Don't Focus on the Donkeys - By Maureen Le Roux

1 Samuel 9:20
“As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them…”

We were invited to a dinner party at a friends place the other night. As we left home, the heaven’s opened and it poured with torrential rain for the entire 20 minutes it took to get to their place. The short distance between our car and their front door succeeded in drenching us. By the time we stepped into their house we were soaking wet.

There were 8 of us and our hosts had planned for us to sit outside in their entertainment area to do ribs on the braai, but the rain had flooded that section and they had to move everything indoors. The ribs had to be cooked in the oven but the lightening accompanying the rain was directly above us and their power kept tripping off. Nothing was working out and the hosts had to change and adapt to the circumstances. The evening began to look very different to what they had originally planned!


Our Circumstances are not always easy

This can happen so often in our lives. Life does not seem fair, everything seems to go wrong and nothing works out the way we have planned! It is during these times that we have a hard time believing we are still in God’s will for our life!


That is exactly what happened to Saul when he was chosen to became the first King of Israel in 1 Samuel 9.

The people of Israel asked Samuel for a King to judge them like the nations around them and God told Samuel to grant them their request.

Then Kish, Saul’s father lost his donkeys! Saul was instructed to take one of the young men with him and go find the donkeys. Saul travelled through the hill country and passed through the land of Shalishah, but did not find them. He passed through the land of Shaalim and the land of Benjamin, but they were not there. But when Saul came to the land of Zuph, he was told by young women who were coming out to draw water “…behold, he is just ahead of you. Hurry. He has come just now to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place. As soon as you enter the city you will find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.” (1Samuel 9:12,13)


Donkeys or Destiny

God had already prepared Samuel and told him He was sending a man from the land of Benjamin. He was to anoint him to be the King over Israel. When Samuel met Saul he invited him to eat with him and said “As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found...” (1 Samuel 9:20)

Saul was focused on trying to find the donkeys for his father but God was working out something bigger in his life! We can get so caught up with the “Donkeys” in our life that we lose sight of our Destiny! The “donkeys” position us for our Destiny!

It was because of the lost donkeys that Saul was in the right position to meet with Samuel and step into his destiny! We cannot focus on the circumstances we are going through – no matter what “land” we have to pass through, no matter how difficult the circumstances, we need to keep pushing through into what God has called us into. Those very “donkeys” may be positioning us for Destiny.


James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


An Appointed Time Prepared in Advance

Samuel invited Saul to a meal and the cook set before him a meal that had been put aside especially for him before he had even arrived. “Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons. And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.’” So the cook took up the leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. (1Sa 9:22- 24)


There is an inheritance for each of us – a destiny in God - that has been prepared in advance for us and it is waiting for the appointed time to be set before us!


Prepare for Destiny

· Choice not Chance determines our Destiny! To focus on our Destiny – the plan God has for our lives – and not on the donkeys - the difficult and sometimes unfair circumstances of our lives, takes a choice we make in our hearts.

· Pursue the Presence of Jesus in our lives and not the pursuits of the world or culture around us. This takes action! Pursuing the Presence of Jesus is something that we DO, not something we hope will happen some day!

· What is in your hand? We do not have to have a theology degree or a pulpit ministry to step into our destiny! The gifts and talents we have and the sphere of influence currently before us is sufficient to set us on the path of discovering our Destiny! Discover what you are good at and what causes you to wake up in the mornings – what creates an excitement in you and a passion.

· Persevere no matter how you feel! It is possible to miss God’s plan for our lives because we “don’t feel like it.” We don’t feel like doing what God is directing us to do because it stretches our comfort zones or calls for sacrifice in some way or another. Complacency and compromise in our lives will rob us of Destiny and God’s plan!

“The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that is life’s greatest tragedy.” (Benjamin E. Mays)


Practical questions to ask ourselves

· Do I believe God has a plan for my life?

· What are the “Donkeys” in my life that I am focusing on?

· Am I adequately preparing myself so that I am positioned for the appointed time God has prepared in advance for me?

· Is there complacency and compromise in my life hindering me from pursuing God’s plan for my life?


Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

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