REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on April 15, 2015. Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Be Smart About It—Repent When It Matters”
1 Samuel 28:6 (ESV)
And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets.
With the Philistines gathered at Shunem, ready to attack in the morning, Saul was “afraid, and his heart trembled greatly” (v. 5). Before his precipitous fall from grace, when Saul still walked in the Spirit, he was a man of great courage (see 1 Sam. 11:6-11). But Saul began to lose courage when the Spirit departed from him (1 Sam. 16:14); and now after the death of Samuel, his courage appears to have eluded him completely.
Saul was in a terrible lot, but what made this even more troubling was the silence of God. Saul hoped God would speak to him through dreams, the Urim (High Priest), or the prophets, but God would not talk to him. So Saul, longing for the guidance of Samuel, seeks out a medium to perform a séance for him.
This silence demonstrates that God will not always answer everyone who seeks Him—not when the seeker is living in active disobedience as Saul was. He not only rejected God’s previously revealed will, but King Saul continued to live in active rebellion by desiring to destroy David. So when Saul was seeking to hear from God, his interest was not in finding out the will of God; rather, he was seeking to gain knowledge to benefit himself. Since Saul didn’t care to obey God in what he already knew, God would not give him more to know.
Having said that, we can still be comforted by the fact that the silence of God is often followed by a second chance; that is, God will speak to us again because he wants us to repent. God did this for Saul who, after realizing that David didn’t kill him when he had the chance, wept, saying, “You are more righteous than I . . . May the Lord reward you well” (1 Sam. 24:17, 19). But that repentance was short-lived as Saul tried to kill David afterwards. The point is, if we continue to reject His word, time after time, and actively live in disobedience to his Word, the only thing left is God’s judgment.
As followers of Christ who have the revealed Word of God and the Spirit of God living in us who gives us the power to obey, we have no excuse for not knowing God’s general will for a righteous living. Once we have come to understand it, the next step is obedience; and as we submit to God’s general will, it will bring greater clarity to God’s specific will for our lives (regarding jobs, relationships, where to live, etc.). So, be smart about it—Repent when it matters.
Prayer: Lord, please hold me by your hand and constantly remind me of your might and power lest I foolishly assume that I am self-sufficient and autonomous. I know that apart from You, I can do nothing. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today:Nehemiah 7
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Questions to Consider
- What are the benefits of Scripture?
- What is the goal of being in the Word?
- What is one way the Word of God helped you this week?
- It is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.
- That one may be complete, equipped to do good work.
- Personal response
“Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.” –Elizabeth Elliot