If you opened the book of 1st Samuel, turned to Chapter 19, you would see that it ended with a supernatural event that occurred at a place called Naioth, near the prophet Samuel’s residence in Ramah. You see, David had fled from Saul and his henchmen, and told Samuel what had happened and fully expected that it wouldn’t take long before Saul learned where he was.
Sure enough, they discovered where David was and Saul sent a group of (what was probably) his loyal bodyguards to capture and/or kill David. But something amazing happened! They arrived to find a congregation of prophets, led by the chief prophet Samuel, prophesying. Then the soldiers also began to “prophesy” and were so overwhelmed with God’s Word that they couldn’t carry out the plot against David. In other words, they spoke words that came from the Holy Spirit! No, they weren’t shouting out tales about future events. This probably meant that they spoke words of praise God!
What I mean is that, for the first time, the Holy Spirit didn’t just come upon the prophets, He came upon Saul’s men and they experienced this wonderful experience. Something that each one us can now experience because Jesus came, died, was raised and now sitting with His Father! Saul’s men experienced the power of God (probably for the first time) in their lives, and spoke the words that the Holy Spirit directed them to say!
Another group of soldiers was sent, and then a third, but each time, with the same results! Now, we aren’t told, but after an experienced like they experienced, I am sure the last thing they intended to do was to arrest David! But think about this. Wouldn’t you think that after all of these men fell under the power of God, it would have opened his eyes to something? But no, Saul decided that if you needed a job done, sometimes it was best to do it yourself!
So he left the comforts and safety of his palace, and went to personally arrest David! Although, once he arrived, he also experienced the power of Yahweh and began to prophesy!
Wow! Even SAUL was overcome with the power of Yahweh! He stripped off his royal robes, laid them down before Samuel (the supreme earthly messenger of God’s Word). So, not even the king could complete his own evil plan! Think about that.
We also saw that a similar thing happened some years later when David called for the Ark of the Covenant to be brought to him and David stripped off his royal robes and garments and began to dance before the Ark of God! However, he also dressed himself with the simplest of priestly garments, the ephod, as he symbolically laid down his kingly authority and demonstrated his true position before the Lord as a joyful and willing servant! Which is what all of us will in the coming days!
I won’t do any allegorizing about this. This is the perfect illustration of how every person who has been born on this planet will eventually lay down the authority over their own lives before our Creator and face judgment! I don’t care how wicked they are or righteous they have been; redeemed or lost! Even King Saul, the early shadow of the Anti-Christ, was forced t prostrated himself before the God of Israel!
The only issue we will face is whether we willingly surrendure our lives and desires to become servants to the Most Holy One; or whether we will resist and reamin in our shame before the God of all judgment!
I apologize if this freaks you too much, but our personal decision on that eternal issue is going to determine our current condition, as well as, our future lives! It will determine whether our lives will be productive and useful vessels that are shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit.
Christian novelist, T. Davis Bunn, has perfectly explained this attitude:
“Our churches are filled with hungry hearts, people dissatisfied. We blame the minister, we blame the church. We blame the infighting, the human dimension, the absence of this or that.
We blame everything and everybody but ourselves.
Desiring change is not enough. We cannot reach out and take hold of what God offers without first making that one intensely challenging step.
So long as we maintain our two-fisted hold upon whatever it is in our lives that remains out of sync with God’s divine plan, we are shackled to the spot where we stand. Dissatisfied, yearning, critical, wanting more and yet terrified of doing what we must in order to move forward.
Entering the season of divine change means that we must first move from where we are. And there is only one way of doing so. By understanding that God calls us not merely to freedom, but rather to freedom in Him.
Our redemption is not a liberty to remain isolated and independent. This is our willful nature at work, redefining the world in a manner as perverse as the Pharisees.
. . . God frees us from the prison of sin through the act of eternal sacrifice. This liberty has granted us eternal freedom. And something more. Something vital.
To fulfill God’s purpose in us, to bring ourselves to the full harvest, we must accept God’s concept of liberty. Not ours. God’s. And what did we say God’s definition of liberty contained?
The freedom to live within His purpose for our lives.”
If you are at all familiar with the life of king Saul, you understand how he defied God and determined to live his life for his own purposes. He never governed the nation as God’s submissive agent over God’s people; but rather, goverened as an independent, selfish, power-hungry dictator who only followed his own whims, his own heart, and became permanently separated from the Yahweh! This is a perfect example of what we know as the spirit of the Anti-Christ; a spirit that desires its own way, its own authority, and rejects the Authority of Yahweh!
David was rescued from Saul’s treachery, but only for a moment. Even though at Naioth, when God’s Word in all its power paused Saul’s murderous ambitions, as soon as the prophesying ended, his evil spirit returned! Which is a perfect demonstration of how the Word of God can affect someone, but only if they allow it to.
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone who had heard the Message of Salvation; run down the aisle for prayer; fall on their face knowing, crying and wailing about how bad they are . . . But, just a few days later the old nature wins the battle! There was no lasting change. God’s Word was so moving when they first heard it that they couldn’t resist it!
Yeah, but once they were out of its presence . . . well, Jesus gave a perfect illustration (and explanation) of this:
“ Now listen! A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked out the plants. So they did not produce any grain. But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants grew and produced thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was scattered.
Then Jesus said, “If you have ears, pay attention.”
When Jesus was alone with the twelve apostles and some others, they asked him about these stories. He answered:
I have explained the secret about God’s kingdom to you, but for others I can use only stories. The reason is,
“These people will look
and look, but never see.
They will listen and listen,
but never understand.
If they did,
they would turn to God,
and he would forgive them.”
Jesus told them:
If you don’t understand this story, you won’t understand any others. What the farmer is spreading is really the message about the kingdom. The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message. But Satan soon comes and snatches it away from them. The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away. But they don’t have any roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.
The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. But they start worrying about the needs of this life. They are fooled by the desire to get rich and to have all kinds of other things. So the message gets choked out, and they never produce anything. The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and welcome the message. They produce thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was planted” (Mark 4:1-20)
Well, the seeds had been planted in Saul’s heart; he heard it and couldn’t resist its truth. However, as Jesus described above, once the prophesying of God’s Word ended, so did the effect of the message on Saul. No, I don’t think Saul consciously considered himself as being someone who had heard God’s message and believed it. Nor do I believed that he considered himself as being wicked. He probably figured that since he had prophesied (he knew and spoke God’s Word), that he was okay with God, right?
But no, Saul (and many of those who hang out in our churches) are deceived. He figured that sense he spoke the Word of God, that was all it took. But once he left the anointing, his language, anger, attitudes and annimosity toward David still drove him! My point is that if there is no evident change in even the basic aspect of who you are, you have not been reborn! There is your test!
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