The Bible says that your heart determines the course of your life. We need a good heart to get promoted. But we also need a secure heart to sustain success.
It’s easy to think of King Saul in the Old Testament as a villain. After all, he turned away from God and hounded the young hero David for a decade before his premature death in the heat of battle.
However, we must remember that Saul was God’s choice. Recently I became troubled by the Bible’s apparent explanation for Saul’s appointment as Israel’s first king: “There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel.” 1 Samuel 9:2
This bothered me for days. Why would the Lord choose a leader on the basis of his appearance? I cried out to God to give me insight. The Bible is clear about what moves our Maker:
“The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Lost in translation
I looked up the Hebrew word that is translated as handsome in that verse. I could not believe what I discovered. In the original text, the Hebrew word that was used to describe Saul was tob which means good.
The word is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament and in most instances, it is translated as good or goodness. I think that the translators struggled to believe that a man who disobeyed God and sought to murder his spiritual son was virtuous. So they described Saul as handsome.
But the truth is that God chose Saul because he was a good man with a good heart. Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible puts 1 Samuel 9:2 like this: “There is not a man among the sons of Israel goodlier than he.”
How secure are your foundations?
Saul started out with a good heart but success amplified the faults in his foundations. It is the same for you and me. If we secretly struggle with insecurities when we are small in the world’s eyes, our issues will only be magnified when we reach the limelight. If we hanker after affirmation when we are a ‘nobody’, we will feed on public approval when we become a ‘somebody’.
Saul’s sad end
Saul never dealt with deep feelings of inadequacy. Right from the start, he doubted his ability to be king. He even hid when he was due to be presented to the nation as their new leader.
We don’t know why Saul struggled with low self-esteem. Perhaps he felt like a failure growing up under the shadow of a wealthy father who forgot to affirm him. Who knows? We don’t know what caused his insecurities but we do know that Saul never dealt with them. Instead of allowing God’s acceptance to create inner stability, he sought the praises of people to give him a sense of worth.
Eventually, he lost everything and denied his children the inheritance God had planned for them. I once heard Joyce Meyer say that, in her view, 90% of Christians never fulfil their potential. I believe unresolved inner issues probably keep the vast majority of those people from stepping into their destinies. So how can you and I do our best to be in the 10%?
You are an opportunity waiting to happen
God wants you to fulfil every ounce of your potential. He wants you to become completely secure so that you can really succeed.
All of us have issues that we need to deal with so that we can be ready for our God-given destiny. Whether you are already aware of God’s work within or new to this, ask God to shine His light into the secret rooms of your heart and reveal any cracks in your foundations:
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of the heart” Proverbs 20:27
God wants to reveal so that He can heal. As He shows you issues within, bring them to the Lord in prayer. The more stable and secure you become, the more prepared you will be for promotion; promotion that will last.
If you want to be free to fulfil your purpose, I encourage you to come to our two day transformational event, Healed for Life. Visit www.jonaughton.com/healed-for-life/ for details. And be sure to start the year with my book 30 Day Detox for your Soul: https://www.jonaughton.com/books/ . You will be amazed at what God will do! Please share your testimonies and comments on my website and on social media.
Thank you Pastor Jo for this addition to your ministry. I am sure it is going to be a huge blessing to many. I am already blessed by this article. A very well written and inspiring piece. I think one of the major hindrances to allowing God to illuminate our hearts is the fear of facing the truth. But you like you rightly say God reveals for the purpose of healing. Ans He will reveal only that which we are able to face and handle. His revelation comes with the grace to face the truth and the grace to partner with Him for healing and restoration to happen. Many of us fear because we do not comprehend the nature of God.
Bless you Pastor Sarah! I am so glad that you’ve signed up and are enjoying. It’s always such a blessing to see your comments. Sending much love to you from London.