One of the beliefs essential to the mind of the believer is that of God’s ability to transform the human heart. As we study Scripture, we find that the human heart is so corrupted by original sin that, apart from a supernatural act of God, we would oppose the Lord for all of our days. This is why Ephesians 2:1 declares that we, in our former, lost state were dead in our sins. But then Ephesians 2:4 declares that God made us alive.
This picture was in my mind when I read another account of God giving a young man a new heart. When the young Saul first met Samuel the prophet, Samuel let Saul know that he would be the first chosen king over Israel. As you might imagine, this concept would have been hard for any man to believe. So Samuel gave Saul a set of three signs that would attest to the truthfulness of his prediction.
As Saul left Samuel, something quite special happened. God changed Saul in an instant.
1 Samuel 10:9 – When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.
God gave Saul a new heart. In a moment, in the turning, at the first step, apart from any belief or action on Saul’s part, God changed Saul’s heart.
Christians, it is vital that we understand that the Lord is able to give new hearts to people. If we assume that this is not a thing that the Lord can do, we must necessarily assume that all evangelism is useless and destined to be fruitless. But with the knowledge that the Lord transforms hearts in a moment, supernaturally, we can preach the gospel to the most hardened of sinners with confident hope that the Lord will continue to save for himself a people out of every nation.
No, the story of Saul is not telling me about Christian evangelism. But the story of Saul’s new heart at this moment tells me that God is sovereign over the human heart. What God did with Saul was not a spiritual conversion so much as it was a character transformation. But it shows me that the Lord is over all, and I can hope in the same Lord to do in the important matters of salvation what we see him do in the less important matters of government.