When I think of Saul, I tend to remember him as the man who ultimately failed to fulfill his responsibilities as Israel’s first king. One of my first recollections is of him mercilessly pursuing David and his compatriots through the wilderness, which makes a compelling backdrop for many of the psalms. But today’s reading gives us a different glimpse into the life of Saul.
Although the Lord foresaw Saul’s abuse of power, He still gave Saul more than a fighting chance as a leader. Before Saul was ever proclaimed king, God sent His spirit upon him (1 Samuel 10:6,10). Imagine that: even though God knew Saul would eventually go astray, He still set Saul up for success as a king.
This speaks to the deep compassion our Creator has for each one of us. If God is calling you to something, He will equip you for it. Whether it’s leadership in a traditional sense, evangelism, hospitality, a position at work, or a volunteer role through your church—if God is calling you to it, He will give you the tools you need to faithfully serve Him in that call.
Now, that doesn’t mean God will always raise you up to glory, nor does it mean God’s Spirit is with us for our own gain. Rather, as we can see in countless places throughout Scripture, God gives the opportunities, talents, and skills we need to make His name great.
However, much like Saul, the moment we stop directing our passions and pursuits toward God and His glory, it’s likely He’ll raise up someone else for His eternal and divine purposes. We make a big mistake when we assume, whether consciously or subconsciously, that God needs us to restore this world to Him. Yes, He takes joy in preparing, equipping, sending, and walking with each of us, but let us never be fooled into thinking He needs us to bring forth His will or complete His plans.
Maybe you’re in a place where you know you need a new heart. Don’t hesitate to ask God for it! His mercies are never-ending and new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Maybe you need to be revived by His Spirit for the very first time. Or perhaps you want to grow in intimacy with Christ, for your relationship to be renewed. Don’t let this day go by without pausing before our Creator—the One who calls us, sends us, equips us, and has forever redeemed us.
Written by Andrew Stoddard