Change in an Instant

There’s a lot of heaviness in our world today. People from little children playing with toys to grandparents living in nursing homes feel it. 2020 has been difficult, to say the least. Wildfires. Covid-19. Quarantine. Injustices. Racism. Politics. Hate. It feels suffocating some days, like we are under a dark cloud that is bearing its weight on us. It feels like we will never get to be lighthearted again.

But God. God can turn things around in literal milliseconds.

I am currently reading through 1 Samuel, and I came across the passage when Saul first finds out he will be king over all Israel. The priest Samuel anoints Saul as king in a private moment. Samuel shares with Saul three signs he will encounter as he journeys back home, including a moment when “the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully on [Saul]” and he will prophecy. After being told these things, Saul prepares to go on his way.

“When Saul turned around to leave Samuel, God changed his heart, and all the signs came about that day.”

I Samuel 10:9, CSB

Literally, God changed Saul’s heart in the amount of time it took him to turn around.

God has the power to change our world, and he can do so in the amount of time it takes us to turn around. God mends hearts. He heals brokenness. He turns people to himself. And He can do it in just a moment.

Many days the world does not look salvageable, but that’s when I trust God is working in the hearts and lives of His people. Lots of individual heart changes add up to revival. Revive us, O Lord!

But we can’t be hypocrites. We can’t say we walk with Jesus and disobey His word.

While this passage concerning Saul brought me much encouragement, it also serves as a warning. If you are familiar with Saul’s story in Scripture, you know it doesn’t end well. He becomes prideful with murderous intentions. He goes from being a reluctant king hiding in the luggage (1 Sam 10:22) to a king who wants everyone to praise him for his conquests (1 Sam 18:8). Just five chapters after first being anointed, God ends up rejecting Saul as king over Israel (1 Sam 15:26).

When our hearts are changed we must not grow apathetic and think we’re safe now that we’ve experienced transformation. Peter tells us to “be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8). As a result of our hearts becoming flesh instead of stone (Ezekiel 36:26), we should desire to “be holy as [God] is holy” (1 Peter 1:16; Lev. 11:44-45; Lev. 19:2; Lev. 20:7).

So what do we do? We seek the heart of God in all situations. We seek to understand where we have sinned and need to repent. We seek to show others the only hope of the world—Jesus Christ. We believe that God can and will change hearts in an instant.

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