One of the things we look for in those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ is a change in their hearts, attitudes, and the person they are over time. We would expect that someone who has truly made a heart-based decision to accept Christ to become more like Him. Over time, you can tell if a person’s profession was sincere or if it was mere words. Anyone can say they are a Christian. Anyone can say they have made a choice to follow Him. And caught up in the moment, it is entirely possible for someone to initially believe they have made that decision, only to walk away later on. It’s also entirely possible for someone to say and believe they are a Christian because they made that confession of faith, even though it was a reaction of emotion or the like, and subsequent teaching they’ve been exposed to has convinced them by simply “coming forward” or “saying the prayer” is enough and they are okay with God when they are not. If one has truly made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then over time we should see change in that person’s life. For instance:
Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.”
Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”
– 1 Samuel 16:10-11, NASB
David was not thought of very highly at this point. When the elders of Bethlehem were gathered for a sacrifice (a cover to keep Saul from killing Samuel), Jesse and his sons were invited. So he brought along the first seven, but left out number eight. So number eight was back tending the sheep and not at the sacrifice. As Samuel went down the line of Jesse’s boys, he realized that the one God wanted wasn’t there. We might say here that there was nothing about David that really stood out. So he was passed over. But that would soon change.
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah. – 1 Samuel 16:13, NASB
God had a short time frame to work with because Saul had already started short-circuiting. So upon David came the Holy Spirit and when He came, He did so in a mighty way. How mighty? How about this?
So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.”
Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him.”
So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.” – 1 Samuel 16:17-19, NASB
David went from a nobody to a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, and one prudent in speech. Where did a mighty man of valor and a warrior come from? Chalk that up to the Holy Spirit. David had been changed, and changed in a visible way. He was so changed that a servant of the king’s court had come to know David and cite him as the man Saul wanted. And he did so with some very impressive words, words we know to be true of David.
What we can take from this is that we should see some positive change for the believer. That means us. If we truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we love Him, then we will change. Perhaps you’re looking at a bad habit or some aspect of your personality you have struggled with. God can make that change. If it’s not Christ-like, I guarantee you He is working on it, though it will be in His timing, not ours. Another thing that we can take from this change in David is that God knows what is needed around us and by us. And He will accelerate things in us, if necessary, in order for us to be ready for what’s to come. The catch is we have to be yielded to God. David was and the Holy Spirit was able to work mightily in his life in a short time. That same possibility exists with us, too. Our God provides for our every need. Maybe not in the timing we would want, but certainly in the timing we need. We serve an awesome God who readies us and equips us for the challenges that we will face. We just have to trust Him and not ourselves. If we do that, like David, we’ll be spoken of highly and remembered by those who count, and especially by God. And it doesn’t get any better than that.