Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 30 Apr 21:
1 Samuel 10:6, 7, 10, 11 — “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power… and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you…. God changed Saul’s heart… the Spirit of God came upon him in power…. ‘What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Saul was not searching for God, he was searching for donkeys; but God had chosen him, and God changed his heart and empowered him with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill God’s purposes. Saul’s life was completely changed. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit could Saul accomplish the work God had in store for him, not through his own wisdom and might. When the people looked at Saul (from their human perspective) they said, “How can this fellow save us?” They could not understand the power of the Spirit.
The Spirit of the Lord came “upon” Saul with power for a specific purpose, but we shall see that due to Saul’s sin, the Spirit will also depart from him. However when a person is saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8, 9), the Holy Spirit dwells “within” them (Galatians 4:6; Acts 2:4; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 5:5; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Galatians 4:6; John 1:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19) permanently (Ephesians 4:30), and they are whole new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), destined to be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6) and to have unity with God forever within the family of Christ (John 17:21-23; Romans 8:16). The Lord gives His children the Holy Spirit that they may know Him, have unity in Him, and grow up in Him to spiritual maturity; and the Lord empowers His children with the Holy Spirit so they can accomplish the humanly impossible task of sharing the Gospel to the ends of the earth – “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20) So, what is your story? Were you ever surprised by God while you were searching for proverbial lost donkeys? Have you been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and become a new creation, filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit? How is the Holy Spirit working in your life to fulfill God’s purposes, especially that of sharing the Gospel?
1 Samuel 10:9 — “God gave him another heart.” Only God can give you a new heart. No one can fix his old heart.
1 Corinthians 2:1 — “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Our faith does “not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5).” If you are a Christian, It wasn’t logic and reason that brought you to your knees and transformed you, it was the power of the Holy Spirit working in a real, personal, one-on-one love relationship with you. Likewise, logic, reason, science, and well thought out arguments are not going to bring anyone else to Jesus. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (John 6:44).”
1 Corinthians 2:11 — “So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
It is dangerous in a relationship to assume what another person is thinking because we tend to misinterpret. This is one reason why open communication is so important to a relationship. Similarly, it is very dangerous to presume the thoughts of God in a particular situation, beyond what has been clearly reveled in the Bible through the Holy Spirit. This is one reason prayer (communication) is so important. God reveals truth to us via the Spirit, always perfectly aligned with His written word.
Also, the Spirit convicts the heart. We cannot know what God is doing in the heart of another person. Be very careful not to presume you do. We don’t know which “Saul” (referencing the New Testament Saul, not the Old Testament Saul) we know God is about to make a “Paul.” Proclaim the truth in love to all without showing partiality, and let God do the rest.
1 Corinthians 2:14 — “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
Again, a person cannot receive God’s word and truth through natural means, without aid of the Spirit. Do not be surprised when what seems so obvious to you is rejected as folly by unbelievers. And anticipate that every time you read God’s living word, He will reveal Himself to you in a new, powerful way.
When God is working on the heart of a person, God may invite you to serve as Christ’s Ambassador to that person through the process. The most powerful testimony you can offer someone is to proclaim the Jesus you know personally, to tell of what God did in your life, to be a first-hand witness to the real power of God – “You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:48).”
As you proclaim the power of God in a real and personal way, the evidence of God’s power should also be very observable to others by the fruit of your life. Much like Gideon and his army, you will not win the battle for the soul, you will only participate in what God is doing. God prepares hearts to receive your testimony, and you might not realize the impact your testimony has – seeds planted in soil that have yet to sprout. A fisher of men has no control over the fish, but the Creator does.
1 Corinthians 2:16 — “But we have the mind of Christ.”
If everyone has the mind of Christ, there is unity. Unity is found only in Christ. Today, many seek to unify around something other than Christ in order to bring peace, order, and progress; perhaps they seek a common bond through a philosophy, a cause, a political party, an ethnicity, a gender, etc. However, all these identifiers fall short in ‘saving’ people from themselves, more importantly from the wrath of God. The Bible says, God is love, and Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life – no one gets to The Father (who is the source of love, peace, and wisdom) but through Jesus. Be truly united through Jesus. (see John 17)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 30 April 21: Seek to only communicate what is put on your heart by the Spirit, rather than speaking from your own knowledge. Are you proclaiming Jesus Christ to others or just morals based on the Bible – there is a difference. We are not called to make “good, moral people,” we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ. If you aren’t proclaiming the Name, you are not proclaiming Jesus. The name of Jesus will divide a room quicker than anything else. Jesus said this is exactly what would happen. Have the moral courage to be judged a fanatic. Simply proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ today without adding to it (1 Corinthians 2).