Tag Archive | fight

Good Start, Bad End

A few days ago I was struck by news about a businessman who was arrested for committing a law offense. He was proven to commit various frauds and he also did tax evasion. I know him very well. He was a good Christian man, actually. He started his business three years ago. He had brilliant business ideas, had a good business strategy, had a good marketing plan, etc. Actually he could be a successful young entrepreneur but unfortunately he had a bad trait. He wants his business grows fast so he did any ways both legally and illegally just for the sake of his business. Too bad!  Just because of his impatience then he became disobeyed to God and finally God punishes him.  Besides arrested, another consequence was all of his personal and company’s assets were confiscated! It was unfortunate. Everything that had started well ended very badly. Good start, bad end!

This businessman reminded me to the one of Bible figure named Saul in the book of Samuel. Saul and the businessman have similar story. Let’s take a glance to Saul’s figure. Saul was a chosen people, handsome and taller than any people. (1Samuel 9:2) He also was known as a humble man (1 Samuel 9:20-21) and He filled with the Holy Spirit like a prophet. (1 Samuel 10: 10-13) Saul became a first King of Israel. See, Saul actually started his step very well. He had higher quality than others. I imagine, with the high quality he had at the time, actually he could achieve resounding success. He supposed could be a great king in his era and remembered all the time. But unfortunately, the reality was different. Saul was stringing his life story very ironic or even tragic. My dear readers, when I said to my husband that I want to write about Saul, He asked me, “in fact, what is Saul’s fault?” I know my husband was testing me with that question but to be honest it makes me ponder deeper. Well, let’s see what Saul’s fault really is. Let’s pay attention seriously to the Saul’s answer when Samuel asked him after offered a burnt offering, “What have you done?”  Saul replied,

 “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 13:11-12)

 Dear readers, I invite you for a moment to go backwards to the days of Saul and imagine we’re close with Saul, also imagine the situation. People scattered from Saul (six hundred men left), Samuel didn’t come, and worse the Philistines will come. Well, what do you think? Wouldn’t it very sensible if Saul took action while the situation at the time was quite dangerous, right? So, where is Saul’s mistake? Did not Saul take precaution and rescue for the Israelites? Many people discuss that Saul’s mistake was about offered up the burnt offering. Saul was a king and offered up the burnt offering is a priest’s authority. Yes that is right! But…Saul’s impudence to ordered bring the burnt offering was just an effect and if we remain want to say it was a mistake, it wasn’t become a fatal mistake. There’s one big and fatal mistake that causes Saul fall. Let’s see… Actually, there was dealing between Saul and Samuel. Saul had to wait the time that set by Samuel. Seven days! (1 Samuel 13:8) But because after seventh day Samuel didn’t come while Saul’s men began to scatter, then Saul took an initiative to offered burnt offering. My dear friend, you know what, this’s all a matter of time. Saul cannot wait a little longer until Samuel comes. Actually the seventh day hasn’t finished yet and in fact, Samuel arrived a few moments after Saul finish offered the burnt offering. So actually, Saul’s impatience in waiting for Samuel became the root of Saul’s fall.

Impatience was the biggest Saul’s fault. His impatience produces disbelief and disobedience, and the result of his disbelief and disobedience, he took over Samuel position as a priest, and worst, there was a consequence. Saul lost his kingdom because he less of two or three hours patience.

Besides, this’s just my personal opinion (I’m sorry if I’m wrong). Saul had a personal interest. Saul tried to be sole ruler by concentrating political and religion power in his hand. He wants to be a hero, but he forgot that his act has been violate Samuel’s authority as a priest and it wasn’t pleasing God.

Now let’s see what Samuel reaction is. Saul might have a thought that he already acted right and wisely.  It turns out, Saul action wasn’t reaping a compliment from Samuel but he got the opposite. Let’s take a look what Samuel says in 1 Samuel 13:13.Samuel said, “You have done foolishly” Samuel’s reaction was clearly implies rebuke to Saul. My beloved readers, in this part we’ll see Saul’s faith quality. If we look carefully, from the beginning Saul used dangerous condition as an excuse to do something that turn out totally wrong, even Samuel said, ” You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God” Saul didn’t realize that precisely the danger situation put his faith and obedience to a test. He didn’t realize that indeed God is testing his faith. At that time, Saul was controlled by condition not by faith. As a man who chosen by God and filled with the Holy Spirit, in the danger condition Saul should be by faith completely trust , obey and rely on God, not using the danger situation as a reason to did foolish thing. Samuel said that God will have established Saul’s kingdom over Israel forever. It means God will also control the dangerous situation at the time; God will do something for Saul and his kingdom. But unfortunately, Saul’s faith fails and loses by the condition. Saul didn’t do what has commanded by God, he already doubts God’s power, and he prefers to act according his own understanding.

Every action is always having consequence. Like that businessman, Saul also got consequence. Because of his disobedience, Saul’s kingdom will not continue and God has sought and appointed someone else to be a king. (1 Samuel 13: 14) Because of his impatience and disbelief to God Saul should accept a bitter and tragic reality. His shining early career wrecked in an instant and because of Saul’s another fault at the later time, Saul had to end his story life tragically killed himself with a sword and the Philistines cut off his head. (1 Samuel 31:4, 8)

My dear friends, this evening allow me to use the story of Saul and the businessman as an example and reminder for all of us.  Make it as our reminder to always keep and maintain our obedience and faith to God.  When for the first time we take a decision to repent and accept Jesus as our Savior, we’ve already begun the beginning of our lives very well. We begin with a very good start. We receive God’s promises of protection, care and salvation as a form of His grace. But we’ve to know that not only stop there; we still have one important duty. Our duty is keep our repentance and salvation to the finish line by remains obedient to God’s command. When we’re in difficult situation, in the depressed state, or surround by hard problems, we’ve to believe wholeheartedly that God has power beyond anything. If God seems silent and do nothing, let’s be patience. Actually God is always able to free us from our hard time but not according our time but in His perfect time. So, let’s be patient! I strongly believe if Saul could a bit be patient waiting for Samuel come his story will be totally different.

My dear readers, what about us now? Let’s take time for a moment for self-reflection. Have we been faithful and obedient to the God’s word no matter in the hard times or not? Could we be patient waiting for fulfillment of God’s promises? Are we still able to hold our faith strong even in the most critical conditions? This evening, allow me to encourage all of us to learn from Saul’s fault.  Don’t do the same thing like Saul did so make us loss of God’s blessing just because of impatience we do the foolish thing and it takes us into the sin. Don’t make God regret like He regret made Saul to be a king.  We’ve to always totally aware that difficult and danger situation in our lives often become a powerful weapon used by Satan to tempt us and make us down, or sometime God want to test us to know how strong our faith quality, how obedient we are to do God’s command, and how much we patient await for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Therefore, my beloved friends, it’s very important to keep our heart and mind always close to God so there’s no gap at all for Satan enter to tempt us. Praying that God always give us strength of faith, remain faithful and obedient to His Command, and has infinite patience.  Don’t make our repentance and the salvation that God has given to us become in vain just because we tempted to do thing seemingly good and wise but actually a foolish thing, bring us into the sin, and finally we will get very bitter and tragic consequences like Saul and the businessman. Don’t make a good start but with the bad end. Let’s make a good start till the finish line like Paul said,” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) Amen

 

Karina – Living by faith

 

 

 

Strong as a Lion

 

Lion -Karina's Thought

I really love one of the animated movies which titled “Lion King”. Yesterday evening once again I watched its movie. In this movie we can see a lion named “Simba” fought against Hyena group. Until finally Simba proudly stand up to be a king! In the real world, lion dubbed as king of the jungle. Why? Here are the reasons; Lion has incredible ability to fight, powerful, predatory, brave, and even a lion be able to climb a tree. This makes lion tougher than tiger. Lion has a very famous style which is when the lion pounced on their enemy’s nape. It is believed could knock down and kills the enemies in a very short time. There is so many another reasons why lion called as king of the jungle.

But there is another thing from a lion that couldn’t be ruled out and this noted in the bible. Lion is a strong animal even strongest than other animals because lion never give up easily from anything. Lion is an unyielding animal.

a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing (Proverb 30:30)

However, the bible pay attention even not on the lion’s fighting ability but rather to the mental ability to face many challenges.

So now, what is the relation between us as Christians with the lion? Ok here’s a bit explanation about it. Lion could be a good example or illustration for us how supposed we behave as God’s children when we face so many life’s challenges. We should being like lion. Strong, never easy to give up, had a mental hardiness, and not easily discouraged. But in fact, many of us as Christians do not have it all. We are oftentimes become very weak and vulnerable buffeted by storm of life, easy to waver when hit by many problems. Even not a little of us had give up before truly facing the challenges.

Actually, as Christians we have been equipped by God with various abilities and talents and we can use it to overcome many problems. Not only that, we are have been equipped with God’s Spirit who dwells within us.

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7)

These verses firmly stated that we are the son and no longer become a slave, and God’s Spirit lived in us. Verily, with all that we have we are not supposed to be a vulnerable and weak person. We should to be a tough person. God created us as winner, even more than a winner. Not a loser!

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37)

Let us briefly look at the story of David when facing Goliath’s challenge. At that time, David was still very young.  His job is only as a shepherd. Not like his brothers who accustomed and trained on the battlefield. But, facing a giant which equipped with powerful and complete weapon makes the soldiers fear. Then what happened to David? Whether David scared too? Absolutely no! David fully aware of who really he is. He also knows as to what God created his identity. Here’s his response to Goliath’s challenge…

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26)

David was not afraid at all because he really knows where is God will stand. David knows God will standing in the row where he is. And the fact, successfully, David beat Goliath who wear armor and complete weapon. Unbelievable! Goliath defeated only with a traditional weapon. Stone and a slingshot! This is David’s attitude who illustrates a lion’s attitude which not easily to give up when facing many challenges, whatever it is.

In the book of Revelation Jesus was said to be the lion of Judah who come from the line of David.

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”(Revelation 5:5)

Jesus as the Lion of Judah has proven His true strength as the King of king and never steps back from His tasks in this world as the Lord commanded to Him. And finally His tasks completed on the Cross. Just for our save sake!

My dear reader, once again God created us to be like a lion, to be like genuine the Lion of Judah. We were created not to be a loser but conqueror, even more than a conqueror!  We were created as His eldest Child. We have equipped with various skill and abilities to be performed with a figure like a lion. And not only that, because God be with us who always ready carry us to the each level of success, no matter how difficult the situation that we face today.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I will end this post with a few questions. How do we dare to face the life’s challenges today? Do we have the courage like David who has an attitude like a lion who never give up? Or we still in the category who could give up easily? Where is our position now?  Become a winner or loser?  This evening I would like to encourage you to contemplate this one:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 I am not saying that as Christians we will definitely free from problems and obstacles. There are always obstacles and challenges in our lives. But with God, with a resounding, we will be able to overcome any problems and obstacles. As the verse above said, if God is for us, who can be against us? My dear friends, Do not ever give up, keep endure and struggling, to be a winner not a loser. Be strong as strong as lion. Have a winning mentality like a lion. Are we ready? Amen.  strong as a lion.

Karina – Living by Faith.

Photo credit: Google Images