The next time we see Saul is after David has been anointed the next king of Israel. What we read is very enlightening into the character of someone is not being poor in spirit,
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. (1 Samuel 16:14, NKJV)
We can note two events that happened to Saul after his decision to not follow the Lord completely and not to continue becoming poorer in spirit:
- The Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul. Saul no longer had the influence of the Spirit of God in his life. The Spirit of God worked differently in the Old Testament as He was to come upon people as the Lord determined; on men and woman to do a mighty work for God in a particular space of time. But from this point on there will be no more times that the Spirit of God will come upon Saul. As believers we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us (John 14:17; Acts 17:6; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22; James 4:5; 1 Peter 1:11; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:13). Because of that fact the Holy Spirit will not depart from dwelling in us, but we can quench the Spirit from operating in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:19). When we are not poor in spirit our inner man is not lined up with God and the Holy Spirit cannot do everything He wants to do in us. Let us be like David who penned the following, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:10-11, NASB)
- A distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. There is some question as to this referring to Saul’s disposition of being melancholy or if there was some kind of demonic spirit disturbing him. I would tend to believe it was both, but in either case this is not what God desired for Saul. But man, having free will, can make his choice before the Lord. If we choose to be poor in spirit we will not be in the poor state of existence that Saul found himself in. The only relief for Saul was to have David come in play his harp and Saul would become temporarily refreshed and the distressing spirit would leave him (1 Samuel 16:23).
Like Saul we have a choice to make; two different paths are set before us. Will we choose to let the Spirit of God have freedom to change us from within by developing the character of being poor in spirit? Or will we become like King Saul and quench the Spirit’s work in our lives, rendering us ineffective for the kingdom of heaven? What choice will you make?
Choose to let the Spirit of God have freedom to change you from within by developing the character of being poor in spirit. The choice is rather simple: the life of the flesh (the self-will) or the life of the Spirit (God’s will). Read Romans chapters 6 – 8 and make the choice for the Spirit life.