The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.
“We desperately need God, but we don’t necessarily need Him for what we think we need Him for. We need Him to show us what we need Him for!”
What kind of man was Saul? Who was this one who made himself David’s enemy?
He was a farm boy, a country kid who made good. He was tall, good-looking, and well-liked. He came from a good family. Abraham, Jacob, and Moses were his ancestors. He was anointed of God.
It was Saul who took the Israelites and welded them into a united kingdom. He created an army out of thin air. He won battles in the power of God, defeating the enemy again and again. He was a prophet. The Spirit of God came on him in power and authority. He did and said unprecedented things. A leader, chosen by God with power from God.
Saul was also eaten with jealousy, filled with self-importance, and willing to live in spiritual darkness. He “needed” power to maintain his position and authority as king.
Is there a moral in these contradictions? What made Saul’s failures different from David’s? To quote Gene Edwards, “There is a vast difference between the outward clothing of the Spirit’s power and the inward filling of the Spirit’s life.”
All people begin life with the same problem…a heart that is self-centered. As Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” In those who are merely clothed with the Spirit’s power, the hidden man of the heart may remain unchanged. But for those filled with the Spirit, the deceitful heart is dealt with.
When God gave Saul power, it revealed Saul’s heart to elevate himself. When God gave David power, it revealed a heart that desired to know more of God in His glory and excellence.
God gives people power…even unworthy people – not because He wants us to be powerful, but because there is a greater agenda He wants to accomplish. For some like Saul, it will be their undoing. For others like David, it will be a part of the ongoing process of revealing and transforming the heart.
Are you asking God for the power to do what you think you need to do or are you asking Him first to reveal to you what you actually need?
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. – 2 Peter 1:2-3