Words to Live By

Have you ever had a time in life where you felt like you were made aware of very specific words to live by? These words can come any number of ways – advice, something you read or hear, looking back through an old journal. Such revelations aren’t necessarily THE big and ultimate truth on the meaning of life. Rather, they are certain parts that we need to focus on, cling to, or learn at a given time. I’m in one of those seasons right now…

wait : trust : obey : connect

God drew my attention to these words as I was reading through the book of 1 Samuel again recently. In chapter 13, Saul has become king and has begun to rally Israel to defeat the oppressive nations around them. After some initial victories, the Philistines gather a massive army and Saul’s army panics. And Saul panics. He knows they should ask God what to do but instead of waiting for Samuel the Priest to arrive and perform the religious rituals God had established, Saul does the ceremony himself. Samuel then arrives and pronounces God’s judgment on Saul for his disobedience.

Oh Saul, your intentions were good, but why didn’t you wait? Of course, you didn’t know if or when Samuel would arrive, did you? And you had an entire nation looking to you and an army getting weaker by the minute. And I am sure you were both confident in your abilities and absolutely terrified that you would get this wrong. And actually, you started off right by wanting to ask God what to do. But because you went about it the wrong way – the way that probably made sense to you but wasn’t the way God had said to do it – you lost everything. My heart breaks for you Saul, because I’m just like you.

How often do I panic when the pressure mounts past what I can tolerate?

How often do I lose sight of what God has promised because it is taking SO long to come?

How often do I do something the way that makes sense to me when it conflicts with the way God has said to do something?

As I reflected on this story, God kindly moved me from the familiar path of self-condemnation and powerlessness to the truth that Saul isn’t just a story character for us to to pity or scorn (or worse – equate all his failures with ourselves). Rather, in seeing in Saul’s story our own potential to act similarly, we can actually see our real choices and give God the opportunity to write a different story with our own lives. And so God gave me these words:

wait : trust : obey : connect

I’ve decided to make a blog post focused on each of these words, so subscribe, follow, or at least come back to see where this goes from here. Next post (Monday) is about waiting… Or if you can’t wait, you can read the entire (long-ish) piece I’ve written by clicking this link.

 

I’ve scratched out the attached pic as my computer wallpaper to remind me (because I easily forget). May these four simple words bless your heart today.

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2 thoughts on “Words to Live By

  1. […] working on with me and it got so long that I had to split it into a series of blog posts. You can read the first post in this series here or the entire piece here. Or, you can read it bit by bit, as I’m posting in more manageable […]

  2. […] working on with me and it got so long that I had to split it into a series of blog posts. You can read the first post in this series here or the entire piece here. Or, you can read it bit by bit, as I’m posting in more manageable […]

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