“Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, ‘God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.’” 1 Samuel 23:7 (NIV)”
Stuck somewhere between numb and exhaustion, I stared out the window. Lord, how did I end up here? Please forgive me.
I had grown up hearing, “Pray for God to open a door.” So when it came to my job, I had done just that. I prayed, I believed and before I knew it, there wasn’t just one, but many open doors. That’s when I quit praying. Somewhere in my mind, I figured I would just do what I had been trained to do and walk through them.
All of them.
In the middle of the success coming my way, I didn’t stop to ask, “Is this You, Lord?” I already knew it was Him. My actions, however, said, “I’ll take it from here.”
It reminds me of King Saul.
Shortly after being crowned king of Israel, Saul took over his life as well. When he no longer humbled himself to ask for God’s wisdom, Saul’s heart became hard. Although he initially experienced a change of heart and the Spirit of God moving in his life (1 Samuel 10:9-10), the sin of jealousy over a young shepherd boy named David and his success took over. His jealous heart blinded him from recognizing the voice of God.
Saul began to confuse God’s voice with his own jealous heart. So in today’s key verse of 1 Samuel 23:7, when Saul discovers the whereabouts of the hidden man David, in a delusional state he believes God provided this opportunity. He actually thinks God gave him the opportunity to kill David, the one whom God had anointed to be the next king of Israel!
How did Saul slip from the place where 1 Samuel 11:6 says, “… the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him …” (NIV) to the point where he is seeking to kill God’s appointed one?
One step at a time.
First, Saul failed to obey God fully in 1 Samuel 15:9, yet he told the prophet Samuel he had obeyed.
Next, in 1 Samuel 15:30, he chose to value how he looked in people’s eyes over how he looked in God’s eyes.
Finally, in 1 Samuel 18:9, he allowed jealousy to overtake his heart toward David. He deceived himself.
One step at a time, he stopped conversing with God. He stopped asking God for wisdom and to forgive him when he failed. In that place of lost intimacy, his heart grew cold and in the end, his feet walked away from God.
That day of my despair was the beginning of new lessons for me. I realized I need to consult God no matter how sure I feel about my decisions. I need to hear from the Holy Spirit on every aspect of my life. The moment I stop humbly asking my Creator for daily direction and to examine my heart is the day I start a journey I don’t want to go on ever again.
Holy Spirit, help me humble myself, seek Your wisdom and submit to Your ways — not what appears to be right to me. Open my eyes to see when I’m too dependent on my own strength. I want to hear You, see You and walk with You every day, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 26:2, “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” (NIV)
James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)
The Holy Spirit wants to transform us into people who reflect God Himself in everything we do. Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants by Lynn Cowell empowers young women to partner with the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
Lynn invites you to stop by her blog today, where she’ll share more about consulting God and hearing His wisdom for our life directions.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How do Saul’s actions impact the way you think about the importance of consulting God’s wisdom for our daily life?
As you look at your own life, has there been a time, or are you in a current situation that could be better if you asked God for wisdom beforehand? Like Lynn, what can you learn from this experience to empower you to make better decisions in the future?
© 2016 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.