As a church planter, I think I have a new and fresh understanding of what it means to live in the “fear of the Lord”. I really don’t mean that in an arrogant “knowledge” kind of way… it’s really a type of confession. It’s a constant and crazy mix of confidence and intentionality wrapped up in a little bit of insecurity and wonder. And God’s hand or presence being removed is my greatest fear. I guess that’s why my study today in 1 Samuel 13 struck such a chord with me. Two verses stood out like they were written in a different font:
“You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:13-14
What more can you say? There is a ton of power in these two verses. In these words are both found (1) hope and (2) consequence. The hope is that God is not passive… He is not detained… He will not only SEEK out a man after his own heart, but He will find one in David. He’ll find it in the least expected: a young shepherd boy. The consequence is that since Saul did not seek God out prior to going to battle or prior to selecting his men, it would not be him labeled as one who sought after God’s own heart. He tried… after the fact. He tried to commit to the Lord something he had already done. But it was too late.
So as church leaders our promise of hope and our warning of consequence is this: May we always be those who seek after God’s own heart. And may we never venture forward prior to God’s leading or void of His way.