1 Samuel The Platforms we are given

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Platforms come in all shapes and sizes and how God chooses to use us is by His great wisdom and His design. Platforms are designed for you to be heard or to reach hard to reach places. They put you above the crowd so you can see out and also so you can be heard.  Before all of the technology we have today the Forest Department would use platforms that allow you to see danger from a long way off.

We all have a platform that we have been given and for some of us it may be insignificant but the reality is that God has given you that platform exactly where you are for a reason. Maybe it is to reach a difficult area or to see danger that is coming a long way off or even to speak out so that others can know the danger that is coming.  We are called to use the platforms God has given us and not look for another platform that we are to use unless He tells us to move.

Samuel was given a platform and  he faithfully used it throughout his life to be a judge to the nation of Israel.  Samuel was not a superhero  just a man who was willing to be used by God, where he was, with the gifts he was given.

1)   Platforms are given to be used

 1 Samuel 3:19-21  And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Samuel was spoken to God  more because he was faithful to go ahead and tell others what God had told him. We have to be faithful with the platforms we have been given no matter what we think of them. Samuel’s first assignment was to speak to Eli which was his spiritual father and tell him the hard truth about the judgment that was coming upon him and his sons. This was not an easy task for Samuel, and the Bible is clear that he was very hesitant to even speak, but he was faithful to share it with Eli not knowing what the consequences would be.

Sometimes the platforms God give you are not to be seen by others but will effect only one person. A conversation that happened between the two of them that no one would have known about if it were not for the divine inspiration of God to record it for all eternity. God calls us to be faithful with the one before He calls us to be faithful to the many. This is not a hard fast rule but God has placed people specifically in your life for the purpose of you sharing the truth with them. God has given you a platform into peoples lives and you need to be faithful to the people around you.

Who has God placed in your life? In your home? In your neighborhood? At work or school? Be faithful using the platform that God has given you with those who He has placed around you and then, if He chooses, He may just use you in a bigger arena to impact more people.

God has given each one of us unique gifts to be used for Him. These are your unique platforms for your situation in life.

Romans 12: 6-8 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

There will be no excuses allowed when we stand before God one day for not using a certain gift that He entrusted us with.  We cannot say it was too difficult, we were too young, we did not know.  In Matthew 25 it is a sign of a true Christian when you use the platforms God has given you and put them to use. When you bury the platform God gave you then that is the one person who was called evil and wicked.

Every gift and blessing you have been given by God is a platform for you to use. Your house, your car, your job and any abilities that you have been given by God can be used as a platform into someone’s life.

Are you using the gifts God has given you? Are you building up the body of Christ? What are you waiting for?

2)   Platforms are not always easy to get up on

1 Samuel 8 :7-9 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

I’m not sure where we got the idea that Christianity is easy but it has made a lot of people quit when God did not do what they thought He should do. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that this world would be full of heartache and pain.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus knew He had to drink the cup that God would have him drink. (John 18:11) To drink the cup meant that you would take whatever God had given you no matter how difficult it was to drink. I am glad that Jesus did not say that it was difficult and then turned back because if He would have we would all be doomed to eternal separation from God. We have to know that sometimes it will not be easy but Jesus promise to us is a better life to come. So when the situation you are in gets difficult do not give up but keep doing what God has called you to do because He is using you more than you will ever realize this side of Heaven.

Samuel knew the people were going the wrong way in their thinking and he had the difficult task of telling them. Samuel had to be faithful to speak the truth to one and then faithful to speak the truth to the masses with a difficult message.  God let Samuel know that the rejection he feels is not really aimed at him but at God. Being rejected by others can be devastating but we have to expect it if we are going to do the things God calls us to. Our society is going away from God and they do not want to hear anything that has to do with God disapproving of a lifestyle they want to live. It will become more difficult to speak the truth to people who will turn on you and ruin you, your family and your career for speaking the truth.

When you suffer for anything done in the name of Jesus you can know that not only does God see what you are going through but He also feels the pain you are experiencing. We already saw how God told Samuel they are rejecting Him and not Samuel and we see in Acts 9 that Saul, who later became Paul, was told by Jesus that he was persecuting Him. When you pray about the rejection, the pain or even the loss of income you get when you speak the truth know that Jesus feels your pain and know that nothing will go unnoticed by Him and you will be rewarded for your faithfulness.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

The mission we are on is not always easy and we have to persevere through the times it is difficult. Sometimes following God can be tough but it is the mission we have to fulfill no matter how tired, frustrated or rejected we are.

Philippians 3:13-15 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

Paul says that those who are mature should think this way. What way? We should think that it is not going to be easy all of the time and we will have to press and strain toward the goal of Christ in our own lives and the lives that God has placed around us to reach.

People that take a stand above the crowd are easy targets

Just watch the news and anyone that stands out from the crowd gets blasted one way or another. Politically and socially those who stand out are going to have people that say things about them. The problem with being on a platform is that you are an easy target that stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Sometimes what God calls us to do is scary and we are not sure how it is even going to be done, but it is our job to faithfully step up and do what He is calling us to do. Remember fear is not from God. (2 Timothy 1:7)

3)   Platforms should be used for a lifetime.

1 Samuel 7:15-17 15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the Lord.

Samuel is mentioned as the Judge of Israel more than anyone else in the Bible.  My disclaimer is that yes they are given the platforms from God for a lifetime but sometimes we disqualify ourselves from keeping them for a lifetime. (1 Corinthians 9:27) Disqualified is unfit or unapproved but can also mean castaway or not really a Christian in the first place.  King Saul is one who had his platform taken from him and given to another.

It says “All the days of his life” which  shows that there was no retirement from being a Christian.  I’m not saying you have to serve in children’s but how many times have you heard people say in a church that they have already done their time serving in children’s ministry. If God has gifted you to work with Children then why would you ever stop using that gift? When you use the gifts God has given you then you are being obedient. It does not matter if you have one talent or five you will be responsible with what you do with it.

Samuel rebukes Saul for not doing what God commanded him to do and I think this is great advice for us as well.

1 Samuel 15:17-19  And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?”

Saul was given a great platform and yet in the end he failed. Saul allowed the approval of others and his low self esteem to dictate how he ruled instead of following the ways of God.

No matter what you do for the Lord you can guarantee it is not insignificant for eternity.  If you read to babies on Sundays you can go home and know that it is significant to the Lord.  If you teach in student ministry you can know that it is not insignificant and that you are making an eternal impact.  The Lord sent you on a mission and to not fulfill it is to tell Him that it is not worthy of your effort to fulfill.

Not all platforms are given a title and when we get to Heaven we are going to see people rewarded for their faithfulness and perseverance that never had a title.  Samuel was found faithful to the end of his life and my hope is that you will as well.

From The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Does life ever feel this way to you? Difficult and sometimes we forget why we do what we do? We are holding onto something and that is that Jesus Christ died for our sins making us right with God and so we can live eternally with Him. We are holding onto the fact that everything we do is seen by a Just and loving God who will reward us for the things we did. (Matthew 6:4)  We forget that God has given us an assignment and we are to be faithful with that assignment until He returns or takes us home. May we renew our passion for the mission God has placed us on knowing that nothing we do is in vain.

1 Samuel 25:1 Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah.

One of the questions that is asked about a churches influence in a city is who will miss it if it closed its doors tomorrow? Who will mourn after you are gone? Who will miss the impact you made on the world? We need to step up and faithfully be used by God in the areas He has given us. This begins in the home, in our churches and into our community.

What has God called you to do that you are not willing to do?

What platform do you have that you have not stepped up onto it yet?

Are you weary from serving then ask God for the strength to keep going but know that He is using you no matter what platform He has given you.

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