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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

…empowered by God

Saul is chosen by God to be the king of Israel.  He had left his home that day looking for lost donkeys.  This is not what he expected out of his day.  In looking for the donkeys, he sought out Samuel the seer (prophet).  Maybe a prophet of God could “see” where the donkeys were.
Just then Saul approached Samuel at the gateway and asked, "Can you please tell me where the seer's house is?" "I am the seer!" Samuel replied. "Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I'll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. And don't worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel's hopes." (1 Samuel 9:18-20 NLT)
“What a relief.  The donkeys were found!  I guess it wouldn’t hurt to stay overnight and get a good meal in before going back home.  Our family is the focus of Israel’s hopes?  What’s that all about?”  These are all thought Saul might have had after meeting Samuel.  The next morning, Saul may have had a bunch more thoughts.
Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul's head. He kissed Saul and said, "I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. (1 Samuel 10:1 NLT)
“What?  I’m appointed as ruler of Israel?  I’m the king?  I was just looking for my father’s donkeys and now I’m king?”  What kind of thoughts go through our minds when God calls us to our part of His Plan?  Do we struggle?  Do we push back?  Do we doubt? 
God made it clear to Saul that he would be king.  First of all, he gave the message to Saul through a known and trusted prophet of God.  Secondly, he gave Saul all kinds of signs (short term predictions) through Samuel so that Saul would know it was God’s choice.  Finally, Saul was empowered with the Holy Spirit of God.
At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. (1 Samuel 10:6-7 NLT)
This final sign, the Holy Spirit, was not available to everyone back then like today.  Many years after the days of Saul, the prophet Joel would predict a day that the Holy Spirit would be made available to all people.
"Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out My Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out My Spirit even on servants--men and women alike. (Joel 2:28-29 NLT)
That day came many years after Joel.  The day was Pentecost.  The years was the same that Jesus died, arose, and ascended into heaven.  He sent His Spirt, just as promised, and the Apostles began speaking in languages they had not learned.  They shared the good news that day, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  When they finished preaching, people asked what they must do to be saved from the coming wrath of God.
Peter replied, "Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles--all who have been called by the Lord our God." (Acts 2:38-39 NLT)
How about you?  Have you repented and been immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins, receiving the Holy Spirit of God? Have you come home to the Father through the Son and received the Holy Spirit?  Are you, like Saul, empowered?