" (Matthew 25:21).

2 comments:

  1. You are so right. None of us wants to be rejected. And to hear those words from God would be devastating. When we don't obey, but wish to change the plan, we are saying that our plan is better than his. And therefore, rejecting God. Wise words, Leanne. Thank you so much for sharing your devotions with us!

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