Sunday, 11 January 2015

Encouraging Yourself

Hello friends, brothers and sisters in Christ and readers of this Blog. Happy New Year to you all. I want to write a Blog on 'Encouraging Yourself in The Lord'. Personally, I find this difficult and many of you probably do. I was listening to Pastor David Wilkerson (it may take me a lifetime to listen to ALL his sermons) and he was reading from the Book of 1 Samuel. In that Book, there is a story of King Saul and David.

I will break down the story in a few paragraphs, but throughout the Chapters, King Saul portrays himself as one who finds it impossible to encourage himself in the Lord. He lets JEALOUSY and ENVY get the best of him. Then throughout these Chapters, he becomes bitter and plots to kill David. 

1 Samuel 18:6-9
"When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song:
'Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands'.
This made Saul very angry. 
"What's this?" he said. "They credit David with ten thousand and me with only thousands. Next, they'll be making him their king!"
From that time ON, Saul kept a jealous eye on David."

King Saul allowed a seed of envy and jealousy to ENTER his heart. He grew bitter against David and this led to a spirit of murder. 

"The very next day, a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pip him to the wall. But David escaped him twice."

Saul became so angry. He had that spirit that caused him to seek revenge. If you are that person that becomes jealous of another person's blessing, then I am telling you, that seed will grow and it will cause you to seek revenge or to compete with others. Remember the story of Abel and Cain? Cain was jealous of Abel and ended up killing him because of that. Do not become jealous of the blessings that others have. 

Proverbs 13:10-12 - "Fighting comes only from pride, but wisdom is with those who listen when they are told what they should do". When you have that spirit of envy and strife, you begin to mistrust everyone around you and you begin to think they all have something against you.

Mistrusting Others
Saul's anger even burned against his own son, Jonathan. He went as far as accusing Jonathan of taking David's side. But Jonathan simply saw that David was not guilty. He had done nothing wrong. He loved his father so much. When Saul found out that Jonathan had let David escape, he was very angry with Jonathan.

1 Samuel 20:30 - "Then Saul was very angry with Jonathan and said to him, 'you son of a sinful woman! Do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother who gave birth to you. As long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you and the power you would have as king will not last. So, send for him and bring him to me. For he must die."

Can you see how bitter King Saul was? He didn't even trust his own son. The Bible says, anybody who hates his brother is a murderer and cannot inherit the kingdom of God [1 John 3:15].

You close the door to any spirit of encouragement. You do not seek comfort or the Holy Spirit or God. Saul couldn't even pray or turn to anybody.
1 Samuel 18:12 - Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul.

The Spirit of God will not abide in a temple that neglects Him. We must acknowledge our sin and allow God to pluck it out by its ROOTS. However, instead of turning back to GOD, Saul turned to a witch.

1 Samuel 28:3 - "Now Samuel was dead and all Israel had been filled with sorrow for him. They buried him in his own city of Ramah. And Saul had put out of the land those who spoke with spirits by using their secret ways. The Philistines gathered together and stayed at Shunem. Saul gathered all Israel together and they stayed at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid. His heard shook with much fear. Saul asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord did not answer him, by dreams or by Urim or by those who speak for God (prophets). Then Saul said to his servant, 'find a woman for me who can speak with spirits, that I may go to her and ask her what I should do.' His servant said to him, 'see, there is a woman at Endor who can speak with spirits."

God did not want anything to do with Saul because of his envy and jealousy. He continued in his sin and refused to acknowledge it. God did not abide in his body because of this. So, in the end, Saul had to seek the occult. Nowadays, people seek Astrology. Astrology comes all the way from Babylonian times. This is dabbling with the occult and we should NOT do this.

In the end, Saul ends up committing suicide and the night before, he sought after a witch.

But, David on the other hand, had many against him. 1 Samuel 30:6 - "And David was very troubled because the people talked about killing him with stones. For all the people were very angry in their sorrow for their sons and daughters. But David got his strength from the Lord his God."

In the midst of agony and despair, David ENCOURAGED himself in the Lord. His communication with God led him to depend on God. People who are envious cannot pray or encourage themselves.

Read Psalm 16 - David could have looked at all the good things he had done for the people and he could have been bitter. But instead, he ENCOURAGED himself in the Lord. You should do good things because you are a SERVANT of Christ. We are saved by GRACE and by FAITH, not by GOOD WORKS. Try not to be involved in gossip or have a hint of bitterness in you.
Not even BITTERNESS or ANGER can rob you of your fellowship with God. Nothing can hinder that! Give your burden to HIM.

Have a GREAT year. Xo

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