Saul’s spirit was juiced, but his soul and his community were not up to speed. Even though he experienced the public selection by God Himself, and the coronation as King of Israel, it was hard to start the new thing, since no one had done this before, and even harder to leave the old thing since it was springtime and there were fields to plow and crops to plant and he knew how to do these things. His place on the farm was familiar, comfortable and gave him a quiet confidence of his place and role.
Plus it got him a lot of approval from the familiar community.
While Egypt was slow walking his kingship, using the familiar against the unfamiliar, God was getting ready to insert God-speed into his soul and into the culture.
Nahash the Ammonite decided to attack the Israelite city of Jabesh Gilead. They were a Servant city so they asked for terms of surrender, instead of war. He replied that he didn’t really want the city or the money. He just wanted to humiliate Israel, so the terms of surrender would be that he gouged out the right eye of everyone in the city.
They decided that this level of victimization was a bit over the top, so they sent word of the ultimatum to the rest of Israel to see if anyone would rescue them.
No one stepped up, until word came to Saul as he was coming in from the field with his oxen and plow.
Now everyone has a hot spot in their design, and seeing a bully is one of the big ones for a Servant like Saul. The idea of HIS people being humiliated in THAT way caused a volcanic eruption that obliterated any shreds of slow walking Egyptian curses.
Pleased with the outcome of that event, God poured out a triple dose of God-speed on Israel, and the nation that had not had a full scale national army for centuries managed to muster 330,000 men rather abruptly. Saul made like a general, divided the troops in three columns, did a surprise attack and obliterated the Ammonite army.
That victory was one of the most comprehensive the Israelites ever achieved. No two enemy soldiers were left together.
The pain of change and the ease of the status quo causes many of us to participate in the Egyptian slow walking without even realizing how long we are letting the call of God lie fallow. By dreaming about doing the big things “someday” and by complaining occasionally about the lack of resources, lack of opportunity, and the lack of support from the close inner circle and the broader culture, we can pretend that we are really all in, passionate about the call on our lives when in reality, nothing is happening.
I invite you to make a list of the things God has called you to do. Then make a list of all the language we use for not walking in it.
“The anointing has not manifested yet.”
“I am in a season of preparation.”
“God is grooming my team.”
Etc. ad nauseum.
Then pray this prayer and ask God to do THAT THING that will ignite an explosion in the core of our design, blasting us out of our denial and passivity and paralysis. Then ask Him to also release God-speed on everything around us, so like Saul, the impossible becomes extraordinarily possible with crushing force of the nature of God, with no shred of the reproach of Egypt on us.
Copyright July 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Admiral’s Club in Dallas, half way home