(11 )”What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering and that you did not come at the set time and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash,
(12) I thought ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
1 Sam 13:11-12
What do you think of when you hear the term “separation anxiety”?
Upon doing a little research on the term, I found “separation anxiety” to be a fairly standard phase in 8-14 month olds, when they are separated from their primary care giver.
The “separation anxiety” I see in Saul, is anxiety due to separation from his God connection and his followers. This “separation anxiety” causes him to have symptoms of “losing-control anxiety”, which is one of the most prevalent fears people have. This is the fear that if you don’t manage to control the outcome of future events, something terrible will happen. In Saul’s case, the “something terrible” was a Philistine invasion,
According to Psychology Today, ” The crux of the problem is the demand for certainty in a world that is always tentative and uncertain. It is precisely this unrealistic demand that creates the anxiety.”
When I expect someone to show up and they don’t; when my friends seem to scatter and when I feel the enemy pressing in against me, anxiety sets in. I no longer feel “strength in numbers”. I now feel “our of control and completely exposed.”
How do I respond?
How would you respond?
How did Saul respond?
I shake my head and tend to judge Saul for taking matters into his own hands but then I am reminded of all the times I have taken matters into my own hands, instead of waiting on and trusting in God.
As a young teenage girl, I developed an eating disorder in an effort to be a beauty queen, when I was already God’s masterpiece awaiting HIS perfect timing to blossom. I chose a boyfriend to be my first love over the God Who had been wooing me to Himself and preparing me to awaken love at the proper time and I managed to quench the Spirit’s Holy fire in years of “filling up on other spirits” to numb the shame I wore for the years the locust ate.
I wanted “Katie’s Plans” blessed and somewhere along the way I totally lost sight of the fact that Christ had a perfect plan for me, a “God Plan”, that promised a hope and future, plans to prosper me and not harm me and plans that revolved around the fact that HIS PRESENCE was more than enough. My insecurity that I wasn’t “beautiful” enough and the fear that I might end up alone caused me to miss the precious process of “becoming” and the peace that comes from knowing I am HIS prized possession.
As the enemy assembled against Saul, and he saw he lost his popularity and his priest; he decided to try and make God bless “Saul’s plans” instead of waiting on God to show him “the God plan.”
Saul let his fear and pride drive him into the “what if” zone, thus compelling him to move ahead of God, just as I let fear and insecurity drive me into the “what if” zone and place my plans before God’s plans.
Saul lost God’s favor and his royal position because he took matters into his own hands. I am eternally grateful that as a born again Christ follower, I will never lose God’s favor and I am an heir to God’s Heavenly throne forever. If Christ is your personal Lord and Savior you too have God’s eternal favor, presence and Royal adoption papers!
Sign, sealed, delivered we are HIS!
Dear Lord, Help me “flip the script” on “separation anxiety”
“Therefore I am always confident and know that as long as I am at home in the body I am separate from the Lord. For I live by faith and not by sight. I am confident, I say, and would prefer to be separate from the body and at home with the Lord. So I make it my goal to please HIM, whether I am at home in the body or separate from it.”
2 Cor. 5:6-9
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Have you ever felt compelled to take matters into your own hands due to allowing your mind to entertain the crazy “what if” zone?
Do you have any instances where you remember heading to the “crazy zone”, but you stopped and chose a different path? How did you do it and where did your mind go instead?
2 Peter 3:9
Faith in Action:
The next time I find myself without a Word from the Lord, without friends or followers, and with an enemy closing in, may I choose a different response.
May I choose to seek the Lord in HIS WORD and wait there until HE speaks.
May I choose to focus on my ever-present help in time of need, instead of the thinning crowd around me.
May I fight the enemy with the Sword of the Spirit, GOD’S WORD, responding in faith, instead of reacting from fear.
The next time my mind heads for the “what if” zone, compelling me to take matters in to my own hands, may I:
“Take my everyday, ordinary life-my sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for me is the best thing I can do for HIM. May I not become so well-adjusted to my culture that I fit into it without even thinking, Instead, may I fix my attention on GOD. I’ll be changed from the inside out. I will readily recognize what HE wants from me, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around me, always dragging me down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of me, develops well-formed maturity in me.”
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
Author~ Katie Wilson