“‘Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do…’ He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, ‘Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. Samuel said, ‘What have you done?’ And Saul said, ‘When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, “Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.” So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.’ And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.'” 1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-13
God knows our frail flesh, and in merciful wisdom invites us to be redeemed– to recognize our need for Him. From the Garden of Eden, He has Himself, or by others, sought out His own, giving opportunity to acknowledge our choices against His ways, to ‘come clean’ from our excuses, be restored, and set on an upright path. His method is a gracious gift for us personally, a model for us to weigh our motives, decision-making, planning, actions. (Genesis 3:8-13; 4:9-10; Exodus 32:21; Psalm 103:8-14)
Oh heart, what have you allowed to capture your affection? Where do you wander in time of idleness, where do you drive expenditures of time and resources? Whom do you first love, and where has your love strayed to foreigners?
Oh mind, on whose agenda are you fixed? What is informing your decision-making– selfish desires or God’s wisdom? Are your choices self-driven, resentment-motivated, prejudice-laden, impatience-pushed, or carefully and humbly aligned with the Lord’s?
Oh soul, what are your priorities this day? Where is your anchor held, and what causes you to shift from the Solid Rock to shifting sands? When you are weary, where do you find rest? Whom are you worshiping?
Oh eyes, what has captivated your attention? Are you transfixed on twinkly costume bling instead of eternal jewels? On man’s measure of importance over God’s assessment of value? Do you judge according to the outside instead of the inside? Are the larger and better and newer of this world distracting you from what lasts forever? (1 Samuel 16:7)
Oh hands and feet, where are you going today? Are you busy about the urgent and empty, or well-planned to carry out God’s will? Are you investing in yourself or in Him, your goals or His kingdom? Where will you serve, provide help, comfort, and encouragement in His Body today?
Father, probe my depths, and purify my honest answers. May I daily venture forth filled with Your Spirit, doing Your good pleasure. (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:18)