Good Sunday morning! I wanted to give you all something this morning to think about before our next bible study lesson on “Praying with Honesty”….which is actually praying with a submissive spirit. A pure heart – because “heart” in Scripture means the place of our “will” and the place of zeal, emotion. But primarily, throughout the Bible, the heart is the “place of our will” – our place of “want to.” When we pray with total honesty, we are praying with a surrendered will. And we are going to go deeper into the application of that in our next lesson.
But before we do – I wanted to ask you to do something today if you have the time. Read this from Warren Wiersbe while in prayerful thought with God:
- If I were to ask you, “What was David’s great sin?”, you would probably say, “Committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed in battle.” Certainly the sings of adultery and murder (coupled with deceit) are great sins and must not be treated lightly. But David committed another sin that had even greater consequences. Because of David’s adultery, four persons died: Uriah, the baby that was born, Amnon and Absalom. But because of David’s other sin, 70,000 people died! When David confessed his sins of adultery and murder, he said, “I have sinned.” But when he confessed this other sin, he said, “I have sinned greatly.”
- What was David’s other sin? And what part did Satan play in it?
(keep in mind…this is something I wanted to ask you to read as an intro into our next lesson…”Praying with Honesty.”)
READ 1 Chronicles 21:1-2, 7-8, 14-19
- Satan has a goal on your life and mine. His goal, his relentless goal, is to get to the will and control it. He may begin his strategies by deceiving the mind, but ultimately he must get to the will – the heart – the place of decision making.
- This is precisely where he attacked David and where David sinned greatly.
- When satan attacked, David’s kingdoms was in great shape. He had won numerous and notable victories, and was enjoying a height of popularity and success.
We must never underestimate the importance of the will in the life of a Christian. Too many believers have an intellectual religion, that satisfies the mind, but never changes the life. They can discuss the bible and even debate or argue about it, but when it comes to living it, they fail. Other Christians have an emotional religion that is made up of changing feelings. Unless they are on an emotional high, they feel God has forsaken them. God wants the whole of the inner person to be devoted to Him: an intelligent mind, a fervent heart, and an obedient will. This is the Christian life – a matter of the will. We are to love the Lord with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our strength.
Your will is so vitally important because your will helps to determine your character. Decisions mold character, and decisions chart the directions of your life. You may want to blame circumstances or feelings or even other people, but this is only an excuse. It is the will that must direct the life.
So back to those verses we just read in 1 Chronicles:
David was feeling important when Satan approached him with the suggestion that he number the people. All the victories David had won previously, Satan used to inflate David’s ego, and ultimately to entice him to rebel against God. David’s adultery was a sin of the flesh. But when he numbered the people, he committed a sin of the spirit.
Now, what I’m fixing to say may chisel on some mental strongholds, but let the Spirit work this truth where He may.
- Believers should not get involved with either sins of the flesh or the spirit, but those who are not guilty of “fleshy sins” (such as adultery, gluttony, etc) should not condemn others, for they themselves may be guilty of sins of the spirit. The prodigal son in Luke 15 was guilty of sins of the flesh, but this proud, critical unbending older brother was guilty of sins of the spirit.
- It is worth noting that David’s sin of numbering the people resulted in 70,000 people dying. His sin of adultery led to the death of four persons. Local churches are quick to judge and condemn those who fall into sins of the flesh, but they are not so quick to judge and discipline church members (especially officers/leaders), who are guilty of sins of the spirit: pride, stubbornness, gossip, jealousy, competition, bragging about results, etc. You see, pride glorifies man and robs God of the glory that only he deserves. Pride is a weapon that Satan wields with great GREAT skill. This explains why Peter said what he did in 1 Peter 5:5-6 (READ those verses and consider memorizing them.)
What was so wrong about David numbering the people? When David numbered the people, he did it for his own glory and not for the glory of God. It was pride that motivated David’s actions. Satan got hold of David’s will inflated his ego and led him into sin.
- Satan’s desire is to work in the local church to hinder its ministry and to do this, he must work in and through Christians or professed Christians woh are a part of that fellowship. PRIDE is one of his chief weapons.
You see, if Satan can get you to act and think independently of God’s will, (even in one of the most seemingly insignificant areas of your life), he can then control your will and control your life. And y’all, this can go on for years! Decades! Pride means we act independently of God, or worse yet that we try to use God to accomplish our own selfish desires and purposes.
David’s great sin that brought horrific consequences was this – pride and the choice he made rooted in that pride.
Before our next bible study lesson, ya’ll, let’s spend some quiet time before the Lord and ask Him to reveal ANY area, any thought pattern, any choices we have made that were rooted in pride. To show us where in our life are we acting independently of Him. As we see in the consequences of David’s sin of pride, please let’s take this seriously. Pride, jealousy, competitiveness, stubbornness, gossip…all sins of the spirit and they all are rooted in pride.
This is one area of “Praying with Honesty” that I just wanted us to begin pondering on together.
Love you all dearly and I’ll post the bible study soon!