The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
Israel wanted to be like the other nations, that’s why they kept demanding that Samuel would give them a king. Sound familiar? One of the first signs of a cold heart in the people of God is that they want to be like the rest of the world. I remember what Dick Mills said to me when revival first broke out in our church. He said it was the same thing he felt as a child in the early days of the Pentecostal outpouring. He said it lasted for about thirty years. He also said that the Pentecostals got tired of being different from everybody else, that’s when they lost the glory of God. They wanted to be like the other churches and that’s exactly what they got. A form of godliness without the power of God. In the same way, the Israelites got Saul, a man who stood out above everyone else. Saul was a man of human strength and effort, not a man of the Spirit. Here is how Watchman Nee describes Saul.
“Saul was of striking stature. ‘From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.’ No wonder Israel acclaimed him: they could all see his head. Yet how often does the head of man stand in the way of the will of God! It seems David understood this—David the man after God’s own heart, who time and again set human reason aside and acted instead in simple faith. Confronted with Goliath (whose head was even more prominent than Saul’s), he declined helmet and mail, and went out against him with but a sling. One well-aimed stone from this, lodged in the giant’s brow, brought him down. That day marked David out as Israel’s king.”
What Israel needed was David, a man after God’s own heart. David’s strength was his heart of worship. He was unashamed of worshipping, prophesying on his instruments, and dancing with all his might before the Lord. Those three things; worship, prophesy, and dancing before the Lord, are not too popular in today’s hip church world. Too many churches want to be acceptable (or relevant) to the culture of today. They may gain crowds of people but they will lose the one thing none of us can afford to lose; the power and presence of the Lord.