The decision to be different is a decision to surrender to the only one who can change us and that decision is our responsibility. God gave us the free-will and He can never violate it.
Last time, we saw the example of Daniel who, while in a foreign country, resolved not to eat the king’s food. Deciding to be different is refusing to conform to my surrounding.
It is also refusing to remain as I was last year, with my sinful character. If I was easily irritable or a liar, I must confess before God that I want to change but that I’m unable to do it by myself.
1 Samuel 10:1-6
The prophet Samuel, who had replaced Elie’s descendants, was ordered by God to anoint Saul as king for the people of Israel. God allowed that the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, to get lost and that Saul be sent to look for them. After unsuccessful searches, Saul’s servant suggested to seek help from a man of God. As soon as they met Samuel, the donkeys were no longer important.
Samuel anointed Saul and told him: “…after that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man” (1 Samuel 10:5, 6)
Samuel mentioned three categories of people:
- The philistines, the enemies of your faith who do not want to go deeper
- The prophets
- The singers
Because Saul was going to be in the type of environment where God was working, he would be changed into another man. And verse 9 says: “When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart”.
How can I be changed into another man?
- By receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
John 1:11-12, talking about Jesus, says: “He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”.
Romans 8:15: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!”
We do not change ourselves but it is God who transforms us.
The bible invites to set our eyes on Jesus, who is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). As we study the way He lived, He loved, He forgave…we are transformed into His image. And this is only possible through salvation by faith in Him.
- By walking by faith and not by sight
We follow the truth and not the majority
In 1 Kings 22, Achab, King of Israel, asked Jehoshaphat, King of Judah to go with him in the battle against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat suggested to inquire first for the word of the Lord. About 400 prophets all said that the Lord would grant success to the two kings. Jehoshaphat asked if there was another prophet of whom they could inquire and they went to get the prophet Micaiah. The messenger who had gone to summon him suggested to him that he should speak favorably but Micaiah answered: “…what the LORD says to me, that I will speak” (verse 14). And that’s what he did.
Being different is walking according to what God says. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy; we do not get to vote and side with the majority’s decision.
In the book of Numbers chapter 13 and 14, twelve spies were sent to explore the Promised Land. Ten came back with a bad report, saying that it was impossible to go against the inhabitants of that land but only two, Joshua and Caleb, spoke by faith and said: “If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us…do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us, do not fear them” (Numbers 14: 8, 9). After that, God promised that only Joshua and Caleb would get into the Promised Land, because they had a different spirit (Numbers 14:23, 24).
Walking by faith is trusting God and trusting His character. The invisible is greater than the visible.
Daniel remained the same in Chapter 1 and in Chapter 6, his enemies sought for a ground to complain against him but could not find any. The had to find one in connection with the law of His God (Daniel 6:5)
Even when he was thrown in the den of lions, God delivered him.