Unchanged Heart

Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 15 (day five)

It is not the name of the deity but the heart of the worshipper that creates idols. – Alexander Maclaren

Saul’s heart was unchanged when he was confronted with his own sin. Samuel challenges Saul’s disobedience. God meant for the battle to be about justice (God focused). Saul saw it as an opportunity for his own status and wealth (self focused). Verse 25- “Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.” The fact that he wanted to return to ”worship” showed that his heart had not changed. He remained more concerned about his own standing and popularity than obedience to God. Saul is asking Samuel to endorse the celebration so that Saul might appear strong and mighty in the eyes of the people. He never learned this important lesson- The alternative to full surrender is rebellion. Sound harsh? No. Sounds Holy!!

Want to see a clear picture of a king’s heart changed through repentance? Look at Psalm 51


Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 1 (day three)

“O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me…”  Is it wrong to haggle with God?  Would we even consider an “if-you-do-this-I’ll-do-that” arrangement?   Have we decided to place ourselves above such dealings?  Do we believe it would even make any difference?  It’s interesting to consider that from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from people to demons and back to people, such conversations with the Lord have been common: Abraham, Moses, Hannah, David, Legion (!), Peter, Paul.  Maybe we would see the power of God more if we would tell him what we want.  That’s not the same as demanding what we want.  Even the demons knew that.  God will take care of his own responses to us.  Just speak to him.

Real prayer

Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 1 (day one) 

“I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.”–v 15.

“When we work, we work.  When we pray, God works.”–Hudson Taylor.

Not all prayers are equal.  Hannah’s experience proves it.  “Saying your prayers” and “pouring your heart out to the Lord” are very different experiences.  Somehow, and this by the grace of God, we reach the end of our own strength, inhibitions are cast aside and real prayer begins.

James 5:16-18 describes a similar moment.  “The energized (energeo) prayer of a righteous man accomplishes (energeo) much!  Elijah was a man just like us but he prayed (proseuchomai) with prayer (proseuche) and the Lord answered him!”  He prayed with prayer!  (really prayed)

Prayer does not equip for a greater work–prayer is the greater work.–Oswald Chambers.

God’s goal for us is real prayer.  Like Hannah.  Like Elijah.