And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.
1 Samuel 12:20-22 ESV
I have a tendency to be critical of myself. Being self-aware each time I fall short to Christ-likeness or when I fail to demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And then I get myself in to thinking whether this is me being perfectionist or it is the Holy Spirit Who appeals to my consciousness. I do not like the earlier because it means that I am legalistic and has become performance-based, taking pride of my own work when I follow the Lord while becoming disappointed when I cannot.
So I am just thankful reading this passage today, because I am affirmed of God’s grace for me, that the guilt He places on me is a guard on my heart. The Holy Spirit is actively working, allowing me to be sensitive to what grieves the Lord so my character would develop. There is no guarantee that I will always be the perfect daughter of our Heavenly Father but Jesus is His perfect Son. At times that I struggle living God’s high standards, I have to think about my relationship with Jesus, what He has done for me so I can always turn back to God. Jesus knows my struggle, He exposed Himself to worldly temptations but overcame them all. Jesus is constantly praying for me, just like He prayed for Peter for his faith to persevere. This is more than enough reason to always receive the grace and mercy that God provides to sustain my faith each day. The same power to help me live a life that really matters and glorifying to our Lord God. Forget about what I can willfully do and not do, I can always depend on God knowing He always delivers and true to His promises!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This blog is a continuation of my series of blogs on reading the Bible from cover-to-cover way back more than a year ago. You can see my previous reflection here: Our Ways Or God’s Ways?
And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, “How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.
1 Samuel 10:24-27 ESV
Again, this passage describes the condition of man’s heart. From previous verses, God allowed the Israelites to have their own king when they demanded to have one to be like the other nations. And so, God chose Saul among them but not without resentment from some of them. We see that as humans, we tend to gravitate on our own standards of what is good and not. If things do not go our way, we will not cooperate. Submission to authority is difficult if we do not have an intimate relationship with the Source of all authorities. Our hearts will be in a wrong place.
Our hearts are wickedly deceitful, it only knows what it wants not recognizing what it eternally needs. How can we trust our or other people’s heart? We cannot! Because it is dangerous when we do, sin is just lurking around our vulnerable hearts. The only heart we can trust and must follow is God’s heart.
Sure it is easier said than done. It is the walk with Jesus which will make the ‘doing’ easier. For me, I am too far from being Christ-like and I hate myself everytime I fail to demonstrate Christ-likeness. But I have hope in Jesus that He does not only got my back or will He always beside me but He is in front of me leading me through the sanctification. He is my Great Advocate, praying for me to be after God’s heart. ♥️♥️♥️
Soli Deo Gloria!