Something unusual, or even strange seemed to have happened to Saul after he was anointed. He was sent off by Samuel to meet up with a group of prophets. They were actually a band of men who worshipped God, but also studied law and were a voice for civic responsibility among the people. They had just spent time in worship of God and were filled with the Spirit. As Saul joined in, he too became overcome.
This incident is a bit of a foreshadowing of the appearance of Christ and the promise of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, we begin to see the difference. This is temporary and, we know that Saul does not remain engaged with the Spirit. We do, however, see what the presence of the Spirit promises. The Spirit-filled person of God is led by the Spirit, even in the ordinary tasks of the day. The inspiration for action comes from the presence of the Spirit.
The major difference that we see here is that Saul was to become a different man, and this language is not the same as that of the New Testament. In the New Testament the presence of the Holy Spirit points to newness of life. Rebirth through the Spirit as one of God’s children makes all things new. Saul experienced the Spirit and became different, but only for a short period of time.
Holiness results in newness.
Playing around with the Spirit of God results in differentness.
Going to church, standing up and singing songs and praising the Lord, but going out the door without a transformational encounter with the Holy Spirit may simply result in differentness. The prophets were in a frenzy because they’d been singing songs and having a great time in worship of God, but none of them, including Saul, had experienced newness. There’s a huge difference between outward frenzy and ecstatic praise, and transformation into the image and likeness of Christ.
True holiness is the result of a life-changing encounter with God through the Holy Spirit. It’s not temporary and it shouldn’t wear off. Instead, this holiness continually draws us into a deeper relationship with our Lord, ever transforming us into his image. We become more like Christ in our actions and reactions.
We are constantly called into a deeper walk with Jesus Christ. Hit and miss experiences with the Spirit in a worship service will not result in the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Instead of frenzy, what we need is quiet listening and waiting upon the Lord. Time must be spent in study of the word and soaking before the Lord in prayer. Then the Spirit comes upon us as a still small voice, leading, guiding, and forming us to become more like Jesus.
Lord, I don’t want to be different, I want to live in newness. Amen.
This post was written by Rev Carla Sandburg. You can find her original post here: reflectingtheimage.blogspot.com/2018/06/different-or-new.html