I've been reading the book of 1 Samuel. So far I have read the story of Samuel and most of the account of Saul, who was the first king over Israel. Saul is a fascinating character because he seems to be a "part way" believer. We're told that God gave him a new heart and made him a new man as he started his reign. But he seems to flounder in carrying things out. He has a sense of the importance of obeying God and he seems to know about important functions like prayer and sacrifice....but he often doesn't get it right when it comes to true obedience and he becomes impatient when battles are about to start and God's representatives haven't shown up. It's not that he is in total rebellion...it's more like some part of his relationship with the Lord hasn't matured. Somehow, God hasn't become so real to Saul on a personal level that he has learned to absolutely trust...absolutely depend...absolutely wait on Him.
1 Samuel 13:
10 Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, 11 but Samuel said, "What is this you have done?"
Saul replied, "I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn't arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. 12 So I said, 'The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven't even asked for the Lord's help!' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came."
I think the personal challenge is to make sure that we have established a close and personal walk with the Lord. Until we hear from Him, ourselves, and have truly learned to depend upon Him we haven't solidified our dependence and we may try to make things happen on our own. Ultimately it must become "all or nothing" in our walk with the Lord.