1 Samuel 10:6-7, Luke 5:16, 6:12-13
1 Samuel 10:6-7 (NIV)6 The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.
Knowing Saul’s end, we tend to overlook his beginning. He was a humble man even though he was large in stature. Samuel told him of all the signs that would come to pass that day to confirm that it was the LORD who had chosen him to be king. When Saul met the prophets with their musical instruments, prophesying, the Spirit of God came upon him in power and he prophesied. Samuel said that at this point he would be changed into a different person. Verse nine says that God changed Saul’s heart.
Once our heart has been changed, we have godly desires. We are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Some people search for some special leading when God is leading them continually. It is true that we must still discern what is of the Spirit and what is of the old nature, but that is usually quite evident. If we get off track, we receive that check in our spirit that warns us something is amiss. So we proceed with each day in faith believing God is leading us by His Spirit.
Now that we see that Saul’s beginning is so much like our own, we also have a warning. In the devotions to come we will see a turning aside from the known will of God. We will see the increase of pride. Finally we will see his sad end. Nevertheless, throughout this time, he was God’s anointed. It is a warning for us to heed the checks from the Spirit and remain in obedience.
Consider: A great beginning does not insure a great end. Perservere!
Luke 5:16 (NIV) 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
6:12-13 (NIV) 12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
Jesus lived in communion with His Father. It was more than just a time of recharging or even of getting instructions; it is a relationship of pure love (agape). The love of a husband and wife is a picture of such love, for Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me so have I loved you.” The Apostle Paul said that marriage was mystery about Christ and the church. So the love of the Father for the Son is like that of Jesus love for the church, which is pictured in a marriage relationship. A husband who loves His wife cannot easily be away from her for extended periods of time. He will phone her to hear her voice and know how she is doing, sharing the details of their lives. So it is with the Father and Jesus. Jesus had to meet with Him and share Himself and listen to the Father’s voice.
When it came time to pick His official representatives (that is what the word ‘apostle’ means), He spent all night in that sweet communion. This was one of the most important decisions of His ministry, for these men would pass on the message when He was gone. Their job was to convey to the world the life and words of Jesus, especially His victory over death. Important decisions need the counsel of the Almighty. Jesus’ example shows us how to deal with our difficult decisions. No one can stay up every night and pray, but when we are at a crossroad in life, we would be wise to follow Jesus’ perfect example. Don’t let the need for directions cause you to miss the main purpose of prayer. It is in the sharing of your life with your Father that His plan becomes clear. The goal is to hear His heart, not receive a “to do” list.
Consider: How is Jesus’ example of prayer different from your experience? Old habits die hard. How can you allow your prayer life to be transformed from duty into intimacy?
Used with Permission.