When it comes to our walk with Christ, the Bible shows us there is a crucial difference between a spark and a torch, which we can see when we examine the lives of Saul and David. Saul had amazing experiences with God, moments that ignited in him a great zeal and provoked him to action. “Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he became very angry. He took two oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the messengers to carry them throughout Israel with this message: ‘This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who refuses to follow Saul and Samuel into battle!’” (1 Samuel 11:6-7).
After each of Saul’s many moments of anointing in his life, he drifted from his passion for the Lord. One well-known instance of disobedience is when God commanded Saul to slay Agag, the enemy king he had captured, and to destroy all the spoils of battle. But Saul spared Agag and kept some of the spoils and in so doing, quenched the Holy Spirit’s work in his life (see 1 Samuel 15:8-10).
On the other hand, we see David raised up to be Israel’s next king. As his reputation for bold obedience grew, so did the fruit of his obedience, which made Saul jealous. At one point Saul intended to kill David and trapped him in a cave. Yet the Lord was gracious, stopping Saul before he could execute his plan. Simply put, Saul was bent on backsliding but the Lord’s mercy returned to him repeatedly.
David had the same spiritual experiences that Saul did, yet the spark that David received was fanned into a flame. “As David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on” (16:13). The phrase “from that day on” shows the difference in David’s and Saul’s lives. Once David received a spark from God, he guarded it, stoked it and fueled it. He determined, “I want this spark to increase into a burning flame for the Lord.”
Pray with me today, “God, thank you for touching me with the Holy Spirit. Anoint me with power to reach out to those around me and grace to show forth the compelling love of Jesus.”