Garry spoke tonight from 1 Sam 13:11-14 about a heart aligned with God. Saul’s heart may have been aligned with God’s initially, but by this time, he did what he should not have done. He was facing a difficult situation with the Philistines coming against him and Samuel, the prophet, had not arrived. Something needed to be done as far as he was concerned; he wanted to offer a sacrifice to God to encourage the men and was not prepared to wait to do things in the prescribed way. He was, in effect, not prepared to trust God or do things His way.

Saul’s reasoning was perfectly natural and rational; he had a completely justifiable answer to give… but this does not mean he was right to do what he did. He was, in fact, completely wrong. What was actually required was a trusting heart which would acknowledge and work with God. This is what was seen in David, who was prepared to put his life on the line in the situation with Goliath, showing a disregard for the odds stacked against him because he was completely dependent on God. (1 Sam 17)

David learned to trust God way before his battle with Goliath, when he fought the lion and bear as a shepherd boy (1 Sam 17:37) There is no ‘quick fix’ to hearing God and obeying Him. Saul may have thought his solutions were perfectly rational, but he was paying lip service to God, for without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Heb 11:6) Faith factors God into our equation – and to walk with God, we need working faith and a heart that is aligned with God’s.

Not only do we need an aligned heart, we need also an undivided heart. Ezek 11:14-21 reminds us that we need an undivided heart; without this, we have split loyalties and split devotion. We may well understand that we have little personal control over life; there is also little organisational control (despite what governments may want us to believe!) God reminds us that we cannot serve two masters (Matt 6:24); we need to be whole-hearted in our devotion to God.To walk with Him, we need a heart aligned to His and a heart that is totally devoted to Him; anything else will bring failure. With a heart set apart for God alone, success is guaranteed and amazing things are possible – things that are far greater than we could ever expect without Him.