Read I Samuel 10 and Matthew 13
When Saul turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. I Samuel 10:9
And immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil. Matthew 13:5
When reading about Saul’s early days, I wish I didn’t know the end of the story. Saul was a simple man whom the Lord made great. God gave him a new heart and, we read, “the Spirit of God rushed upon him and he prophesied.” People were astonished at such a dramatic conversion. So much so that what happened to Saul became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” That proverb was used to express astonishment at a change for the good that comes upon certain people. As an example, if you had a child who was doing poorly in school, but suddenly things seemed to click for him and he went to the head of his class, if you were an Israelite 3000 years ago, you would say about your child, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” For who could believe it?
Over the years we have had watched different ones undergo dramatic conversions. We watched many punk kids become serious about the Lord and turn into godly young adults. There is nothing more encouraging to see.
Shortly after my wife and I were married, we had a friend who really challenged us to be whole hearted in our Christian walk. He would say to me, “So what Scripture did you memorize today?” I’d shake my head, “Mike,” I would tell him. “I just can’t memorize.”
“Larry, you can memorize. You have to commit yourself to it,” he would say.
He loved to share the gospel. He had been a drunk and a carouser, but now he would track down his old friends and open the Scriptures with them.
He was great in a Bible study for his insights were good and he was excited about every truth he’d see in the Scriptures.
But slowly, gradually, his zeal began to cool. Somehow someone at our church had hurt his feelings. And he was sort of frustrated by how lackadaisical some of us seemed to be about our Faith. He’d bring his Bible with him into the bars, but he began drinking more than sharing.
The last time I saw him, I was delighted to see him again. “Mike,” I called out to him. “I haven’t seen you forever. How ya doing?” He looked at me like he hadn’t heard me. Then he walked away. Unfortunately we have lost track of him over the years .
What happened to Saul? He had the Spirit of God in him. But, unlike an evil spirit, the Holy Spirit does not overpower a person. We still have our will. We still make our choices.
A few days back, Eric Varghese wrote about the disciples, “you understand that all the great work was only possible if they followed the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit in their life. They were so in tune with the Holy Spirit as He guided.”
I believe my good friend Mike would be in good Christian fellowship today if he had relied on the Holy Spirit within him, instead of allowing himself to be dragged down by the feelings within him.
It’s getting ahead of the story, but there came a time when we read that the Spirit left Saul. Sadly, it was time for the Spirit to go, for Saul had given such a preeminent place to his jealousy, there was no place left for the Spirit.