Testing the Heart

1 Samuel 13:8, 13-14 “Now he waited seven days according to the appointed time set by Samuel . . . Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God . . . The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.’”

2 Corinthians 12:14 “I do not seek what is yours, but you.”

Observation: God had earlier told Saul that Samuel was to offer the sacrifices; this was the job of the priest, not the king. Now, God pressed in on Saul to expose Saul’s heart by preventing Samuel’s arrival to happen quickly enough to “rescue” Saul from his fear. So Saul took matters into his own hands by doing what only the priest of God was to do—he offered the sacrifices himself. 

In 2 Corinthians, Paul was saying to the people the same thing that Samuel said to Saul: Actions matter, because they expose what is in the heart. God can use someone who seeks Him wholeheartedly, but He will reject those who claim to belong to Him, yet act in the flesh. 

Application: When I am uncertain which way to go or when to move, it is wise to wait on the Lord. But if God has already told me not to do something, then I must certainly not do it. Even if the world seems to bring defeat in the meantime, I will have God’s approval if in waiting, my heart and mind have been fixed on Him. 

Paul spoke something that is always true of godly motivation when he said, “I do not seek what is yours, but you.” It seems that once I have become fully His in every sense of the word—once I have come fully surrendered to Him, holding nothing back—then God knows that not only does He have my heart, but He also has all my other resources, as well: time, talents, and money. He will test my heart in this as He tested Saul by delaying Samuel’s return. His goal is always to reveal my heart, a revelation that is for my benefit, not God’s. I need to see my heart as God already sees it. Through testing, all that is within me is revealed.

Prayer: Father, I understand that exposure of my heart’s true motive is the only way You can move me from my current place of comfort, into a new place of growth. So thank You, Lord that You love me enough today not to leave me in the same place I was yesterday.

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