Yesterday I posted the November challenge post about my fear with my goal to overcome people's perceptions of me. I decided if I'm going to get over this fear and be ready to stand and bear my testimony in Church on December 1, I better get started NOW!
I went to the Topical Guide and found all scriptures I could about Fear, being Afraid, Fearful, etc. Let me tell you, I knew there were some examples of fear in the scriptures but I was hoping to find more than just Jonah when he was in the whale and I was not disappointed. Maybe I'll have to study one different story each day until December 1 (and possibly longer).
The story I studied today was of King Saul, the first king of a united Israel. In case you were like me having early morning Seminary (5 AM start time Freshman, Sophomore and Junior year) didn't help with you learning all of the stories of the Old Testament or if you suffered from Seminary-induced Narcolepsy, here's a quick refresher on Saul's story:
Samuel was a prophet in Israel who had two sons that weren't exactly the most righteous of men. They took bribes and did not follow their father's teachings. When Samuel became old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel (stick with me, this does relate to Saul) but the people feared that their perverted ways would hinder their people. The people asked Samuel to appoint a king over them that was a goodly man and a righteous man. Samuel warned the people of the consequences and problems with a king but they did not listen and after talking with the Lord, the Lord agreed to anoint a King over Israel.
This is where Saul comes into play; his father (Kish) had donkeys who were lost and needed to be found so he sent Saul to find them. Saul went with a servant to find the donkeys; they looked all over but could not find the animals. Saul's servant told Saul of Samuel and how Samuel might be able to help them find the donkeys; Saul agreed and they went unto Samuel. The day before Saul came unto Samuel, the Lord revealed unto Samuel that he would send a young man to him tomorrow who Samuel should "anoint to be captain over... Israel." (1 Sam 9:16) And the rest is pretty much history... really it is.
Now that we're all caught up, Saul had been commanded by the Lord to smite and destroy the Amalekites and all that they had. Saul went unto the Amalekites to destroy them but kept some of their animals to sacrifice because of the people's encouragement and feared them. "And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice." (1 Sam 15:24) Samuel, the prophet, was saddened by Saul's disobedient and after much prayer with the Lord was sent to tell Saul that his kingdom will be given to his neighbor because of his disobedience.
What does this mean for you and more importantly, me? Honestly, everything. Saul feared the peer pressure and influence of the people, he feared what they would think of him if he destroyed all the animals of the Amalekites. Sara fears the thoughts and opinions of friends and family if she were to be more humble if that meant she would be more in-tuned with the spirit and show a more emotional/soft side.
Will the Lord rent my Kingdom from me? Will I be removed from the blessings that were meant to be mine? Will I disappoint the Lord because of my fears of others rather than building myself up to be who He would have me be?
Easier said than done, but Saul is just the first story of many.