Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012 … The Outcome of Spiritual Shortcuts

Blogger's Note: It was 29 years ago today that God brought me to place of brokenness where I could receive Him as my Lord and Savior. So, I praise God today for my Rebirthday in Him. ... wrb

Passage of the Day
: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 21-24 …
To study these chapters, go to this link -

Passage of the Day #1: 1st Samuel 21: 1-2 … 1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” … 2 David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.” … 4 But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
Passage of the Day #2: 1st Samuel 22: 18-21 … 18 The king [Saul] then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite [Saul’s servant] turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep. … 20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”

My Journal for Today: Today’s chronological read in 1st Samuel, Chapters 21-24, especially the first two chapters, gives us the first glance into a weakness in David’s character when he copped out to a lie of expedience, apparently in denial or defensiveness, in order to get some bread (i.e., holy bread) from the Priests under the supervision of the head Priest, Abimelech [see the focus passages copied above]. And we see in these highlight passages, that this lie ultimately led to the execution, under the orders of Saul, of 85 priests, their families, and the destruction of all their possessions.

This is a gruesome reminder that any believer, even a dedicated servant of God in pursuit of God’s own heart, like David, can be vulnerable to spiritual shortcuts and capable of deceit – even in the self-perceived service of God [see Jer. 17: 9]. Most certainly leaders, God’s shepherds, like David, must be ever vigilant not to cut spiritual corners and make unGodly decisions, because the results can be devastating, as we read in these chapters of 1st Samuel.

I can recall a season of time some years ago when the Elders of my church, i.e., Central Church in Collierville, TN, abrogated our responsibilities to watch over the flock in our church by allowing our Senior Pastor to make decisions without our due vigilance of oversight; and we allowed our Pastor to make decisions without our oversight or accountability; and this short-cutting of God’s spiritual oversight almost led to the torch of God’s Spirit being lifted from our church with our church going through the worst spiritual crisis in it’s 100+ year history. But God, in His mercy, much like He did with David, allowed us to learn from this mistake; and with our repentance and restoration to leadership, in unity, we were able to confess, come together, and build a unity of proper leadership, allowing God’s light to shine from our church again with a new purpose of oversight and vigilance to correct our shortcuts of leadership in the past.

But all Christians, especially ordained and anointed leaders, must remain vigilant and refuse to exercise selfish shortcuts as we read of David doing in this instance so that God’s Spirit might be grieved and dampened by our decisional denial. God’s way and His will must not be compromised; and when it is, there ALWAYS will be consequences; and those consequences can be horrible as we read, involving David above. Now later we will read of another shortcut David will take, which will be just as horrible as this one we read about today; but we’ll look at David’s back-sliding of leadership involving Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah later.

Right now, we need to set a battle plan in motion which allows us to have oversight and/or accountability, with feedback from other believers, probably more mature and insightful and discerning that are we, to prevent us from taking spiritual shortcuts in our lives. Is your “battle plan” of vigilance and accountability in place?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank you for surrounding me with a number of cohorts of responsibility and accountability in my life, due to my tendency to be gullible and to relent to my Jer. 17:9 heart. Amen

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