Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
In 1 Samuel 15, God rejects Saul from being king over Israel, and in chapter 16 David is anointed to be the next monarch. David is said to be a “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). Of Saul, it is said, “You have rejected the word of the Lord” (15:23).
What was the main difference between David and Saul?
Was it a matter of moral rectitude? Surely not. How could we forget David’s Bathsheba incident in 2 Samuel 11-12? Was it a matter of powerful spiritual experiences? No, it couldn’t be that either. Saul, after all, had the Spirit of the Lord rush upon him so powerfully that the people began to wonder, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Sam. 10:12).
At the end of the day, the difference between David and Saul was a matter of what they desired. More than anything, Saul seemed to desire the praise and approval of men (1 Sam. 15:24, 30). David, on the other hand, desired spiritual transformation (Ps. 51:10).
The object of our desire is of chief concern.
One of the scariest things about the Christian life is that it is easy to confuse our desires without realizing it. We are called to desire transformation in the presence of God so that He may be glorified in and through us. However, we often substitute this desire for something lesser, especially when coming to church. And our hearts are so deceitful (Jer. 17:9) that we can be totally unaware that this substitution has taken place.
In our day, people often come to church seeking a meaningful experience.
They want the music to move them emotionally and the message to give them positive feelings about God, yet, in the end, they have no real desire to be transformed in His presence. They have no intention of changing how they live as God calls them to faithful obedience. They leave the gathering unmotivated to re-envision their life and re-orient their schedules around the purposes and priorities of the Kingdom.
May this not be so among LifePoint. May we come to church this Sunday with a heart like David’s, not like Saul’s. In the end, we cannot afford to confuse our desires.
Church cannot be about our feelings or experiences.
It has to be about the presence of God giving us a clean heart and a renewed spirit to desire His glory above all else. Let’s examine our desires to make sure we’re not being motivated by anything less than that.
PRAYER & REFLECTION
- Do you ever find yourself evaluating church on the basis of how you feel? If so, why do you think that is? How might the contrast between David and Saul apply to you personally?
- Are you expecting God’s presence and Word to bring transformation in your life this Sunday? Pause for a moment to pray that He will. Submit all desires and feelings to Him, asking Him to give you a clean heart and a renewed spirit. Tell Him that transformation is more important to you than experience.
Set List for Sunday, October 13, 2019:
- Man Of Sorrows (B. Ligertwood, M. Crocker)
- You Never Change (M. Dawes, A. Ivey, J. Reeves)
- Another in the Fire (C. Davenport, J. Houston)
- In Christ Alone (K. Getty, S. Townend)
- World Needs Jesus (A. Johnson, E. John, R. Williams, W. Schrock)