“Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage… 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… But Samuel did not come, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said,’Bring the… offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished.., Samuel came… [and] said, ‘What have you done?’ And Saul said, ‘When I saw that the people were scattering, and that you did not come.., and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, “Now the Philistines will come against me.., and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.” So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.’ Samuel said, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God… Now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart.’” 1 Samuel 10:1,8; 13:8-14
Saul was a flawed man (as are we all), appointed by God to a great stewardship and supplied with clear instructions to obey. On the surface he seemed willing enough, but there were areas of control, pride, and impatience he never yielded to his Sovereign King’s control. While God sought a man after His heart, Saul proved he was directed by his own, and when confronted, he only made excuses.
How falsely affirming it is in the flesh to proclaim and pretend that we wholeheartedly follow Jesus. Seldom is this true. Because of conviction, helplessness, or weakness, as Christians we can, with lip-speak, turn over certain areas of our lives in desperation. We also step up to serve or donate, feigning sacrifice. But behind the public scenes, in the hidden places of the heart, the Spirit uncovers the true motive of pride. We yield to impatience, greed, and impetuous action. We nurse pet sins, coddle charms, hoard favorite things, and stroke wrong affections for our own indulgence. We play at righteous surrender, but in truth say, Lord take this, but don’t touch that. We like being master. (Matthew 26:33-35)
The only way to escape this spiritually poisonous attitude is to offer ourselves fully as living sacrifices, laid bare and open in confession for the Lord’s healing light and balm. We might perfect the appearance of being ‘sold-out,’ but until God has full sway, we will be miserable by His mercy. Once He handles every pulse and place with His grace, we are free to do the works He’s prepared for us with power. (Psalm 24:3b-5a; 32:1-3,5; 51:2,6,10; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13)
Where have my self-willed proclivities hindered spiritual growth and fruitfulness? What specific areas of my life need His probing, uncovering, and cleansing touch?
Father, expose and remove all taint in my rebel heart. Take all of me that I might be all for You, today and forever.