Oct 22 - Developing Your Heart for God, Part 4
Doesn’t it seem that when you’re trying to eat healthy, you see junk food everywhere?? What if you just have one of those M&Ms? Maybe a few? Why not a handful? It’s so easy to let these small mistakes spiral out of control, even when we know we shouldn’t. What if instead of a forbidden nibble of cake, you allow yourself to exchange a bit of gossip about a coworker, you pass judgment on a fellow Christian, you choose not to forgive a loved one, or you let jealousy to slip into your heart? Initially it may feel like a small act, but those small acts begin to pile up and before long you find it’s as easy to disobey God as it is to pop another french fry in your mouth.
Saul was chosen to be king at age 30 and reigned for 42 years. He started out as a faithful man, passionate for the Lord, but as the years went by he began to subtly disobey God, which began his spiritual decay. In the Bible, the Lord wants Saul to go to Gilgal and prepare to fight against the Philistines. He is supposed to wait seven days, then Samuel would arrive and give an offering, seeking the Lord’s favor in battle. Before the end of the seventh day, Saul decides to give the offering himself, then tries to rationalize his disobedience when questioned by Samuel.
1 Samuel 13:11-14
“What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”
Throughout the rest of Saul’s story, we continue to see evidence of Saul's spiritual decay. This once-faithful man allowed subtle disobediences to put cracks in his faith, which continued to spread throughout his life. He tolerated poisonous relationships in his life, as well as less intimacy with God. By the time he died, he was a jealous, murderous, sinful man.
We don’t want this for our own lives. If we see that we are allowing subtle disobediences to put rifts in our relationship with the Lord, we must go to Him in prayer and repent. Don’t allow your sins to draw you away from Christ. Rather, address them in prayer and let Him help you to correct your behavior in your daily life.