Devotion Saturday , 25 April 2020
1 Samuel 13 King tells of Saul as king over Israel just over 2 years. In this chapter as king he faces a huge challenge in the much more organized and powerful Philistines' king and armies. Before facing them on the battleground there is a preparation part- burnt offering to God. And Samuel turns up late. Each day in waiting makes it more difficult for the battle ahead. So the temptation is 'Shall I do the offering myself so that I can keep the army with me?' He gives in to this temptation. This disobedience is judged as "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God ... the Lord sought a man after his own heart ..." (vv.13-14).
How one can stand against temptation is a reflection of his or her inner life- the inner compulsion, conscience, conviction, compass and composure (from Ps Edmund Chan). This trial exposes his compulsion of fear, insecurity and need to be in control (instead of God in control). His inner conscience tells him it does not matter who does the offering, ie, what God says does not need to be taken so seriously. The inner conviction has much to do with his trust in God, 'Can God be trusted?' He has never grown to trust God. Instead his motto is 'I only trust myself'. The inner compass is either the Word of God or the words of man, in this case it is his own words and thoughts. His inner composure is lacking badly in peace. Fear is the condition.
God seeks a man after His own heart. Through Christ we see a perfect picture of the inner life. In our reading of Luke 23:44-56 we get a glimpse of the inner life of Christ- the inner peace in his heart, the unconditional love for people and absolute trust in the Father.
Take time to reflect on your inner life- compulsion, conscience, conviction, compass and composure.
Through our time of trials and temptations what has the victories and failures reveal and teach me about my inner life?
In the next few weeks as you read of Saul's life, let the Holy Spirit tutors us in becoming a man/ woman that seeks after God's own heart.
Prayer: Lord, I invite you into my inner life to search and shape me from inside out. It is a scary thing but the cross tells me that you love me and you can be trusted. The empty tomb tells me I can become the person you want me to be, both inwardly and outwardly. In the precious Name of Christ, the one who is ever present with me. Amen