Week 1 | February 26, 2020
Made for More: Made for God
WHAT’S THE POINT? I am made for relationship with Jesus, but too often I am enticed away to cheap counterfeits.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
1 Samuel 15:22 Rejection of Saul:
“But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.””
1 Samuel 16:7 Endorsing of David:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Hey everyone, welcome to youth. A special hey, to those at our Southwest Campus. It’s crazy that we’re at the end of February and we’re back together again. We’re starting our new series this week called made for more. Given our series, about being made for more, I thought it would be fun to start out with a few inventions. I’m going to put these inventions on the screen and I want you to shout out what you think think this invention is for. They will get progressively more difficult to guess as we go along. Are you ready?
Obscure Invention Guessing Game (ending with a photo of youth)
So was it difficult to determine the purpose of some of those inventions? Two things that would have made it easier for us to determine what the inventions were for are
The owners manual, or even a title as to what it is
The actual inventor to explain to us the invention’s purpose
Similarly, to find out your purpose, you either need
An Owner’s Manual, perhaps something that tells you how to live your life… like the Bible maybe?
And it would be super helpful if the actual inventor or creator could explain our purpose
That’s what I want to talk about tonight. I’d like us to process this idea that you were made for more. You are made for more than a dogbrella or a baby shower cap. You are made for more than some of the things we chase in this world. Much of those things we chase, money, power, popularity, influence, sex, entertainment, are all just poor counterfeits for what we were really made for. We were made for God. That’s what we’re talking about tonight. That you and I were made for God.
There’s an old quote, no one is really sure where it is from, but here it is. The two most important days in your life are 1. The day you were born and 2. The day you figure out why.
Two most important days, day you were born and the day you figure out why. I am going to suggest that the why for all of us, comes down to God, to Jesus. I am going to suggest all of those yearnings, all of those longings for something more, we were made for more, are actually fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus says John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
As we go through this series, we are going to look at a number of individuals from the Bible, our owner’s manual, and we’re going to examine how this purpose for more, for God, was in their lives. Tonight we’re going follow the story of two guys, the tale of two kings. King Saul and King David. Other than becoming king of the Israelite people, these guys don’t have a lot in common. I mean, they were both born, that’s a commonality, but beyond that, they are different.
It doesn’t seem like Saul has any brothers or none to mention if he does, but David is the youngest of 8 brothers.
Saul is described as being very kingly, attractive in his looks, a head taller than anyone else.
David is also described as being attractive, but not tall like Saul.
But all that appearance stuff. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is what they were made for. Did they actually live out their true purpose?
Cold hard facts. God rejects Saul as king and endorses David as king. Let’s dive into that story to find out more about it, because it speaks to what you and I were made for as well.
The Israelite people, before Saul, didn’t have a king. They went for centuries without one, because God was their king, he was their leader. The Israelite people got restless, and they notice that all of the other nations around them had a king, and so they demanded that they would have one too, which is kind of back handed way to tell God they didn’t want Him to be their king.
So that’s where this king thing started. God uses Samuel, a prophet to pick a king for the people. God has Saul anointed and chosen. He looked exactly like the king everyone in Israel wanted but inside he was not the ideal king. Saul was pulled in all sorts of directions inside. He seemed to struggle with people approval, popularity, self-confidence, jealousy and all sorts of other inner troubles. This led to him being impatient with God, trying to put focus on himself instead of on God, and all sorts of other disobedient actions, that he often tried to cover up his interior intent.
After one event where Saul was trying to rush God along and was disobedient to God’s directions, Samuel the prophet showed up and says:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Then we see Samuel tell Saul that he has been rejected from being king. And in the following chapter we find David being anointed to be king.
The story of David being chosen is really interesting, if you haven’t read it I’d encourage you to take a look at 1 Samuel 16.
God leads Samuel to the house of Jesse, and the he goes through all David’s brothers who are tall and kingly looking but none of them are chosen. Then God speaks this to Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Then David is chosen as king. Not for his looks or his height, but because of his faith and his heart after God. It describes it this way in Acts 13:22 about David: After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
So why do I tell you this? Why the story? Remember what I said at the beginning are the two most important days of your life? The day you were born and the day you found out why. I’m hoping to help you with that second day.
So here it is, I am made for God. I am made for a relationship with Jesus. That is the why, but too often we miss that. Saul missed it. David was all about it. Saul had a whole bunch of cheap counterfeits for that relationship with God.
Saul was distracted by popularity. He was distracted by power. He was distracted by comparison with others. He disobeyed God because of a number of these distractions, these cheap counterfeits for relationship with God. If you read through 1 Samuel 9 when Saul is anointed as King, to his death in 1 Samuel 31 you can see a man who is enticed to do all sorts of things by these cheap counterfeits.
David on the other hand, is called a man after God’s heart. This speaks about his heart, his direction toward God. It doesn’t speak about perfection, because if you read about David, you can learn a lot about his faith and willingness to follow God, but you can also read about some his biggest mess-ups. What David got right was the heart piece.
James 4:8 says: Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
I feel like David lived out the first half of this verse and Saul suffered from the last phrase in this verse. David realized his why, his purpose to live was for God. He drew near to God and God drew near to him. Saul on the other hand was double-minded… or triple or quadruple minded as he was more concerned with his self interest and his fame or popularity with others.
Fast forward, thousands of years till today. I want to ask this simple question. Where is your heart at? Have you figured out why you are here? There are so many people running around like Saul. They chase after popularity, they want people to like them, they want to be known by others. I can remember, when I was in Junior High, and even into high school, I wanted to be known for being good at sport. Football, basketball, tennis, you name it, I wanted people to pick me for their team, I was focused on that. I wanted people to like me. Even today, I can still get lured into that cheap counterfeit to relationship with God. I can seek people’s approval and at times when I get that cheap thrill, which doesn’t last.
Let me tell you, our why, our reason for existence isn’t to get people to like us. It also isn’t to accumulate stuff, or money. It’s not even to do the best in school, achieve the highest marks or to get the best job, one that makes lots of money, we enjoy and maybe save some trees or something while we do it. It’s not even to find “love.”
People spend their lives on these types of things and it’s like they’ve hopped on the train or the bus but they don’t realize it’s going in the opposite direction. School, money, special relationships, all of these things are not bad. They are actually great. But we are made for more. We are made for Jesus and our lives cannot be fulfilled without that being our primary pursuit.
The problem is, that most people around us talk more, support more, and reinforce more of this pursuit of counterfeits, more than our relationship with Jesus. When we achieve, when we become more popular when we hit these social or status markers, those around us cheer, but we’re not cheering on near as much our pursuit of the life with Jesus.
We need to have a wake up moment. We need to open our eyes to the fact that we’re riding the bus in the wrong direction. Both Saul and David had wake up moments, and their differing responses show us their different hearts.
Saul was called to account by the prophet Samuel for not obeying God’s instruction. This was his wake up. But he stayed asleep. He got defensive when he was called to account. Saul was instructed by God to wipe out a whole city and devote to destruction all of the livestock. When Samuel showed up and asked him why he heard cattle lowing, Saul argued that they were saving the best of the animals to sacrifice to God. Samuel told Saul that God wants “obedience rather than sacrifice.” Why do you think He wants to be obeyed? Jesus answers this in the new testament when he says, if you love me, do what I command. God doesn’t want parts of our heart. He doesn’t even want extravagant sacrifices. He wants you.
David’s wake up, later on in life has a different response. David messes up really bad. He commits adultery, takes another man’s wife, gets her pregnant and then kills her husband to cover it up. Pretty bad right? Nathan the prophet delivers God’s wake up to David and calls him out. David could have Nathan killed and continue the cover up, but David’s response is so different than Saul’s. David says “…I have sinned against the LORD.” 2 Samuel 12:13 That response, his willingness to admit fault and to go to God for forgiveness and change is what makes all the difference, and it gives hope to you and I.
Do you see the difference in Saul’s and David’s responses when confronted with their pursuit of counterfeits for their relationship with God? They both had a wake up call, but only one came alive, the other continued in the wrong direction.
So those are two kings from long ago. But what about us? What about me?
Let me be personal with you. A counterfeit that I often trade for my relationship with Jesus is the pleasing of people. I can stress myself out over trying to make everyone happy. I try to make people happy in the church. I try to make my clients happy who I do video projects for. I try to make my family happy. I try to please as many people as I can, so that they like the work that I do, and ultimately like me, and I am led to believe that if I can do all that, then maybe I will like me too.
There have been moments in my recent life where this pursuit of pleasing people has become so stressful, I get destroyed, I can’t function, I turn in to my cocoon and I don’t ever want to come out again. These moments have been wake ups for me. How we respond in those times is critical. It reveals where our heart is.
So what are the moments in your life where you may have had a wake up from God? How did you respond? Maybe you have been overly stressed from school, assignments, getting the good marks? What’s behind that? Is it your own desire to achieve? Is a desire to please your parents or compete with your friends? There is nothing wrong with school, or getting good marks, but that “why” for your life is not enough and can be a counterfeit to a relationship with God. Maybe if you are in a place of overwhelming stress on that, maybe Jesus is trying to wake you up.
Some of you in this room, are tied up into finding that “one” person. That love of your life. Have you experienced heart break? Have you experienced rejection? Or maybe in a relationship, wanting more and more of that relationship and you’re doing things that cross boundaries that you know you shouldn’t cross and you’re carrying guilt.
These can all be wake-ups for us. The stress, the guilt, the rejection, the loneliness, sickness, moments of awareness, these can be all God’s grace to us, to wake us up. Are you listening?
Quickly, let me qualify, if you experience these things, it doesn’t mean that you are not connected to Jesus or living outside of His will, but they can be a wake up to turn our hearts back to Him.
Let me read you this scripture again and then I’ll invite you to respond.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Are you double-minded, or maybe better said, do you have a divided heart? Have you figured out the real why of your life, that you were made for God, made for Jesus? I’m going to pray and invite you to do one of 3 things.
Start a relationship with Jesus
Invite Jesus to speak and wake you up to how your heart could be divided
Pray with you for forgiveness for a divided heart, to get back on track or stay on track with Jesus