Lost Legacies

1 Samuel 13:13-14 “’You have done a foolish thing,’ Samuel said. ‘You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.  But now your kingdom will not endure…’”

Are we “all in” doing life God’s way or do we have a Plan B in reserve in case he doesn’t come through? The first king of Israel shifted to Plan B when waiting stretched his limits. It cost him a legacy.

Samuel instructed King Saul to wait for him seven days before engaging in battle against the Philistines. It turned out to be a long seven days. The Philistines assembled “three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore.” Overwhelmed with fear, Saul’s troops began abandoning him. By the seventh day with no sign of Samuel, the pressure on Saul to do something, anything, tightened.

So he caved. Rather than obeying Samuel’s instructions, he took the situation in his own hands. He offered a burnt offering—something only the priests were authorized to do—in order to garner the Lord’s favor before battle. Soon, Samuel arrived with a harsh rebuke. Because Saul failed to obey the Lord, he would have no heir to sit on the throne. Like the old Frank Sinatra song, he did it “his way.”

And a legacy was lost.

Legacies that last are legacies sustained by faith. Whether building a family, a business or a ministry, we don’t stop trusting God when it gets hard. And we certainly don’t circumvent God’s plan to get the results we want. Saul’s legacy lasted about as long as the monument he built to himself (1 Samuel 15:12). When I impatiently revert to my own efforts, I have to ask whether I’m trying to build a monument for my glory or God’s.

In choosing to believe God rather than rely on ourselves, we become part of a never-ending legacy. We let faith determine our actions, not outside pressure or half-hearted convictions. We’re “all in” with God’s ways. No Plan B. So, unlike Saul, we can wait on God’s timing, even if the troops around us are quaking in their boots.

You don’t want to abort your legacy, do you? A legacy of blessing awaits everyone who believes in God. Don’t be enslaved to doing things “your way.”

 

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