A key military leadership principle is the commander’s intent, whose primary purpose is to focus subordinate units on actions that must be accomplished to ensure mission success. The commander’s intent is nonnegotiable, requiring unwavering trust from subordinate units in the commander’s strategy, even when faced with unexpected events or temporary setbacks.
The Holy Bible is God’s “intent” for all who trust and follow in obedience. The word of God directs our life journey and keeps us on the path of righteousness.
In 1 Samuel 15:3, God instructs King Saul to annihilate the Amalekites. Surprisingly, King Saul disobeys God’s intent, sparing the Amalekite king and keeping any of the enemy’s property worthy of salvage. In this costly decision, King Saul exercises utter disdain for the Lord’s clear guidance to him. Saul’s life quickly spirals out of control as he sets up a victory monument to himself, lies to the prophet Samuel, blames the people of Israel for his own willful disobedience, denies any wrongdoing, and insists that his intentions were honorable. When confronted by the prophet Samuel, King Saul confesses that he had chosen to listen to the voice of his people instead of the Lord. As a result, God removes Saul as king of Israel.
The Lord calls each of us daily to hear and obey divine intent for our lives as revealed in the inspired word of God. God desires obedience. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. This love allows us to live righteous, loving, and humble lives. Jesus Christ commanded us to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. What is God’s intent for your life? What clear guidance has God given you?
Loving God, lead us daily into your glorious presence. May we trust and follow your plan for our lives. Amen.
From a human perspective, we tend to judge people by appearances: how attractive they are, how wealthy they seem to be. God’s standard, however, is not outward appearance but the attitude of the heart. David was the youngest brother in his family, yet God knew his mighty heart and chose him as the next king of Israel. The psalmist declares that God gives victory to those who put their trust in God, not in the outward appearance of might. Jesus reinforces this truth with the parable of the mustard seed. Though the seed appears small, it grows into a robust plant. Paul tells the Corinthians that we should no longer judge people by what we see on the outside, for God changes what really matters—what is on the inside.
• Read 1 Samuel 15:34–16:13. What clear guidance has the Lord given you regarding an area of obedience in your life?
• Read Psalm 20. How has the Lord answered you when you called out during a critical moment in time?
• Read Mark 4:26-34. What prevents you from trusting God to use your testimony to lead others to Jesus Christ?
• Read 2 Corinthians 5:6-17. How does your trust in and obedience to God affect your personal conduct and your attitude toward others?
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