When we think of Saul, we immediately conjur up images of a man hell-bent on finding and destroying David. We think of him as a crazed maniac who was NOT following the Lord in any way. What we forget is that Saul DID follow the Lord in the beginning. If you look through the first verses / chapters on his life we see a young boy chosen and anointed of the Lord. He desired to be who God was calling him to be and serve the Lord through serving His country.
Where did he go so wrong????? How did he go from a young king who sought the Lord on his every move to a raving lunatic???
He stepped out of real accountability. He still had Samuel, but he stopped listening to him in favor of his own wisdom. Pride really did come before the fall.
It's pretty simple really. He stopped listening to God and started listening more and more to his own wisdom. Scary.
What's scary about it is how susceptible WE are to following the same path. I have seen it quite a few times in missionary / church work. People who started off wanting to follow God boldly and courageously and somewhere along the way got caught up in their own vision of what should happen. This means that I, too, am in danger. As we get further and further in our relationship with the Lord and scriptural answers come more easily, how do we check ourselves to make sure the "wise" answer that comes to mind is really from God and not our own thoughts? Here are a couple of my thoughts. . .
Remember our own sin. Spend time DAILY in confession. Remembering where I came from and the reality of my heart apart from Jesus is a great way to not buy my own press.
Get a bulldog. While golden retriever friends (loyal and supportive) are amazing, I need some bulldogs too. A golden retriever friend is the one I need to call and cry on their shoulder. . .complain a little about life. But, I better be following that up with a call to my bulldog who will tell me (like my friend, Jena did a few weeks ago) "Hey, stop your whining. You've lost perspective. Get your eyes back on Jesus". We need people to tell us we are going down the wrong path and we need to make a conscience effort to LISTEN to them. It does no good for them to tell us if we do nothing with it!
Stay in the WORD. If we assume we know what God's will or plans are, we are down a slippery slope. I have seen people who I thought had rock solid theology, all of a sudden (it seemed) start believing some really crazy things about God, scripture and our place in this world. This is why I am a part of a local, Bible believing church that preaches the Word of God! I need to keep my theology in check by being "under" good leadership and spending time in the word myself. . not just reading, but wrestling with the truths I find there.
Here's to us not turning out like Saul. Oh Lord, I want to follow you all the days of my life! Protect me from myself. Keep me in YOUR word alone. Bring to light areas of my life that begin to go down the path of Saul. I want to serve you and I want your truth to permeate my being and change me, even though it's a hard process sometimes!