Nov. 11, 2016

Integrity or Insanity? You Decide - Part 1

It seems that some people are ill-equipped to properly execute positions of power. Initially, when a person first takes office there is so much optimism. There is great confidence that positive changes will take place. People are hopeful for an improved future. However, if that doesn't happen it is difficult to watch the demise of the fallen. Appointees who lack a strong moral character and a stiff inner core of integrity don't handle responsibility well. Their true colors soon surface and many of their inner defects come bubbling forth.

Saul, the first king of Israel, was such a person. God equipped him to lead Israel and provided a prepared group of men to assist him. But Saul refused to rely on the Lord and cultivate the strengths and wisdom God had given him.

I Samuel 10:6 NIV The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.

I Samuel 10:9 NIV As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.

I Samuel 10:26 NIV Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.

There was no reason for Saul to fail as king. God chose him and equipped him to fulfill his appointed office. But Saul allowed fear and insecurity to direct his thoughts and actions. God has given each one of us assignments that are bigger than we are. But we must trust that our Father does not set us up to fail. He equips us to succeed. Saul's fears and insecurities led to anger which led to insanity. If he had only chosen wisely his story would have had a totally different end. What have you chosen: Insanity or Integrity?

Fear and insecurity always blame someone else for the feelings of doubt that they produce. The anger that eventually rises and erupts is also a finger-pointer. According to unjustified anger the blame is never laid at one's own feet.

Look at how far Saul fell from I Samuel 10 where he is humble and changed, to chapter 20 where he is irrational and consumed with murderous thoughts and desires.

27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”

28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”

 Verse 27 - Breaking bread together is a time of fellowship, sharing and bonding. Saul had none of these worthy intents toward David in his mind or in his heart. Know that when you have been chosen by God the enemy will stage a scene that is designed to look like it is positive, nurturing and harmless. But it is important to discern a matter by the Spirit of God and not be reliant on appearances only. In this instance David was wise to avoid Saul's presence. Wisdom says don't go every place you are invited. The enemy's agenda is to kill, to steal and to destroy. He will take you out if you let him.

Verse 30 - Jonathan, Saul's son and David's dear friend, offers a reasonable explanation for David's absence from the dinner table. But because of Saul's dark heart he flies into a rage, hurling unwarranted insults at his own flesh and blood. The enemy will attack those who challenge and disrupt his demonic plans and actions.

Verse 31 - Saul attempts to convince Jonathan that he won't prosper or assume his rightful position in the kingdom as long as David continues to live. This is another of the enemy's tactics. He seeks to blanket others with the same fears, insecurities and irrationality that plague him. He wants to lure people over to his camp of crazy. He wants to plant seeds of doubt and discord hoping that those seeds will take root and eventually produce wrath, hatred and murders.

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Pray for those in ministry (which should be every true disciple of Christ) and for elected and appointed officials. Pray that those who need a heart transplant will be changed by God and encouraged by Him through Diligent Followers of the Faith.