Lesson Seven: Knowing God’s Will for Your Work: Part 4

In 1 Samuel 10: 1 – 9 we find the story of Samuel the prophet of God anointing Saul as the first king of Israel.

Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it out on Saul’s head, kissed him, and said, “Hasn’t the LORD anointed you ruler over His inheritance? … The Spirit of the LORD will control you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person. When these signs have happened to you, do whatever your circumstances require because God is with you. Afterward, go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice fellowship offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what to do.”  When Saul turned around to leave Samuel, God changed his heart, and all the signs came about that day.

As we saw with the story of Bezalel, God informs Saul about what he is supposed to do through the intermediary of the spiritual leader of the time.  In this instance the prophet Samuel told Saul what God had called him to do.  Saul was to be the political and military leader of God’s people.  Being called by God through God’s prophet to lead God’s people is obviously a sacred endeavor, however, if we think about being the King of Israel as an entirely spiritual position disconnected from what we do daily we may miss some important lessons.  The king was the political and military leader of Israel.  He was not the priests.  The priests were God’s appointed spiritual leaders.  He was not the prophet.  The prophet could always hold the king spiritually accountable.  Because all three of these roles have been included in the Messianic for shadowing of Christ we have at times overly spiritualized the king.

On the contrary, that is not to say that being king is not a spiritual endeavor at all.  The king was the leader of God’s chosen people, selected by God and held accountable by God.  Currently I believe we have deemphasized spiritual nature of leadership to a fault.  When you lead people, whether that is politically, militarily or even just organizationally, you are leading the most important aspect of God’s creation.  Leadership of any nature should always be primarily seen as a spiritual task.

Have you been tasked in previous or current work assignments with leadership of people?

How could seeing this as a spiritual task dependent upon God’s spiritual support help you accomplish you duties as leader?

Again in this story we see that God has supplied Saul with the necessary filling of the Spirit to accomplish the assigned task of being king.  But in this passage there is an unusual line that has captured my attention.  “… Do whatever your circumstances require because God is with you.”  At first this seemed to be a very broad blessing over Saul’s potential behavior.  How extensive was the license that God was giving Saul?  Upon further inspection there are two predetermined qualifications to the blessing.  The passage specifically mentions that Saul is filled with the Spirit and God has changed his heart.  If we are specifically aligned with God through Holy Spirit and have a “God-changed” heart can we do something outside of the will of God?

At this point I think we may have come full circle.  Our most important task as a Christian should be to obey the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission.  What we do for work should be a piece to us fulfilling these imperatives in our lives.  For some of us, God will directly assign tasks.  For others, God will use the existing Christian community and leadership to guide and direct us.   The key is to be actively searching out God’s will for our lives in the area of work.  We need to be willing to submit what we do for work to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and the Christian community.  As with all other parts of our Christian lives this act of submission will be a process.

Where are you in submitting your work to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and the Christian community?

What is one step you could take in the becoming aligned with the will of God for your work?

In 1 Samuel 10: 1 – 9 we find the story of Samuel the prophet of God anointing Saul as the first king of Israel.

Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it out on Saul’s head, kissed him, and said, “Hasn’t the LORD anointed you ruler over His inheritance? … The Spirit of the LORD will control you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person. When these signs have happened to you, do whatever your circumstances require because God is with you. Afterward, go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice fellowship offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what to do.”  When Saul turned around to leave Samuel, God changed his heart, and all the signs came about that day.

As we saw with the story of Bezalel, God informs Saul about what he is supposed to do through the intermediary of the spiritual leader of the time.  In this instance the prophet Samuel told Saul what God had called him to do.  Saul was to be the political and military leader of God’s people.  Being called by God through God’s prophet to lead God’s people is obviously a sacred endeavor, however, if we think about being the King of Israel as an entirely spiritual position disconnected from what we do daily we may miss some important lessons.  The king was the political and military leader of Israel.  He was not the priests.  The priests were God’s appointed spiritual leaders.  He was not the prophet.  The prophet could always hold the king spiritually accountable.  Because all three of these roles have been included in the Messianic for shadowing of Christ we have at times overly spiritualized the king.

On the contrary, that is not to say that being king is not a spiritual endeavor at all.  The king was the leader of God’s chosen people, selected by God and held accountable by God.  Currently I believe we have deemphasized spiritual nature of leadership to a fault.  When you lead people, whether that is politically, militarily or even just organizationally, you are leading the most important aspect of God’s creation.  Leadership of any nature should always be primarily seen as a spiritual task.

Have you been tasked in previous or current work assignments with leadership of people?

How could seeing this as a spiritual task dependent upon God’s spiritual support help you accomplish you duties as leader?

Again in this story we see that God has supplied Saul with the necessary filling of the Spirit to accomplish the assigned task of being king.  But in this passage there is an unusual line that has captured my attention.  “… Do whatever your circumstances require because God is with you.”  At first this seemed to be a very broad blessing over Saul’s potential behavior.  How extensive was the license that God was giving Saul?  Upon further inspection there are two predetermined qualifications to the blessing.  The passage specifically mentions that Saul is filled with the Spirit and God has changed his heart.  If we are specifically aligned with God through Holy Spirit and have a “God-changed” heart can we do something outside of the will of God?

At this point I think we may have come full circle.  Our most important task as a Christian should be to obey the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission.  What we do for work should be a piece to us fulfilling these imperatives in our lives.  For some of us, God will directly assign tasks.  For others, God will use the existing Christian community and leadership to guide and direct us.   The key is to be actively searching out God’s will for our lives in the area of work.  We need to be willing to submit what we do for work to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and the Christian community.  As with all other parts of our Christian lives this act of submission will be a process.

Where are you in submitting your work to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and the Christian community?

What is one step you could take in the becoming aligned with the will of God for your work?

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About Brian Musser

Rev. Brian Musser is the Baptist Campus Minister at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. View all posts by Brian Musser

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