I usually fly about 4 times a year.
I tend to over-pack, so I’m often the one guy in the group who checks his luggage.
I fly a decent amount with my good friend, Pastor Kevin Thomas, who has spoken here a number of times
We’re often flying to church planter assessment centers to assess candidates, etc.
And he gives me a lot of grief about having to wait for me in baggage claim.
Who likes waiting in baggage claim?
The last two times I’ve flown with him, I attempted to pack light and get all of my things in a carry-on.
But when we boarded the aircraft they said, “Sorry sir, the overhead compartments are all full, you’ll have to check your bag and pick it up in baggage claim”
And despite my efforts to change…there we are…waiting in baggage claim nonetheless.
And who likes waiting in baggage claim?
Actually, some of us…do like waiting in baggage claim.
Let me explain through our passage today.
We are currently in the middle of teaching through the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament of the Bible.
A book that covers how the Israelites, God’s people of the Old Testament, received their first King.
And last week, we talked about chapter 9, where God helps Samuel discover Israel’s first king, Saul.
And this week, in chapter 10, it’s time to tell all of Israel, they finally got their wish…a king.
Let’s take a look at our passage for today:
(1 Samuel 10:17-24) – NIV
17 Samuel summoned the people of Israel to the Lord at Mizpah 18 and said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’ 19 But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’ So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.” 20 When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. 21 Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.” 23 They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. 24 Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
So, in our last chapter Saul was anointed king in private, now it’s going to become public through the casting of lots for King
Which in the Old Testament, before the days in which the Holy Spirit dwelled within every believer, this was a way that God sometimes communicated to his people.
Scholars believe they cast lots in all sorts of ways, but they likely did something similar to putting the names of the 12 tribes of Israel in a pot, prayed, and picked a name.
Then did the same with the clans, families, and individuals.
And lo and behold, Saul’s name is chosen.
Just like God had already told Samuel & Saul
At this point, you’re expecting Saul to come walking down like a boxer or UFC fighter to theme music
You’re expecting to hear, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the great donkey chaser, the most handsome man in Benjamin, the tallest man this side of the Jordan…SAUL!”
And yet…where is he?
“No, seriously, where is he?” J
They ask God again, “Where is this guy?”
God says, “Oh, he’s here. But he’s hiding among the supplies”
Many of the translations say, “The baggage”
See, the people had journeyed from ALL OVER Israel to hear this historic announcement.
Just like many would have liked to have been at the announcement of the who the first President of the United States was going to be.
And while they were out in this field at Mizpah, many would have put their baggage, or supplies in a designated area while they packed in to listen to Samuel.
And Saul decides…that’s a good place to hide from being King.
But why is Saul hiding in the baggage?
And furthermore, why is he hiding in the baggage if God has ALREADY called him to be King!
GOD called him!
And through miraculous events no less!
The Bible even says God is moving in his life now:
(1 Samuel 10:9-10) – NIV
9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.
God changes Saul’s heart and the Spirit of the Lord comes on Him
Saul is, for a time (it says) experiencing God moving in his life greatly.
There should be no doubt in his mind that God wants him to be King at this point.
Yet, here he is…days later, at his “coronation of sorts,” and he’s the guy hiding in the baggage.
Now, before we give Saul a bad rap, we’ve got to ask here, “Is Saul really that different that you and I?”
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you too have experienced a great move of God like Saul.
Maybe it was when you first became a believer…
Or at a camp when you were a kid.
Or at a worship night.
Maybe, like Saul, you too have seen the signs that God is indeed real.
And He’s orchestrated some events in your life that only He could do.
And just like Saul, we too have a calling.
In fact, the Bible would say you have two.
For one, a general calling:
To obey God…to trust Him.
To do the great commission:
That’s Matthew 28: Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.
This is what we do at Renovation Church:
It’s our vision: To be a people being changed by God to change the world
God wants to use you to make an impact for Him in this world
It’s one of the most central things he wants out of your life here on earth.
And secondly, you have specific callings
If you are listening to God, He’s often calling you to do specific things…and obey Him in specific areas…
And also, like Saul, you’ve been empowered to do these two things if you are a believer.
Just as Saul was given the Spirit, believers of Jesus Christ have been given the Holy Spirit.
Who is God…one of the 3 equal members of the Trinity
And the Spirit is in you to do many things, but 1 of them is to empower you to go out and impact your world.
So just like Saul:
You’ve seen God move
You have a calling
And you’ve been empowered by God to do it.
And yet, just like Saul, many of us are still hiding in bagging claim
TIME TO LEAVE BAGGAGE CLAIM
Here’s what’s really interesting to me about this passage:
Saul came to the event at Mizpah.
He knew he was called.
He knew why Samuel had gathered everyone at Mizpah…
He’s not thinking, “Ooo, I hope they have food trucks here”
Saul had arrived at his destination…but he wouldn’t leave baggage claim.
It’s sort of like this:
Imagine you work for a company, and they’ve asked you to fly to New York City to lead a few meetings in Manhattan
So you fly to LaGaurdia airport in New York (which just this week got ranked as the slowest airport in the U.S.), but once you pick up your bags in baggage claim, you’re afraid to leave.
I mean, there are just SO many cars outside..
And there are going to be SO many big buildings.
And SO many people
You could get lost!
Or worse…mauled by a huge rat!
So, you decide to just hang out in baggage claim instead.
But see, arrival isn’t everything.
You’re not going to accomplish the task that was given to you if you just sit in baggage claim.
And you know, I think a lot of Christians have simply become complacent with just arriving…and nothing more.
We’re stuck hiding in baggage claim
God is calling us to this extraordinary journey of changing the world with Him, and we’re satisfied with, “No thanks. I’m just happy you forgave me. I’ll see you in church once a month. Just merely ‘arriving’ is fine with me…I’m not going to risk anything further”
In the beginning of Tolkien’s classic, “The Hobbit,” the great wizard Gandalf comes to the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and is trying to entice him to go on an adventure.
And in the midst of their conversation, the following exchange happens:
Gandalf turns to Bilbo and says, "I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone."
Bilbo replies, "I should think so—in these parts! We are plain, quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
Sounds just like a lot of Americans nowadays.
History might call us “the SAFE generation”
So what is it…that God is calling you to do…but you’re hiding in baggage claim?
You’re lying to yourself, saying, “It’s fine. I’ve arrived. I’m here. I’m a Christian. And that’s enough”
But arrival is not what you’ve been made for.
God has SO much more for you!
He’s gifted you for a reason!
He wants to use you!
Maybe God’s calling you to start something:
Like a Bible study at work
Or to host a BBQ in your neighborhood to meet more people…and hopefully tell them about Jesus someday
Or maybe He’s calling you to start a family prayer time at home
Or maybe you’re an empty nester now, and God’s calling you to get back out there, and really start investing your time again
Maybe He’s calling you to speak up somewhere
Or to speak to someone.
Maybe share the Gospel with a co-worker
Or even to go reconcile with someone.
The reality is, God is calling each and every one of us, to all sorts of different things!
However, I think, a lot of us feel these urgings of calling from God, but we never leave baggage claim
Because we’re AFRAID.
I see this every year when we take people to Haiti.
We’ve taken over 50 different people to Haiti in the last 4 years.
And every year they come back, and they say, “WOW! That was amazing! When I took the risk and left baggage claim (literally in this case J) and I served other people and I did ministry, and went out and did what God designed me for…it was an absolutely AMAZING thing to experience”
But yet, every year, people don’t go.
Sometimes they even tell me, “David I feel God nudging me to go…but….but…but….)
But why not go?
Baggage claim is a lot less scary than actually “going out there”
But don’t settle for that.
God wants to take you on an adventure.
God has uniquely gifted you and wants to use you to impact this world!
And yet we settle all the time.
I’ve had many conversations with church planters regarding this:
They’re trying to gather people to join their launch teams to start a new church and change the world, and people don’t want to do it because to do so…would require sacrifice.
“Billy has a good friend in his Sunday school, and we don’t want to mess with that”
“We’re really comfortable with our schedules right now, and plus, we wouldn’t want to drive any farther”
We encounter the same thing here as we try and encourage people to serve with us…to change the world with us.
And a really high percentage of you do (which is amazing! Thank you! We couldn’t do this without you!)
But many don’t.
As we often say, “Renovation Church is not a cruise ship, it’s a row boat”
Pick up an oar.
But many of us are chalk full of excuses
“Yeah, I would, but I’m super busy right now”
Listen, when you die and meet Jesus in heaven, you’re not going to say, “You know what Jesus, I think I spent too much time on earth serving you. I should have spent more time at work”
So many of us spend our whole lives obsessed with caring for earthly things without thinking much about spiritual things
Sometimes we say, “Yeah, I would join one of those teams on the connection card, and be a part of this movement that is reaching a lot of people for Christ, but I’ve got kids to tug around, so I can’t. I need to be with them”
True, but your God comes first.
I think a lot of Christian parents give lip service to the idea of “God first”, but their feet are walking in a different direction
Let me ask you: Can your kids tell that God comes first?
Many of us are better at modeling hiding in baggage claim than we are modeling sacrificial service to Christ
Your goal is not for your child to grow up and say, “My mom…she didn’t do a lot for God…but boy did she have our family calendar organized!”
Your goal is not for your son to grow up and say, “My dad…he sure never risked much for the Kingdom…but boy was he SAFE!”
Remember, your kids might not listen to you J, but I assure you that they are watching you.
And let me ask you an interesting question: Based on what they see in your life, “What do you think they think the church is? What do they think Christians are supposed to do?”
By watching you, “Do they think Christianity is a row boat or a cruise ship?”
I love it when I see families come here together early on Sundays, and they help set this up, AS A FAMILY.
Or stay late as a family (once a month) to help put away Bibles and chairs…as A FAMILY
Those kids are learning more from their parents in that hour about what Christianity is than other kids sometimes learn in a year.
We’re here…to serve others…to make disciples…to reach people.
This isn’t just for “us”
If it’s time to change…don’t leave here today without leaving “rowboat” behind.
Get out your bulletin now and sign-up to be a part of something.
You can drop it in the offering later.
If you’re looking to help in the area of greatest need, I can tell you that the areas that are the most in need, are areas like: lighting team, computer, camera., set-up, and more.
It’s time to step out of the comfort of baggage claim and do more of what you were meant to do.
And if God is also calling you to something else…maybe some of those things we were talking about earlier
And He’s been putting it on your heart a lot lately…and you know it’s something you’re supposed to do…but you haven’t done it.
It’s time to leave the doors of the airport, and walk out into the adventure with God.
Let the fear go.
And by the way, it’s FEAR that is presumably holding Saul down.
Saul’s not sure he wants to be king.
He’s not being called to a nice comfy throne where people are going to feed him grapes all day.
This is not the modern-day British Monarchy, where your only job is basically to pose for tabloid photos
Saul is being called to go fight battles for people…right away.
In fact, in the next chapter already, he already has to fight a bloody battle.
By the way, as 1 Samuel starts to get a bit more violent, we are going to have an amazing guest speaker and topic next week.
Dr. David Clark, who is the Dean of Bethel Seminary, and brilliant thinker, is coming in to speak on the very difficult question of, “Why is the Bible so violent? And how does that reconcile with God’s love?”
It’s going to be a timely message in our Monarchy series. Don’t miss it!
If you’re sitting here this morning, and God is nudging you to trust Him…even though it seems scary…trust Him.
God wants to use YOU!
He’s got plans for YOU!
People have done this before.
Many brave men and women have left baggage claim, and started the real adventure.
Stop running away from what God is calling you to do just because it might be hard.
You’re never going to accomplish much of anything…if you’re always set on avoiding pain, opposition, or difficulty.
Think of the great followers in the Bible (like Paul or any of the disciples after the resurrection) that were able and willing to leave their home, leave baggage claim, and walk out into their calling. WHY were they able to do that?
Because GOD called them to go!
Because GOD was with them!
And Because GOD empowered them to go!
Much like He’s done for you.
And they go…because they understood the heart of the Gospel
God sent his son to die for us…messed up, sinners…and when we believed in Him, he forgave everything we’ve ever done or ever will do.
And if He will do that for me.
If He’ll give his LIFE for me…than I will give my LIFE to Him.
Nothing ever happens in baggage claim anyway.
Trust God…get out there…and start living life!
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.