The Line through Every Heart
Sunday we launched into a new series called #harshhashtags. This series is designed to look at some of the hardest things Jesus ever says in scripture and to make sense of what seem like some pretty harsh statements by our Savior. None of them are lay-ups by any means, but right out of the gate, the first scripture we looked at kicks you right in the teeth:
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21 NLT)
It's hard to read the account of King Saul that we looked at in 1 Samuel 15 for a lot of reasons. First, it's hard to see one of God's chosen fall so hard. Second, it's hard because I see so much of myself in Saul's choices, and I know given different circumstances, that could have been me. But one thing that has confused people who dive deeper into this is that there seems to be a dichotomy between how God treats Saul in this story and how He treats David when as king he rebels as well. There are a lot of things that could be said here, but ultimately it comes down to this: David was on the right side of the line.
There is a line through each human heart. On one side of the line is a life obedient to God. On the other side is a life where I am king and God is not. Over and over, we are tempted by things and people and situations to cross the line. The difference between Saul and David was Saul crossed the line and David didn't.
Now don't get me wrong- David did all kinds of things that displeased God and crossed all kinds of lines he should not have crossed. And yet scripture calls him a "man after God's own heart." How can that be? It's because the line we are talking about runs right through this thing called Repentance. David felt the guilt and shame you should feel when you sin. Saul didn't. Saul's conscience had become dead to shame. One of the tell tale signs of this is when we read that "Saul set up a monument to himself."
If you ever want to know if you are on the wrong side of the line, take stock of who is on the throne of your life. If it's you, watch out. Saul was not the same man God had called. All the military victories and the prestige of the throne revealed the pride in Saul's heart. David sinned, no doubt. But when confronted about it, he repented, confessed, and even wrote Psalm 51 about the incident. He wasn't a man who perfectly had God's heart, but he was a man after God's heart. Even after he sinned, David was still pursuing the heart of God. Saul was only pursing his own glory. Therein lies the difference.
We all step across the line from time. The question is, what are you chasing after? If you are a man/woman after God's own heart, you may sin, but you will always repent. If you find yourself sinning with no thoughts of how God will feel about it, you my friend have crossed the line. Let's be a people who chase after God's heart.