Smash the idol of rebel in our heart. What kind of rebellion living in our heart against God's Kingdom? What it will cost to us? Are we like Saul or David when we caught up in our sin? What is the difference between Rebel and disciple? God doesn't give up on God's plan. He just does it with somebody different and at a different time. If you want to place Saul, Be aware that God already has eye on your David.
God use this message to impact and encourage your lives.
I wanted to start about sharing this story. About 2 years ago, a friend of mine, his name Wickliff, he's a worship leader in our campus in Kampala came to me and said that Have you ever thought about buying Crypto currency? [Crypto Currency is digital money]. I replied that there is no way I'm gonna buying any Bitcoin. and then about Year ago, another person came to me, a man named Clem, great leader, he said that there is something about Crypto currency, God's going to provide for this church through cryptocurrncy. I did absolutely nothing. I just ignored it. If I had listened my friends and put a 1000 pounds/dollars in bitcoin 2 years ago, By Christmas I would have been sat on 40000 pounds. It's shocking. isn't it? Because Bitcoin went through the roof.
I have wondered Why did I not do what people were suggesting to me? What was it in me that caused me to say No...I'm not gonna do that, to just so easily dismiss the idea to be resistance the idea to be unwilling to embrace the idea. I've realized that actually there has been in my character in my life, a bit of tendency towards this way of thinking at times.
When I was a child, I quite complaint child. When I became adult, a rebel that kind of emerged within me. I became a little more defiant, a little stronger in my views. I was the person, if somebody said you need to do this, I'd be like Why do I need to do that? that was my response. Explain yourself to me. Give me a good reason. Even If somebody gave me a good reason, I would very often be like, I'm going to go away and think about that and very often I'd kick it out and not do it anyway. I was kind of resistance.
We've got quite number of us that can relate to this willful kind of strong-minded. We know our own minds.
I've been quite hard work for somebody to lead and speak into my life. Because it's like why should I do this? I don't want to do that... that doesn't sound very fun/pleasant. that's been quite obstructive at times. Can anybody relate???
We live in a world that actually celebrates the rebel. I've got 4 children. When they're little bit rebellious on me. I like that side of them. I'm like all it's a cheeky, oh resistible.
We want to see rebels win. We love the cause of the rebel and we love the heart of the rebel. Sometimes, we even find ourselves cheering on the rebel.
God opposes resistance and unwillingness. It's rebellion. It's destructive. It costs us his best.
What we celebrate in world, what we kind of enjoy in our own lives actually sets us against God and against God's way.
I am talking about this whole concept today of rebellion. I am not too troubled rebellion in the world, outside of our church, outside of God's kingdom. There will be always the rebellion. I think that's part of the world that we live in. What really concerns me is rebellion in my heart and rebellion in our life. Because it's gonna costs us something of God's best, then this is something that we need to smash.
[1 Samuel:15 Prophet:Samuel - King:Saul - God's command to Saul "Go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation - men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels and donkeys" - But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs, everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed]
God is very unhappy about this. Samuel goes and find Saul. Saul has been just setting up a monument to himself, celebrating his great victory, having kind of missed the fact that he's been disobedient.
Samuel comes to Saul and says What's going on Saul?. Saul says to Samuel We did exactly what you asked us to do. Angry prophet says to Saul, If you did completely what I asked you to do then why can I hear sheep right now?
Saul argues back, I did what you said. We did this for good reasons, we did this to honor God. We didn't killed the best that was out there, because actually what we did is we bought it back in order to sacrifice it to God.
Saul starts by lying and saying we didn't do exactly what you said. He justifies himself.
Samuel says, Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as serious as the sin of fortune-telling, and disobedience is serious as false religion and idolatry.
Not doing what God wants us to do is worse than making an idols and getting involved in witchcraft.
Because you rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you as King.
If resistance, if unwillingness, if stubbornness is as serious as idolatry, this is something that we need to deal with it.
Something we've got to go to war against in order to really enjoy the fullness, the more of what God has for us to take a hold of all that God has for us in our lives.
We need to smash rebellion and disobedience.
Resistance: Fight against, or refuse to accept, Godly authority.
Unwillingness: Not agreeing with or yielding to Godly authority.
Opposite to rebellion and unwillingness is obedience and submission.
Resistance and unwillingness don't seem as bad somehow as the alternative which is obedience and submission.
These biblical concepts somehow tarnished in the world we are live in.
God was same back then as he is some years later as he is today and will be tomorrow.
Some of us have a kind of thought of submission and obedience is tricky for us.
When we think of leadership, When we think of Jesus, very often we're more drawn to the idea of Jesus is the servant leader than we are as the Jesus the leader who operates in authority and brings challenge.
If that's the case for Jesus, When we think of our small group leader, We definitely like the idea of servant leader who makes us nice food and is pleased to see us than guy who's there say hey I want to engage with and challenge you around these things in your life.
1.God has put people in authority over our lives.
We may live in the world that loves the rebel and is like against the authority like never before. But God's order is that people are in authority over our lives.
God speaks through Samuel to Saul. What did God look smelling sound like to Saul? Samuel.
We could say, yeah but that's because it was old testament, a long time ago, God spoke through the prophets back then. I did little bit research, this is what new testament says.
Children, obey your parents [Ephesians 6]
Workers, obey your bosses [Ephesians 6]
Wives, obey your husbands [Ephesians 5]
Obey governing authorities [Romans 13]
Obey and submit to leaders in church [Hebrews 13]
If there is abuse going on in this relationship, then you have to shout about that. You have to stick it out no matter how terrible or abusive that circumstances you're in.
If you are somebody who is thinking of your husband or your wife right now and you're being abused by them, I would say to you, please reach out retreat, get some help, find a place of safety so you can go and get some support and I pray that we will be able to see mediation and transformation there and change but don't stick out under that circumstances.
It could be probably one or two percent. The 98 or 99 percent of our lives, it's not life and death abusive situation.
It's that our boss at work asks us to do something and we think I really don't want to do that. Why would I need to do that? or as children, our parents saying do this. Why are you still stood there looking at me like that?
Somebody says you need to spend more time with your wife, you need to invest more in your marriage, you need to go away, you need to come be part of ownership course in church, I want you to get to work by 9'o clock everyday, why'd you come at 10 past 9. this is usually the stuff and we mount an insurrection. I may have to say yes, I may have to smile a nod but not in my heart. I don't want to do that.
So often people who God has placed in authority over us saying what God himself has been saying to us will saying something. I'll be like I just don't want to do that, I'm not ready to do it, I'm not ready to pay the price that I will need to pay.
Today, in church, the baskets came around and Joe said, hey this is the moment to bring our tithes to the Lord. I don't do that. that's the kind of area God's weather I've kind of opted out of.
New testament is strong on the need for us to obey. God wants us to do what he wants us to do. When we don't, there is a price to pay.
[Romans 13:1-2, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves]
When we're rebel, when we're resist, when we're unwilling to do what God is saying to us and unto take on board what the authorities around us saying there's a judgement that comes upon our lives.
2.It's not obedience if we pick and choose what we want to do.
Saul and the man did some of what God asked in. They saw all the worthless and despised things, wiped all that stuff out. it's an intelligent, wise stewardship principle for the good stuff, we're going to keep. Surely God couldn't meant that we should destroy that stuff as well, We could enrich ourselves here, we could strengthen our position here.
I wonder, if they didn't even really think about it because they probably weren't tuned into the fact that God wanted to do them to do something specific.
We go through the seasons in our life where we forget God's voice/word and then afterwards he says hey something went wrong little while back. We say what was it,I didn't even notice it. God says No but I noticed what happened.
Whatever reason Saul and his men did some of what God ask but they didn't do all of what God asked. But when Samuel comes to Saul, he doesn't say Saul bad news, you only got 50% on the test, so we're gonna stop you few tears. What he said is rebellion is a rebellion. You didn't do what God said to do and there is a price to pay, you've brought judgement upon yourself.
When there is a resistance in our hearts are bit just a small measure of resistance to what God is saying to, what God wants to do the leadership that we're being brought, it can cause us to make very very slow progress. At times, it can cause us to feel that we're not moving forward at all.
If you don't feel like you're moving forward in life right now, maybe you've got to ask yourself the question, where is the resistance actually coming from?
Saul and men stepped out of alignment with God's instruction. What it shows us is partial alignment comes at a cost. God wants us to be fully aligned under the leadership, under the covering, under the protection of his word.
In my house, there is a tiny misalignment in pipe when install the toilet 5 years ago. year after year, week after week, month after month, it's destroyed the toilet, it's destroyed the floor and it's destroyed there and it's stripping through and it's damaging the roof.
There's something about living in alignment in our lives, in alignment with God is saying, in alignment with God's word and truthfully in alignment with the leadership the authority that he places over our life, it's a blessed pace.
3.We need to repent where we rebel not justify our disobedience
Saul when he is confronted about what he did, he tries to get out of it.
When you're kind of cornered and it's like have you done what I asked you to do. But the evidence around us would suggest that is not true. I more or less did what you asked me to do but actually there was good reasons. We try to justify,Why we haven't done? what we should have done and we're trying to kind of dress it up.
We'll even use the God card. Oh Samuel the reason we bought all these nice cattle and sheep back is we wanted to sacrifice them to God.
Samuel says straight through, Saul first of all you lies about it and then he tries to kind of twist it and distort it and says it's all about God, it's all about Jesus. He could have gone further in that but eventually what becomes clear is that there's deception in his heart, there's rebellion in his heart. and Samuel says we are gonna confront this in your life today, we've got to deal with this rebellion in your heart.
David also gets caught up in some sin. Bathsheba, the whole situation where David doesn't go to war, he goes to his roof instead sees next door neighbor's wife bathing, and thinks to himself that he like her, He's coveted her, he's had adultery relationship with her, he lies about it, and he has the guy's husband killed. Doesn't come much worse than that people.
Another prophet named Nathan comes along and confronts this and says this is wrong. David uses the another word begins with R. It's the word he Repent, this is right, this is terrible, rather than justify what I did, rather than try and lie about it and cover it up and resist what you're saying to me, I'm gonna own what happened here and I'm gonna say I'm sorry now
Sometimes it takes me too long to own the mistakes that I made. that's something human's nature.
Sometimes by the time we're willing to own it, it can be too late.
When I came to freedom church, I've been out of church for about ten years. I've been 2 other churches. Church leaders that had tried to speak God's vision for my life, into my life. I'd resisted it. When I came to freedom church, we got to the point, We've just got to take it this stuff on board right now and it was very challenging journey, there's nothing that God's grace, We get to step into the great things that he has for us, We get to go on that journey because we repented and we changed. But I still missed out on 10 years of what could have been.
There's no way, it's like the Bitcoin. I can't rewind the tape/digital video and replay that part of my life and make the investment enjoy the benefit of it. I can't do that. It's gone, times up, missed out on that
4.Our actions will determine whether we fulfill or surrender our calling
Samuel says that the God will regret making Saul King.
God gave him a opportunity and he's made some bad choices here, regret in this situation means I'm going to give to somebody else what I gave to him. I'm gonna remove it from his life and I'm gonna place it upon somebody else who will go on the journey.
God's given us freewill. Our actions will determine whether we fulfill or surrender our calling.
[1 Samuel 15:23, Because you rejected the word of the Lord, because you didn't obey the God, he has rejected you as King]
When we resist, when we rebel, we will bring judgement upon ourselves.
Saul's disobedience costs his calling. His resistance costs his calling. His stubbornness costs him his calling. His rebellion cost him his calling. Because of this, he lost his claim to be the anointed King.
This is relatively familiar and recurring plan/situation. Sometimes people challenge me, sometimes God challenges me. Nobody seems to challenge me more than God challenges me. But somehow, it's easier to ignore when it's from God and it's much harder to ignore when it's somebody in the flesh.
I've seen so many of people that I love come and be part of our church and then God will for the 15th time, or the 10th time or the 5th time, may be for the 3rd time, bring challenge to their lives in that area that they've struggled with for years and years years, and suddenly I see them disappear.
If I'm honest, I don't think I can think of anybody who's gone on to great things, when that happens. Because ultimately God was trying to speak into somebody's life and there was an unwillingness or resistance within them to hear what he was going to say.
What happens in that situation is very often becomes about the messenger rather than the message. They didn't say it that way I wanted to hear it. I didn't like the way that they were saying it to me. They didn't take the time to get to know me. They didn't fully understand my circumstances. All of this may be true. But that's not the point here. the point here is that they go on to miss out on something that God has for them.
If you want to place Saul, Be aware that God already has eye on your David.
We learned from this story is 2 point.
i. If we were a rebellion, costs us God's best.
ii. God doesn't give up on God's plan. He just does it with somebody different and at a different time.
Where in my life am I paying for my rebellion? think about the areas that don't seem to have the right fruit, and the areas where you got stuck, the areas where you've not move forward, the areas that most challenging you in your heart.
Where in my life am I living in the blessing of obedience? this is the other side to the rebellion. When we live in obedience, we see great blessings in our life.
There are 2 reasons why this message really matters to me.
i. This is my story - I was Saul. I could still be Saul too, If I stop making some good choices. and If I allow that rebellion to thrive within my heart, I would be a fool to stand here and say to you that I'm no longer resistant at times to God, no longer resistant to the leaders that he places in my life. There's always an element of that I personally have to fight against.When I rebelled I missed out, it costs me something.
Sometimes I stop and think What would've happened if we'd not come and been part of this church. I've got into some conversations with some leaders along the way and they challenged me very directly about some attitudes/views that I had, somethings that I holding on to, they challenged us in our marriage, they challenged me in my leadership, they challenged me in the way that I was living my life and I think sometimes what would've happened if I'd done what I wanted to do at that movement, I'd have headed for the door, I wouldn't today be living in what I know to be God's call upon my life. I'd be probably dealing with the consequences with the hurt, with the brokenness, there's something of a cost that comes.
Which of these I described here, sounds more like you.
Rebel vs Disciple
When I was a rebel I resisted leadership but as I've grown as a disciple, I've had to learn to submit to leadership.
When I was a rebel I was convinced I knew better but as a disciple, I've become humble, I'm becoming humble, I'm fighting for humility and I'm becoming hungry to learn.
When I was a rebel I did what I wanted to do but as a disciple, I've got to do whatever it takes.
When I was a rebel I used to justify my actions even using God's word but as a disciple, I'm having to learn to own my mistakes.
When I was a rebel I really struggled in Church, I avoided it most weeks, I hung around on the periphery, I was very vocally critical and I used to gossip about other people in church but as a disciple, I've had to fight my way to the center, I've learned to control my tongue and I've to grow.
When I was a rebel I reported by via my direct, insecure line to God and nobody else is interfered in that communication but as a disciple, I'm having to learn to allow others to speak in, to honor the leaders that God has put in my life.
When I was a rebel I took offense easily and lived with a lot of hurt but as a disciple, I'm having to become quicker to forgive and quicker to let go of the past.
When I was a rebel I was unaccountable and truthfully life was very comfortable but as a disciple, I've had to become accountable and it feels like I'm almost always in the stretch.
When I was a rebel I got stuck for 10 years of my life but as a disciple, I've God allowed me to move forward.
When I was a rebel I was living a life that seemed to have limited Kingdom fruit in it, I've seen God grow the fruit in my life, in my marriage, in my family, in my leadership, in the things that I do with my time.
Me and my wife would privileged to be leaders in church, We spent the last 2 years in Uganda. I believe that God sent a disciple to do that mission not a rebel.
I believe that the best he has for the people that we will lead in the days ahead will be released through the disciple.
ii.We have so much to lose and even more to gain.
When I came to freedom church, it was in one location and about 100 people. We've seen far more than a tenfold blessing released into our church since I arrived here in 2007-8. We've seen God do amazing things, we've seen God increased the number of our locations from 1 to 16, we've seen our attendance increases, we've seen more people getting saved, more people getting baptized, we've heard more stories of lives transformed, a marriage is healed, we've seen income increase the provision to do, even more I've made some amazing friends and grow my church family, the amazing things that God has done in our church. It's been move of our God.
There's one location that we've closed in that time and make no mistakes, we closed it because of rebellion. Because you see rebellion always costs us God's best but obedience it causes us to enjoy great blessings.
I met a young man Jayden and his wife Folie. He was the biggest drug dealer in the Siem Reap until our church planters met him on the streets and told him about Jesus and he accepted Jesus into his life and today he's a leader in our church, he has children, his brother has got saved, his mother has got saved, God is reviving his family and moving.
Many of us listening to this message today would say we can't wait to see revival in our nation and in our lamp. We can't wait to see God's move in the cities that we live in.
Do you know what revival is built upon? It's build upon a obedience, it's build upon unity, it's build upon submission, that's the fruit that comes when we seizes hold of God's word that's what happens.
The saddest think about Saul is he didn't really understand what was going on with God, when God said today I'm gonna settle the account with your Amalekite, because 400 years earlier Amalekites are attacked the God's people as they escaped slavery, they'd been a pain in the bum to them ever since, they kept attacking them over and over again.
Because Saul was a rebel, he wasn't willing to obey, because his men wouldn't do as God said, they didn't destroy them, they didn't wipe them out.
20 years later, David's new leadership almost ends because the Amalekitiies come and attack his families that zip line, carry them off, he has to go war again. It wasn't until hundreds of years later under Hezekiah that they were wiped out, even after that another hundred years later, the descendants of Agag, a man named Haman is plotting how he can kill all the Jews and again God has to step in with somebody else, the call gets transferred hundreds of years later, Queen Esther steps in and rescues God's people. that's where the Amalekitiies story ends in the Bible.
There is so much to loose but we have so much to gain.
Be a rebel and it will cost you God's best. Obedience also very costly but the reward is great blessing.
I pray as you move out of this message, God speaks to your heart, shows you what could be, shows you where in your life this applies so that you can take a step today towards the greater that he has for you. Amen.