In reading about the first king of Israel, Saul, in Eugene Peterson's rendering, the Message, it struck me just how wonderful was his start, both in what God was graciously doing, as well as Saul's response, and the result. So far so good.
But what happened? It seems on the surface one little thing: disobedience. I'm not referring to no longer sinless perfection; this is referring to a major issue in which one of God's major commands in reference to loving God and/or loving human beings is broken.
How many times in our lives are we faced with difficult situations, or times when it seems like our calling is too much. We're tempted to quit, to give up. We feel defeated and maybe we really are. What can be the crux of the matter? Again simply failure to obey God.
If we can trace it down to that, then we can go from there to repentance and faith expressed in obedience. In Saul's case he didn't repent, but went on a tragic downward decline.
Of course all that goes in to changing us into the image of Christ is all that we find in Scripture, or better put, all Scripture contributing to that. And especially found in Christ or in the Person, words and works of Jesus as well as in being led by the Spirit.
Yes, this is about us individually, but it never is separated from us corporately. Any disobedience on our part affects the whole; it really matters to our "neighbor", even if we or our neighbor don't sense that. This begins at home in our families, and into the family of believers we are a part of as well as out into other circles of relationships we have, or maybe ought to have. But this is not, as to impact, simply confined to ourselves.
Is there something wrong? Are we down for some reason, maybe even down and out for the count? This may be what's the matter. We may be holding out or even walking out on some simple matter of obedience to God. Let's check up on ourselves before God and then go from there.