Time For Change
The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
1 Samuel 10.6 NIV
The Old Testament prophet Samuel spoke these words to Saul shortly before he became the first king of Israel. After he was anointed “God changed Saul’s heart” (1 Sam 10.9) as Saul realized he was now tasked with the responsibility of leading an entire nation.
At first, Saul flinched away from the weight of such a responsibility. In fact, when he was first presented to the tribes, he tried to hide from them. They had to track him down and drag him out before the people. After his coronation, though, he saw some military successes and his fear turned to hubris. He ignored Samuel’s guidance and God’s laws and acted on his own accord, which eventually resulted in the loss of God’s blessing.
This confused me at first. The beginning of Saul’s story is so promising. He was not a perfect man, but God saw his potential as a great leader. We see early on that God tried to work with Saul and that he was “changed into a different person” (1 Sam 10.6). So what happened? If God changed Saul’s heart why did everything go south?
I thought it might be that Saul had changed back to the person he was before his initial transformation. Or maybe he changed into someone different, someone less honorable and obedient than who he was before he became king. But that’s not what the Bible says. In fact, after twice mentioning that Saul would change and was changed, it never comes up again, and I think that is where the problem lies.
I often make the mistake of thinking one moment changes everything: the moment I met God for the first time, the moment I became a Christian, the moment I committed to sobriety. Generally, I attribute one of these types of events as “the encounter of a lifetime” that changed me in such a major way I assume this is where the buck stops. Night is now day, the light has arrived, I am now a different person. The end.
But that was Saul’s mistake. He experienced a single major change and then stopped. He looked at his new life and said “good enough” even though there was so much more to be experienced, so much room for growth, so much potential for greatness.
I refuse to make the same mistake. I challenge myself and I challenge you to take an inventory of your life. When was the last time your experienced change—positive change? Are you the same person you were six months ago? A year ago? 10 years ago?
God is the only one who does not need to change, and thankfully He has promised that He never will. Please do not be like Saul. Never stop striving for who God would have you be. Never stop changing.
Contributor: Jordan N.