Saul went searching for some runaway donkeys, nothing more (1 Samuel 9). He was unaware that those fugitives were a divinely orchestrated ploy to lead Saul to the prophet Samuel and ultimately to be anointed as the first King of Israel. I can imagine his reaction “I was only looking for some lousy escapee animals!”
Listen to the promise Saul received at his surprise anointing.
“The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” 1 Samuel 10:6-7
Those signs were fulfilled and those promises were activated. God is with you! His Spirit is powerfully upon you! You are a changed person! Saul would need those immense assurances to fulfill his approaching leadership demands.
Fast forward to the moment when Saul was to step into leadership. The Prophet Samuel goes out on a limb in front of all Israel and calls Saul, the newly anointed King, forward. But Saul can’t be found; he’s hiding among the supplies, among the baggage!
I try to replay the internal dialogue that might have gone on in Saul’s handsome head. “I can’t do this! I can’t be the King of Israel. I don’t know how to govern wisely. Israel has never had a King before, so what if they don’t like me? What if I don’t know what to do? I’ll be the target of every battle. I don’t have enough energy or experience for the role, it’s too much for me!” On and on and on. I/me, I/me, I/me.
The only explanation for a person to hide and hold back like this is that he was stewing on fear and limits. Saul got lost in his own mind forgetting the source of his leadership strength. “God is with you! The Spirit is powerfully on you! You are a changed person!” Instead of God’s ability, Saul focused on his own inability I/me, I/me, I/me. The whole point was that Saul couldn’t do it. But God could, through Saul.
It’s interesting to me that he hid among the “baggage.” I’ve found myself hiding among my own baggage; dwelling on the past that didn’t work out quite the right way or the mistakes I made or the hurts I endured, my baggage. That led me to a whole lot of I/me, I/me, I/me fear based and numbing excuses.
So my question today for myself and for you: Will you hide among the baggage of your life today? When called forward to lead and to serve in any capacity, will you do it with an active awareness of the Spirit’s presence and power in your life? Or will you choose to stay hiding among the I/me fears and limits?
(Cue the sound of an old-school megaphone here) Step away from the baggage! God is with you! The Spirit is upon you! Lead.